Back in March we wrote a blog post regarding one of our current SEO R&D projects, HD Movie Trailers Online. It’s been about 6 months, so it would be timely to post an update on the progress of that project.
First, we have taken a minimalistic approach to the search engine optimization of this site. We’re doing about as much SEO as the average blogger or website owner might do, except we are armed with a little understanding of how the search engines work. We don’t have any overly grand expectations that we will dominate the niche, but we want to be competitive. We will also gain a better understanding of how we should sell our SEO services to our clients.
The niche that we choose, HD movie trailers, is somewhat competitive with many well-known brands competing in the space such as Apple and Yahoo. There are also a few well-funded start-ups coming into the space. We also understand that this space is not over saturated like consumer products. Understanding this, we can weigh our actual success and how we might apply these tactics to client’s sites.
We selected a small group of keywords to monitor throughout the project. We won’t reveal those exact keywords, but it is sufficient to say that some are more competitive than others. Here is a breakdown of what we did:
Site Creation and Content
- Used a virgin domain name that was less than a year old.
- Created a well optimized website with a very narrow focus point (high definition movie trailers) using a custom WordPress theme.
- Added some seed content to the site such as movie trailers. A note about the content: The video content is provided by Yahoo and AOL and others. The site does not host any of the video content, but uses JW Player to present the content from the trailer providers. A brief review/summary (text) is provided for each trailer. Usually one or two sentences are written by us at the beginning of the post, and then there is a brief summary that is provided by the production company or a well-known review site. Text length is usually about a paragraphs worth of text for each post. Not all of the text for each post is original.
Initial Site Announcement
- We added a XML and HTML sitemap and registered the sitemap with Google via Webmaster Tools.
- We added a few “Update Services” for our RSS feed such as Ping-O-Matic, IceRocket, Technorati, etc.
- We wrote a simple and basic press release announcing the website launch and submitted it to a few free press release services that provide some SEO value.
- We cross promoted with Blogs we own, operate, or control (where the mention made sense) by writing a brief blog post. (Four in total.)
- We began making minimal updates to the site. Early on, we were making 4-8 updates per week. Most recently, we are making 2-4 updates per week. These updates consisted of posting new movie trailers.
- We began a basic backlinking campaign. This campaign was very minimalistic, but focused on presumed authority sites. Most were “dofollow”, but a few were “nofollow”. We created no more than 10 of these links.
- We promoted the RSS feed, which is multimedia heavy, to major Media RSS sites such as Miro and Podcast Alley.
- According to our backlink profile, we have picked up very few valuable links outside of our network or sites that we pursued.
According to the logs that we kept of our activities, this information is fairly accurate. There maybe one or two things that have been neglected.
- By the second week of the website launch, Google had indexed 90% of the site content.
- By the end of the second week all the control keywords were ranking on the 3rd page of Google except for the least competitive which were ranked on the low side of 2nd page.
- By the end of the third week all keywords were appearing on the second page.
- By the end of the second month the least competitive keywords were appearing on the first page. All other keywords except for the most competitive were appearing high on the second page.
- By the end of the sixth month all keywords are appearing high on the first page except for the most competitive keyword which is bouncing on and off the first page on a daily basis.
Search results for a specific set of keywords don’t tell the whole story. Long tail keywords accounted for 50% of the traffic to the entire site during this six month period. We attribute this to the highly optimized structure of the site. We estimate that the Domain Authority and Page Authority of the site remains fairly low, however we were able to overcome this disadvantage by having strong on-site optimization. For those that are always thinking of PageRank, according to Google’s PageRank Tool, we were able to achieve a PR 4 in a short time (within the first 2 months).
Onward and Upward
While the results we achieved in the first six months are very promising, we will continue with our next phase of the project and step a few things up. We will continue to pick-and-choose our content for post, but will post regularly. We will focus a backlinking campaign over the next three to four months on “dofollow” blogs to see how those affect the ranking position of keywords in Google.