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How I Ranked in the Top Five for One of the Most Competitive Terms in the UK

First of all apologies for the lack of posting over the last couple of weeks, work has been busy and the World Cup has pretty much dominated my evenings :)

So now England have been dumped out shamefully I thought it might be a good idea to discuss something pretty positive that has happened to me over this World Cup period, I NOW RANK IN THE TOP 5 FOR ‘search engine optimisation’!!!

top rank

Now that I have gained a glory ranking I thought it might be a good idea to discuss how I got there. I work with clients daily that throw massive budgets at SEO and not surprisingly get results very quick, however my blog has had very little in terms of budget thrown at it and it goes to show you can make it to the top working cheap, the results will come a lot slower though.

Altogether it has taken me 18 months to position my website there; I did a lot of the work in the early stages and as my site has grown in trust the anchor text from article directories and blog carnivals have really started to count.

The truth is, in the last 3 months I have done very little link building with most of my links coming socially and none of them anchored with the target keyword (except maybe one site wide a fellow SEO kindly gave me).I genuinely believe working to a tight budget does not exclude you from achieving results as long as you’re consistent and gradually increase your investment.

Anyway enough bragging, what I want to do now is show you my exact approach to ranking SEO wizz where it currently is (4th ‘search engine optimisation’ 13th ‘seo’),

Quarter One

The first 3 months of any blog are painful, you spend 90% of your time writing and 10% reading, however there were a few fundamentals I wanted to achieve in the first Quarter, ones that I knew would see me well in the future;

- I wanted to create a hook, so I developed some tutorials, this would ensure a nice flow of natural links

- I wanted to have at least 20 posts optimised for long tail target keywords

- I made it a must to at least get one link back to each deep page/post

I knew things would be slow at first as I have created many affiliate blogs and they have all started the same way.

Quarter Two

My blog now had enough content and I could really let Google know it existed without risking the sandbox. The idea was to get as many links to the blog as possible with preferential anchor text.

- I decided to write 100 articles

- Submitted them through Article Marketer (Now content crooner)

- Mixed the anchor text between my main target keywords search engine optimisation, seo techniques, google seo, seo consultant, seo (All of which are now on the first page of Google bar ‘SEO’ however watch this space.)

This wasn’t about getting the blog to rank, it was more about building a bulk amount of links so that I could get new content indexed faster and give myself a little bit of an anchor text push.

Quarter Three

Traffic was now picking up; Google was beginning to give me a little authority so it was now time to turn up the heat. To do this I decided to write some posts that would ensure me a way of getting links in the long term, I am talking serious viral content.

There is an important definition to be made here, some people consider viral content as a way of driving masses of traffic, the problem is going viral on stumble (which I have done quite a few times) does not necessarily mean masses of links, in fact very often it doesn’t mean any. I wanted to create content that when people did find it they would link to it.

- I posted on Bing SEO vs Google and did a small case study (I rank no.1 for Bing SEO and gain new links every week with no effort)

- I posted about Link/Ranking correlation (Linked to by SEOmoz and has delivered 1000′s of visitors and recognition)

- I also completed a monster post on SEO content writing which ranks very highly and is still my third most visited page!!

This is the back bone of my website, the posts that give a return over the long period and not just an instant traffic boost. Every website should create this type of content/product/resource, something that is going to continually get new recognition.

Quarter Four

I was really beginning to rank well now but still needed more diverse links; I had some high quality links but needed a more diverse profile. To accomplish this I;

- Submitted to blog carnivals taking advantage of preferential anchor text

- Joined new forums adding my links in bio’s and signatures (not spamming, genuine forums)

- Attempted some cross linking with other bloggers (Didn’t particularly work)

The above gave me a better profile and pushed my PageRank to 4; however I was still sitting on the second page for some of my major terms.

Quarter Five

Now I had a diverse profile and some really good quality or high PageRank links, however it was time to bulk up the quantity, to do this I:

- Created some reciprocal link partners with good online buddies

- Commented on do follow blogs with ‘top commenter’ widgets (I stopped this as it didn’t really work)

The increase in the sheer quantity of links lifted me onto the first page of Google for a lot of terms; however I still needed to add something to the mix…

Quarter Six

I knew in order to reach the top five I need those ‘trusted’ links from websites long established on Google and the only way to do this was to grovel!

- I leveraged all my blogging connections and friends

- I offered links from my other sites in return for a link to SEO wizz

I only managed a few however these highly trusted links were very effective, pushing my website to the top of the tree!

You see??? No Magic, no ridiculous techniques just hard work and a smart well thought-out plan and anyone can do the same, given the right skills and commitment.

What’s my plan moving forward???

Well I can’t give everything away; however I will let you know when I’ve done it :)

Thanks to all who read, link to, promote and support SEO wizz, reaching the top wouldn’t have been possible without you guys.

Cheers

Line Break

Author: Tim (254 Articles)

is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 9 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Director of Search at Branded3, a Digital Marketing & SEO Agency based in the UK.

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{ 24 comments }

PotatoChef June 27, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Good to see you Tim…

A new blog of mine is now in its 6th month. When you say it is slow going at first you are not kidding.

I have yet to write anything that has taken off. By taken off I mean a post that has been linked to “naturally”.

But I have been writing massive amounts of guest posts on article directories that have the correct anchored text, and by correct anchored text I mean to my main keyword and to 10 longtail keywords.

