It recently came to my attention that a small company from Australia made an online boom that brought them incredible rise in traffic and made them known through a simple Google Docs user style they created. Company is called No Yelling, nice name, can you guess what they do? They offer driving lessons, yup, it’s a driving school in Brisbane that offers driving lessons with a promise of no yelling, so they started off with an original idea. Obviously, they intend to keep it that way.
Here is the user style, and here is the featured story on tech crunch. Below you can find the interview I did with Jasper and Matt from No Yelling driving school.
- What where your thoughts when you created the Google docs user style, did you have the idea of promotion somewhere at the back of your mind?
At first I really didn’t think much of. It was only until Matt explained to me how many people out there may really appreciate what he had done that I started to see some potential in the Idea. Matt created the Userstyle because he was sick of looking a plain white background of google docs and intended on spreading it just to help out others like him. The only form of promotion in our minds has nothing to do with seo, only to spread the userstyle to people who would care. When we got tweeted by Web.AppStorm, the seo potential hit me, that’s when I decided to send it into Tech Crunch to see what could happen. We literally stumbled onto this SEO strategy
- I know Jasper was hoping for something since he was the one submitting the content to Tech Crunch, did you imagine a 1000% rise in traffic when you did that?
I honestly just submitted it for fun, to see what would happen. I had no idea that it would get accepted. When we realized that it had been posted, we didn’t know what to think. It ended up being a 1500% increase on the 1st day, and then the same 3 days later when it got tweeted by Smashing Magazine.
- So you tasted some fame based on a quick promotion that was unplanned, I’m sure now that you’ve seen the benefits you have some plans for the future. Care to share a few?
We do have a few ideas, but if we were to tell you, we may have to hunt you all down…. Haha.
It always comes back to designing a new piece of content.
- What did you learn from this, I’m sure it was thrilling seeing your traffic rise, maybe even a few new leads or even clients, but what was the main takeaway, would you do something different perhaps?
The Only thing I would change is our preparation. Because we didn’t know we were going to get accepted and receive a ridiculous amount of traffic we were very unprepared. We stayed up for about 36 hours trying to make everything work properly and leverage the content as best we could. If we were to do it again, this time knowing that we would get a post on techcrunch, we would have
1. Hosted the pluggin on our own site.
2. Prepared all of the pages and hooks before we reached out.
3. Had all of our social media and Sharing ready to get it spreading more virally.
The 3rd point is the most important in my opinion.
- Any advice for startups and small businesses with web properties?
Create a piece of content, relevant or not, that is spreadable and interesting to a specific niche. Make sure you content appeals exclusively to one demographic, this will give the best chance of being featured or spread. Then leverage that content to your advantage. As well as our user style, We recently created an App that runs on all smart devices and has been great for our brand awareness and SEO. We have been working/brain storming on our SEO strategy (leveraging content) for some time and believe it is definitely the simplest way to a natural link profile. This strategy works especially well for those companies, which aren’t “Cool”.
OK, so there are many takeaways you can get from this short interview and their story. First, the concept of creating content for the users and not for search engines. They did it perfectly, they created something that particular demographics would like and that bought them an amazing increase in traffic and help with their branding tremendously. As Jasper said in the interview preparation is everything. With a traffic rise of 1500% any website can go down, so that is one of the things you have to keep in mind. And most importantly, fragmentation of the content. It’s a classic viral mistake that these guys just found out about. Keep the viral piece on one page, don’t post it on YouTube, Vimeo and other video sites (if it’s a video) because it will never reach the tipping point and the links will go to several places instead of one.
I know Matt and Jasper know what to do and are prepared for future, are you? Learn from their example and prepare for every possible option, and most importantly, be creative, you see how a simple thing can be a great way of promotion. People sometimes think too big and miss the small stuff that can become big.