I’ve been doing tons of SEO testing on Pagerankworld in the past few weeks. I’ve got a few years of solid experience in the field, but what I have learned is that I gain the most skill by doing case studies and testing independently.
One of the problems with ‘mainstream SEO’ is that the same knowledge is passed around and around where only the top players in the field really know what’s going on.
Do you really know whether or not the linkbuilding tactic you learned from that random blog is effective without confirming the test yourself?
Personally I like to know for a fact whether or not my new search engine optimization tactics are going to work (or not) before I even think of using them on a clients’ site.
My (Fairly Basic) First SEO Case-Study
In today’s case-study I tested three different elements including both on-page and off-page SEO. For most of you the first example will just be a refresher, at best, as its fairly common knowledge.. but like I said before: by testing and proving my belief, at least now I know for a fact what is true.
1. How much of an impact does the title/header tag of a page have on rankings?
The former header tag on my page read “Page Rank World | Learn Search Engine Optimization” and that’s what this graph is tracking. I was around the 45-50 rank in Google for the exact keyword, without any serious off-site link building. (Remember, Pagerankworld is only a few months old and I’ve only been actively promoting/writing for a month or so)
I changed up the header tag for two reasons:
- I wanted to test… and make sure that I knew how much of an impact it had on rankings (stupid, I know)
- I’m not sure that previous tag really describes Pagerankworld effectively. I’ve sort of just let my posts go anywhere that has interested me recently, and PRW is going to be about a slightly more general SEO/internet marketing/business theme, rather than just search engine optimization itself.
If you are wondering, I am probably going to change it up again in the future if I figure out a better title for PRW… but I’m not 100% sure yet.
Tools Used For This Change: None.. WordPress :)
2. (Now for the fun part) What can I accomplish with purely automated tools?
I’m sorry for the purely whitehat crowd here, I’m grayhat in nature and I love automating some of my SEO work because I am a lazy procrastinator. Haven’t you seen the sidebar bio yet!
Anyway, you are probably wondering exactly what I did to accomplish this large rank boost…
Here goes nothing:
- Before I even started linkbuilding, I used Keyword Scout to pick out the most valuable and easiest to obtain keywords. This helps in a few different ways, but mainly it makes sure that my hard work will be repaid with high CPC and large monthly search traffic.
- [The Secret Sauce] I set up a sweet campaign in Magic Submitter, using the keywords and anchor text I grabbed from Keyword Scout, focused on getting high-PR, low-OBL, links from authority sites. This does take some practice to get right, and for that reason I’ll be releasing a guide on Magic Submitter in the near future.
- So now you have blog posts, press releases, article directory posts, and video submissions being taken care of… 100% automated. Disclaimer: It does take some time upfront to set up the software/tools… but it pays itself off after a few days of solid linkbuilding where you don’t have to raise a finger.
- Clean up my link portfolio, watch my rankings, and check out my direct competition’s SEO strategies using SEOPowerSuite. This is an extremely important step. It allows you to put the final touches on an already amazing SEO campaign.
Maybe this shouldn’t be called 100% automated, as the final step requires some manual work, but its about as automated as you can get before you get penalized by Google. To me, black hat seo is only worth it if you aren’t penalized by Google.
I always focus on making my backlink portfolio have that manual/whitehat touch. You really need this to seem credible to Google, and to guarantee that your site will be around for years to come in the search engines.
Back to the guide:
- Take advantage of the four different programs built into SEOPowerSuite. What I do is make sure that my portfolio looks normal, that means low optimization on money keywords… a bunch of my most desired keywords on Pagerankworld are only at 1-2% density out of my backlink porfolio.
- Gone are the days of spamming 60% of your backlinks towards one anchor text… just accept it and move on. Now you can automate the process for the highest level of efficiency.
- Spy on your competitors backlinks using SEOPowerSuite‘s ‘SEO Spyglass’ platform. This is one of the best ways to rank a new website, for a beginner SEO. It follows a very simple philosophy, if you mirror a website’s backlinks you will essentially gain the same exact rank as them.
- Of course, some things like on-page SEO and domain authority will affect your rankings, but overall mirroring a competitors backlinks (or just the high-quality ones) is a very strong strategy.
3. How quickly can I rank for a medium-competition keyword?
If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll know I talked about the mental site of becoming a millionaire, and thankfully I’ve actually done very well in Google for this keyword.
Surprise, surprise, I used the strategy in part 2 of this post to rank for the keyword “how to become a millionaire.’ Within a day or two, and a very small amount of targeted backlinks, I jumped onto the second page and its been steady ever since.
Clearly it needs slightly longer to verify that its not just a temporary movement/jump, but its been 100% consistent so far.
Right now I’m sitting at about rank 16/17 for this 14,800 monthly search term.
So what have I learned from my testing?
- I’ve learned that title tags, or header tags, are still very important for your rankings and they can influence your overall search traffic pretty significantly.
- Blackhat or grayhat SEO is still powerful and useful in the correct situations. I always recommend making sure your backlink portfolio looks normal/entirely whitehat.
- You can accomplish this by diluting your anchor text with generic keywords, straight-URL/domain anchors, etc.
- I still love the SEO game and running Page Rank World… because this is the longest article I have ever posted.
Are you guys willing to test out risky/interesting but not proven SEO tactics on your main domain?