John Jago

Day 27: I discovered that one of my “abandoned” projects is successful

Yesterday I discovered that a project of mine which I put not much effort into, one that was last updated 3 years ago, is the first ranking result for the search term on Google, ahead of paid “competitors” which I had no intention of competing with.

This helped me form a few conclusions which I can apply to Dashify.

First, the project I mentioned solves the problem very straightforwardly. There is no landing page or sign up, just the tool itself. No ads, no paid versions—which is probably why is outranks the competitors who charge monthly fees. Sorry guys! There is not even a description on the page. It’s just ready to use and mostly intuitive.

Second, I got lucky by naming it a search term which is often searched for. It’s related to baseball so I’ll spare the nuance here. There is a chance this term is not the leading term for this thing, but it’s nonetheless something people search for when trying to find it.

The lesson here is that the website or app title should include the most boring possible search term that describes what it does, if not being the name itself, and that it’s possible to capitalize on adjacent or nonstandard search terms and easily rank first for them.

Another one of my past projects is like this, using the term “deformat” to describe removing formatting from text, which apparently gets searched a lot. It gets nearly a thousand visitors a month from this. However, as it’s not something you’d find in a dictionary or proper English sentence, no one else competes with my project for this search term.

This sounds so obvious, but solving the problem very well in the simplest manner possible, and being discoverable through plain keywords, is all you need to make a successful website or app.

👋 You’re reading my work journal, a series where I write daily about trying to make a living building a bootstrapped software product!