SEO Case Study
Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) is a simple process that requires some fairly complex analysis and activities to execute properly.
Contrary to popular belief, SEO is a web PAGE focused process rather than a web SITE focused process.
When you type a search query into Google or the other search engines, they search their index for PAGES that most closely match the search terms and then present the URL and a short description of each matching page on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). These pages are typically presented ten results to a page, so in order to be on the first page of Google, a page has to rank in the top 10 web pages Google has in it's index for that specific search term.
As mentioned above the Search Engine Optimization process is simple in concept:
- You need to find the keywords that potential customers are using to find your products or services on your and competitors' pages.
- You then develop a separate page for each specific keyword or key phrase and optimize certain on page factors on each to help them rank highly in the SERPs.
- Once the on page optimization is done, you need to build inbound, one way links to the page or pages, preferably from relevant sites that have a high page rank. Search engines react best to a consistent number of links being added on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Adding a large number of links in a month, then nothing for the next couple of months looks spammy to the SEs.
- You then monitor the results over time, all the while consistently adding inbound links and making changes when warranted to the on page factors.
A good way to get started on optimizing your pages is to enter each search term in Google and take a look at the number 1 page on the SERPs for each term. You then copy what that page is doing to optimize for the search engines but do it a little bit better. Looking at the source code (View Source in your browser) will help you figure out what to do in terms of on page optimization.(Note: do not COPY the source of the page and use it verbatim. You can land in legal trouble doing so.)
For off page optimization (i.e. inbound, outbound and reciprocal links), you'll need a software tool in order to determine which sites to try and get links from. Google provides tools for this and there are various commercial software packages available as well. Once you determine which sites you need links from (hint: high page rank and sites relevant to your market will work best) there are various ways to proceed. Some are obvious, i.e. emails or phone calls to the web site owner you want a link from, some are less so i.e. go to the site and look for an Add Site link. You can also write articles with a link to your site in the "author box" and submit them to article distribution sites. There are numerous other methods to achieve inbound links that space doesn't allow me to go into here. Link building is a lot of work and needs to be done on a consistent basis over time, however getting a lot of high quality inbound links to your site is currently the best way to rank highly on Google SERPs.
As you can see, a relatively simple process,
find keywords -> find #1 ranked page -> copy what they do a little bit better
can be pretty challenging to implement successfully, especially when you consider that the descriptions above don't really convey the options, complexities and the amount of effort required.
The graphic at the bottom of this page shows an example of a successful optimization process that 75-C SEO Services consulted on recently. You'll note from the tabular data above the graph that this web page is ranked #1 or #2 in the top 5 SEs for the search term. The initial optimization on this page was carried out by the site owner based on the analysis and recommendations we provide as part of our service.
The crater in the Google results in November was caused by issues around duplicate content that we quickly detected through our monitoring and reporting service. We provided recommendations to the site owner that allowed timely resolution. From the start of the optimization process to #1 in Google for the client's chosen key phrase took about 3.5 months. This client had the advantage of a web page that was already indexed by the SEs, had a page rank of 3 and had been around for a while, so we were not starting from scratch.
We have since re-defined our working relationship with this client and have taken over the web design and search engine optimization process to allow the client to focus on their core business activities. Since this change was implemented at the beginning of March we have reworked the sites key pages to use more search engine friendly HTML code and done some additional optimization of the on page factors in an attempt to smooth out the bumps in the page's rankings. Since about the end of March the page has been solidly in 1 or 2 position on Google and the other 4 main SEs. If your site is new or is in a more competitive field you can expect it to take longer, perhaps two or three times as long.
To get you started on your path to first page glory, we offer a free, one hour long site evaluation that will help you make an informed decision on how to get your pages optimized to rank better. Click on the button below to send an email requesting the evaluation.GET FREE SITE IMPROVEMENT TIPS