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Look at the whole picture for revenue growth.

Welcome back Rankers! We’ve got a client who had their first big uptick during the lockdown of 2020, before we came onboard. We got some steady growth before hitting a wall and we couldn’t work out why. Turns out that the problems were more than just tech-based. Your business relies on many factors; get that balance right and you will reap the rewards.

What I learned

  • Lockdowns were peak-period for many retailers.
  • Many factors can affect your business.
  • The importance of great hosting.
  • Why you need more than great tech.
  • Listen to your advisors.


Hey, welcome back Rankers, how you going? I wanted to show you a snapshot of a client who’s been with us for a couple of years, and I wanted to show you a little bit about their journey. Like before we came on board, what happened with them in lockdown, what happened post-lockdown, what’s happening now. And there’s so many things that can affect the retailer. And if you’re a retailer, you know this. Markets, stock, but some of the other things, some of the more subtle things, can be staff, staffing issues. It can be a change of site, as we all know, but sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint where those issues are when you’re moving platforms or sites. And sometimes there’s things you don’t know that are going on that, unless you’re looking, you’re not going to know that they’re happening and how to fix them. So this is really interesting.

A poor host

This first uptick here is April 2020. So that’s the first lockdown. Now we didn’t come on board until this annotation here, which you can see is October later that year. So we weren’t on board for that initial uptick that a lot of retailers saw and it went through the roof. But you can see there, we’ve managed to then slowly grow it over this period until you see this peak up here, and what happened here? Well, a couple of things happened there. Firstly, we found out later, much later, and I used a tool called Security Trails to find this out. Thank you, Security Trails. Great tool, by the way. That the hosting company, and this was back then a custom CMS, the hosting company was… They moved their hosting from, I think it was Amazon to a Microsoft host at the time. We didn’t find that out till about four or five months later. And by that stage, it was too late.
But basically, there were hosting issues and there was a speed issue that came about and we were racking our heads and we couldn’t work out why. Client didn’t know, because the builder of the site, all of that sort of stuff, wasn’t anything to do with the client. It was just the way that they hosted all their CMSs and all their systems. So there was never anything that the client could have watched for or looked out for, because the builder was never going to tell them. Then subsequent to that, we went and launched to Shopify here, which should’ve been a happy day. And we started to see it going up here. And I said to them, this is going to go through the roof now, because we’re going to have a much faster site, which we did have, and we’re going to have all these great things happen. But what did happen is that the site that they launched with was suboptimal.

More than technology

We weren’t happy with the developer. I haven’t found a lot of companies that sing the praises of their developers. There’s been a few over the years, but… So I don’t hold that against the developer who built this site, because everyone has problems. But some of the issues that came about were from also staff changes within the retailer, and some of the people that they had brought on weren’t quite across all the subject matter, product subject matter. And so the way that they categorise things and put things into collections wasn’t necessarily the way that the buyer would, or the shopper would shop for them. So over this year, it has been a struggle. As you can see from that revenue graph, it’s been up and down. We haven’t reached that high of 2020. We’ve just reached it last month and now we’re going to exceed it. And the reason we’ve just met it last month is we’re able to finally get some things done, because they had another staff change, which was great. And that person agreed with us on a lot of things, and they had some great ideas of their own that they’re bringing to the table as well, which has just been so great.

So it’s not just the technology, it’s the people in your organisation. It’s the willingness to listen to people who you’re paying to advise you. And I know that a lot of SEO companies over the years suffer a lot of grief from clients, because they don’t understand the relationship of ads and organic. And the reason for that is our industry has made it that way. In a lot of cases, we keep them separate, which can be a very, very bad thing to do for the client, because you could be double spending in some instances where you don’t really need to. Or maybe you’re not focused on the right things that are bothering the shopper, because you’ve got those two disciplines split and they will see different things. Most ad agencies, most agencies that do ads and don’t do SEO, don’t know that you can actually find out where the Google Ads bot goes. But it’s actually in an SEO tool, which is kind of weird, isn’t it? Called Google Search Console, which isn’t really an SEO tool. And I’ll tell you why next week.

Thanks very much. Speak to your friends. Share, like, subscribe. If you are looking for an agency, looking for a second opinion on your revenue growth, and those sorts of things, please hit us up. Go to our website or reach out to me, Thanks very much. Bye.

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