Case Study: Improve Google search results for some specific key words.
Location: Website is primarily about fly fishing in Canada but includes international content.
Revenues: Primarily from advertising including Adsense as well as corporate/business advertising space.
Fly fishing is one of my passions and hobbies. Over ten years ago, I was contracted by About.com to be their “fly fishing” guide, however in 2001, About.com was purchased by Primedia, which owns Fly Fisherman magazine. When Primedia took over, they decided that the site I had built for About.com would be taken over by Fly Fisherman and I was let go so that the good folk at the magazine could use the site to generate magazine sales. In the end, I’m thankful for how things turned out. About.com gave me the opportunity to write about something I love to do – the first time I was ever paid for such a thing! I realized that I really could write after many years of just dreaming about it.
When my contract with About.com ended, I decided to start up my own fly fishing site as a hobby, and that was the beginning of About Fly Fishing. It’s gone through some changes, but basically it’s a personal hobby site which also happens to earn advertising revenues from a variety of sources. However, my own clients have come first, and it wasn’t up until about a year ago that I started to pay attention to traffic to the site and where it was coming from. I discovered that the site was ranking quite well for a variety of fly fishing terms – they call them “long tail keyword phrases” but for very specific terms like “fly fishing,” “fly tying patterns” and others, it was lost and way back in the Google search engine results on pages 6 and 7.
Could I do better? The term fly fishing when typed into google.com showed there were over 12 MILLION results for that search term alone! The terms fly fishing patterns and fly tying patterns were also quite numerous as far as what google.com reported my competition to be, and it certainly would be a massive challenge to get to the first page of Google, let alone in the top 5 spots.
Those kinds of odds are not generally thought of us very good odds but I like challenges and wanted to see what I could do. And if I could get some better results, that would mean more traffic. And more traffic meant increased advertising revenues.
Go ahead and click on the image. It’s a screen shot taken on June 18th, 2010 of the search results on google.ca for the term fly fishing. Go ahead and click that link if you want – it’s the google.ca search results for the term fly fishing today. I don’t know if they will be as good as they have been for the past month since the beginning of June 2010 – when you read this, perhaps Google will have changed some algorithms, or I’ll have been busy with clients, and haven’t paid attention to maintaining the search rankings.
If you click on the image to the right, you will see that Google reports 12,300,00 results for the term fly fishing. My search optimization work beat out 12 million, 2 hundred and 998 thousand other web pages that have that term.
Was it easy? No. Was it worth it? Yes. My traffic since I started focusing on improving the search engine results for specific key words and phrases has doubled. My advertising revenues have doubled, and I get an email at least once a week from someone in the fly fishing industry or who is targeting fly fishers curious about advertising on the website.
My Alexa ranking has gone from something that was higher than 1,500,000 in the autumn of 2009 to 519,475 as of June 30, 2010 (the lower the number the better).
“Okay Ian, I guess it’s impressive you did well on one search term, what about the other search terms you mentioned?”
Go ahead and click on the image to the left so you get a better view. This is the search results from Google.com for fly fishing patterns. Click the link to see for yourself.
About Fly Fishing comes up #1. Actually, I get more traffic now from that search term than I do from the search term fly fishing, which just goes to show that you need to optimize and work on a variety of keyword phrases in order to take advantage of targeted traffic.
If you clicked on the image, did you notice that Google reports over 52 million search results for the term fly fishing patterns? Not bad, beating out over 52 million other web pages.
How about fly patterns?
I could post another screen shot – but you can look yourself, here. No, it’s not #1 on Google but it is above the fold at spot # 5 on page 1 of the search results. Check it out here.
Can I Do The Same For You?
Unlike many other SEO “specialists” and consultants, I can’t and won’t guarantee you #1 search engine rankings on various search terms and phrases. I don’t use “black hat” methods, which when discovered, would have you banned from the search engines. It’s hard work, it’s time, and it can take some time – sometimes six months to see results. But I will improve your search engine rankings, and have a number of different strategies and tools that we can use, or just some of them, depending on your budget.
One of the first things we’ll do is look at your website itself. How well is it optimized? Is the design of the site conducive to getting good or poor search engine rankings? How well does it convert or have a call to action when visitors arrive? What about six months or a year from now? Do you have new product coming out or sales and specials you want visitors to your site to know about?
I can help you with that. Call me – 1-877-966-3436. If no one answers, leave a message.
UPDATE – November 8, 2010
See this SEO post about an update regarding the SERP rankings for this site on Google.COM.