SEO Review: January 2, 2012

New year, new idea.  I’ve decided to publish a weekly review of search engine optimization projects.  There are currently three clients for whom we’re tracking search engine rankings (though we should be adding two more before the end of the month).  I don’t want to use their websites just because I don’t want to give away too much to their competitors, but I will identify them.  Here are our subjects:

[pullquote3 quotes=”true” align=”right”]Get the strategy together and we can get this going ASAP.[/pullquote3]Joe is a young lawyer in a major city on the west coast.  Eric is a wedding photographer in a beach town on the east coast.  Josh is a plumber in a small town just outside a major city in the south.  We’ve been tracking Joe and Eric’s progress for a while now, but we just set Josh’s search engine optimization campaign yesterday.  All of them are using our basic SEO service, which focuses on on-site optimization, reports and a bit of a linking campaign.

Joe’s SEO Campaign

Let’s start with Joe’s search engine optimization campaign.  Joe’s site is optimized for 45 different terms, which are all a mix of locations, his line of work and the services he provides, with our main goal being [Large City] Lawyer (a highly competitive phrase, of course).  The site was built in July with keyword research and on-site optimization being performed at the time.  A few key phrases have been added and tweaked since then.

I’ve constantly urged Joe to add more articles to the blog on his site and offered writing services.  I suggested today that he make an assignment that every person in his practice must write one article a week or month, whichever is more feasible.  He seemed to like that idea.

As of 3 AM Sunday (when our ranking reports run) Joe’s site ranks as follows.  (All rankings are in Google, since that’s what most people care about and that’s what we focus on.)

[fancy_table]

Google Search Result Ranking

Number of Search Terms

19
23
34
44
53
61
71
80
93
100
Page 24
Page 31
Page 4-103
Not in Top 1009
[/fancy_table]

Most of these search terms have seen steady growth over the months, but I contacted Joe today and said that we might want to give it another couple of months to see how things go then start doing some more advanced optimization on the main terms, as his main term is not yet ranking well.  His response: “Get the strategy together and we can get this going ASAP.”  Sweet words to any entrepreneur.  So I’ll spend some time today and tomorrow to strategize then present him with an outline and estimate.

Eric’s SEO Campaign

As a wedding photographer who lives in a vacation destination and near several others, Eric wanted to be sure to rank high for as many wedding destinations in his area as possible.  To that end we’re optimizing his site for 17 different locations with a focus on the main city in the area.  The main city is overrun with wedding photographers, so we knew it would be a challenge to get his main site to the first page, but that’s part of the fun.

Eric came to us in June of last year with a website that is the exact same as almost every other photographer in the area, and most of it is in Flash to boot.  The site did have an HTML splash page though, so we were able to create location-based landing pages.  The site was nowhere in the top 100 for any search terms when we started the campaign.  Here are the current results.

[fancy_table]

Google Search Result Ranking

Number of Search Terms

10
20
30
41
50
61
70
81
93
100
Page 26
Page 34
Page 4-100
Not in Top 1004
[/fancy_table]

Eric’s main search phrase is on page three.  Given where we started and just how competitive it is, I’m still pretty excited about this.  We have ranked some of his competitors at the top of page 2 and one of them at the bottom of page 1, so I’m confident we can maintain some upward mobility.

The four terms that do not rank are for much larger cities that are a bit further away and are less of a focus, so we’re not overly worried about those.  They were the “If we can get these to rank too, that would be swell,” kind of search phrases.

Josh’s Campaign

Josh has two main areas of focus: the town he lives in, which is one of the larger towns outside of a large southern city (the primary SEO goal), and the large city itself (the secondary SEO goal).  We are also working on ranking 13 other small towns in the area.

Josh’s site was built several years ago and was built to be search engine-friendly, but no search engine work was ever done on it.  The site was updated last week with some optimization tweaks done yesterday before the reports were run.  Of note is that some of the URLs were made to be more friendly, so in the interest of making sure we didn’t lose any search engine ranking for some of the terms that site had already built up, 301 redirects were applied for each location page.

[fancy_table]

Google Search Result Ranking

Number of Search Terms

10
21
30
40
50
61
70
80
90
101
Page 22
Page 30
Page 4-104
Not in Top 1005
[/fancy_table]

Considering how little work has been done, we’re not starting off in too bad a position.  Josh’s primary term is on page 5, though his secondary term is not ranked.

[divider]

I know this was a long post, but I wanted to get you to know the goals and backgrounds of each campaign.  Going forward I expect I’ll mostly just be posting numbers with a few notes here and there.  There are a few more campaigns to introduce as well, but we’ll tackle those at a later date.

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