What Does an SEO Company Do?

You’ve no doubt heard a lot about the importance of SEO and an effective online presence to the success of a business. SEO, or search engine optimization, increases your visibility to Google and other search engines, which in turn increases the likelihood that internet searches will lead potential new customers to you.

For most business owners, the wisest move is to turn to the experts in the field by hiring an SEO company to optimize their website. A good SEO company has knowledge and experience that will allow you to quickly improve your page ranking

But what will an SEO company actually do for you? If you hire them, what does your money get you? And what can you expect for your company’s website?

On Your Website

The first facet of a good SEO overhaul takes place on your company’s website. Your SEO team should analyze several factors, including you in the process as they make changes.

Keyword Optimization

Keywords are topics and phrases that summarize your content. One way to think of keywords is as the phrase a person might type into a search engine. Working together with you, an SEO company will define several keywords for your site. The company will then carefully embed those words or phrases throughout your site, both in the content visitors to the site can read and in the code. A good SEO company will be able to do this without changing the message or content quality of your site.

Crawl Analysis

On a regular basis, an SEO company will analyze how search engines are crawling your website. Things like good site architecture contribute to how search engines view your site, so your SEO company will help you get organized and stay that way if necessary. Your team will also help make sure that the crawl is picking up the areas of your site you most want visible and placing them front and center. If this isn’t happening as it should, an SEO company will help make the necessary modifications to your site to correct the problem.

Content Creation

Your website will get more attention from search engines if you’re producing content on a regular basis, and your SEO company understands that. Maintaining a blog or newsletter on top of all your other responsibilities is a time consuming proposition. An SEO company will develop regular content to post on your site, featuring your keywords.

Off Your Website

On the wider web, there are plenty of important things that can help strengthen your company’s SEO. It’s not enough to have a robust page—it also has to be well connected.

Link Building

A huge part of SEO is link building—developing a network of links from other websites that lead back to yours. If your site is an island, search engines won’t want to send people there. But if it is part of a strong chain, you come across as authoritative and legitimate. An SEO company will work to exchange links between your site and others, as well as making sure the content your site is publishing is strong enough to merit linking by others in your industry.

Reporting

Your SEO company should be keeping you abreast of exactly what impact their actions are having on your company and what their plan is going forward. When making a choice of who to hire, make sure you ask about reporting. You want to receive a regular overview that tells you exactly what your money is gaining your company. You also want an opportunity to make your voice heard and ask any questions you may have. Communication is key.

Bringing in an SEO company can make all the difference to the success of your website. Position yourself to be seen online by turning to the experts today.


How Is Search Engine Optimization Done?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a tool you can and should be using to gain visibility for your website. When used correctly, SEO will increase site rankings on search engines. Because search engines are the primary way people find information they’re looking for on the internet, these increased rankings will increase traffic to your site and boost your visibility. It is fair to say, therefore, that good SEO is vital to a successful online presence and cannot be ignored.

But if you are new to SEO, the task may seem extremely daunting. How can you best position your site to be ranked highly by a computer algorithm? It is a complicated process, to be sure, but there are a few things you can do that will make a difference.

Keywords

Keywords might more accurately be referred to as key phrases, since effective ones usually consist of a string of words. What those words ought to be is a complicated puzzle. You must consider the product you’re trying to market and the people to whom you wish to sell. What phrases might they enter into a search engine if they were looking for your product or service?

An important facet of choosing keywords is that you want a phrase for which you’re able to rank highly. If you own a small independent bookstore, simply using the word “bookstore” is unlikely to work—your ranking will never compete with that of the big chains. A phrase like “used bookstore in [Your City]” is much more likely to get traction and get you noticed.

Once you’ve got your keywords selected, you want to give them a presence on your site. Embed them in both the front end content and in the back end, in the title and meta description of your page. Be careful not to simply stuff in keywords at the expense of coherent writing, though. Not only does this make your page look sloppy to viewers, but search engines can also tell when a creator has done something like this and will penalize you for it.

Link Building

Because the structure of the internet is a web, connectivity between your site and other related sites is highly important to your SEO. We call the process of establishing this connectivity link building. Google has stated that link building is one of the most important factors when establishing site rank.

You can get started establishing links for your page by including a lot of links on your site to external relevant sources. As you do this, it’s important to select sites with high authority to link to. You can use tools like Ahrefs to measure the authority rank of any site on the internet and weed out the lower ranking ones. You also want to make sure the sites you link to are highly relevant to your own site’s interests. If you are a bookstore, it doesn’t help you very much to link to a website offering plumbing services.

The second step to link building is establishing backlinks—links from other sites to yours. The best way to do this is by creating great content and marketing it well. If you get it in front of the right people, they are likely to include links to it on their own site.

Call in the Experts

When it comes to a successful SEO campaign, keywords and link building are just the beginning. You’ll also want to conduct a review of your site to make sure it’s structured to be crawled by search engines, and if it isn’t in good shape, you’ll want to overhaul it. You’ll also need to ensure that a mobile optimized version of your site is available, since that’s something Google favors. And there are numerous small tweaks that can be made to any site to increase its search ranking.

To take full advantage of your SEO opportunity, consult with a team of experts. We can’t wait to put our experience to work for you!

