SEO Case Study –

Search engine traffic is by far my favorite type of traffic; it’s free, the users convert well to sales and advertisement clicks, and you can work towards goals like ranking for specific keywords. In this case study I will explain every step I have taken to bring from 0 to 400 search engine visitors per day in just over one month.

Google Analytics Keywords Report

Keyword Research

If you are hoping to receive traffic from search engines, you need to be targeting keywords which people actually search for – the tool I prefer to use for keyword research is Keyword Discovery. Before deciding to the buy the domain I only knew that I wanted to develop a website providing wallpapers so I searched for the term ‘wallpapers’ in KeywordDiscovery. The most searched for ‘wallpapers’ phrases are ‘wallpapers’, ‘anime wallpapers’, ‘psp wallpapers’, ‘free wallpapers’ and ‘naruto wallpapers’.

Keyword Discovery Keywords

Targeting the keyword ‘wallpapers’ might seem appealing with 500,000 searches per month but it will be highly competitive, I like to choose topics with moderately high searches but reasonably low competition. To find out the competition of each key phrase I search for the phrase in Google and look at the ‘Results 1 – 10 of about 2,230,000 for naruto wallpapers’ section. For the top 5 key phrases listed above, ‘wallpapers’ has 88 million competitors – far too many, ‘free wallpapers’ has 8 million – a bit much, and ‘anime wallpapers’ ‘psp wallpapers and ‘naruto wallpapers’ have 3 million – decent. Anime, PSP and Naruto have nice searches per month with achievable search engine rankings since the phases aren’t enormously competitive. Of the three I chose ‘Naruto Wallpapers’ since it seems interesting.

Based on the niche I decided on above I bought the domain Having the target keywords in the domain is nice and has some SEO benefit.

More Keyword Research

Each of the sub-pages must target other key phrases within the niche so I return to KeywordDiscovery and this time rather than search for ‘wallpapers’ I search for ‘naruto wallpapers’. The results this time give you ideas for what pages you should create. Naruto is a cartoon series so I created sub-pages for each character in the series, once again searching in KeywordDiscovery for ‘(character name) wallpapers’. Each time I want to create a new sub-page I find the optimal keywords to target through KeywordDiscovery.

Optimizing the Pages

After you’ve decided on the target key phrases for your pages you should make sure then each page includes its respective key phrase in the page title, the URL and the page content. The website I developed for is database driven so each wallpaper has a separate sub-page with an auto-generated page title, ‘(character name) wallpaper’.

Getting Indexed

Once the website is up and running you will want to have the pages included in the search engines, to make things simple I will refer to just Google. Google doesn’t index your website unless it finds other websites linking to it, I will discuss building backlinks in the next section. Google does have a submission page but I see no good reason to use it; if you have backlinks you will be added to the index automatically.

Having backlinks pointing towards your website will get your homepage indexed along with some sub-pages but to get all of your sub-pages indexed you should create a sitemap, a sitemap is a file listing all of your pages. There are two main types of sitemap, the HTML Sitemap and the XML Sitemap, both will help to get all of your sub-pages indexed but I prefer the XML Sitemap. After you’ve created your sitemap you should submit it to Google Webmaster Tools to help them find your sitemap.

Building Backlinks

As I said above, building backlinks will help to get your pages indexed but the main benefit of backlinks is that they improve your search engine rankings. The benefit of a backlink depends mainly on two things, the quality of the website linking to you and the anchor text of the link. As an example, in the link Naruto Wallpapers ‘Naruto Wallpapers’ is the anchor text so this backlink will help the website I am linking to rank for the key phrase ‘Naruto Wallpapers’.

To build backlinks to a new website I start by contacting similar websites asking if they would like to link to your website or if they would like to exchange links with you. To find potential websites to contact I search Google for something like naruto inurl:contact.php. Each related website that links to you helps to boost your search engine rankings.

Another method of backlink building is blog commenting or forum posting, if your website is relevant to the discussion you can give your link. Make sure you only display your link if it useful though, otherwise it is spam.

Social bookmarking websites like Digg and StumbleUpon can also provide backlinks. Social bookmarking can also be a good traffic source if your website is very useful or interesting.

Wait, Wait, Wait

As you saw in the first image it took 1 week for 1 week to start receiving traffic from search engines and 3 weeks to see any substantial traffic. This is nothing to worry about, it’s because the search engine spiders take a while to find all of the backlinks pointing towards your website although some people may blame this delay to the sandbox effect, I don’t believe in the sandbox effect, I think it’s simply a delay while the spiders find the backlinks. While you’re waiting you might like to create some more keyword targeted content.

Statistics and Traffic Tracking

To find out which keywords are bringing you visitors a tracking program is necessary, my two favorite programs are AwStats and Google Analytics both of which are free. The first image was part of the Google Analytics package.

As you can see in the first image, the main key phrases bringing me traffic are ‘naruto wallpaper’, ‘naruto wallpapers’, ‘akatsuki wallpapers’ and so on. Once you know which key phrases are bring in the traffic you will want to find out what you rank for each phrase, to do this I use the Digital Point Keyword Tool which lets you track your rankings on a daily basis. If you find a keyword ranking in the top 11-20 you should work to improve your rankings for this term, you will receive far more traffic for a top 10 ranking than a rank 11-20 and there’s not a huge amount of work involved with improving from rank 11-20 to top 10. At the moment I am ranking 11-20 for ‘Naruto Wallpapers’ so once I reach top 10 the search engine traffic will increase a lot.


Once the above steps are complete the only thing left to do is repeat them until you reach your desired rankings and traffic. Do further keyword research and create new sub-pages based on this research, keep optimizing your pages and keep building backlinks to the homepage and sub-pages. If your website is of high enough quality your backlinks will grow naturally, you won’t need to do much more backlink building.

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment