Today, my Loves, we are going to delve into a particular case study and I know that most of you will benefit from this. In fact, as soon as you are done reading this, you’re probably going to sit there and think, “Was that really all there was to it?”
And No. I say no because like me, you didn’t believe in yourself so you didn’t attempt it. There are several ways of doing search engine optimization and honestly, as long as you get results for your clients, as long as it ends in what you’ve promised them (new clients… my favourite, or just rankings), that’s all that matters.
And no, I will not reveal who this client of mine is or which city their practice is in, exactly, because that will blow up quick in my face. I know how cut throat SEOs can be and, well, this is MA HOUSE, SON!
Background Check… AKA Portfolio
So, this dentist client happened to be near the city of San Diego but not close enough (20 minute radius). From the meetings we had and his budget, he opted to target his immediate city for which he was ranking on the 4th page for a main keyphrases. To make matters worse, there were a couple of Yelp reviews that were just ugly.
I don’t know about you but what most business owners are looking for is leads…
What he did have going for him, was a nice website. It was a WordPress website but it was done well.
So, what did Lil Moon decide to do? (Edit: I’m sick and feeling super vulnerable right now, so shut your COLLECTIVE MOUTHS!)
I signed him on for a 6 month contract for 1st page rankings for 3 keyphrases, around $1500 per month. I decided to go with a three pronged approach…
My Ranking Strategy
As risky as things have been with Google and the other search engines, even with PBNs, I decided not to just target his main website but also a video of his and an additional web property that I would create.
Fair amount of work but I didn’t put all eggs in one basket. (Not if you plan out a strategy though!)
Actually, random thought: it only seemed like lots of work because I did this as a one woman team. For those who know their way around WordPress though, it’s not that hard to generate original content and set up a website. It’s not… but then, I can also write well.
The keyphrases we had agreed on went something like this:
- [city] dentist
- dentist reviews [city]
- best dentist [city]
I made sure that each keyphrase had decent number of searches (and as a backup, included the keyphrases in reverse as well. For example, dentist [city], and so on).
After I had studied the backlinking strategy of the top 3 competitor sites, it became clear that they were using some sloppy ass private blog networks.
And, boy, were they sloppier than a loose meat sandwich :/
I mean: total garbage. And by network, I mean the biggest one was like… 7 or 8 websites, with each PAGE of EVERY website in that network linking to the dentist (in the footer).
Why it hadn’t been slapped yet… I’m not sure?
BUT! This does show you that it’s still relatively easy to rank in some cities. No, this wasn’t for San Diego itself but the cities close to San Diego aren’t exactly that… small. They’re just way less targeted.
Heck… makes my job easier.
So, my backlinking strategy? Sure, not against a PBN at all, but how about some local SEO basics? Do you know what those include? Here’s what I did:
Dudettez and Dudez! Citations are INCREDIBLY important. It’s not something to be taken lightly. Why? Because!!! Citations contain data like name of business, phone number, and an address. How is that relevant? The phone number and address let Google know that this is a business primarily located within a particular city! Geography plays an important role here. The very first month, I submitted 15. You can easily outsource these but I wanted to do these right and myself until I nailed the process. I made sure to submit consistent information, the exact same way.
#2. Including Geographical Information on Youtube Videos:
Look, Youtube is owned by Google now… just like the rest of us. I went to his Youtube channel and all his videos and included information about his practice, where it was located, and phone number. Yay!
#3. Quality Press Releases:
These weren’t exactly cheap and although I’m a good writer, I didn’t know how quality press releases are written. You know, their structure, etc. I outsourced this part and used a quality service.
How Did This All Work Out?
It’s important for you to realize that SEO, these days, easy or not, is like weight loss. You never know when your progress will pay off exactly (you only know that it WILL!)… just like exercising. I have seen results within 6 weeks, as well as no results and then a huge spike month 4.
In this particular case, I saw results within 6 weeks. Here’s exactly what happened.
I live in a sister city, a bit further away. SO, around that 6 week mark, one particular day, I started checking his rankings manually for those keyphrases…..
…& guess what?
My heart leapt so hard, I almost emailed my client right away. But no!
Alas, no, hold on Moon.
2/3 keyphrases were showing me top 2 spots, right? Okay, yes, I’ve confirmed. Let me get in touch with this SOB and deliver this grand ol’ news.
However, when my client checked his rankings from where he was, his own area, the rankings showed up on second page, not top 3 as I was seeing.
I could NOT believe my eyes when I arrived at his office.
It remained this way until Month 4. In the meantime, I kept doing what I was doing. I knew I had made a positive change in the rankings but it was a waiting game for him to see the results.
I believe I built about 3 small sites for him, for the purpose of a PBN. I used only 2.
Month 4: Nailed it.
Yep. Did I not tell you it was THAT fucking easy?
The part that is NOT easy is when you don’t have EXACT answers. I know what to do, duh, but I don’t work for Google so I can take best guesses but never have a definitive, concrete answer.
That’s also the exciting part and weeds out the strong from the weak.
How To Rank Locally In More Competitive Cities
What else could you do if you live in a more competitive cities? Invest in your own PBN.
Seriously. What if you were to invest in a 10 site PBN, thriving sites, with healthy stats, that look legit and ARE legit. And if you don’t have a ballin’ budget, that’s okay too.
Just follow some basic guidelines like separate hosting and decent expired domains. Write your own content. You don’t have to go balls to the wall and build all 10 right away. Start with one or two or three.
Even as slow as that sounds, within 6 months, where could you be?
Shoot, I have an in-depth guide coming up on how to create your own ballin’ PBN even with a shoestring budget and get your business thriving. Also, a guide coming up on building PBNs where I interview Karan on how he built his. Sweet stuff, I promise. Not as hard as you think either. Trust me, you want to know how Karan is doing it because I featured him here: How A Young Marketer Went From $20k Debt To Earning Over $15k/Month.
Anyways, I hope this post shows you how easy it can be to achieve results for a local business, including dentists! Until next time, Kids 😉
PS: If you want more transparent content like this, please like, share, tweet. Thaaaanx!