It seems ranking on the first page of Google is a hard nut to crack. There are millions of websites out there trying to out compete each other to take the first page of Google search for their targeted search terms.
There are certain guidelines set out by Google itself that shows their point of view on what they like and what they don’t like in a website. Any website can theoretically rule the first page of Google for certain chosen keywords by strictly adhering to these guidelines. Many websites ponder to build lots of backlinks in an effort to rank in the first position of Google.
But a recent change in ranking status quo of Google has altered the course of SEO. In 2013, Google declared the following major change in SEO guidelines:
This is very different from the old guidelines shown below:
Since then, many case studies have confirmed that indeed having lots of backlinks is not the main factor of ranking websites anymore. Rather it is the amount of helpful quality contents in the website that mainly decides the ranking que. Many websites have been ranked in Google with high quality content alone. The number of quality backlinks is still a factor, but not the primary one anymore.
In this case study, I will try to rank a new local business website in Google. I will start with the keyword analysis to find the focus keyword. I will get a suitable domain name to cater for the keyword. Then I will build a website with quality content. I will discuss the process I follow to try to rank the website in Google. Finally , I will try to monetize the website.
The key strategy will be to create a local business website targeted towards a city or state of USA. Preferably , the website will target a service that businesses provide locally. The keyword should have more than 1,000 exact searches per month in Google. The CPC should be more than $1. The competition should be as low as possible.
The main website will be made in WordPress platform. The content will be distributed among tightly wound categories. The flow of the content will be simple, crisp and easy to read for the people seeking the particular service. The relevant LSI keywords will be used.
Once all that are taken care of, I will try to rank the website. Minimal backlinks will be used. And once it reaches the first page of Google, the website will be monetized with monthly subscription- based services. In other words, it will be rented to local services.
And I will keep you updated with all of that.
Part 1: Keyword Analysis
Our criteria is to find a fairly high volume ( more than 1,000 searches per month) local services keyword.
What sorts of local services are we talking about?
Services such as –
- pool cleaners
- final grading
- deck builders
- fence builders
- garage builders
- real estate (think subburb of city for less competition)
- wedding planners
- air conditioning/heating/hvac
- carpet installers
- plumbing etc
In order to find different services , you can thumb through Yellow Pages . However, the easiest way is to go to craigslist.com and look in the ‘services’ portion. You will see ads of different services.Select a service and go on to keyword planner and search the search volume of that particular service.
For example, under the ‘household’ section, we have got many ads. Immediately, the ad for WINDOW WASHING catches my attention. This service is worth having a look at.
Next, let us open a new tab in the browser and go to Google Keyword Planner. Filter the country at United States , write WINDOW WASHING in the ‘your product or service’ bar and hit ‘Get Idea’ .
The planner will throw out different related keywords. We can see that our keyword WINDOW WASHING has 3,600 exact searches per month over the whole USA. Obviously , local searches in any city will be much lower that 1,000 per month, hence the search volume is too low for our criteria.
However, let us look at the related search terms that keyword planner is giving us.
First , sort the results by ‘average monthly searches’. Immediately, we can see some high volume services that we can look at. Carpet cleaning(110k) , cleaning services (49.5k), gutter cleaning(18.1k) . Also, we can see a similar high volume version of our initial keyword- WINDOW CLEANING ( 9.9k) .
All of these are local services whose search volume is high enough to have a look at. The CPC values – that indicates the maximum amount ($) the advertisers are willing to spend per visitor – are quite high as well. That means these are high demand services and there is competition.
Let us select two keywords- Carpet Cleaning( 110k) and Window Cleaning ( 9.9k) . In the next post, we will analyze the local volume and competition to determine whether these keywords qualify our criteria of a good target keyword ( minimum local search volume >= 1,000 per month).