SEO Case Study: Month 7 Results

January 17, 2011 Posted by Tyler Cruz

Here is the first SEO case study report of the year, marking the 7th month of my SEO efforts.

I started these SEO case study reports back in mid-November, and now provide monthly updates on how my various SEO campaigns are faring.

If you haven’t seen them already, you can view the previous months here: Month 5 Results and Month 6 Results.

If you want to skip all the details and get straight to the results, scroll down to the last image, as it gives a fantastic overall summary of last month’s results.

You Bought Yourself 1 More Month Sir…

In my last update, I mentioned how I was on the fence about whether or not to continue with my main SEO freelancer.

I understand that SEO takes time, but 7 months is not exactly the blink of an eye, even in the world of SEO.

I was very close to finding a replacement (see below), but after seeing a good increase on one of my harder affiliate keywords, I decided I’d give him another month. I jumped from around 100th spot to around 60th spot on Google for the keyword, and on November 5th, I wasn’t even ranked at all for it!

Unfortunately, last week the keyword dropped back down to around 100, but seems to be slowly improving again (currently 85).

It’s kind of funny. You’ll read later on in this post how I have a much better overview of my campaigns. Before I had this improved overview, I actually thought that the last 30 days SEO-wise were pretty terrible, dropping slightly overall or staying around the same at best. But now that I have a good overview, I can see that last month actually wasn’t bad at all.  Pretty good, even.

So, it’s a good thing I didn’t jump the gun on “firing” my SEO guy… at least not yet.

And You Bought Yourself None

Early in the month, I was getting very frustrated with the lack of noticeable improvement on my keywords, and so had a fairly long conversation with a new possible SEO freelancer to take my current guy’s place.

He was recommended very highly to me from a friend who is having very good results with him, so I thought that my interview with him was really just a formality.

It turns out, however, that this guy was the most frustrating guy I’ve ever interviewed for a freelance job. He was extremely cocky, unprofessional, and just plain rude! He would say things such as “Listen buddy, I am the best at this…” and make assumptions on things without reading what I wrote (for example, he thought that I wanted the SEO done on my blog, and was ridiculing me for trying to target unrelated keywords on it).

So, I obviously didn’t hire him. I don’t know how my friend can stand him, heh.

SEO Firm Keywords Now Ranking

In my last update, I briefly mentioned how I hired a SEO firm for a couple of new keywords.

The 2 keywords are for my movie site and are EXTREMELY competitive, with a combined total of nearly 6 million exact searches on Google each month.

My campaign with the SEO firm started less than 2 months ago, but on January 9th, I started to rank for them!

Granted, they are only ranked 471 and 600 (dropped out of top 1,000 today) on Google, but remember that with this company I don’t have to pay them anything until I’m in the top 30, so it’s pretty much risk-free.

I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but I will be unveiling this company in a blog post soon so you guys can use them as well.

Month 6 Update

My last update gave the results up to December 14th, so in this report I will provide the stats from December 15th to January 16th.

Just a reminder that I am currently tracking 13 keywords across 2 search engines, so I won’t be able to focus on every single keyword, and will instead focus only on the ones that show the most change (good or bad).

Below is a rotating GIF comparing month 6 and month 7’s overall ranking positions:

1

While it may look like there was not really much improvement (if at all), it can be a bit deceiving. Be sure to keep reading…

Below is a graph of one of my main affiliate keywords that had a good spike for a while on Google. It dropped back down the past few days, but I’m hoping it will return to it’s previous level and spike again within another 4-8 weeks:

34

The two screenshots below are of the 2 keywords that are being handled by the SEO firm. Being ranked 500-600th is nothing to brag about, but it is free (for now) and they are very competitive:

3233 

SEO Income

Two months ago, my affiliate site brought in 5 leads, each worth approximately $60, making a total of roughly $300. This worked out to around a 14% conversion rate (from offer).

But last month, I oddly didn’t make a single lead! There were 27 clicks on my offer, so 14% should have brought me around 3-4 leads, but I guess the law of averages struck in full force.

Today, I finally got a lead after a 1-month dry spell, so it really gave me a much needed morale boost.

The means that I’m in the red SEO-wise for last month.

Awesome New Overview Chart

I’ve said it a number of times now, but I’ll say it again: I absolutely love RankTracker.

Watch my (already dated) screencast review of them here. If you’re doing ANY SEO at all, you’ll love this piece of software. I know I do.

Due to the large amount of customization options in Rank Tracker, I actually modified my layout halfway through writing this update so that I could give you guys a much better overview on how my campaigns fared.

I was originally going to revert back to my old layout after taking the screenshots for this post, but now that I see how useful the new layout is, I’m definitely going to keep it!

All I did was add 3 “difference” columns in each project, and temporarily changed the comparison date to 1 month and 3 months, as opposed to the previous run. What this allowed me to do was give a fantastic overview of my campaigns at a glance.

