SEO Expert – Funky Pigeon SEO Case Study
I’m going to take you back in time to the year 2009. In August of this year I interviewed for a company called Remind4U which sold personalised cards online, their biggest competitor was Moonpig (of course).
At interview I asked the Director (RP) what search phrase he wanted to rank in Google and he replied emphatically with just two words: “Personalised Cards” he said. “That’s it”. Well, OK Moonpig, game on.
eCommerce SEO – Get Thrown In The Deep End
… and I loved it! From the first week I perceived that this wasn’t an ordinary office job, bum on seat for 40 hours, this was going to be fun. My desk was deliberately situated next to the table of 4 developers, “so you can tell them what you need” as RP had clearly thought this through.
The chaps were thoroughly funny, and the Head Honcho told me that part of my job description included deliberately breaking the website, so they could identify bugs and fix them. There’s nothing better than flexing your fingers and sitting down in front of a keyboard with sole aim of breaking the company’s website.
As each new card design was uploaded to the custom CMS it was my job to tag them with SEO keywords, so I would name the ALT tag of a drawing of a man in a car “Father’s Day, Best Daddy, Car, Sports Car, Supercar, Uncle Birthday, Brother Birthday, StepDad, Male Cousin, racing car, car mad”. This is a little-known SEO benefit.
The developers created the online design tool – and my favourite sabotage try was to upload gigantic file size images of 5,000 pixels+ and naming the recipient with 100 or more characters just so the site would fall over. I loved breaking the website, however, I did feel sorry for the dev team because of all the trouble I caused.
SEO Consultant and Digital Marketing Manager
People email me daily asking “How long will it take my eCommerce website to get to Google page 1, position 1?” and the answer is always the same. Back in 2009 the same SEO methods work today, on-page content sculpting, off-page content marketing and Video SEO so if you want to use Funky Pigeon as an example this was 11 months at 40 hours/ week.
Staffing costs: So a one-year investment at my level (intermediate) was sufficient to learn on the job and deliver Google page 1, position 1 rankings in 11 months.
Over a decade later, I’m so confident in my ranking abilities and will demonstrate results in under 6 months.
I offer a 100% refund if my 30 Day SEO Booster does not improve your rankings. Spoiler: I’ve improved the Google search phrase rankings for every website I have been hired to work on.
eCommerce SEO UK Funky Pigeon Marketing Tasks
Tagging products – Renaming the image ALT tags all named at the beginning “Personalised cards” as this was the most important search phrase. Google places high importance in the order of keywords, with the primary ones being at the front of a Header, Title tag or Alt tags for example.
Bugging, deliberately breaking the website – Also improving UX and the general customer experience. Using the “4 Click” rule for eCommerce purchases.
Remind4U changed branding within the first month of my employment.
I had no notice of this happening, I came into work one Monday morning and RP was excitedly telling me about a family BBQ at the weekend when ideas were floated. RP’s wife came up with the brand name “Funky Pigeon” as it reminded her of the old-fashioned way to send airmail.
Embedding code: YouTube and also affiliate I-frames for e-cards (before FP did this when you buy a card now you can send it in an email).
Competitor Research – Using Moonpig to chase backlinks. Intrinsically, I examined their backlinks and crafted my own method for replicating or creating similar backlinks online.
Created a blog – The most common mistake I see very regularly is people emailing me saying “We have a blog but our website doesn’t rank!” and ten times out of ten it’s purely down to the articles not being worded correctly for Search Engines. Every blog article I wrote was always focussed on “Personalised cards”, beginning with the URL, then the H1 and Alt tags.
Reading up on skyscraper content – the term’ skyscraper content’ wasn’t curated back in 2008, but the general consensus in the Digital Marketing industry online in forums, was that each page on a website would maximise SEO if there were 500 words of unique content.
Domain Migration Google Change of Address and eCommerce SEO Rankings
With a history of ranking my eBay listings (eBay SEO) and running my own 12″ vinyl selling account, it was very obvious that my skill set was transferable between platforms and browsers. I expanded on my knowledge by taking the Google certification for Google Analytics and Google Adwords (Now referred to as ‘ads’) back in 2013. I’m a decade old subscriber to Google’s Webmaster Tools blog and publish a lot of free resources in my SEO Blog with DIY SEO instructions.
Funky Pigeon brand stats
The Director purchased multiple domains when they changed brand, to protect the brand name.
It’s a researched fact and, to some, popular knowledge that the common misspelling of ‘pigeon’ includes a ‘D’ and online users do spell the word as “pidgeon”
Funky Pigeon vs Moonpig: WHSmith takeover
Around the 10 month mark of my employment, the Funky Pigeon website had overtaken Moonpig in Google rankings to the top organic position of Google page 1 (below the ads, natural, free ranking).
Then a series of events would shape my career to where I am today – working from home managing around 30 clients a month.
One lunchtime, the phone on my desk rang. This was highly unusual as no one ever needed to call me; our Funky Pigeon department was in the corner of a shared commercial property. Trading under the name of ‘Spilt Ink Studio’ most phone calls were for the printing part of the factory, so getting a call for “Nina at Funky Pigeon” was unheard of.
Moonpig was a greetings card affiliate with WHSmith for many years, then their way of trading evolved and they no longer wanted to sell cards via affiliate websites. Ultimately this resulted in a WHSsmith bigwig opening a browser and typing in the 2 word phrase “Personalised Cards”.
As quick as my little legs could carry me, I walked to RP’s glass office and through the open door (he’s an open-door Director) and informed him WHSmith were on the line and they wanted to talk.
What followed was an intensive 8 week concentrated batch of meetings. I wasn’t included, of course, but I got to recognise regular visitors as RP’s office was directly behind my workstation. No one said anything but I knew my days were numbered. The website has hit their target of being at the top of Google page 1 for “Personalised cards” and other phrases “Personalised mother’s day cards” and “Photo upload cards” and my time on social media increased as the popularity of the brand increased.
That was the day I decided “I can’t just work for one website again, when they get to the top of Google, then how can I improve SEO and more?” my dream of working from home started right there and then.
Company Takeover – So, the WHSmith Marketing Head Office is in Swindon. Back then, I would commute to work from Weston-super-Mare to Bedminster in Bristol to walk to and from work. Commuting to Swindon every day would easily become a 2 hour journey twice a day.
This is why I work from home as a freelance SEO consultant; genuinely I love my job. I love making my clients money, I’m strongly financially motivated.
VIDEO SEO and Backlinks
Videos can appear on the main Google Search results page or on the Videos tab. Videos are frequently presented with a thumbnail image and other helpful information such as the playback duration and summary text. In addition, Google can now highlight key moments in your video content, allowing users to navigate the video like chapters in a book. When a user taps a key moment, they’ll land on your site where they can begin watching the video from that moment in time.
As part of my 30 Day SEO Booster, Video SEO (VSEO) is included as a safe and white-hat way to garner natural and instant reputable backlinks. You will receive a spreadsheet with all of the links/URLs for you to click and check.