I think that anyone embarking on something with the word “challenge” in its title is likely to expect to be stretched a bit, don’t you? Make that “30-day challenge” and we can up the amount of stretch to probably quite a lot . And this clever little ebook from Nikki Pilkington, packed with information and ‘things to do’ on each of the 30 days, is no exception.
Who is Nikki Pilkington?
There are mixed opinions on how much someone buying an information product – book, seminar, course, etc. – wants or needs in to know upfront in order to believe in the ability of the author/ creator to deliver, and make them feel comfortable about buying.
Some ‘gurus’ say you need to position yourself as an authority in the field whilst others say “No, no, no! Your target audience and potential buyers don’t give a fig about you – concentrate on their problems…”
With Nikki it doesn’t matter which camp you’re in, she’s covered – just look at her site(s) and see the testimonials for not only her web marketing services but also her courses and ebooks and it would seem she not only knows her stuff but can also teach it. Let’s investigate her 30 Day SEO Challenge then.
There’s a friendly welcome and a couple of ways that encourage contact with Nikki and set the tone for the book. And then we’re straight into the Challenge, which starts from the premise that those undertaking it will
- Have a website and
- Not have much understanding about what needs to be done to optimise it SEO terms or
- If they do, don’t know how to do it
- So haven’t have done much successfully about SEO so far
It logically takes the reader through the several essential stages of keyphrase research, and then sifting, relating and applying findings to our own website to engage our visitors once we get them there.
This first week is probably the grungiest and most foot-slogging part for most, and by Day 7 I think we could probably murder anybody who mentioned “keyphrases” to us and be acquitted by any judge in the land… But we get rewarded by being able to use some nifty tools that show us how well our site’s performing against our chosen criteria.
Even before I was a third of the way through the 30 days I discovered I was just as focused on site visitors as SEO – and that’s just the way it should be…
What’s in a name?
This part was interesting, too. I took it very much as not to get overly hung up on the domain name I may have felt I had to settle for and instead concentrate on optimising each page created on the website with names, title tags and META description tags. Sounds easy when you say it quick…
Nikki understands at this point that it might be getting a bit too much for some us – without making us feel that we’re pr*ts if that’s the case – 121 help can be on hand but that’s a separate transaction.
Going from the back end of the second week and into the third we’re really concentrating on how to make the most of all the lovely laser focus and optimisation we’ve put in place so far by covering:
- Anchor text
- Using our own blog – this bit gives Nikki an excellent opportunity to promote her 67 pointers for blogging newbies - a free guide (no need to mention the 30 Day Blogging Challenge – that’s at the bottom of every page of the SEO Challenge…)
- Guest blogging
- Article writing
- Internal links
- How to get more external links
- Social bookmarking
In fact, by Day 21, in my opinion, we’ve done the hardest parts and probably reaping the fruits of labour to date.
So what’s yet to come?
Beginning week 4 we get to see how we can analyse our traffic: We can track our visitors with one tool for free and/ or another for which Nikki’s an affiliate seller.
We’re told how to spot low performing pages and what to do and learn why bouncing around isn’t the fun it might sound… and what to do about that, too!
We’re introduced to a couple more tools and, towards the end of the fourth week learn why giving away something for free is so powerful, and in ways more ways than I would have thought…
There are a couple more promotional exercises before we get to Day 30 which is page 38 of 56 and primarily a recap day.
Did I feel gypped I’d got to the ‘end’ of the challenge proper with another 18 pages to go? Frankly, NO – I was relieved: Thank ****** she’s not getting me to do anything else…
What’s the rest of the book?
There are a couple of pages on additional resources followed by several pages of articles from Nikki’s own site: Packed with Tips, Dos and Don’ts for SEO and a little bit of an overt plug for other services provided by Nikki’s company.
My overall impression of the 30 Day SEO Challenge?
The front page is a bit of a mismatch with expectations in my opinion. I’d like to see the same book cover picture that appears on the website. And I’d like to have a Table of Contents so I could go straight to my chosen page – but these are just minor whinges on my part.
When it comes to the stuff that really matters, Nikki has an easy style; she organises learning in manageable chunks that make sense and, when put into practice, build in effect and impact. She also provides the reader with training on not just SEO but also areas that are complementary and, if and when implemented, WILL add to a website’s overall performance.
My Only Question Mark
is the same as with any self help book, course, seminar, etc. and that’s: Will YOU stick with it when
‘Teacher’ isn’t around to encourage/ nag you to do your homework?
And that, quite frankly isn’t Nikki’s problem.
And if the answer turns out to be: “No”, so what?
- For minimal investment you now have a very good idea of what’s involved in SEO and will have put some of it into practice to the benefit of your website.
- You have a much better idea of the amount of time/ money investment required to do a good job
- You know what kind of questions you should be asking of any potential SEO provider
- You know how to track results of any work they do for you…
- You probably even know who you’d be most likely to go to – I know I would…
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