My story of working on the Internet
I have had my own business, working on the Internet for over 4 years now. Before I started out, I had mainly held manual labour jobs, both here in the UK and in Europe. Having seen the impact migrant workers were going to have on the industry first-hand, I had an epiphany and decided to retrain. I spent hours playing online games on my PC, but I decided to use my time more constructively, so I studied for a BTEC in Advanced Web Design – surprising even myself when I passed so easily.
Taking those First Steps
So I took my new found knowledge, and started my first project; a simple (if only I knew how wrong I was!) eBay shop re-design, with 2 HTML pages. Three weeks of 14-hour days later, I delivered my first customised eBay shop design, whilst also having learnt that eBay was like nothing else I’d worked on previously.
This led to my first eCommerce project – an eCommerce site built on OS Commerce; admittedly, not the best script in the world, but was suitable for the clients budget. I recruited help from advanced coders based in Nepal, and have not looked back since. That first site is still running to this day, and can be viewed at MrMobileUK.com. The site quickly turned into an effective tool for the client, and opened their eyes to the potential of online retailing.
Went on to build several OS Commerce sites, however, for the most part, the next batch of clients didn’t seem to understand that succeeding on the Internet required constant work and investment. This was to be my first business lesson; there really is such a thing as a ‘bad customer’.
Credit Crunch 2008
Up to this point, we had mainly been working with small businesses, so the credit crunch bit hard, almost killing off orders, so a different approach was required. I started trawling employment websites, searching for companies looking to recruit web designers, applying for many positions. Having applied for various roles, I stated in my applications that for the one income I would work with my team of trusted overseas workers and act as Project Manager.
The second post I applied for was for a company called PF Jones and having been chosen from 45 applicants, it was time do my home-work. I knew about their existing SEO, had found who their main rivals were, and because of my eBay experience, also knew how to go about taking on their biggest rivals in that marketplace too. PF Jones at that time were primarily a trade company and not only was the website of a very poor standard, they only had two keywords ranked in Google in positions 11th and 14th. The website was rebuilt inside 3 months, and respect must go to the Sales Manager, Brian Glover, probably one of the most knowledgeable people on the subject of towbars in the UK, if not the world – he added over 2500 items to the site whilst it was being built around him.
After looking at rivals sites, and with the short time frame I had, I decided that functionality and search engine friendliness were to be the two most important factors. The fresh new website was instantly loved by Google; imagine a stick of rock, with the word SEO running through the core instead of a seaside town. We achieved front page ranking on the leading industry keywords (towbar, tow bar, towbars, tow bars) and sales were increased 200% within the first 3 months compared to the previous full year of sales.
I continued to work on ethical SEO, at the time link exchange was one of the key ranking factors, and we took top 3 spots within 6 months. Nine months after launch, the site was number one for 3 out of the top 4 phrases, with hundreds of logtail keywords ranked in the top 5. 12 months in, and we had a full set of number one positions, and this has been the case for the last 2 years, despite swapping the whole website (risky, as you would normally expect a drop, however brief). In actual fact, the site didn’t miss a beat, and looked better, ran faster and ultimately increased PF Jones dominance of their market sector. Please check out the Portfolio page to see real-time results on their phrases.
I also completely rebuilt their Ad-Words campaign, over 2000 keywords, achieving higher quality scores, which in turn lead to better return on investment (ROI). This model of campaign was quickly imitated by several of the closest rivals, although they were still unable to surpass our own campaigns. With the market sector in the bag, I began to focus my attention to the Diesel parts repair side of the business, and as predicted, this was a walk in the park. Within a short time (just 7 months) number one ranking had been achieved on all major keywords. We captured and dominated, and continue to dominate to this day four of the biggest phrases – Diesel Injectors, Diesel Pumps, Diesel Fuel and Diesel Repairs – again, you can view these in real-time on the Portfolio page. Dieseljones.co.uk now has literally hundreds, if not thousands of number one long-tail keywords and is used by some of the industries manufacturers as a reference tool.
I am a great believer in “the future is ours to write”. What little spare time I have is dedicated to working for several friends, and friends of friends, be it website builds, eBay shop designs or SEO campaigns. All of these, again, can be seen on the Portfolio page.
I’m moving more into SEO and eBay shop design now, and have built this website which is ranking well with little effort on the phrases SEO Manchester and SEO Company Manchester (how’s that for a cheeky on-page link, fellow SEO’ers?) I did at least wait till being over two-thirds down the page – promise I won’t add any more!
I am always available and willing to work on any project you have in mind, so please drop me a message on our Contact Us page – or call direct and ask for Duncan.
Team Work makes the Dream Work
At uberSEO Manchester I am one member of a team of four; check out the other team members profiles to read about their path in SEO, for without these guys the journey would have been so much harder. BIG, BIG thanks goes to the countless workers from all over the world that have worked on prjoects with us (China, Philippines, India, USA, UK, Canada and Argentina) but I reserve my biggest thanks and heartfelt gratitude and respect for Ujjwal. I consider him to be my new little brother, without his belief in us when all others had lost faith, we wouldn’t be where we are today. He saw, when no-one else did, the light at the end of the tunnel, and even when trains were heading towards us, we clinged to the side and avoided being swept aside. I am proud to call him firstly a brother, secondly a true friend, and finally a business partner.
I literally have hundreds of these, and thanks to my Mum for having them all over the house during my childhood.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Albert Einstein - uBer Genius.
“Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn’t, it is of no use.” Unknown
“Get your shit together brethren. Its obvious, one tyranny is masked just as another. Wake up world and revolt like Gandhi, think like Einstein, forgive like Mandela, love like Dali, paint like Da Vinci, Laugh like you know the truth and smile like a child when you do”. Noam Chomsky
“I have spread my dreams under your feet,Tread carefully because you tread on my dreams”. Yeats
“To illuminated minds, the whole world sparkles with light”. Albert Einstein – uBer Genius
“True strength is the ability to stand up and be counted,for what is right,even when everyone else stays sat down”. Unknown
“I would rather attempt something great and fail than attempt nothing and succeed”. Unknown
“Tough times never last ,tough people do”. Unknown
“Success is never certain failure is never final”. Unknown
“Lifes like a game if you know just some of the rules you can bend the game to suit”. Unknown