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The SEO Challenge: Building An Ecommerce Brand From Scratch




As an SEO agency, we often get challenged to put our skills to the test in unique and creative (and often crazy) ways. This time it's a bit different, as I have been challenged personally to build an ecommerce website and brand from the ground up in an industry that I have zero knowledge or experience in. 

So, before anything else, I had to think of an industry, which was tough as I've worked with companies across the board, so I put my thinking cap on and came up with a couple of options. 

In the end, I went with coffee. It's quite a tough industry with some big players, and one which I've never worked in. My knowledge is minimal as I don't drink the stuff, I don't even like the smell of it.

So, the challenge was set. Create a coffee brand. Simple. Gulp.


My Plan


My approach will involve creating a visually appealing and user-friendly ecommerce website using WordPress and WooCommerce.

I'll establish a unique brand identity, complete with a memorable name, logo, and a brand story. For this, I will be utilising AI.

From there, I'll optimize every aspect of the website for search engines, including on-page elements like titles, meta descriptions, headings, and content, as well as off-page factors like link building and social media pages.

As I've no idea what I'm doing when it comes to coffee, in order to fulfil any orders, I'll partner with a reputable coffee dropship service, ensuring a seamless customer experience from purchase to delivery.


The Journey


Throughout this SEO challenge, I'll document my progress, sharing insights, strategies, and lessons learned along the way. I'll be transparent about my successes and failures, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the intricate world of ecommerce SEO.

My goal is not only to drive organic traffic and sales for my new coffee brand but also to provide valuable knowledge and inspiration to other businesses and SEO professionals tackling similar challenges.


What's riding on it though?


Do you mean apart from my reputation and the ability to show my face in public again? 

So, the bet is that I have to get 100 orders in a single month within 12 months all while abiding by a certain set of rules.

If I do win the bet, I get to choose a charity to receive a £500 donation. 

If I lose, I have to make the £500 donation myself.


The Rules of the SEO Challenge


To make this SEO challenge truly meaningful and demonstrate the power of organic SEO, we've established a set of rules to follow:

  1. Phresh SEO Package ONLY: I can only use the techniques and time which we would normally put into our Premium Plan Package
  2. No Paid Ads: I can't use any form of paid advertising, including Google Ads, Google Shopping, or influencer marketing. My focus will be solely on driving organic traffic through SEO techniques.
  3. Organic Social Media Only: While I'll leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote my new brand and content, I won't be running any paid social media campaigns or boosting posts.
  4. Content is King: My primary strategy will revolve around creating high-quality, informative, and engaging content that provides value to my target audience – coffee enthusiasts. This includes blog posts, guides, product descriptions, and more. Tough, when I don't have a clue when it comes to coffee!
  5. Link Building: I'll employ ethical link building tactics, such as guest posting, broken link building, and outreach to relevant websites and influencers in the coffee industry, to improve my website's authority and search engine rankings.
  6. Technical SEO: I'll ensure my website is optimised for search engines from a technical standpoint, including site speed, mobile-friendliness, structured data, and more.
  7. Patience and Persistence: I understand that building an ecommerce brand and achieving high search engine rankings takes time and consistent effort. I'm in this for the long haul, and I'll document my progress every step of the way.

By adhering to these rules, I aim to showcase the true power of SEO and demonstrate that it's possible to build a successful online business without relying on paid advertising or shortcuts.


Stay Tuned


Keep an eye on our website for regular updates on my SEO challenge. I'll share the website's progress, traffic and sales metrics (If there is any!), and the specific tactics I'm employing to climb the search engine rankings in the competitive coffee industry.


Author: Dunc Cole

Dunc Cole is an SEO expert with over 15 years of experience in both agency and client-side roles. Dunc's strategic insights and hands-on approach have consistently delivered organic growth in any industry.

The best place to hide a dead body is the second page of Google.


After years of experience in larger agencies, we noticed a significant gap in the market for smaller companies and startups that didn't have a massive budget to allocate towards SEO. Many SMEs and startups understand the importance of SEO but find the barrier to entry too high.

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