Swapit Ranks #1 on Google Search

For every business it is important to a Google Search ranking that is as high as possible, so everyone who “googles” your name, will be able to find it right away.

CHOOSING THE NAME SWAPIT

When we launched Swapit, we actually weren’t quite sure if “Swapit” was the best name for us. While there several reasons for going with “Swapit”, we also knew that the name is not very original. It is comprised of the verb “swap” and the pronoun “it”. Both such terms are very general and combining both does not create a unique term. So we could not guarantee that we would end up ranking #1 when searching for “Swapit” on Google.

RANKING ON GOOGLE SEARCH

Yet, we managed to get our website http://swapit.la rank #1 for the term “Swapit” in the end. Moreover, our online properties or pages related to us, now take up 8 out of the first 10 results on Google Search. Have a look:

2016-12-12_google-ranking

HOW WE DID IT

Content. We meticulously composed content on all of our online properties to match our product as close as possible, while ensuring we keep using a similar style and vocabulary, which allows search engines to find related websites and content easier.

Online Media Sites. Furthermore, we’ve reached out to many websites with high PageRanks. Once they wrote about us, our name made its way on the Google search index – even though it is on their website. Very good examples for that are W Hub, StartupsHK and ButterBoom. A big thanks to all of them again at this point. Your coverage is much appreciated!

Customer Support. Every time a customer sends us an email, he receives an instant reply email with a support case number and our social media links in the email signature. That same signature also comes with every email reply from us. That looks like this:

--
{fullname}
{email}

Swapit Download: http://get.swapit.la

Follow us on
Twitter: http://twitter.com/swapitla
Facebook: http://fb.com/swapitla/

Swapit Corporate Site: http://swapit.la
Swapit Startup Blog: http://blog.swapit.la

As a result, every customer has really quick ways to follow us on social media, check out our website, or just forward one of our URLs to their friends.

mailchimp-linksEmail Marketing. Everyone who is using Swapit, knows we are sending some emails from time to time. We give tips on how to sell your items on Swapit quickly, announce new features and run surveys. Each of those emails also links back to our website, Facebook page, Twitter account and our blog. As you can see, it’s really easy to click any of those and find out more about Swapit. Every time, a customer goes to any of our online properties, we have one more chance to engage with them again. As a result, it a lot more likely that they share one of our links in some of their own conversations on the web. So in the end, that increases our PageRank on search engines like Google.

screenshot_croppedIn-App Links. Inside the Swapit app, it also very easy to reach our website or blog with just one click of a button. Through our in-app analytics, we can see that some people are actually using these buttons to find out more about us. That’s great and definitely one of our intended use cases for them. Besides having a positive effect in terms of page visits and blog views, it also important for us to be transparent. It is important that our users know, who is running the Swapit marketplace and that they can trust us and our expertise in the market.

THE MISSING PIECE or WHERE IS THE BLOG?

You might be wondering, where our blog in the list of search results is. At least, I was definitely looking for that! It only comes in at rank #2 on page 2. That’s definitely too far down and not acceptable — especially, when I am considering how much valuable and unique content we have on our blog.

While we have http://blog.swapit.la as a dedicated sub-domain for our blog, it does actually run on WordPress.com under the URL: https://swapitblogit.wordpress.com

As a result, Google considers all content of our blog not to be related with our website swapit.la. That means, the content written here on our blog, does not help our main website in terms of PageRank.

It appears, this is a point where we can still take action and rather quickly be able to bring a whole set of rich content to be considered part of Swapit’s main domain’s content. We’ll look into that part and see what we can do on that front.

CONCLUSION

Generally, our Google search ranking seems to be quite good. While I am still just talking about the “Swapit” search term, it is still a great achievement that we rank so high – given the fact that (1) the term “Swapit” is rather general / common, and (2) there are other sites out there that exist for a much longer time. Yet, we have outperformed them already.

Let’s see what the future brings. Every new blog post should and will (soon) have a direct effect on our ranking on search engines like Google Search.

