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SEO Strategy Case Study for marketers and business owners

This is an SEO case study and the strategy I use to get ranked in Google and I’d like to share it in written and video format.

I rank at number 2 for “adobe business catalyst review”.

The search volume is low (30 searches a month); the keyword difficulty is low (1).

So what, no big deal” you say.

I am fairly certain I rank at number 2 because my page content is one of the most relevant for the search query.

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Give Google what they want

Google want to give people who search the best possible, relevant results.

In return, in most cases, Google gives your page a high ranking and you get visitors to your page.

My page is a 2000 plus word review about the Adobe Business Catalyst web platform; the page content quality and relevancy is a ranking factor.

I wrote up a good review as I’m knowledgeable about the subject with 10 years experience using the system.

My review may be slightly biased but I also tried to compare some features with another system I used.

I believe when Google read this page they interpret it as an expert, authoritative and trusted page of content.

My page has more backlinks to it than any other competing page – page links are a ranking factor.

My website has a medium Domain Rating score of 50 (websites are rated between 1 (worst) and 100 (maximum) – DR is a ranking factor.

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Page URL, Title and Description

I have also described my page with a short url (a ranking factor), a page title (in large purple text) and a description (the 2 lines of grey text) to Google to tell them what the page is about.

Notice how I mentioned 2017 in the title and description of my page; next year, to keep my page fresh I’ll update the page content and change the title and description from 2017 to 2018.

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Topical Research

Now let’s look at the parent, shorter tail (higher volume) search query to the previous longer tail query.
“adobe business catalyst”

The search volume is a bit higher than “adobe business catalyst review”, and the keyword difficulty is still low.

My web page is further down the search results at number 11; on page 2 in Google.

The websites in the top 6 positions have higher Domain Ratings – (between 61 and 91; remember my DR is 50).

If you look at the top 7 websites; there’s the actual brand website, a wikipedia entry and some Adobe forums pages being ranked higher.

Obviously these pages and websites are more relevant and are better ranked than my page.

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Topic Search Volume

600 searches a month in the UK isn’t very much.

Ahrefs tells me how many visits each page in the top 10 gets each month.

So for a search terms with 600 searches a month, the top pages don’t get many visits; certainly not enough to make a commercial impact; ie: traffic and enquiries.

“Adobe Business Catalyst” is simply not a very big or popular topic.

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How do I figure out how big a search topic is ?

I look at the related keyword ideas.

Having same terms 34.

Also rank for 352.

Even with 3200 searches in the USA this still isn’t a large enough topic.

Having same terms 401.

Also rank for 856.

A bigger related topic in my industry is “business ideas”

12,000 searches a month in UK

22,000 in USA

71,000 in India

Look at the number of related keywords in this topic – having same terms and also my page ranks for.

Having same terms 7327.

Also rank for 5563.

But this topic is much harder topic to rank for.

I have a blog post about “business ideas”.

The websites ranked in the top 10 search results have lots of page links and higher domain ratings than mine.

I have highlighted the DR (domain rating) of the top 10 websites and links to their pages (domains) with my page (at the bottom of the screenshot in position 23).

I’ll bet their page content is really good too.

I wrote 8,000 words about this “business ideas” topic 7 months ago.

When I create a new web page I like to think of my page like a recipe that needs ingredients (or chapters in a book)

My “business ideas” recipe has the following ingredients in the screenshot below.

My page isn’t anywhere near page one in Google.

I think I know why.

The pages ranked above me and in the top 10 search results have:

  • More ingredients on their page – some have 30,50, 60, 100 ideas; I only have 13.
  • More links to their page – i have 6 links to my page, the number 1 site has 488 links.
  • Better DR (Domain Rating) – my DR is 50, every site in the top 10 has a higher DR score.

But look more closely at my page.

I rank for 754 keywords globally and 250 keywords in the Google UK search engine – all very similar, related keywords.

And I get 64 visits a month (according to Ahrefs screenshot below).

Actually, I had 189 visits last month and rank for 1485 keywords; (Ahrefs is a brilliant research tool but Google Analytics is more accurate).

My average position for all the keywords on this page and for this topic is position 33.

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Bigger topic to rank for

So ‘business ideas” is a topic that has 12,000 searches a month in the UK.

But look at this web page.

It gets, wait for it, 38,000 visits per month from Google.

OK, that’s 38,000 visits globally.

For one page !

The page still gets 2,833 from UK searches.

This even bigger topic is “instagram hashtags”.

Look at all the different search queries this page ranks for.

There are another 680 related search queries that is page is ranked for in Google.

The content of the page is relevant to the search queries but this particular page isn’t very detailed or has a large word count; the page only has 390 words.

So I decided to check how many words each page in the top 10 results (number 1 result isn’t shown below as Google show a search snippet not a page result) along with their Domain Rating and number of page links.

Position Words Per Page DR (Domain Rating) Page Links
2 4609 words 60 102
3 4023 words 55 463
4 390 words 61 43
5 380 words 61 25
6 261 words 93 276
7 0 words 93 2
8 3035 words 44 22
9 175 words 58 213
10 3449 words 39 46

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Interpret this search result and the top 10 pages.

If your website has a low domain rating and very little search traffic, you need to:

  • Target a larger, top of the funnel topic that has thousands of related search queries.
  • Produce a better quality page with better content than your competition and more words.
  • Earn more links to your page from other, industry relevant, highly rated websites.

That is the strategy to use to earn more organic traffic from Google and potentially outrank websites that have high DR score in the top 10 results.

And that interpretation is backed up by Ahrefs’s long tail keyword research study.

 

The next takeaway from this case study is the page topic you decide target for your website.

  • Adobe Business Catalyst” is a very small topic so I don’t get much traffic even though I’m highly ranked.
  • I’m getting more traffic from a larger topic I targeted even though my average position is low; average position of 33 in Google.
  • I could get a lot more organic search traffic if I did more keyword and competitive research and found even larger topics.

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Core of an SEO Strategy

Keyword and competitive research is at the Core of an SEO Strategy and a website.

I honestly could not do SEO like this without doing detailed keyword research and competitor analysis.

The big “instagram” topic was one that I researched and found at the weekend.

It’s probably not a suitable topic I’d create content on my website for.

But I did find 42 other big top of the funnel topics and pages that command a lot of search traffic with very few links to their page.

This is the seo strategy that I pursue and the advice and consultancy service I’ve been providing to other businesses and web professionals.

  • Do research to find a big topic in your industry (that has lots of related searches) and low difficulty.
  • Think about each web page as a topic or a recipe.
  • The content of your page should be like the ingredients of a recipe; then you’ll know what to write.
  • Once you complete your page, share it socially and to your email database.
  • That may earn you some backlinks from social sharing websites.

And finally, get rid of the junk pages and content on your website.

A client has 180 plus pages; some were duplicate pages and 90% of those pages were under 1000 words.

We got the page content down to 90 by removing duplicate url’s.

We hide the low quality pages from Google’s index (but still visible to website visitors) and got the page content down to 60 pages.

We aim to get the page count down to 30 web pages next month with only their best quality page content.

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SEO is a continuous strategy

The parent topic of this page, “SEO”, isn’t that big in the grand scheme of things and “seo strategy” is an even smaller topic and still really competitive and difficult to get ranked.

“SEO strategy” only gets 400 UK searches and month, the pages in the top 10 search results are very strong domains with a lot of page links.

So I hope, if I share this post to my email database and socially the page will get some traction and provides a helpful resource or recipe for better rankings and traffic from Google.

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