SEO: From zero to SEO’d in 15 hours – Part 2: Content improvements and amazing initial results

In my previous post I embarked on a quest to help an event production company in Canada get visibility on Google. I started off by analyzing the current status and by scoping out what needed to be done in order for this company to start ranking on phrases like ‘event production Winnipeg’ and ‘event management Canada’.

In my initial analysis I found that their website was ranking appallingly low on one of their most important phrases, one that most likely would be key lead generator and business driver if the ranking was better. On the phrase ‘event production Winnipeg’, their website was listed somewhere after page 15 (position 150+ and also where I gave up on clicking Next).

So what has happened since?
Well, after the first few hours I had implemented a whole array of small changes to the website and the SEO- report showed that the two most crucial pages now scored 81/100 (previously 28/100) and first page with actual content scored 84/100 (previously 56/100). These are mostly changes that will turn Google’s SEO-frown upside down and make the website perform better from a technology and keyword friendliness point of view.

After this I did a complete content overhaul to keyword optimize the whole shebang. So, here’s a selection of some of the things that have been optimized – just to give you a bit of inspiration for your own website:

  • Title: I started off by updating the Title tags generic from ‘Home - (company name)’ (the word Home bears no keyword relevance at all for this client) to ‘Event Production – (company name), Winnipeg’ and ‘Services – (company name)’ was changed to ‘Event Production & Event Management Services’.
  • Headers, H1:s and menu items: Wherever the company name was mentioned, the immediate change I made was to include words like Events, Production and Management. Same medicine for generic words like ‘Services’ and ‘Gallery’. These became ‘Event services’ and ‘Event gallery’. Very small changes but oh so important.
  • Body text: Quite a lot of time was spent optimizing the body text across the website, both from a search engine optimization/keyword point of view, but also to give each page on the website the best chances for high ranking through a balanced amount of content in relation to the amount of code on the website (the code:content ratio, as it’s called) as well as keyword optimization with the top keyword for the event industry and synonyms to these keywords.
  • Meta descriptions: Even though Meta descriptions do not necessarily bear a lot of weight in today’s SEO rankings, they are still important as they give the search engine user the first glimpse into what the website/blog/forum has to offer. Therefore; I spent time optimizing the Meta descriptions to ensure that the same keyword as the above were included here as well, but I also made sure that these text blurbs were up to scratch from a marketing/copy point of view.

As the eager marketer I am, I of course want to make sure that the changes I am making add value. The challenge with SEO work however is that it takes time before Google and other search engines actually re-crawl the website and pick up on these changes. Therefore I wasn’t expecting to see any immediate results and was prepared to wait a month or so before reviewing and analyzing again.

Imagine my surprise and sheer joy when I ran a few sample searches the other day, cleared from any previously cached/personalized results of course, and noticed that the website had climbed from its initial 150+ position to… 10th place! That means a page one listing on Google on a key search phrase.

Google search result positions can however be a bit jumpy in both directions, positive and negative, when major updates to a website are rolled out so this may or may not be an ‘initial reaction’ from Google. Only time will tell so for now - let me just say, in the most unfiltered way possible: Hot dang that’s great progress in a short timeframe!

Time spent so far: 9 hours

Next up: A sweep to clean up depleted web assets, improve the signals between the website and social channels and build feeds to show social content on the website. Check out Part 3 of ‘From zero to SEO’d in 15 hours’ here.

Did you miss Part 1? Don’t worry, you can catch up here.

6 hours to go. Stay tuned.

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