Search Engine Optimization - a Case Study
While there are plenty of articles providing useful information, this article shows you how a real world example met with success. The point of this article is to emphasize creativity when approaching tough optimization situations.
Problems for BusinessTaxRecovery.com
In November of 2004, our firm took on the seo marketing for BusinessTaxRecovery.com. The site was being promoted through offline activities and pay-per-click campaigns. No effort had been made to achieve high rankings in Google, Yahoo or MSN.
Keyword analysis revealed that combinations of the root keywords, “business” and “tax” were going to be difficult to attack. The primary problem concerned government agencies with web sites. The IRS site, for instance, had roughly 9,680 inbound links and an absolute ton of content. State agencies weren’t far behind. The California tax agency site had roughly 7,000 inbound links and, again, tons of content.
For a final nail in the coffin, the client informed us the business was cyclical with the busiest months being January through April when people focused on taxes. The site absolutely had to rank highly during this period. We had two months to achieve results.
The Solution for BusinessTaxRecovery.com – 140,000 Hits
After staring at a Salvador Dali painting for a few hours, we came up with a solution. It involved a combination of internal site page focus, meta tag optimization, link exchange and massive article promotion. The results produced 145,828 hits from January through April, with only 5,000 coming from the pay-per-click program.
The first step was to change the focus of the site from the home page to the article page. Jumping the tax agency sites on keywords such as business tax and taxes was impossible in two months, so we didn’t even try. Instead, we decided to focus on the keyword phrase “business tax articles” and bring people into the site through the article page. Meta tags were optimized and a link exchange program undertaken. The key to campaign, however, was a strong article promotion campaign.
Since taxes are confusing, it seemed obvious that an article campaign focusing on tax information would meet with success. Boy, did it. Approximately 35 articles were written, published and submitted to article directories. Since the articles were timely, they were snapped up and published. The articles produced direct traffic to the site as well as numerous inbound links because of the link created in the article byline.
As for the search engines, we focused on everything but Google. We expected nothing from Google because the major content and meta tag changes would take six to eight months to show results per the usual practices of Google. In reality, it didn’t matter. The Yahoo and MSN search engines produced big time.
In mid-January, the site went to number 1 on MSN under “business tax articles.” By the end of January, Yahoo was also listing it as number 1. MSN started listing it at number 1 for “tax articles” in February. The combination of these listings produced a significant amount of traffic, conversions and a very happy client.
Can we go on cruise control now? No! With the end of the tax season, the traffic to the articles page of the site has dropped by 75%. Nobody is looking for tax information after April 15th, so this is hardly surprising. The promotion of the article page was simply a short-term solution to a difficult situation. While it should produce traffic during the first quarter of each subsequent year, it is not a year-around solution.
Over the next six months, we will focus on the long-term goal of jumping over the tax agency sites for keywords such as “business taxes”, etc. It is going to take a lot of patience, but will eventually produce a significant amount of business for the client.
Creativity is often the key to conquering seo situations. Blindly slapping up new meta tags and links isn’t always the best answer. Sometimes, a little pre-emptive consideration can yield amazing results.
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