PilatesSocks.co.uk - An Experiment in SEO
A couple of weeks before Christmas I met up with a friend from Boroughbridge. He's an osteopath called Julian. Primarily Megan and I were visiting them to see their new-born twins. However, the conversation took a different direction when Julian mentioned pilates socks.
I had no idea such a thing existed. I mean, I know there are sport-specific socks for all kinds of other sports (running, walking, football, rugby), but pilates? It turns out there's quite a big market for pilates equipment of all kinds - including socks.
We quickly discovered that the domain name pilatessocks.co.uk was available, so we bought it. A few minutes later and we'd hatched a plan to see how straight forward it might be to create a simple site, selling a small range of products into a niche but growing market in order to provide a little residule income to support our growing families.
Fast forward a few weeks and we now have:
- A simple website awaiting lots of pilates-related content
- A Facebook page
- A Twitter account
- A Pinterest account
I've also advoated building SEO rankings from a very specific term (like a business name) and then working outwards, broadening the range of words you want to appear for. In this case, the term 'pilates socks' is quite competetive, and mostly from large websites and well-known brands. I will be interested to see how far up the rankings we can get our site for that term without spending too many hours optimising and improving the site. This is an exercise in efficiency.
The site only launched yesterday and was initially ranked on page 11 of Google's results. It has since disappeared altogether, which often happens when a site is first indexed. I hope it will settle down in the next couple of days and then we can begin to build our ranking.
From my perspective, I am interested to see:
- How long until we start generating organic search traffic?
- How quickly we can build a social media following?
- How long until the first online purchase (we don't have any stock yet, so it will be a while unti this happens)?
- How long until we've covered our costs?
- Could this be a profitable side-line or full-time business for someone?
The site is fairly well optimised (as of today) - Google Pagespeed Insights thinks it's pretty good, as does Pingdom Tools. So that's a good start.
Next on my list is to get some in-bound links - this blog post is the start of that. Links from website A to website B act as a referral - like recommending a friend. So the more in-bound links you can get your website the higher up the rankings it should climb, in theory! The caveat as that Google ranks the page your site is linked from, as well as the site itself. If the page you're linked from isn't ranked very highly then the link will have little impact. Links from high quality sites have the greatest impact on search ranking.
I'll try and keep my blog up to date with updates as they occur. This is a side project and I have plenty of 'proper work' to be getting on with at the moment, so it might be a slow burn. I don't want to end up selling socks for a living - I love working with my web clients too much. For me this more about putting some theory into practice and scratching my itch for starting something new!