Blog: Business & Entrepreneurship
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2019 Year in Review

Avatar for John Locke

John Locke is a SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps manufacturing businesses rank higher through his web agency, Lockedown SEO.

Around this time each year, I publish a year in review post.

This is to help me reflect on what has happened and what I’ve learned.

It’s also to help me look back and see what progress I’ve made.

If you want to track the progress over time, check out the years in review for 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013.

Let’s dive into it.

Growth in the SEO Portion of the Business

It has been about two and a half years since I decided to focus more on SEO as the core value proposition of the business, rather than website design. I still consider web design an integral part of SEO, but that’s not what the business leads with today, or what we’re best known for.

Happily, I can say this was our best gross revenue year to date.

I would like the gross revenue to be higher, which I expect it will be next year.

We launched some great new websites this year for some very successful clients, and we have more debuting early next year.

Most of the overall revenue was from ongoing SEO retainers, or hybrid SEO & web development retainers for legacy clients and new clients.

I’m happy because I am at where I originally wanted to be when I started taking web design classes in 2009. What I realize is, I should set bigger goals for the next ten years, as what you can dream, you can bring to life, and I should have been thinking larger.

Extending The Reach

In last years Year in Review, I said I would be doing weekly YouTube videos on SEO. I don’t remember the exact date, but at some point, I started doing daily videos.

I’m not sure if I’ve done 365 daily videos in a row yet, but there are 526 videos up there, so that milestone is probably close, if we haven’t hit it already.

We should hit 100k views and 500 subscribers early in 2020. You can check the channel here:

I also continued to appear as a recurring panelist on the weekly Friday episodes of the WP-Tonic podcast, which has been going every week since 2014.

Additionally, I was honored to appear on the Honest eCommerce Show and the Smart Web Creators Show in 2019. Thank you Chase, Annette, and Davinder. I really appreciate it.

I didn’t blog as much for this site. Though, I probably created more content this year than any year to date. It’s in a lot of places, so it’s okay if you didn’t know about it.

The Real Successes

Okay, now we come to the part of the job that really matters: growing client businesses.

I had two clients that just had their first seven figure years. That felt good.

There are some other clients on the way. Can’t wait to see them achieve those milestones.

Also, I picked up several new clients who I’m helping with lead generation through SEO, and they are doing well. Some big, some small. We’re helping them grow.

Ironically, many of those clients found me through YouTube. I guess committing to video marketing in 2019 worked out okay for me after all.

There were also several organizations that ordered standalone SEO audits — not the kind that SEO software churns out. These SEO audits are human-curated, and usually require a lot of follow-up work. That extra effort is often necessary to rank in competitive searches.

The moral of the story: Everyone is already aiming at low-hanging fruit, so you might need to dig a little deeper to get the results you desire.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Building a business is tough, but there is opportunity in helping others become a better version of themselves. Just don’t expect it to be easy.

There are some other important things happening in 2020 (for me). Hopefully, I can speak more on that in next year’s recap.

Remember: believe in yourself, and you won’t go wrong.

Avatar for John Locke

John Locke is a SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps manufacturing businesses rank higher through his web agency, Lockedown SEO.

2 comments on “2019 Year in Review

  1. As a newish real estate agent entering the industry. I’ve identified that most real estate agents are not adjusting to modern times and taking part in an effective digital/content marketing strategy. I’ve been blogging for a month (20 “quality” posts) about luxury real estate and modern real estate marketing practices. While I haven’t gotten any new clients from my efforts, I’ve seen great growth in total impressions and site traffic within the last couple of weeks.

    Due to my local market of Asheville, NC not being as competitive in terms of local SEO, I’ve been able to rise in the rankings for particular industry-related keywords quickly. Now I’m beginning to learn the power and backlinks and have begun working on them. My next plan is to use video marketing to leverage more content such as podcasts, snippets for social media, and repurposed articles.

    I appreciate your content and hope the best for you.

    1. Hi Matthew:

      It sounds like you are approaching marketing with a modern mindset. Many of the real estate agents I’ve seen with good traffic and rankings also embrace blogging about their local neighborhoods and communities. Video marketing, podcasts, and social media all help build awareness and backlinks, which help your SEO efforts.

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