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SEO projects update #3

October has been a busy month. Q4 always tends to get hectic for all agencies, and we are no exceptions. Unfortunately this meant we had less time to dedicate to our beloved projects Mercuri and Sinope.

On the bright side, we did have some time away from the office to plan ahead and really reflect on what we would like these websites to become.

For many, SEO is mostly a game of cheating. What can you do to “trick” Google into thinking your content is better than everybody else’s. It is tempting, we are not going to lie. Seeing traffic grow quickly is addictive. And when it happens, it is easy to find all sorts of justification for whatever ranking techniques you are using at that time.

But we love the internet, and we feel it’s every content creator’s responsibility to keep it healthy and make it a better place. That means no click-bate, no repeating what has already been said thousands of times, no stuffing words into an article just to meet a desired wordcount… in other words, play nice, like we all know we should and like Google has always been telling us to do if we want to remain relevant and not be affected by updates.

Strategy wise this means we are going to be looking at our E-A-T a lot more from now on. Even if it means publishing less, or spending more to keep up with the publishing rhythm.

Of course, there will still be keyword research involved, internal linking, referencing, and all the other healthy SEO practices we’ve always used. But they will always become second to quality, relevance and uniqueness.

And now, after this brief moment of reflection, let’s move on to the part you were probably looking for, the numbers, progress and current state of each project.

Project Mercuri

During the third month of project Mercuri we haven’t done a lot more than keep adding content. And not as much as we thought we would… During the month of October we only published 4 new information articles.

However, as we reflected upon our E-A-T, we decided to write a brand voice guide for project Mercuri. What are the values of this blog, the mission, the competitive advantage, the brand’s dictionary… With this document, it’s very clear what this blog is about and how we want to be different from the competition. This was needed to draw a better direction of where we want to go, and will help onboarding writers to work with us on this project.

Current state

We are happy to see that even though we haven’t met our publishing schedule Google still seems to be testing and experimenting with the site. Project Mercuri now has a lot more URL ranking for more keywords than it did last month. This is a great sign, as it tells us that Google keeps learning about the site, and that we might hopefully make it out of the sandbox in a few more months.

Google is still giving the site some chances in the SERPs
  • Currently the site has a total of 30 informational articles and 4 products published.
  • We have a total of 28 pages (including articles, products, home, category pages, etc.) ranking for a total of 150 queries.
  • Organic traffic is still close to non-existing.

What’s next

For the month to come, we hope to pick up our previous publishing rhythm. Realistically speaking this might not be possible, but we will try to at least do better than we did in October.

This might mean bringing in some writers who can help, as well as contribute their own knowledge and experiences to the site. We say we “might” hire writers not because we are not sure about doing so, but because hiring good writers and managing them well takes time, and that is what we are currently lacking.

Project Sinope

October was the first full month online for project Sinope. Here we also failed to publish as much as we would have liked. We only published 4 new articles, but we are very happy with the quality of the content we’ve produced, which also includes some custom made charts and graphics.

As soon as we realized we were not going to reach our publishing goals for project Sinope, we put the word out that we were looking for writers to help out. We found two very promising ones and offered contracts to both. Unfortunately, one of them had temporarily decline due to illness, but the other one is already working with us and really knows a lot about the subject, so we are excited about the collaboration.

Just like project Mercuri, our team also wrote a brand voice guide for Sinope. With this, we have a better vision of what we want to achieve, and we could also brief our writers quicker and more effectively, giving them the proper directions and guidelines.

Current State

  • The site currently has 11 published articles.
  • We have a total of 6 pages ranking for just a couple of keywords.
  • Organic traffic is still non-existing

What’ next

  • Increase publication rhythm – Hopefully the second writer will recover soon and be able to join us. If not, we might consider finding a replacement. At the end of the day we’ll need to do whatever it takes to publish more content than we did in October.
  • Highlight our E-A-T – This month we plan on doing some changes to the website to really show who our writers are and their expertise. We are investing a significant amount in working with true professionals in the field, so we want to make sure Google knows about that.
  • Take some actions to try to get more of our content indexed.