Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How I got to Google page one: a case study of sorts.

I recently posted an update to twitter that read: ”wooooooooot the hard work paid off. day one of http://rsaonline.wordpress.com converts to ten sales!!! stoked to say the least (ceTwit)” So to explain what I did over the last couple of days to get the RSA course up, running, “out there”, on to page one of google and convert some sales here’s the how.

I started following @timbuchalka on twitter a couple of weeks ago for a couple of reasons: 1 He was listed on twitter grader as number one in twitter elite for Adelaide 2 His profile said he was a web2.0 geek. I didn’t know what SEO was then so wasn’t really interested in that stuff. That is until my colleague Dave said it was time to market the Responsible Service of Alcohol course that I had built in our Moodle a few months back.

I said to Dave straight up that I know nothing about online marketing and that we should get someone in to do it, I have a contact (@timbuchalka) who could help us out. So here is how the twitter conversation went:

@rhysatwork: are you based in Adelaide Aus? I am interested in some SEO type work done for a website here so an @reply would be appreciated

@timbuchalka: Yes I am based in Adelaide.. Do lots of SEO/WEb 2.0 work but virtually 100% booked for months at the moment with new launch.

@rhysatwork: ok fair do. Looks like I'll have to give a whirl myself unless you know someone else with some time....

@timbuchalka: check out our website http://takeoverpageone.com lots of free seo/web 2.0 stuff there... free rss plugin coming out tomorrow..

So I did. I went over to http://takeoverpageone.com signed up, downloaded, read up and had at it. I figured I could give it a go and if it didn’t work at least I would learn something in the process.

Now I won’t pretend it was a quick process, but I did learn a pile of stuff. To be honest, I am a bit impatient when it comes to reading a pile of info. The pdf that @timbuchalka and his bro have put together is lengthy but it is in plain English (all be it a bit “Northern Suburbs” ;-) just kidding guys) and they have put into 10 steps. So I didn’t read it all and then try it out, I kinda did it step by step, (sorta). Some of the steps I had a whirl at but probably weren’t as successful as I could have been if I had actually had some sort of training in web design and coding. Seeing I am self taught I am pretty happy with what I did achieve. If you are going to have a go yourself, don’t follow my steps, go to http://takeoverpageone.com, and jump through their hoops (not really just a basic email sign up) to get their pdf.

1. picked out some keywords I thought would be likely candidates for searchers to try and find RSA courses.

2. did some google searches to see what was there (i.e. who the competition were) and took some screen shots with Jing so I had something to look at and compare after.

3. created a rsaonline.wordpress.com blog.

4. Tweeted new blog

5. did some social book marking

6. updated moodle site

7. updated bjaustralia.com.au

8. created some links on some of my social networks

9. updated this blog

10. did some google searches and took some more screen shots

11. created a Squidoo lens

12. did some more social book marking

13. and did some more searches on google again and more screen shots

So that is how I got to page one, and made a good sale on day one (in the working world) of rsaonline.wordpress.com

So here are some questions yet to be answered:

I wonder if writing about it will make it better or worse?

Will this model be sustainable (i.e. will we still be there in a week, a month or a year)?

Would you consider this an organic process?

I would love to hear your comments.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The race to the front page.

I woke up this morning after a late session working on the SEO stuff for the RSA online project to find I had managed to get the wordpress blog onto page one! Yep in less than 24 hours. Needless to say I was stoked. But rather than sit on my hands, I have been up late again working on getting it right up the rankings.

So I created a Squidoo. This is quite a cool tool, maybe a little fiddly in parts but cool nonetheless. Hopefully I will atract some "juice" to my wordpress blog by doing this. Anyway, I'll let you know how I get on in the next few days.(if you're interested)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

BJ RSA Online

I have spent the last few days getting the finishing touches on the BJ moodle course for Responsible service of alcohol (RSA) and I am just about to tell the world about it.

RSA is a tricky bit of e-learning to put together and it is one of the units of competence of the Hospitality Training Package that a lot of RTO's are providing, many of them online. Competition is pretty fierce and getting a hit on google for the course is going to prove difficult. So I thought I might conduct a little experiment to see if I can get our site up the google page rankings. That's right I'm going to through my hat into the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) ring.

SEO is something I know nothing about so I am happy to hear your suggestions. In the mean time, I have taken some screen shots of google searches with the appropriate key words, I have done a little work on grading the appropriate sites as they stand now, and I have created a new blog.

So here are some links to what I have done so far. (I am told back linking is the way to)

New RSA Blog
BJ's Moodle RSA Page (this should take you to a create a login page)
The BJ's Australia Hospitality page

My next post will be an update on how the experiment is going.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

There are truffles, and then, there are truffles.

This week, on a flight back from Port Lincoln, I was reading an article in an in-flight magazine. I know, I should’ve been listening to an important podcast, reading the latest Moodle for Dummies release or just about anything else but it had been a long day. So there I was reading this magazine, and I came across an article on truffles. You know the ones, fungus, use a pig to find them, great in French cooking, cost a fortune. OK, so here’s the thing, when you read truffles, how many thought about the chocolate type? You know the ones, petit fours, champagne truffles, chocolatey goodness.

Whether writing an article, writing a blog post, or putting together a learning object, the use of images is a vital part which helps to convey the information to the reader. The right image in the right place can change the whole feel and even the meaning of the article or learning object. The wrong image can lead to confusion, or worse.

So what do truffles have to do with the use of images? The in-flight magazine article had a picture of the wrong type of truffle. Now I imagine, to a lot of folks, this error was not noticed and made little difference to them. I found it quite amusing and had to share it with the guy sitting next to me. He told someone else, and who knows how many others have done the same.

I’d love to hear any other stories or examples of this sort of slip up and what the repercussions were…