How I got the SEO Tailor to Rank in Google*
and built a sustainable stream of qualified enquiries within 8 months
Testimonials and real life SEO case studies can be a tricky thing. While many of my clients are happy to provide positive reviews and testimonials of my results (you can view some of these on my LinkedIn Profile by adding me as a connection) many businesses stall at the notion of publishing in depth results of their rankings, organic traffic and analytics data online (perfectly understandable)
On the other hand, the process of seeking an SEO specialist or agency must be an exercise in extreme frustration for many Australian businesses, as few agencies are able to advertise exactly how they will achieve better rankings => traffic => revenue for their clients.
Every website is different, and the best use of the time you are paying me for will differ markedly based on many factors such as website type, current content, link profile and business goals.
This is why I have decided to use theseotailor.com.au domain as a transparent SEO case study to demonstrate how intelligent and practical SEO techniques have been able to successfully rank the below list of highly competitive keywords on page 1 of Google Australia (and many within the first 1-2 results) and generate a constant stream of sustainable, qualified traffic.
How it Happened
I used the Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush to research search volumes and competitions levels for the most highly relevant and specific keywords that indicate the most ‘buyer intent’.
In my case, I narrowed down my targeted keywords to those most specific and relevant to my service (I’m an SEO freelancer and consultant, not a company or agency) and targeted local keywords in my city because of the high competition rates in this particular niche (generic SEO and search marketing keywords)
Keyword Mapped Code Mark Up
After finalising my keyword list, I focused on the on page content (body text), page titles, meta descriptions, headings, image alt text and other relevant SEO code to give Google relevant cues about page content.
I made sure to not create similar pages that would compete for identical keywords for relevance, and instead focused on creating complimentary pages that could reference other pages and be linked internally with relevant anchor keyword focused anchor text.
Configuring Page Indexation
I built this site using the open source CMS WordPress, which has inherent advantages and disadvantages. For example, default settings that generate thin content pages for images, redundant sub folders in category URLs and XML sitemaps that can link to pages you don’t want to prioritise in indexation.
That’s why I made sure to thoroughly audit the set up of the build even after launching the site to ensure only ‘real’ pages with substantial content on them were the URLs that Google sees (crawls) and index.
This included setting up a Google Webmaster Tools account and submitting my XML sitemap, configuring the robots.txt file correctly and .htaccess rules.
Improving Page Speed
We encourage you to start looking at your site’s speed — not only to improve your ranking in search engines, but also to improve everyone’s experience on the Internet.
GT Metric Page Speed Grade
Y Slow Page Speed Grade
Google Page Speed Insights
Pingdom Page Speed Test
I wrote regular SEO and online marketing articles in the blog section of the site. I knew content production would be difficult due to the level of competition from existing full time writers and experts, in particular from the US and UK.
That’s why I focused on pieces where I found a knowledge gap, or saw something in the SERPs that I hadn’t seen anyone else cover before – like my post of why implementing hreflang annotations could backfire for certain types of websites, or how Google is using rel=”pre-render” on its search results to make position 1 load faster.
By writing on unique topics, this made my content more likely to fill a knowledge gap in the web, rank for relevant terms and be shared and linked to from other websites.
In addition to writing content for my own blog, I also set aside time to write content for other websites I knew were looking for useful, value added information on SEO, analytics and online marketing. By approaching and writing for these sites, I was able to gain valuable referral traffic and links back to The SEO Tailor domain.
*A Note About Keyword Rankings
Specific position rankings for individual keywords can fluctuate greatly in the short and medium term, even within the space of days.
In addition, the results that one user sees can differ markedly to another user at the same time due to the effect of personalisation (previous browsing history, and/or online behaviour while signed into a Google account such as Gmail) and location.
The example keywords I have chosen to highlight in this case study have been chosen because they are the primary keywords which drive converting traffic to this website, and have a high degree of consistently ranking in position 1 or page 1 of Google.
The search parameters for noting individual rankings and screenshot capture are:
– Cleared browser history
– No Google account sign-in
– Sydney IP location (the primary location of most of my client base)