We just completed an Advanced SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Keyword Strategy project for our client, and the results are OUTSTANDING! So much so that we had to share with you. Here’s the story:
A couple years ago, we built a really nice website for a psychology practice down in Tennessee called Nashville Psych. Within a month after its launch, the site had good, solid rankings in Google search results.
Over time, their business grew and, early this year, they came back to us. They’d added a couple of new areas to their practice as well as two new therapists to the team, and wanted to enhance their SEO so they’d rank higher for those elements. So we came up with a game plan – an Advanced SEO Keyword Strategy – and put it into action.
In the beginning…
In building the Nashville Psych website, we utilized best practices in terms of its structure (we call this “structural SEO”), allowing the Google algorithms to properly understand and classify the content. We do this for all of the sites we build, as a matter of course.
What do I mean by Structural SEO?
When we build sites, there are certain things we do that help Google understand the content we’re presenting. These include:
- We build pages around specific content using the page titles, and headings within the page to clearly describe the content therein.
- We submit sitemaps to Google. Sitemaps help tell Google which parts of the site to include in their database. For example, we want all of the pages and blog posts to be listed. But we don’t necessarily need all of the site authors or blog categories or other extraneous data to be indexed, as we wouldn’t expect people to be searching for those items.
- We utilize metadata. Metadata is a set of descriptive code that Google and other search engines read, helping them further classify what type of information they’re looking at. For example, you can specify that this is a Business website (as opposed to a personal or blog site) and clarify the address and business hours.
Initial Results from Structural SEO
Attention to these details can go a long way. In this case, right out of the box, Nashville Psych landed on the first page of Google results for at least three keyword phrases:
- “career assessment Nashville” – it was ranking #1
- “child therapist Nashville” – it was ranking #1
- “therapist Nashville” – it was ranking #8
We were really proud of this result. And rightfully so. Page #1 Google results are often very difficult to achieve, particularly in a competitive industry in a competitive location.
The Nashville Psych site generated leads on weekly basis for the client, so they were happy. And when clients are happy, so are we.
Flash Forward to 2018
Nashville Psych has continued to grow and the website has served them well. They have kept up with their content marketing through regular blog posts on relevant topics. Earlier this year, the practice hired a couple of new therapists and moved to a larger location. This makes us happy because we’re always rooting for our clients’ success!
So, in the course of this growth spurt, they called us to discuss some additional SEO enhancements. We set about implementing an Advanced SEO Keyword Strategy.
What’s an Advanced SEO Keyword Strategy?
By keyword-based SEO, I mean a process by which we identify the optimal keywords for particular website content and make adjustments to optimize the site for those keywords. The process works something like this:
- We work with the client to come up with the 10 or 15 keyword phrases that are most relevant to their business.
- We take those phrases and do a little research on Google. How many people are searching those phrases? And how much competition is already out there for them? We try to end up with the phrases that are the most searched, but least competed for.
- We take a baseline measurement of ranking for each keyword. We also measure how each of the client’s top five competitors ranks for those keywords.
- Then we optimize our pages for those keywords and wait 30 to 45 days.
- After that period of time, we re-measure everything.
How did their search rankings improve?
We decided to optimize the top 15 pages on the Nashville Psych site and identified 15 keyword phrases, one for which to optimize each page. Now I don’t want to list out the keyword phrases we came up with or the competitors list, because that’s obviously proprietary info. But I will share the results more generically:
- We optimized for 15 keyword phrases. Prior to our work, as I mentioned above, they were landing on page #1 Google results for 3 of those keywords. After the advanced optimization exercise, they are now on page #1 Google for 10 of the 15 keywords. Ten!!
- We do a cumulative score, adding the rankings for each of the keywords together and then averaging it out to form what we call the Average Combined Rank (the lower the rank, the better). When we began, their average combined rank for these keywords was 58.87. After our advanced optimization work, their average combined rank is 11.00.
- For the 7 keywords for which the site hadn’t been ranking at all in the top 100 Google results prior to our exercise, they are now on page #1 Google results for 4 of them, and their average combined rank for those 7 keywords is now 8.43. From 100 to 8.43!
The Bottom Line
These results are outstanding, and further testament to the effectiveness of our process. While high rankings on Google don’t always translate into leads (that’s where content marketing comes in handy!), they help the users, who are searching for your content, find your website. And, oftentimes, you go through an advanced keyword SEO project once (or once every few years) and it pays off for a long time to come.
When you’re ready to give it a try, give us a call!