Today is a huge day for us here at Smart & Slick because our website finally ranked in Google for the term “web design agency”. We have yet to achieve the kind of search engine rankings that are going to lead to a sharp uptick in enquiries and work. We’re not even ranked in the top 100 yet, but we are ranked. We are on the map. And it may sound like I’m disproportionately excited about that given that I can’t order a new car, but it is vitally important. Because it means Smart & Slick, as a company, is on the map in the field of web design. We have a starting point. We are no longer blindly poking around in the dark. We’ve learned something about the size of the challenge involved in getting onto the first page and then being able to order a new car (or more likely hire a couple of new developers).
It is also a testament to the faith that every entrepreneur has to have in order to embark on such mad endeavour as deciding to build a business: that effort will eventually get you results.
In Feb 2021, when I first started Smart & Slick, I knew that getting any seriously good Google rankings for any computing or IT related terms would be tough. There are a million and one people in their bedrooms calling themselves web design agencies or digital agencies or whatever. They all have websites. That’s a lot of websites. And back in February 2021, they had all been around longer than me. How would I ever compete?
It was scary. I’d quit a well paid job to pursue building my own business and if I failed there would be a large repetitional cost to that. Having quit my job also meant this wasn’t really a problem I’d be able to just throw money at until it was solved. I was taking the “do everything yourself” approach because I couldn’t afford to spend money speculatively AND put food on the table.
But I made a plan. I’ve posted on this blog fairly regularly. I’ve written good solid content on a fairly regular basis and over time, it has built up. As the months have passed, the website has increased in size. Until now, one unassuming day when I really wasn’t expecting anything, I realise that we’ve ranked.
The work paid off. And it wasn’t heavy work. I didn’t obsess about it for the last 18 months. I had faith that it was something that would happen eventually. I just made an effort to write a blog article every day or every couple of days and then eventually just whenever I had an idea for a blog. And over time, these small but consistent efforts have lead to a result.
It reminds me of Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption (spoilers, if you haven’t seen it I recommend you stop reading right now and go watch it, then come back). Andy Dufresne, an accountant, was found guilty of murdering his wife (which he didn’t do). This cruel twist of fate landed him in prison for essentially the rest of his life. Did Andy give up? No. I’m gonna try not to blow the ending, but if you’ve seen it you’ll know what I mean when I say small consistent efforts of a very long period of time lead to him eventually getting out.
It always makes me laugh. The shot of him crawling through a sewage pipe can sometimes seem like the perfect metaphor for build a business. You’ve got to be prepared for that.
So from this point forward for me, the rest of the journey to the coveted Google page 1 will be faster. Because we know where we are. And we know where we’re going. In a year I’ll be on page 1. I promise.