SEO Case Study: Month 8 Results

February 20, 2011 Posted by Tyler Cruz

I’m a few days late in posting this, but here’s an update on my SEO rankings for the 8th month.

I know that a lot of you really look forward to this SEO case study series, even if it is only once a month. I look forward to it too. I still, without fail, run RankTracker manually every night at 12:01am to see what improvement (hopefully) my sites show in rankings. It’s one of the small things I look forward to everyday. You can also follow this Guide to Self Storage SEO as it would be a worthwhile investment we got to work .

Month 8 of my SEO efforts (efforts being paying other people and checking my stats) saw very mixed results due to Google Ad strategy for new leads, which makes it very difficult in deciding whether to keep my current SEO freelancer or hire a different one.

I started these SEO case study reports back in mid-November of 2010, 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, Month 6 Results, and Month 7 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.

SEO Firm Keywords are Taking Off

In my last couple of updates, 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.

I’ve only been using them for around 3 months now, but yesterday my 2 keywords with them were ranked #119 and #270 (dropped out of top 1,000 today) on Google! That may not sound too great, but remember how competitive they keywords are, and it has only been 3 months so far. I’m really interested to see what happens in the next month.


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 know that I’ve been promising to write a blog post revealing what this company is, and I will keep that promise. Just give me a little bit more time… I’ll have it up soon, I swear!

Month 8 Update

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).

First off, apart from my 2 SEO Firm keywords, my other 2 movie keywords did poorly during the past month, dropping 13 and 9 spots on Google. What sucks is that I’ve basically been hovering around the same rank since I hired my SEO freelancer 8 months ago.

When I asked him about this he said that it’s because there are now more websites in the index for my targeted terms – which is true, and my keywords are competitive, but I don’t know how much longer I can keep paying for this non-improvement on my movie site.

Fortunately, my affiliate keywords fared better, and those actually matter more since they bring in direct income.

One of my keywords (graph below), saw good improvement, slowly and steadily climbing. Such a consistent gradual improvement is rather rare in SEO, from what I have witnessed so far. Usually, improvement has more of a staircase effect. Today, I saw a new record for this keyword, hitting #6 on Google. If I can make it to #1, I should be able to make good money off this keyword. Here’s hoping.


The following keyword is my main keyword. It’s not the best targeted, but has good traffic. I didn’t set a new record this month, but the good news is that I came close, only 5 spots off a new record. I’m still going to need to hit at least second page before I can see any traffic from this keyword though:


A few days ago, this keyword set a new record, hitting 16th spot on Google, but dropped down a bit since then. This was my best converting keyword by far when I ran this campaign on PPC, and it gets decent traffic, so if this keyword can get into the top 5, I should be able to make good money from it:40

SEO Income

In month 6, my affiliate site brought in 5 leads from SEO efforts, each worth approximately $60, making a total of roughly $300. In month 7, it brought in only 1 lead.

Last month, month 8, it brought in only 2. That means that the site only brought in around $120, putting me in the red again this month.

But SEO is an investment, and I’m hoping for things to improve in month 9. I’ve actually been checking my PeerFly stats numerous times a day lately to check if a new lead has come in since I’m beginning to rank well for a few keywords now.

Overview Chart

I’ve said it many times now, but I’ll say it again: I absolutely love RankTracker. I wouldn’t be able to track my keywords and improvement over time anywhere CLOSE to as well as I do now without it. I know, because I struggled to before I bought it.

Watch my (already dated) screencast review of them here (they’ve already come out with many new features and improvements since I did that video). If you’re doing ANY SEO at all, you’ll love this piece of software. I know I do.

Below is an overview chart of the rank changes on both of my sites from both 1 month ago and 3 months ago, as compared with today:


In my next update, I may be able to show the difference of 6 months instead of 3, as I think I’ll have been using RankTracker for that long by them.

I also just sent in a request for them to allow me to select an exact date rank when comparing improvement.

Stay tuned for my next SEO Case Study update post to see how my rankings improve (hopefully)!

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Posted: February 20th, 2011 under SEO  

38 Responses to “SEO Case Study: Month 8 Results”

  1. Dino Vedo says:

    How many links do you add per day?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      What do you mean? I don’t do any SEO work myself…

      • Dino Vedo says:

        Oh I see, have you been monitoring on the links that your SEO service is doing for your sites? You can check your amount of backlinks and compare it every day to see how many they are adding. Maybe if you can get more links per day you can rank even faster…. just a thought!

    • Dukeo says:

      looks like someone is skimming way too many blog posts each day and doesn’t read enough before commenting 😉

      • Kent Allen says:


        Almost my exact thoughts. The downside of setting an artificial target for blog comments in a day is that it almost encourages commenting without really putting in the requisite thought (ie, fake/worthless/boring comments)

        As for the “secret” SEO firm mentioned in the post… while they are still pretty far removed from the Top 30 ranking required for them to get paid… it looks to me like they might actually come through in the next couple months, assuming they can keep up with their momentum. Top 30 for a competitive term takes sustained effort though.

      • He might have a point, though. Tyler should probably monitor the backlinks his SEO firm is supposed to be building. And since he already uses Rank Tracker, a great tool to monitor backlinks would be SEO SpyGlass, from the same company.

  2. Dukeo says:

    I’m always eagerly waiting for the seo case study post. Thanks again for sharing this info.