I have been following quite a bit of what you talk about in this blog. I’m slowly starting to see results. You really need patience in this game.

searchbrat June 28, 2010 at 2:18 am

Nice work Tim, just a couple of questions on the above:

1. Articles: Did you write all 100 articles yourself. I am wondering if its just articles to be used for a tool like Content Crooner, are you still concerned about the quality of the article with a link back to your site or would you outsource these ?

2. How did you find Content Crooner, is it good for getting some deep links to posts ?

3. Did you ever try Guest Blogging ? I feel it’s a good way to get both traffic and links, but it’s really time consuming, especially when if you are struggling to write on your own blog :)

Well done again,

Thanks

Nathan L. June 28, 2010 at 5:03 am

Those competitive keywords are very difficult to get, expecially in industries related to search. Congrats!

BTW, your link to seoMOZ doesn’t work (links to seowmoz.org/blog)

Tim June 28, 2010 at 5:11 am

Cheers,

and I’ll get the link sorted

Tim June 28, 2010 at 5:16 am

Hi Pchef,

Some industries are slower than others and as Google’s algorithm constantly changes so does what you have to do to rank. If your struggling with a particular blog try throwing a site wide link at it, this normally gives it a jump, especially if you’ve been building editorial type links.

Tim June 28, 2010 at 5:24 am

Thanks Kieran,

To be honest I did outsource the articles for a while but the quality was so low most directories wouldn’t except them. I wrote them all myself from that point on. It is very good fro deep linking and for generally getting pages indexed.

I did a few guest blog posts in the early days I just struggled to put a good post anywhere else but on my own blog :) It does work in terms of brand awareness, I wouldn’t have said the links are particularly strong though.

It is just a case of continually working and switching up your strategies,

Marjorie S. June 29, 2010 at 6:15 am

Congrats, Tim! Your emphasis on quality content (and, consequently, quality online relationships) and honest, straightforward hard work is so refreshing. No magic! Just great content and hard work. As a writer, I always love to see SEO strategists embracing creating and sharing great content as a driving strategy.

Thanks for the tip on Contentcrooner.com – any other article marketing tips or resources you’d like to share? I recently came across contributecontent.com, an upstart article submission site I’ve found valuable for building links with targeted anchor text (they allow max. 3 follow per article).

Tim June 29, 2010 at 9:02 am

Hi Marjorie,

Thanks for your comments. Articles are a funny one, on their own your not going to rank but they are great for getting that important anchor text. I like using articlewizard to be honest, I don’t use it for my home page but it’s very good for building quality links to your deep pages.

You’ve just got to keep trying new things out, constantly changing your approach to link building.

Aaron June 29, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Great job Tim!

Keep up the good work and I hope your site ranks #1 soon. I still do not see why Wikipedia has to have that spot anyway.

Tim June 30, 2010 at 6:27 am

Thanks Aaron, appreciate the support :)

Stephen M July 15, 2010 at 8:50 am

Great post and well done Tim- I’ve read this back several times for all the useful information! It just shows what can be achieved with hard work.

Tim July 16, 2010 at 12:43 am

Thanks Stephen,

Appreciate your comments.

SEO Essex July 20, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Very comprehensive post sir! Your step by step account in how you achieved your status serve both as an inspiration and a guideline on how to be successful in this field of work.

Robert May July 21, 2010 at 12:45 am

great article. I have written and submitted a few articles but so far none have been hugely distributed or read. I check the article stats and they are low, I need to start writing some more exciting content I think.

Tim July 21, 2010 at 12:56 am

Hi Robert,

When it comes to articles I have never had much success in terms of driving traffic from them, however the key is to keep them as clean and unique as possible that way they will be picked up and published easier.

Tim July 21, 2010 at 12:57 am

Thanks appreciate your comments.

Mark August 10, 2010 at 12:40 am

It’s an interesting deep comprehensive post,
Thanks for the sharing

Milagros Fernandez August 18, 2010 at 12:12 am

When you do the right thing, it can’t go wrong.
Thanx for the tips.

Lloyd Seaburg October 26, 2010 at 1:32 pm

That was a awesome write-up. I don’t agree with each and every single thing that you said but still great nonetheless. On a side note, I am so glad that the NFL is back. It seems like I been waiting forever. This has to be my favorite time of the year. Sorry, I’m rambling. lol

Essex SEO January 20, 2011 at 4:23 am

Thanks for sharing, some good advice here.

What type of search did you do as I can’t find you, I know its been a while since you posted this blog but are you still showing up on page 1?

Maybe I can’t find you due to Googles location search results?

Would be interested to know what type of work you have had to put in to remain at the top.

Tim January 20, 2011 at 5:44 am

Around October last year, I decided to clean up my link profile, this meant getting rid of some of the links that put me in that position. Since then the rankings have dropped, to be honest it never delivered that much in terms of traffic and was more of a glory ranking.

Essex SEO January 20, 2011 at 6:17 am

Wow thanks for coming back to me.

Chris February 8, 2011 at 11:16 am

Nice Article, I guess even though “search engine optimisation” is a highly competitive key word there is little traffic to be gained from it.

The techniques you used I’m sure can be used for other sites within a niche with a much higher conversion rate though.

Thanks,

Essex SEO February 10, 2011 at 2:17 am

I’m also coming to realise this, my main keyword for my website just doesn’t pull in the correct traffic but my customers seem to expect me to be at the top for Essex SEO even though that is not what they searched for to find me.

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