Child Trust Funds

August 2, 2010 Steve

After a wee break from all things t’internet, it’s time to crack on again and get some of your questions and site reviews published. Apologies to those of you who’ve been waiting, but the latest round of reviews have finally trickled in, so first up, we have a review of a site sent in from Simon who met Affiliate Doc Elaine at the last Think Visibility Conference.

“Hi.

I bumped into the very friendly Elaine Forth during my recent day out at ThinkVisibilty in Leeds. During a quick chat I explained my teething troubles with my first affiliate site and she recommended I get in touch, so here goes…

www.simplychildsavings.co.uk is my entry into the affiliate marketing arena. It’s 5 months old and full of original unique content for parents looking to save cash for their little ones.

I’m a Dad myself and experienced in financial services so I’ve designed a site that I think is genuinely unique.

The problem is Google doesn’t agree.

Yahoo seems to like me a lot. I’m on the first page for keywords such as ‘children’s savings’ and ‘compare child trust funds’, but my only success with Google seems to be scattered longtail keyphrases.

So, can you help? Have I been penalised for some basic blunder (I submitted my site for reconsideration which has been apparently done) . The site is built using WordPress – is there something I’m doing fundamentally wrong?

I recognise I’ve only got a handful of backlinks but Yahoo doesn’t seem to mind. Is Google so dependent on links that it doesn’t care about content?

Thanks

Simon Westwell”

Kier

Hi Simon.

Google cares a lot about links. I’m unsure from your question exactly what the problem you have is, your site seems to show up in Google. If you mean you aren’t ranking well then yes build more links! That’s the reality of things. Thankfully as you have lots of good content, if you make the time to build the links then you should do well. I would advise making your title tags a bit more focused though, choose on keyword/phrase for each and then put variations of it in the <h> tags. This will give more power to those that you choose. Unfortunately, finance is a very competitive area though so you may find this a tough niche. I’d advise to keep working on this steadily over time, don’t get too despondent if things don’t kick off straight away. Get some other sites on the boil but keep at it. If you know your stuff and the content is good, then with time and links you should be able to make a decent bit off the site.

Lammo

It’s a refreshing change to see someone starting a site that they actually have an interest in.. so many people chase the money and start a site about credit cards or poker tips, and then end up abandoning it after 3 weeks because they’re sick to death of writing about the subject matter. Myself and my fellow Doctors are always saying “do a site you’re passionate about”, so it’s good to see someone doing that already.

I certainly don’t profess to be an SEO expert (a quick glance at the search results for most of my sites will confirm this!), but I doubt very much that you’ve done anything wrong as such to annoy Google – they certainly have around 65 pages indexed for your site, so you’re not blacklisted!

I feel your pain though.. I launched a site two years ago now.. and religously added content every single day for nearly 6 months.. at which point Google was sending me the grand sum of 20 visitors a day.. I was convinced that I’d done something wrong, and even had some SEO guys check out the source code for me.. all was fine. So I kept on adding content and (most importantly IMO) building links. After around 8/9 months, almost as though someone at Google had flicked a switch, I started to see rankings and traffic. After two years, I’m still adding content and building links on a regular basis and have some very tasty positions in the search results, all of which I would put down to not giving up when it seemed Google was ignoring my site!

Are you motivated enough to keep adding content to this site for another 6-9 months before Google pays you any attention? Since you submitted your site for review, the new Coalition Government has been elected and announced that Child Trust Funds are to be abolished. Yet despite that news happening over a month ago, I could see no mention of that on your site? you don’t have “Trust fund” in the domain name, so this news hasn’t killed your site, far from it.. Now that CTF’s are to be no more, many parents will want to know what the alternatives are. You have this page which I would update with a very detailed article looking at the range of options open now that CTF is no more. Then I’d PPC that page for terms like “child trust fund alternatives”, “child trust fund changes”, “child trust fund 2011” etc, to build up not only potential visitors and revenue, but also natural links to your site. Become a source of information in a market that has a lot of uninformed people, and you should succeed. The worst thing you can do is nothing.

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3 Responses to “Child Trust Funds”

  1. Hi Simon,

    I’m no expert but will offer my 10 pence if it helps!

    The site took ages to load for me, not sure if this is because of more traffic to your site or other problems. We’ve had some of our bigger sites penalised by Google because of site speed. Check Google Webmaster Tools and you will see under Labs there is a Site Performance section. This is a good place to start to make sure this is not affecting your Google ranking. Some things like size of images, use of scripts or plugins can slow down site speed.

    You will also need to build up your links. In 5 months I would say you haven’t got hardly enough links back to your site. A tip use related blogs/forums to try and link from, either from comments,link exchanges, or answering peoples questions. How about building a reputation on Money Saving Expert with a link to your site in your signature.

    1 other I’ve noticed is that you may be duplicating meta keywords on this page http://simplychildsavings.co.uk/childsavingsaccounts. I don’t think they are case sensitive, you have put the same keywords twice:
    <meta name="keywords" content="Children's savings accounts, children's savings accounts.

    Good luck and stick with it

    Gary

  2. Hi Gary. Thanks for the extra feedback, really appreciated.

    Simon, if you’re off to ThinkVis this Sep, there’s a Site Clinic session where you can have your site reviewed for SEO, Design and CRO, just send it through to Dom for consideration.

  3. site speed , site speed and site speed

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