Below is screenshot of the rank changes from both 1 month ago and 3 months ago, as compared with today:35

I love it! Also, now that I’ve changed the comparison date back to compare from the previous run (the previous day), I can quickly see the overall results at a glance (as opposed to individually clicking on each keyword).

So, as you can see, last month was actually not as bad as I thought! Checking your improvement daily for individual keywords can be very misleading, so it’s awesome that I can easily take a step back and take in a better picture

In any case, I’ll be back with another SEO update report next month. Hopefully month 8 will see some nice improvement and bring in more than just 1 lead!

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Posted: January 17th, 2011 under SEO  

22 Responses to “SEO Case Study: Month 7 Results”

  1. Good to see you are still working on this and not gave up. It has potential for sure if you look at that ‘quick’ $300 made in 1 month.

    7 months is indeed a fairly long time. Track it as good as possible :)

  2. Dukeo says:

    This is definitely one of my preferred series on your blog, thanks for sharing! Already waiting for month 8 ;)

    I might also get RankTracker in the upcoming weeks/months thanks to you.

  3. Seo takes time and its important that you keep the path and one day you’ll wake up to massive traffic in your laps..I’m working on an competitive keyword myself and its moving up in a steady paste…

    BTW Tyler..Can you can contact me on my contact page..Its very important..I need your help.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  4. Yes, keep up with this SEO work and it’s bound to pay off. With SEO, all the backlinks you are building will snowball to eventually establish some decent rankings. There is also a lot you can do to contribute. So try to avoid the temptation of sitting back as others do the link building work.

  5. Those are interesting figures. I wonder what next month will bring. Hopefully your seo guy can continue to get your keywords to rise in rank. I am really curious about this company you are using as well.

  6. Jasmine says:

    This is a really interesting seo case study. Can’t wait to see how your sites will be doing next month, but I am sure next month you will do better than 1 lead!

  7. That certainly looks quite productive. Good on you for sticking with your SEO guy for a bit longer. It seems like it might be paying off. Let’s see if he can top it and by how much next month.

  8. Alexis says:

    What a good case study here. You are really thorough in your work which is good.Being in the top 30 willl not give you a good amount of traffic i think. I’ve noticed that first page is where the traffic and money is.

  9. Jason Boom says:

    I think you need a new SEO guy. Maybe all their work will gel and you’ll get a ton of movement in the coming weeks.

    I do SEO and if I gave results like that for my clients they wouldn’t be with me anymore.

  10. I learn a lot from you Tyler, please keep us posted on this. Thanks :)

  11. This is awesome – Studying is seriously the best way to let your mind learn these processes. I love the whole “case study” thing man, I do the same thing. I just found this blog, I’ll bookmark.

    RC

  12. Baby Center says:

    You do a good job at illustrating this stuff bro!

  13. One word of caution, your original SEO guy may have just started putting in more effort when you complained. It is common for freelance SEO guys to ride gradual rankings improvement without doing much regular work. Just because he suddenly made some progress this month, do not forget all the months of slow progress. If he is putting in sufficient effort, he should be able to keep approximately the same progress rate next month.

  14. I think you need a new SEO guy. Maybe all their work will gel and you’ll get a ton of movement in the coming weeks.

    I do SEO and if I gave results like that for my clients they wouldn’t be with me anymore.

  15. Thanks for telling me the keywords.I am getting into SEO and this helped a lot.

    Thanks A Lot,
    Bradley Nordstrom

  16. used tires says:

    I like some of the numbers for the less competitive keywords. As long as their is an improvement next month, then I would be happy with his results. My personal opinion though for being an SEO guy, 7 months feels too long, especially for the less competitive keywords.

    -Jean

  17. SEO is really measured in months. It took me 1 month just to rank a brand new site.

  18. teatree says:

    This is the first review I’ve read from the clients point of view when hiring an SEO firm. Most of the time you hear things from the SEO company’s side.

    Are they handling your on-page SEO as well as off-page? It will be interesting to see where this goes as Google keeps altering it’s algo – they seem to be in the middle of yet another tweak as we speak. You’d have to be an extremely good SEO firm to be able to handle all that.

  19. Tip says:

    Here’s an obvious tip: Good search engine marketers work for themselves, because they can make a ton of money and not have to deal with clients. Freelancers are not good enough to be working full-time on their own projects. They are the new snake oil salesmen.

  20. You’d do better to just learn SEO yourself and do it rather than contract someone. There’s a reason these people need clients. If they could truly make good money with SEO why not do it themselves – or – charge an assload to help people.

    That’s my 2 cents.

    Chris

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I do partially agree with you. I wonder the same thing about financial and investment advisers – if they are so smart, why are they giving other people advice for only $40-$50K a year salary?

      On the other hand, part of the reason I decided to try hiring SEO freelancers is because I know of other people who have, and are making good profit as a result… and I DID break even on Month 6, so there is potential there…

PeerFly

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