Case Study: Improve traffic and search engine results for a website that had lots of competition, no traffic, and virtually no Google search engine results. What can be done – and what can happen if you don’t maintain the results.
Location/Information: Website is primarily about home winemaking. Includes information and resources for the beginner and advanced amateur home winemaker, wine kit reviews, ideas, wine recipes and more.
Revenues: Primarily from Google Adsense as well as some affiliate marketing.
Background: As well as fly fishing, making wine at home has been a hobby of mine for quite some time. Some years ago, I decided to create a blog that would help me track the different and varied wines I made, including those from kits, fruit and vegetables. Initially, there was no expectation of much traffic nor was there any real attempts at earning good search engine rankings for the blog. Several factors went into this decision including the competition – there were already a good number of well established and excellent websites on home winemaking; the time and resource factor in that we had enough work with clients to keep us busy; and the fact that the site was never intended to generate revenues in the first place.
However, a couple of years ago, I thought it would be an interesting challenge to see what could be done with the site. At the time, the competition for key words and phrases such as ‘home winemaking’, ‘home wine making,’ ‘making wine at home’, and others related to different kinds of wine and home winemaking resources were quite heavy. For ‘home winemaking’, I spent a lot of time on Google.com trying to locate homewinery.info in the search engine results. I did eventually locate it – on about page 42. Other relevant search terms were about the same – very few would find the site using related search terms on Google.
What Was Done:
1. SEO optimization was done throughout the site.
2. New content was added on a regular basis over the course of 6 to 8 months.
3. Article marketing
4. Other types of SEO methods.
What Was Accomplished:
Within about 4 months, the search term ‘home winemaking’ had homewinery.info at rank #10 on the first page of google.com. For a couple of months after SEO began on the site, it would often move between the 25th and 28th spot on Google, vying for position with a few other wine making websites until it eventually hit page 1. Other search words and phrases that ranked on the first page and brought in a high percent of traffic included ‘wine kit reviews’, ‘degassing wine’, ‘homemade wines’, and quite a number of others.
In fact, traffic increased exponentially after the SEO work was begun – from about 10 unique visitors per day to over 300.
What Was Learned:
Good SEO is critical in earning better search engine rankings for any website. This is probably obvious, but this site also shows the importance of maintaining SEO practices. Although today the site still enjoys high rankings on Google.com for the search term ‘dandelion wine‘ (today as of July 6, 2010, it’s #3) and ‘home wine making‘ (July 6, 2010 – #2 ranking), to name a couple, it has also dropped quite a bit for other search terms.
The reason for the drop? This site was another experiment and challenge to put together what we knew about SEO and for testing. Although I did put Google Adsense on the site (which have earned me a good percentage of total Adsense income), there were other sites and clients that were more valuable as far as my time was concerned. So, I let much of the SEO maintenance drop – and as a result, some of the excellent search engine results eventually slipped. Certainly not terribly – but enough to cause a drop in traffic over the past six months. On google.com, instead of being on page 1, the term ‘home winemaking‘ (July 6, 2010) has slipped to the 4th page. Please do notice the difference however, in Google.com and Google.CA rankings.
This goes to show that SEO is a process and not always just a one time thing. Just because your web developer has done all the right things (most of the time, they don’t though) as far as optimizing your website for search engines and eventually obtaining good search engine results after launch, this does not mean that you will maintain these good results without on going regular SEO practices.
We can help you with on-going SEO work that will most definitely improve the search engine rankings of your website. If you’d like to do the work yourself, we can also provide consultation services on what you need to be doing and how to do it, if you have time.
Although The Home Winery has slipped for some of the search engine results, I’m not whining about that. I expected that for some search terms, there would be some decrease in traffic and search engine rankings after the SEO work slowed down.