Running a small experiment…

A while ago I did a fun experiment just to challenge myself how good I actually am… And what would be a better keyword to prove yourself for than “SEO Services”? I am, after all, offering these services.

So let’s jump right into it!

 

Up to this day one of my biggest feats has been ranking #1 for “SEO Services” now, think for a moment, how many SEOs have potentially done this? How many can you count? What if I told you I did this in 1 year and with literally no budget? Unbelievable, but I am about to show and prove it with screenshots.

I did leave out a small part – this was done locally in a foreign country with a population of 1.3 million – Estonia but that is not to say that literally every marketing agency that provided services didn’t try to compete for that phrase. The competitors were ranging from small budgets to multinational franchise agencies.

Step by step process

I began with a fairly generic agency site that included a homepage, contact page and pages explaining the services I’m offering. Which was literally what everybody else was doing but I know I had to become better. I started with basics and I follow a “3-Part SEO Formula” that I preach to everybody I work with

  1. Step 1. I started out witch Technical SEO. I knew my site had to be lighting fast, mobile responsive, caching on point and score 95+ on Google Pagespeed InSights. This being a brand new site and fresh install, was very easy to achieve. Not going to go into more details on this one.
  2. Step 2. On-page. I knew I had to stand out. Most agencies just have an intro page for their services and that’s about it. I took my time and effort to write 1200+ words about specifically “SEO Services” and on top of that I created a 10 minute Youtube video about… you guessed it “SEO Services” that I also shared through social media and gained some traction and likes. Embedded the video and made sure to have my inter-linking on point. Top that off with some fairly generic SEO content and voila, in no time, I had more topical relevancy than any competitor. With these two steps alone I got into top15 within 6 months.
  3. Step 3. Off-page. I knew I needed to seriously pull off some magic to outrank the top funded agencies and no better way to do it than backlinks. I opted for white-hat and quality over quantity-strategy after having analyzed the backlink profiles of my competitors (quite bad but in their defense, in a market as small as Estonia, you don’t really have that much choice. Can’t even remember seeing a single SEO blogger before 2015).Here’s what I did: I had previously made quite the reputation for myself in the sales industry (part-time speaker, sales trainer gigs and occasional consulting) and reached out to the biggest Estonian business news publisher that had wanted to hire me a while ago (an offer which I actually refused, mind you) and proposed to write them an article in full depth how to integrate sales & SEO into a combining strategy to small and medium business owners.The news publisher was more than happy to accept the article and even offered to pay me a honorary fee for it. I refused and just asked for a do-follow article back to my page of “SEO Services” (domain.com/seo-services)  and with that whopping high quality, super relevant backlink alone I struck top 3 of first page within 10 months.
  4.  User retention, CTR and bounce rate. Three hugely overlooked aspects of content marketing. I made sure to include plenty of graphics, videos and easy to digest elements to keep the users longer on the site. With no offers, no ads, no pop-ups to just focus 100% on that specific page (“SEO Services”)

How long did it take?

You can take a look back at the domain registrar and see I actually started out with a brand new domain. It took me 6 months to rank top10 and took me precisely 12 months to rank #1 for “SEO Services”

The “Secret” Recipe

Ready? The secret is simple. I am not a very original guy and what I tend to base most of my strategies off is what the top 3 ranking guys are doing. Whatever they are doing, must be obviously working. So, I do what they do, combined, but better.

  • I evaluate their onpage efforts and give it a grade-rating on a 10 point scale and aim to do a better job than they do at it.
  • I move into their backlink profile and give it a simple rating as well (for example 4/10 for quantity and 8/10 for quality)
  • I assess their technical SEO and yet again, aim to do a better job than they do at it.

That’s it! Fundamental SEO.

 

Aftermath:

And finally. The proof (Through poor Google Translation of Estonian language, butchered the meta descriptions completely). I passed the domain ownership away at 2016 but all this is 100% provable through web archive indexing and while yes, the competition was nowhere close to my regular markets (US, UK, Spain) but how many people you know who have ranked #1 “SEO Services”, like seriously?

Ranking proof

 

 

And there you have it..

 

*insert CTA*