 

Have you tried Swapit yet? It’s free. Get it from: http://get.swapit.la/now

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Sprinting to Swapit for iPhone and iPad

As you might remember, we’ve started our race for launching on iOS in the middle of February by hiring Vito for that very task. It took us a couple of weeks to get up to speed and build the core foundation of Swapit on the iOS platform.

As you also might remember from my blog post over a year ago about Choosing a Platform for Swapit,  we’ve been building our backend infrastructure on top of the Google Cloud Platform. The great thing about that is, we are building Swapit for massive scale from the ground-up. Our current growth rate of 100% month-over-month over the past 2 quarters, we have so far seen zero impact on the performance of our backend platform. At the same time, out Total Cost of Ownership remain very low as well. So that was an outstanding choice of platform.

Going, Running, Sprinting to iOS

swapit-blog_leapNow, one of Swapit’s major road blocks to world domination is our missing presence on the iPhone. It’s not the only road block, but it’s a major one. When we raised our funding in December and again raised in February, one of the milestones we have attached to that funding was to bring Swapit to the iPhone and iPad as quickly as possible.

Just an hour ago, I submitted the Swapit beta 1.2 for iOS to Apple’s TestFlight. That is actually our 3rd beta, which we are testing with a very small group of testers right now. With each beta, we are increasing the number of beta testers for Swapit. In fact, we are building sprints every week that are being released to our beta testers. We a somewhat much leaner version of how sprints are defined in Scrum. Our goal is, to ship a new beta release each week, which we have been doing for the past 3 weeks already.

It is very challenging for developers to be able to deliver a working product release every week. Our team is doing their best to hold the schedule. It’s hard work, but it is definitely worth it! Having a working release of the whole app at pretty much any time during the development process, offers so many upsides: launching every week keeps our beta testers happy, they know we’re progressing and moving fast forward. At any time, we can fix a serious issue might arise in a release, which was launched a couple of days ago. So in the worst case scenario, users need to wait only a very short while to get their app fixed. At the same time, these rapid release cycles force us internally, to define small enough feature tasks that are doable within a day or two or at most a week.

Sprinting Around Corners and Cutting Short to Make the Goal

At the same time, we need to always keep our weekly release goal in mind. Even though, we might define small enough features and tasks to be completed within a week, sometimes some tasks and features suddenly turn up to be much more complex than anticipated. Therefore, we adjust the set of features and tasks for the next release in a very flexible way.

THE #1 GOAL IS TO SHIP!

There can only be one most important goal for any software / product development or basically any business related team, and that is to bloody ship your product. If you have the greatest product and never ship, who cares what it is? No one will ever use it, never ever will you be able to build a business out of that product. Almost everyone can build a product, some people might be able to finally ship and even fewer might be able to build a profitable business out of that.

We at Swapit believe, with a lot of passion and a lot more of hard work, we will be able to see it through and keep growing Swapit to a revenue generating business with very attractive profit margins.

IMG_20160325_0946483

At The Swapit Office: Get A Fresh Free Coffee And Remember What Is Really Important!
The Sign Reads: “TO SHIP is the most important feature!”

Swapit on iOS so far

Our Swapit beta 1.2 release is the most feature rich release we’ve launched so far. It is now already possible to view all items nearby, view item details (incl. pictures in gallery, price, category, condition, viewing statistics, locations, title, description, likes, comments), share items, report items, search items, show featured and highlighted items. All items in the list also sport all the information you need: image, price, distance, name, seller’s photo, likes and category.

Next week’s release will definitely sport some more features in Swapit on iOS. We’re constantly increasing the number of our beta testers for iOS. For those, who have left their contact details and haven’t received a download link yet: We will get to you very soon. We’ve got quite a number of people interested and we’re on-boarding new beta testers FIFO style. So please stay tuned. You’ll hear from us very soon!

Got an iPhone and want to check out Swapit?
Put your name on the Swapit for iOS beta list!

