Big brands and cupcakes

I’ve done SEO for Whimsical Cakehouse in Sydney.

And I’ve done SEO for Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi.

Which is more impressive to you?

Most would say Etihad Airways, regardless of the work involved or the results achieved.


Because of the brand. People know it, they appreciate it and figure the work was something incredible.

Who cares about a brand they’ve never heard about?

Not gonna lie, I had a fun but short stint at Etihad and learnt plenty.

But it reminded me of this: don’t take credit for what the brand did without you.

If you go into Google Search Console and check out Queries, you’re bound to see brand related keywords there.

Filter those out and see what the data says.

If your non-branded keywords aren’t doing great, guess what?

You’ve got work to do.

Now for Etihad, I didn’t need to do much. The brand is super strong and has a loyal following. Die-hard fans will always go to the website directly to make a booking. So the SEO part is whatever.

But for Whimsical Cakehouse, it’s a different story.

They were a cute little cake decorating place that was run by an absolute legend by the name of Linda. (I use past tense because this was over 10 years ago and they’ve moved onto other things).

Her husband contacted my old agency and asked for SEO help. He even threw me a carrot: get us to #1 and we’ll organise a free cake decorating class for you and your wife. My wife is a baller cake decorator and back then was at the height of her cupcake decorating obsession. (Wifey if you’re still reading: we need more cupcakes plz).

Moving on. I did my thang. Got Whimsical Cakehouse to #1 for ‘cake decorating class sydney’ in less than 3 months ( I think it was about 6-7 weeks). And boom, got us a free class.

I didn’t do it for the free class (despite my wife’s encouragement). I did it because I wanted to get results and knew how much it meant to that business. I do this for every client I work with, no matter the brand name or their budget.

Now they ranked #1 for ‘whimsical’ but that’s part of their brand name. But getting them to #1 for a keyword that was super competitive for its time? A lot harder.

The real challenge with real results is ranking a business for everything they do, without relying on the brand’s strength.

If you can do that, you’ll make it into 2024 and beyond.

Otherwise, ngmi (as the kids say).

My point here is this: it’s fine to flex big brands (heck, I do, but people respond better to that!). But go deeper into the work that doesn’t feature big name brands.

Otherwise, you’re just taking credit where it’s not due.

Not cool.

Real ones know.

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