Winning at Search Engine Optimisation
Commit to content and a long haul
I’d like to showcase two case studies of customers on our search term monitoring software. We built both websites, and optimised them for a range of website keywords.
Both sites were:
- Built using similar on-page optimisation methods
- Optimised for similar locality keywords (e.g South Coast, Batemans Bay, Narooma)
- Hosted on the same high speed servers, on the same I.P address range
- Enhanced with the same performance tweaks – caching, image optimisation, etc
- Filled with great, well structured content, headings, page titles etc
A good start right?
A very good start. In fact, we find in general, using the above points and a good content creation program that over time a website will be ranking on page one for not only for competitive keyword phrases, but a broad spectrum of “long tail” phrases within months (and sometimes weeks). Depending on the competition, if you adhere to a strategy where you deliver great content to a schedule, over 6-12 months you’re starting to look at #1 and #2 positions for these keywords. It’s not guaranteed, but the premise is pretty basic; it’s a long haul where provided your website is built well, content is king.
So without further ado, let’s look at some real results…
Good content, no quick fixes
The above image shows our clients rankings. Some key pointers – look at the column 2nd from the right, “Initial Rank”. This is the first value recorded for these search words before we began optimising the new site. Compare those to the “Current Rank” to see what the work has done. Loads right? Page 1 city!
Search term rankings are always in a state of flux, which is why we have “Current Rank” and “Highest Rank” to keep track of where we’re at. You can see here, the positioning for most terms is relatively stable, and mainly in the top 1-4 positions on Google.
Don’t try quick fixes…
The above image shows our other client’s rankings. Uh-oh.
This site was new, and had a new domain name – which admittedly gave it a tougher start. However, it was well on it’s way to ranking on page 1 – needing an estimated 2-3 months work to do so. Unfortunately, the client was lured in by an email claiming to boost search rankings, and the client paid the down payment.
In this case, look at the “Highest Rank”. We’d placed the site on page 2 (some other, less common terms were on page 1) within weeks, for a brand new site and new domain (older sites with history rank with less effort). Now, in the last few weeks – after months of “optimisation” by an offshore SEO team, take a look at the Current Rank. They now have 90% of the keyword terms sitting at page 9, 10 or beyond. That is what I would call a massive failure and waste of money. I don’t need to, but I’m tracking this so that I can provide my customer some evidence of this failure so that they can hopefully recoup some money one day.
Many of these search optimisation ‘experts’ have similar traits and do similar things:
- They spam your email box
- They cold call you
- They are offshore
- They offer zero accountability
- They have aggressive sales tactics and techno-babble consumers
- They spam the internet with dodgy content to boost your rankings – Google is not fooled
- Their backlinks come from obscure sites and offer little value
- and worse still, they might
- register a new web address (because.. reasons, uh huh) and redirect to it
- build a new “optimised” site… unnecessarily
- put you on some hosting plan, and trap you in
- be mysteriously unavailable when you try to bail out
Sounds great! Where do I sign!
The crazy thing is, looking at the new, new site prepared for my client, I can see they removed all of the great built in optimisation we already provided, and the client had already paid for. To quote Gwen Stefani, this sh*t is bananas.
Moral of the story? Stick to a local provider who appears to know what they’re doing for your local keywords. And one that is actually accountable for their actions.