This is a blog post by Alexander Bont, CEO of Bont Skates and customer of Kirk Lloyd SEO. This post is about Bont Skates’ experience in improving their Google SEO rankings.
Our company produces high-end inline skates ice skates and roller skates. Our skates and shoes have won numerous Olympic gold medals, the Tour de France, world championship gold medals and set world records.
I am taking the time to write a blog post for Kirk because he went above and beyond for our companies SEO. So I am writing this blog post in appreciation of his efforts.
Over the past few years, our sales channels have slowly migrated from distributors and wholesalers to more direct sales through our online shop. Competition in our industry is fierce and we need to outrank our competitors on Google search results now more than ever. Over the years we have paid various companies to do SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) work on our website and these companies did a reasonable job.
With the help of Kirk Lloyd, I recently discovered that doing a reasonable job is only slightly better than doing nothing at all. Because people mostly click on the first few results in Google search and that’s it. When’s the last time you ever checked the second page of Google search results? This means paying to increase your keyword ranking from 40 to 20, for example, really doesn’t increase the traffic to your website. For me, it’s very similar to sponsoring athletes. If we sponsor the best athlete in the sport, we generate a lot of sales. If we sponsor the 8th best athlete we see very little difference in sales. It seems obvious to get our Google ranking as high as possible. But it is now even more important to us now after seeing how poorly sites outside the top 10 perform.
They don’t care enough about my business to get my ranking to #1.
Past SEO Results
In the past, I had two different companies do Google SEO work for me. I experienced the typical scenario that I described above. The SEO company added some keywords, removed some backlinks, fixed some errors. My ranking for different keywords improved from 80 to 40 for one word or 26 to 19 for another word. I didn’t see any improvement in sales or traffic and I had to keep paying for Google ads.
Why wasn’t I getting higher rankings? I have the best products in the market and I paid for SEO to boost my ranking! I discovered that it comes down to effort and the care factor. My business is not the SEO companies business. They don’t care enough about my business to get my ranking to #1. Also, getting to #1 is not easy. After reaching #1 for a number of search terms with Kirk Lloyd SEO. I now understand why the previous SEO companies that I worked with failed to get my company to the #1 ranking.
You will hear many SEO experts talk about CTR. CTR means the Click Through Rate. The simplest way to think of it is how many people click on your link in relation to how many times your link is shown. Here is a very interesting graph that shows what we are up against in google rankings.
You can clearly see from the graph how important the number 1 ranking is. Also how important it is to increase your ranking to get as close to number 1 as you can. The other interesting thing to look at in this graph. Is that if you are ranking lower than the number 10 spot, you shouldn’t expect very many clicks at all.
Within three weeks of working with Kirk Lloyd SEO, we had achieved the number 1 ranking. Not for one keyword, for many of the keywords we were targeting in the USA. Keywords like ‘inline speed skates’ and ‘short track speed skates’. This is the first time ever we are ranking #1 on Google USA. This resulted in us turning google ads off for these keywords. This saved me $350 per week in spending on Google Ads. And I have increased traffic to my site because people trust google search results more than google ads.
It’s always great to know what your competitors are up to. It’s even better when someone like Kirk gives you an analysis that is easy to understand and easy to see where I needed to improve to beat my competitors. Through this process, I discovered a number of unexpected business opportunities unrelated to SEO. I found out which skate shops were doing the best SEO. So I could make an offer for them to sell our products. Through seeing which words they were targeting I discovered product opportunities that I was missing out on. As an example, we saw some of our competitors targeting roller skate toe protectors. We did some research to discover that it was a product that we should add to our range. This was an unexpected benefit.
Backlinks are simply the links that you click on to get from one website to another. As my web site was created in 1994, we had over 60,000 of them!
In the past, Google used to up-rank a website based on the number of backlinks that it had. People quickly worked out that you could use a bot to create fake links. Google started down-ranking websites that had poor backlinks. My site had over 60,000 links so Kirk went through an analysed the backlinks to delete the ‘toxic’ links. I had hundreds of links from E-cigarettes to Jordon shoes and, as you can guess, a whole bunch of unwanted porn links. I also had thousands of links from web pages that no longer exist. My previous SEO companies had removed some links but they just skimmed the surface. This link removal process provided an instant boost to my site ranking. Kirk deleted over 25,000 links.
My site had a lot of errors. These errors cause Google to rank our site lower. My new site was only a year old but it had hundreds of errors on it. Kirk fixed every single error on the site to give us a perfect 100 score on the SEO ranking software. These site errors get pretty technical. However, you can clearly see in the SEO reports that we had a lot of errors before. They have all been fixed now.
Google up-ranks sites that have a certain number of words in the description, the meta tags, the SEO description the title, and other areas. Kirk will go through every single page of your site and not only work on the pages that you think are important but work on the pages that Google thinks are important. Keywords take your entire site into consideration not just single pages. Our Keyword ranking improved out of sight after a few weeks of updating our keywords, fixing our descriptions and titles, and then tweaking them after checking the results.
Stuff I didn’t know I needed
Then, Kirk added a whole bunch of stuff that we didn’t even know we needed but now that it has been done, we know we need it.
– Featured Snippets. A featured snippet is an excerpt from your site that appears above the search results and is super valuable because it appears at the top of the page.
– Breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs link pages in your site and make it easier for site users to go back one or more levels. Google loves to see breadcrumbs on your site.
– Pictures on Google search on a mobile device. When you search for a topic on google on a mobile device and you check the search results, some company web pages show a bunch of images. These images grab your attention and are super valuable.
– Google Images. When you click on ‘images’ at the top of a Google search result page, showing your company images gives people another opportunity to find your site. It also makes your company look popular if a lot of your company products are shown.
– Lazy Loading. Your page needs to load quickly if you want to rank highly on Google, especially on mobile devices, but if you have a page with a lot of images you may need to get the top part of the page to load first so Google will give you a tick of approval and then the rest of the page can load later.
– Trimming code. As above, if your site has a lot of code, it can load slowly. Kirk combined code to make our site load more quickly.
– Schema. Schema is markup code that you put on your website to help the search engine return more informative results for the person searching.
Fixing the site is one thing, but you don’t want to create new pages or add more products with the same problems you had before. Kirk trained me and my employees in the nitty-gritty details of what it takes to build a Search Engine Optomised web page and product page. We were trained in how to name images, how to optimise images for the site, how to get Google to display Featured Snippets, and more. Now we have a set of instructions for new employees so anyone can create a new page on our site using our new SEO knowledge.
Our shop was linked to the Google Merchant Center and we were selling products but we didn’t know how poorly our google feed was. Kirk optimised our feed telling google when products were out of stock and fixed errors so more of our products could be shown on Google Shopping.
After working on this project with Kirk I feel that I have finally discovered the secret to SEO success after all these years of trying and failing. Kirk loves solving problems and fixing all of the problems on our site is something he was extremely passionate about. There is no point in spending money on SEO if you are not going to get GREAT results. Good results just don’t cut it and if you want great results, you want Kirk Lloyd SEO. As you can tell, I am thrilled with our results, the extra revenue and the fact that I don’t need to pay google for ads anymore. If you didn’t already notice, this blog post is packed with SEO keywords that I learned about from Kirk. The training worked 🙂 Thanks Kirk!
Director – Bont Skates