Before I get into the nitty gritty, I just want to thank the community who’ve messaged us ideas about the site, have asked us questions and just pushed us to think to that next level with this site. If you’re just interested in our stats, scroll to the end of this post.
A bit of a backstory for Zebo. We had an idea for trying to test out duplicate content, and also trying to scale something automatically, somehow Chris agreed to the idea and we got to work. Zebo.co.uk was just a domain that I had available in my collection. So we used that with no thought about domain choice.
We launched the site on the 10th of September, that’s when we started getting small amounts of traffic. We proposed a series of articles to Mark and Ann of SEO Chat to follow the progress of this site. The first one is: Can You Get Fully Automated Articles To Rank In Google which thankfully we can answer that generally as a big fat yes.
Whilst we haven’t launched any of our tests, we do have some data that we would like to share from the previous six months. I will be doing an article for SEO Chat as a follow up to the above article.
At the start of the process, we were setup on a server shared with other projects that Chris works on. Once we got to a reasonable size (around January).
We’re now running on a server (through Cloudflares free program) at OVH.
Google loves speed. Seems simple doesn’t it, but at the start of the process, we had some large sitemaps that we needed to be crawled, so we spent a lot of hours trying to think of ways to get more of our pages indexed.
Over these images, we did a small test. We changed how the code was being loaded. One was quicker one was slower. I previously had GTMetrix reports however these look to have been deleted. But it was a couple of seconds difference in load time.
The second image, we literally kept turning it off and on. As soon as we did that the number of requests we had from Google would increase. We had a way of manually checking too, we had a small section behind an admin login with a list of recent searches. We can see when a bot hits the site. During this time the list was being updated much quicker through the extra hits to the server on different pages.
That Ranking For Some Terms Is Easy
We had a search term right at the start that was getting a large amount of impressions and clicks, it was the term “Alice New Star”. It was driving a good amount of traffic, just it seems that it wasn’t the kind of traffic we really wanted. As you can see from the image below, there is a large amount of clicks that we achieved from this. Actual earnings was next to nothing. We removed this search term as it’s not really the kind of thing that we wanted to get traffic from. However if anybody out there wants an easy term to rank for, enjoy.
The problem with the above method, is that we weren’t thinking about our users at this moment in time. We were purely thinking “Great, now we’ve got a quick way to add a shed load of keywords.” which worked at the time, but we got keywords like that above that really are not suitable for our site and honestly, I think this is one of the things damaging our rankings currently.
Click-through Rate Matters
As you can see from the image below, we made a change to our meta description, I don’t have the original. However we definately went from:
“See our -product- collection at Zebo, the best way to find what you need.”
to our current:
“Discover our extensive -Product- collection at Zebo; the easiest way to find exactly what you need. Quickly search Zebo to browse only the best -Product- selections in seconds, at affordable prices”
Some fun memories:
Whilst digging through my skype history with Chris. Saw some bits that made me smile.
Such as this:
“Not doing too badly either: “
To put this into perspective, we were a month and a half into the project. That was sent on the 26th of October at 9:17 pm.