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by: James Duthie
Online Marketing Banter
There's no doubt about it... trying to optimize a web site in an ultra competitive industry these days is a daunting task! With the commercial reality that top rankings equal big bucks, large organizations are throwing mega dollars into SEO. But that doesn't mean the little guys can't still win. In fact, this case study shows how one blogger applied some smart SEO tactics and landed on the first page of Google within 4 months.
Before we get started, have a think about the most competitive industries online today. Porn, gambling, travel, web design, pharmaceuticals, real estate & mortgages are probably the first that spring to mind. But if there's any industry that should be infinitely harder to optimize for than any other it's SEO. Each SEO consultant/company is (or at least claims to be ) a specialist in web site optimization. Each knows the tricks of the trade, and therefore the difficulty factor in obtaining a top 10 position is infinitely higher. Yet it is still possible to land top 10 rankings in the SEO industry in a matter of months!
The web site in question is Marketing Easy, which is produced by Lucio Dias Ribeiro. While the blog itself has been online for over a year, it was in July 2007 that Lucio developed a specific SEO plan for his blog. This plan has taken Lucio to the first page of Google for some of the most competitive search terms in the Australian SEO industry. Some of Lucio's current rankings are listed below:
Google Australia www.google.com.au
|Keyword||Search Engine Ranking|
|Online marketing Australia||10|
Google Global - www.google.com
|Keyword||Search Engine Ranking|
|Online marketing Australia||10|
So how did he do it in just 4 months ? Lucio didn't do anything new, different or even black hat. He simply developed a smart SEO strategy and executed it according to plan. The foundation of his success was based on:
Keyword selection is perhaps the most important part of any SEO strategy. The best SEO plan in the world isn't likely to get you far if you target super competitive keywords (such as 'search engine optimization'). Recognizing this, Lucio targeted the longer tail SEO keywords. In particular, he selected keywords based on geography, such as 'SEO Australia'. Subsequently, rather than competing with the whole world for his keywords, he was now just competing against Australian pages.
With this keyword strategy in mind, Lucio developed a list of about 40 geographically targeted keywords. He then used Google Webmaster tools to track his ranking for each keyword, and Google Analytics to track the traffic each was sending to him. Over time, he identified the keywords that were less competitive and targeted his content, page titles and anchor text accordingly.
Laser focused content
In the early days of his blog, Lucio had a fairly broad subject matter for his blog. Topics discussed included Wikipedia, guerrilla marketing, domain registration, email signatures, iPhone & Yahoo answers. However, in the last 6 months Lucio has introduced a laser like focus for the subject matter of his blog. Rarely now are posts submitted outside the topic areas of SEM, SEO, PPC or Google. This repetition of subject matter has helped the search engines recognize him as an expert and authority in the field of search engine marketing.
Anchor text for inbound links
Marketing Easy has attracted over 150 inbound links, which is a good base for search engine optimization purposes. However, rather than be content with his inbound link status, Lucio has devised a method to track every new inbound link he receives. He does so by using Google Alerts and Analytics Tools. This service notifies Lucio every time someone creates a new link to Marketing Easy on the web. Lucio then makes it his duty to contact each webmaster and request that they modify the anchor text to one of his the most relevant keywords (such as 'SEO Australia'). He estimates that over 90% of webmasters fulfill his request. After all, they like him enough to link to him, so a quick change to the anchor text isn't much to ask.
It's no secret, posting regularly keeps readers interested. But have you considered this - it also trains Google's spider to visit regularly. And the more often you're indexed, the more often your new articles will be found.
So there you have it folks... no secrets and no rocket science. It just goes to show even the most competitive industries can be cracked with the right approach... even if you are just a humble blogger playing against the big boys.
James Duthie is a digital marketing all-rounder with over 5 years experience in the fields of web strategy, web functionality, communications, web site launches, traffic generation, email marketing, copywriting & customer acquisition.
James currently works for Next Digital, one of Australia's largest digital marketing agencies. He also produces Online Marketing Banter, an offbeat digital marketing blog dedicated to social media, SEO, digital communications and various other topics.
10 thoughts on “SEO Isn't Just For The Big Boys”
I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.
Hi James, great article.
This article got featured on Search Engine Watch today. Have you seen it?
I know Marketing Easy and Lucio, I’ve been following him for couple of months now. He has good articles and interesting points over his marketingeasy.
Just got to know your blog and it seems good quality.
@ Jason – Thanks for subscribing. Hope you enjoy the content.
@ Alex – Yeah, I subscribe to to Search Engine Watch’s newsletter. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw it listed this morning. What a thrill! Thanks for subscribing.
I recently downloaded the SEOquake plugin for Firefox. When I went to do a search this morning this article was featured above the paid google ads.
After I read this article I immediately added this blog to my daily must read on my Google Reader. Please keep up the good work!
I think it´s all about content. Maybe you can put a low quality website on the top but just a while.
@ Mike – Glad you enjoyed the article. Perhaps you’d be interested in my personal blog as well – Online Marketing Banter 🙂
@ Pedro – Yes… I probably took content for granted. But of course, content is the most important part of any web site. In particular, poor content will fail to generate inbound links.
I come across your blog while Sphinning..^^ I enjoyed reading your posts..^^…hope you’ll post more of this stuff..^^..thanks a bunch Donna especially to James..^^
Glad you enjoyed it Joy. I’ll see you round in Sphinn 🙂
@ James – you’ve written a fantastic article for this guest post, a great story and how nice it is to see its not just the BIG boys that can achieve SEO results of this magnitude.
Im off to check out your blog now 🙂
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