Catchy title huh? Well, let me start by saying this. There is no silver bullet for SEO and you can’t just invest 15 hours on an SEO project and expect top ranking on Google for your website for all eternity. SEO work is a continuous project that requires time, effort and a lot of patience as the changes you make will probably pay off in 6 months’ time or so. The good news is that you can get a long way by analyzing your website’s current state and ranking and by making small changes to your code, copy and other areas of your website that affect your listing on certain keywords, Domain Authority and Page Authority.
So that’s exactly what I am doing for one of my clients right now. My client is a Canadian event production agency and they contacted me asking for help with their ranking on Google. They wanted to rank well on Google on phrases like ‘event production (their city/province)’ and felt that they were losing incoming business as a result of their low ranking. They also asked if this would be expensive to ‘fix’ as their budget was limited.
We can’t even find ourselves on Google, can you help?
Maybe now you’re thinking: ‘Hold your horses! I’m confused. What does search engine optimization have to do with ghost writing or copywriting?’ Quite a lot actually. In order to be successful with your SEO efforts, you also have to know how to write and structure good copy. Well, that and you also need to have a flare for web analytics, website design, coding, link building…
Moving on. We agreed that I would do everything I could to help them rank better and for this, we set up a 15 hour project. Hence the snazzy title of this post. In the title, the well trained eye will also notice that this is Part 1 of a series of posts and I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to tag along as I help this event production company go ‘From zero to SEO’d in 15 hours’. So, here we go:
Step one in any SEO project is to scope it out, assess the current status and identify quick fixes and other improvement areas. A good practice is to identify some key metrics to gauge a starting point. However, in this case the client did not have any analytics built in to their WordPress website, so benchmarking through Google Analytics was out of the question. So, here’s what I did:
- I started off by collecting key domain- and page metrics for the website from my Chrome SEO plugin. Things at this point were not looking to bright as the website had a Domain Authority of 17 and a Page Authority of 27 (out of 100) To put this into perspective: Facebook has DA of 100 and a PA of 97. The official website of Sweden has a DA of 76 and a PA of 74
- I proceeded to create a tracker for these metrics so I am able to log the increase overtime along with a change log in which all changes will be thoroughly documented, both for the purpose of reporting back to my client but also for the purpose of being able to backtrack and revert changes if needed
- I then ran a few SEO analysis reports in a really nifty (and free) tool – this tool will give you a complete breakdown of how well a specific page on your website is ranking against the keywords you are trying to optimize for and give you a grade on a 1-100 scale along with all the improvements you need to make in order to be optimized. These improvements include things like the copy:code ratio, title structure, H1 quality, alt tags, copy relevance and much more
- Next step was to get crackin’ on implementing changes. After just a few hours I had implemented a whole array of small changes to the website and to gauge my own progress I pulled another SEO analysis report: The first landing page (sort of a welcome/navigation page) now scored 81/100 (previously 28/100) and first page with actual content scored 84/100 (previously 56/100).
Time spent so far, including the project set up: 6 hours
Coming up in Part 2: An in-depth review and keyword optimization of the website content.
You know you want to join me for the next 9 hours of my 15 hour challenge.