Just before the end of 2020 I hit an important milestone with Ongoing Remote: our first Google search impression!
This is of course a small victory, but after seeing zero impressions for several weeks, it’s reassuring to see a positive number. The ultimate goal of course is to get sales, but your conversion funnel needs to start somewhere.
Impressions come before clicks
Clicks come before starting the purchase process
Starting the purchase process comes before completing the purchase process
This first impression wasn’t an explicit goal of mine, but I had been checking the Search Console nearly every day to see if it happened. But now I do want to set a goal: Ongoing Remote gets at least 10 Google search impressions in a single day in January 2021.
To do this, I need to do some SEO basics:
Update and verify all of my meta tags
Add robots.txt file
Update my social media profiles to include links to Ongoing Remote
Connect Twitter to my blog, as this blog includes back linking to Ongoing Remote
A few weeks back I was looking for better places to put job postings for remote developers than LinkedIn (it’s horrible for this), and I came across JS Remotely. The first thing I thought was, “Wow, this site is so simple, and there are at least five posts each day. If those are real they are 500 USD of income basically for free every day. That’s a great business model!”
So I set about making a similar site and got something up and running in a few days. It’s called Ongoing Remote. There is a homepage with a list of posts, and a form to submit new posts. I wasn’t able to get payment up and running yet because I don’t have a registered business.
Also cool is that I used NextJs to build it and tried to optimize for speed. It should load extremely quickly as it has dynamic content that is statically rendered using Incremental Static Regeneration.
I also set up Google Search Console to see how many impressions and hits I get, since this business will be primarily SEO-driven. Several weeks in and I still have zero impressions and zero clicks.
Finally I paid a designer to create a logo for the site. This is the working version I have for now, which is why it has a watermark:
Although the infrastructure is still in there to do that, I haven’t expanded to more sites yet and may not do that.
So since the site is up and I have absolutely zero search engine traffic on it, my primary concern is getting eyeballs via SEO. Hence me writing this post.
Other things running through my mind at the moment are:
Maybe I really should focus on one particular type of job, since there are lots of generic job posting sites, and probably less SEO competition for highly specific jobs.
I have a lot of experience as a web developer, but it was my first time using NextJs, and I learned a lot. But this site is super simple and doesn’t really leverage my strengths – I’m good at building web applications and services, not at SEO. Maybe I should try another business idea.
While researching competitors I came across RemoteOK and the creator, who has some great advice for people starting online businesses by themselves. He gave himself a challenge once to do 12 startups in 12 months, and that also sounds like a great way to learn a lot and spread some seed around to see what grows.
If I want to charge money for anything, I need to register a business, and luckily just a few weeks ago Dubai changed their business ownership laws to allow 100% foreign ownership. Since this is where I live, it makes for a great option. I’ve still got to investigate what actually needs to be done, and it’s on my to-do list.