    It’s a good lesson for the people who are used to play around with paid traffic. SEO takes time, and apparently a lot of it…

    Patience and a little bit of faith 😉

  3. Hi Tyler Look forward your next seo case study post!! thanks for sharing this tips!!

  4. I just love the way you approach this task and the way that you explain it to others. I’ve been doing similar tasks on my own sites. However, I didn’t know that your analysis tools existed. I’m going to get me some, today!

  5. Hi Tyler I’ve been lurking about and enjoying your SEO reports. And when you say it’s “an investment” you aren’t kidding based on your results. From the looks of things the SEO firm you hired (for no cost up front) is doing quite well in comparison to the freelancer.

    For the affiliate sites that are making you money, you mentioned going into the red, however all in all at this time do you feel that they are meeting your expectations in terms of ranking over time?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I have mixed feelings. In many ways, I am disappointed with the results since I was originally told it would take around 6 months to rank in the top 10 for all my affiliate keywords. And I haven’t seen any real improvement on my movie keywords since month 2 or 3!

      On the other hand, my affiliate keywords ARE starting to rank well, albeit slowly over time, and the thing is that I’m SO close to profiting from the campaign… I just need to see more improvement. That’s what makes it difficult… because I’m so close but I just hope I’m not chasing a carrot on a string, you know?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Yes, but then again, the SEO company is only doing 2 keywords, and the freelancer is doing 10. Once (if) I get in the top 30 for the SEO company keywords, I’ll be paying around the same amount for those 2 that I am for all 10 of the freelancer keywords… so that is something to keep in mind.

  6. Ajay says:

    It feels really nice to see your efforts paying off.. Just like you even I track my site’s ranking everyday before turning off my PC

  7. 6 million exact searches.. a #1 listing would make??

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      No, around 6 million searches for both keywords total, and that is the total number that people search for on Google. #1 usually gets around a 30% CTR, so off 1 keyword at #1 spot you could estimate around 900,000 hits a month, or 30,000 a day.

      That’s why even if I rank on the second page, I should be seeing some good traffic still.

      The only downside is that the keyword isn’t a profitable keyword… that is, it’s good for traffic, but isn’t an affiliate-type keyword.

  8. Spy Cameras says:

    Great post Tyler makes for some interesting reading

    If you don’t mind me asking are you also going for super long tail keywords that you can rank top 3 very easily?

  9. It is really interesting to see how all of this is unfolding. I am still thinking you may need to give your seo guy a bit of time for his work to become more apparent, you know seo doesn’t happen over night usually.

  10. I think everyone has good and bad months in income.

  11. Hi Tyler, Is it Rankpay you use for your on site SEO work?. I haven’t seen any updates on your blog for the Robowars for quite a time, I’ve been following with interest for quite a time.Could you please post an update.

  12. SEO says:

    Links monitoring is definitely a thing worth consideration.

  13. Paul says:

    Wow, there is definitely a good trend in your rankings.

  14. Paul says:

    What is that keyword tracker software you use and what does it cost?

  15. SEO is great though because the income keeps on coming in for years!

  16. James says:

    I have to say Tyler, I think you are getting ripped off by your freelancer. Not only that but what is with targeting 2 keywords for the whole site? You will see less progress for your effort unless you diversify your link portfolio anchors.

    My network of sites does about 2-3 million page views each month and I run a broad range of sites from thin affiliate ones to massive authorities. You need to take a look at the guy you are hiring and you also need an expert to at least create you a sound blueprint for you to outsource for. Too many people think SEO is just about link volume, this is so untrue.

  17. […] SEO Case Study: Month 8 Results – 6 million exact Google searches per month…wow! […]

  18. 8 months is certainly a long time, and since you are paying your freelancer, consider checking up on him/her when you can. I hired a freelancer and was ripped off in the end, as I found out he was doing basically nothing. The reports I would get from him each week, was completely made-up. Just a heads up! 🙂

    By the way, the fact that you will be paying just as much money for both campaigns is not bad.

  19. After looking back at this study i am really interested in seeing how it all pans out.

  20. Hey Tyler,
    Is it really worth outsourcing SEO, I mean yeah a person like you should do it, as you got a lot of stuff goin on..
    But for an intermediate with around 5-7 blogs is it really worth paying that much.

  21. If you have time, doing it yourself is good too 🙂

  22. paul says:

    Do you also advertise on google adwords for these keywords?

  23. Great stats I love it. So you outsource your seo work? I also do too…. I think finding cheap seo services can do a lot of good to you.

  24. p90x says:

    Thanks for the case study Tyler. I think you will eventually rank well for your movie keywords, it just takes forever. Seems like a good deal you have that you only pay once those two keywords hit the top 30. I will check out RankTracker, sounds like a great program to track your keywords overtime. I have been looking for an accurate keyword tracker for sometime now.

    – Robert

  25. DUB turbo says:

    An SEO company that only wants payment when a site/page hits the top 30 results? That sounds like a good deal, assuming one has the funds to pay them for all of their hard work. The idea of having someone else push your website up the rankings while you sit and wait seems too good to be true on one hand and nerve wracking on the other.

    Even if the company can put your site in the top five or better for a certain keyword, I would think the end result would not be that fulfilling, considering they did the work. Making money is good, but making money after putting in the work is better, no?

    – Andrew

  26. You outsource your SEO work? Hmmm I’m guessing SEO agencies/companies are better than freelancers. What do you think?


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