Chattanooga Web Design & SEO Company
8
Aug

R/D Website SEO Project Update

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.)

Ongoing Activities

  • 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.

The Results

  • 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.

Other Results

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.

Category : SEO Tips | Filed Under: > >

24 Responses to “Project Update: R&D Website SEO Progress”


This was a really interesting article to read. I like seeing how fast keywords went up on rank. This really is the bulk of SEO planning in a simple, easy to read layout.
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Jasmine Jennings August 16, 2010

Great write up! A lot of people go and try to start designing web sites and then doing SEO from the top down, which makes no sense. SEO should be part of the overall web design process and the site should be designed properly from the bottom up.

Great layout, and the fact that you’ve done so much planning really says a lot!

Julie@Web Design August 19, 2010

This is such a great enlightening article. This are the things SEO newbie and experienced professional should read. Kudos to you!
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Mitchell Allen August 24, 2010

Donnie, this is a fascinating experiment. I’ve been having a discussion with Ileane over at Basic Blogging Tips about RSS feeds and monetizing websites.

I am assuming that you are not doing anything unethical, so I would love to hear your thoughts on what constitutes fair use of RSS feeds and other pull technology.

My assertion has been that providing excerpts and a link is fair use, but comes close to a gray area of infringement when monetization is involved.

Ironically, movie trailers are an excerpt in and of themselves, so how does that impact the inclusion of such feeds on another site for the purpose of monetization?

Cheers,

Mitch
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Very interesting and informative post. I’m very interested when it comes to SEO and site optimization since I am one. This post gave me more insights about site optimization. Thanks.

cazare alexandria August 30, 2010

Always a joy to read your articles about marketing , and always learn something new

Very intresting.

It sounds very much like you are trying to break down how the google search engine works when it is indexing a website and in this test you tried HD movies.

Google have said that there are over 200 processes that it uses to rank a website, so basically each website will get a grade based on each word.

Google tends to change its algarithum every week, i get the feeling that do follow blog links are now producing less power than what they first did.

Of course the company that can figure out googles 200 rank processes and how they are graded will be onto a winner.

Simon September 7, 2010

Thanks for sharing your blog with us. We can follow you.

But can you tell me what will be strategy to take before starting SEO of a flash based site?

I am waiting for your reply.

Gavin@Cheap Web Hosting September 9, 2010

Great summary! I realize you can’t be too thorough with a post like this because you don’t want to give away all your “secrets” to the masses, but pretty great job. I think you must have had some good luck as well ranking so high, so fast. It makes sense though for the beginner reading your post that it takes work. It’s not terribly complicated, but it is time consuming – especially if you want to dominate.

Great post and thanks for sharing the information with us!

Joe@Web Design Westchester September 13, 2010

I have started a simplistic SEO campaign like yours on one of my sites. I used to use a lot of link wheels/roots/webs of web 2.0 sites and lately i found them to be more work than they are worth.

You have an advantage over a alot of site owners out there, that is that you have 4 quality blogs (probably on different servers) that you could place a link in the post. That was probably a big help.

miracleman12 September 14, 2010

Flash and SEO don’t typically mix, but there are some techniques that can be used that can improve SEO. Hopefully one day, I will write a few of these down for you.

Techcraft September 15, 2010

Thank you. This is a great information, There are also a few well-funded start-ups coming into the space. I also understand that this space is not over saturated like consumer products.

syracuse website design September 16, 2010

Good write up. I haven’t seen a report like this before on what someone did for SEO and the results over time. It was nice to read.

Rob @ Spokane Web Designer September 22, 2010

This is a great thread to follow for point by point, step by step optimizing of the website. I appreciate that you didnt cheat by using an older domain other sites available to you for backlinks that others wouldnt normally have.

ColeStan September 23, 2010

You did a very tedious process, but I really like how you pointed all the important details (process) in your project. Like what Joe cited, it will be very helpful if you already have a site that already proved its worth. You can make use of it in order to improve your other sites.
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Maggie October 12, 2010

It’s amazing to know that you did actually have an update regarding your site optimization. I’m really impressed on how fast you achieved your 1st page ranking in Google. Keep it up!

Matthew@Web Hosting November 1, 2010

Good luck with this project – I really like the look and feel/professional aesthetic of your site and look forward to future installments on your blog.

I really appreciate that you’ve shared the break down of your projects… It gives me additional ideas.

John@Plymouth Web Design January 8, 2011

Very interesting and informative project write up. Viewing the SERPS it looks like you’ve done an excellent job. As it’s coming up for a year, it would be interesting to know how much ongoing SEO work you find you’re needing to do?
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Ben@San Jose SEO September 2, 2011

Not bad at all. Six months is not a lot of time, and it’s impressive that you hit the first page in that little time. I also offer SEO services, and am currently working on bringing my site up for “My City SEO”. I don’t actually mean the word “My City”, but the city I live in. I’ve hit the top of the 2nd page in about 25 days, and am working hard to get up there on the first page.

Michel @ Burn remedies September 22, 2011

Wow two months to get to first page for decent keywords is some good progress. But keyword research is probably going to be a key factor in making sure that you can attain rankings faster than usual.

There was an instant where I was able to get a keyword ranked on first page within a month because it was low competition (i.e 1000 exact searches)

Alex@Web Design Chicago November 24, 2011

Congrats very well executed project in just small amount of time. This proves that smart activities can get your rank high regardless of the competition.

violin March 7, 2012

Hi there would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a fair price? Thank you, I appreciate it!

miracleman12 March 8, 2012

Lightspeed httpd :) Please call us for any questions on hosting.



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