 

swapit-team_mugshot_patrickAbout the Author
Patrick is the Co-Founder and CEO of Swapit Limited. He has over 11 years experience in mobile and business in Asia through various ventures across very different domains. You can find our more about Patrick and the Swapit team at: http://www.swapit.la/#team

Swapit is Featured as Recommended App on Google Play

swapit-google-play-featured_new-updatedSince last Friday Swapit has been featured in the “New and Updated Apps” category on Google Play. It is absolutely great to see Swapit in there, getting some recognition and coverage in our local home market.

Google Play has been a great app store for us so far. We’ve been able to push out new updates quickly. While we only announce larger app updates here on our blog, we did actually publish over 30 app binaries on Google Play over the past year. That’s almost one app update every one and half weeks on average! Many of those updates are based on our user’s feedback — especially when we introduce new product features which require refinement after wards. Being able to launch app updates and new innovative features quickly, is essential for us to being at the vanguard of innovation.

We are currently working on a new update of Swapit and will launch it very soon, actually. If you want to check out the current list of all recommended apps on Google Play, you can go to: https://play.google.com/store/recommended
(only when opening that link in Hong Kong, you’ll see Swapit in that list)

At this point, I’d like to personally thank the Google developer relations and Google Play team who helped us a lot with their feedback on Swapit. Because of their honest feedback, we were able to identify crucial points for improvement on Swapit in terms of Material Design principles as well as user experience / onboarding workflow. We know Swapit is still not perfect, but we are on a very good track on getting there. Thanks a lot! We do very much appreciate your help.

Do you use Swapit it? You can download it right here: http://get.swapit.la

Choosing a platform for Swapit

Right after we had the idea behind swapit, we had to decide which platform we go for. Such a decision can not be made in a jiffy because it has rather deep ranging consequences.

Hong Kong is 238% Mobile

swapit-blog_238-mobileIn order to choose the right app and right platform we need to back up a bit. In my earlier post about the idea behind swapit I mentioned that there are quite some Facebook groups out there, in which trading similar to what we do in swapit, is being practiced. As such trades happen in real life, swapit is being created as a very localized application. Hong Kong being our ground zero for swapit, we have to look at the mobile landscape to ensure we choose the right platform. With mobile phone penetration of 238.4% as of October 2014 (source ofca.gov.hk) and a population of 7.2 million as of mid-2014 (source censtatd.gov.hk) the market of consumers carrying smartphones is large enough for us to start out.

Android is King

swapit-blog_android-3For better or worse, many markets all over the world look rather similar: #1 mobile operating system is Android, #2 is Apple, #3 is Windows Phone and #4 is BlackBerry. While we at S4BB Limited have a 10+ year experience in developing for BlackBerry, we also have quite some experience in iOS, but more so in Android. Take a look at our great Battery Watch app for example. We could have created swapit for BlackBerry 10 and I am pretty sure app development would have been cut to half the time we require for Android app development, but there are just not enough consumers who use BlackBerry 10 devices out there. So the choice in the end was rather easy: go for Android as an operating system first. Most likely iOS will follow after that and other platforms will be considered too, at a later stage.

Backend for the Wicked

swapit-blog_app-engineHaving the operating system locked down to Android for the first version of the mobile app, we now had to look at how to build our backend. We obviously need to some pretty basic information like: user account data, item sales information (images, description, price, location), and so on. It’s a pretty straight forward set of data broken down to a bunch of strings, digits, geolocations and raw bits & bytes. It’s not rocket science, but it is important to choose the right backend system to ensure scalability, flexibilityease of use for development and most importantly cost-efficiency.

Using Android on the mobile app (=client) side, the most obvious choice was to look at the Google Cloud Platform. We really liked what we saw from a pricing perspective and what really surprised us was the (more-or-less) seamless integration into the new Android Studio. Google’s now de-facto standard IDE for Android development.

To sum it up: we went for Android as mobile app platform and the Google Cloud Platform to run the backend side of things. If you have any tips, tricks or things to warn us about our choices, please feel free to leave a comment here.

Read more about swapit on swapitblogit.wordpress.com.