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SEO Case Study - Your Search Engine RankingBy David Leonhardt
There is a raging debate over the relative importance of on-page search engine optimization and off-page optimization. This case study that offers presents some intriguing findings.
When I began working for the client, its site was bouncing between #8 and #10 at Google for "web site monitoring", the most competitive search term in the sector. They wanted to get closer to the top. As I write, the site sits comfortably in the #3 spot. And the #4 spot, too!
But the client decided then to hire me for a second job. To get them equally high in Google rankings for "website monitoring". Note the distinction between the two terms.
All pages on the site were optimized for the term "web site monitoring". Nowhere on the site did the word "website" appear. So I was really just going through the motions to see where the site ranked for "website monitoring". Much to my surprise, it already ranked #231.
The off-page SEO crowd will say that it is because there are links pointing to the site with the term "website monitoring" in the anchor text. As far as I know, there were none. Links all used either the company name, the URL or "web site monitoring".
So there was no text on the page and no link text off-page. The only possibility was that there were inbound links from pages that had the term "website monitoring" somewhere else on the page. This clearly states the case for arranging relevant links.
The first step I took was to alter the home page. I slipped in the term "website monitoring" into a few places, including internal links and headings. I did nothing else to the site, nor anything else off-page. Within a few days, #231 was #34 ... just from a very light on-page optimization.
The next step was to build a few links. I watched the site climb to #30 a few days later. With fewer than ten links optimized for "website monitoring", we hit #16 on Google.
Adding directory listings brought the term up to #10, #9, #8... No link exchanges, no articles, just directory listings.
It turns out that both on-page and off-page SEO are inportant.
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