 

 


Award Winning SEO: 3 Years in A Row

Firestarter SEO has been awarded Top SEO Agency 3 years in a row by Upcity.




Local Sponsorship Marketing

In online business, local sponsorship marketing often gets overlooked in favor of other marketing methods and platforms. However, even small businesses can benefit from using it – especially those in the Denver area who want to boost their brand visibility and recognition. Local sponsorship marketing can work hand in hand with Denver SEO efforts to help your business grow.

What is Local Sponsorship Marketing?

When you visit your local high school football stadium, everywhere you look there’s a sign that highlights a local business. That’s one form of local sponsorship marketing. You can sponsor events with businesses related to yours, sponsor little league teams, donate money to an organization to have something built – such as a park or a monument, and so on.

The good thing about local sponsorship marketing is there are often opportunities at various levels, so even small businesses with little revenue can get in on the action. How do you find these opportunities?

Finding Sponsorship Opportunities

  • Join platforms like SponsorMyEvent. These platforms connect events and businesses who are interested in sponsoring. Similar platforms include SponsorPark, SponsorPitch, and Sponseasy.
  • Look at events in your local area. Contact them and inquire about sponsoring future events.
  • Look at your competition to see what kinds of things they are sponsoring and follow their lead.

And of course, you could include a page on your website that lets others know you’re willing to sponsor events, bloggers and influencers, and so on. Include a contact form so people who are looking for sponsors can easily get in touch with you.

Remember, as you would expect the event or team you’re sponsoring to provide information about what you get from it as a sponsor, you should be ready to provide clear guidelines on the contributions you’re willing to make, and what you hope to get in return. Be prepared to offer multiple levels of sponsorship options.

 Why Should Your Business Consider It?

There are multiple benefits to Denver local sponsorship marketing, including:

  • Advertising
  • Logo on signage/clothing
  • Social media mentions (grow your fan base)
  • Links to your website in email newsletters
  • Booth at events
  • Media spots – newspaper, TV, radio
  • Verbal recognition
  • Speaking opportunities at events
  • Networking opportunities at events
  • Guest posts on organization’s blog

How Does it Help Your Online Presence?

Local sponsorship marketing in Denver helps SEO in a number of ways:

  • More traffic to your website
  • More links to your website
  • More people talking about your brand on social media
  • More likes and followers on your social media page

All of these things indirectly affect your SEO efforts. Google, and other search engines, pay attention to the traffic you’re getting, because the more traffic you’re getting, the more people are finding what they are looking for with you – in most cases. If you’re getting a lot of traffic but they bounce off your website quickly, this can backfire, so make sure you’re able to follow through on what you promise your website visitors.

Google also looks at the links to your website and where they are coming from. The more links you have, the better, as long as they are coming from related websites and from numerous domains. When people link to you, it’s a good thing, but if the links are from spam websites, it’s not.

When people are talking about you on social media, it expands your reach, as people you may not have been able to target through ads are now exposed to the posts that mention your name. When this happens, you may see an increase in your social following and interaction. Google also factors social signals into your overall ranking.

While you may not see an immediate change in your ranking because of your participation in local sponsorships, in the long run, they can provide a great boost to your efforts.

What to Expect

If you’re looking for immediate results, local sponsorship options are not the best choice. Because these campaigns take one to three months to execute, they should be part of your longer term marketing strategy. If you need immediate results, increase your PPC ad budget.

Also, don’t expect to be able to use a one-size-fits-all approach, as there are many different opportunities with vast diversity. Look for opportunities that align with your brand and can help you reach your goals, rather than going for just anything you can find and afford. You’ll end up with a much better return on your investment that way.

Here are Firestarter SEO, we know the value of local sponsorship marketing, and are willing to help you navigate it as part of your overall online marketing plan. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how to leverage our Denver SEO alongside local sponsorships to help your business grow.

 

Photo credit: StockUnlimited


How to Use Local SEO to Build Engagement?

As a local business, it’s important to step up your game if you want to get online visibility. Competition is getting more fierce and your website isn’t the only piece of the puzzle anymore. You need to focus on optimizing for local search and use local engagement tactics to help you get better online visibility. Hiring us is a great way to start, but working alongside us can help you get results faster.

Local SEO and Google AI

Before getting started, let’s take a second to discuss the relatively new connection between local search optimization and Google Assistant, or Google AI. Google has announced augmented reality (AR) will be added to Google Maps. Once you open the Google Maps app, you will be able to transfer to a first-person view of Maps with Street View to become more familiar with new locations. The new walking mode update will also allow for an augmented fox to help guide you through the unknown.

Maps are also getting new features aimed at increasing engagement, such as the “For You” tab. Inside this tab, users will find local restaurant recommendations based on what is trending in the immediate vicinity. Google will also be added a “match score” created with machine learning, to identify which places a user prefers based on their local geo-footprint and their past search behavior. This is designed to provide recommendations users will enjoy.

Businesses will also have more options to create user engagement with their Maps profile – where they now have Events, Google Posts, and Offers, there will also be the option to add more video, and include calls to action for booking appointments or ordering online.

Google Lens will also boost efforts because it won’t be hiding inside Google Assistant and Google Photos. With the increased functionality, we’ll now have smart text selection, style match, and real-time results, so customers can get more from their search results before choosing which establishment to interact with.

Start with the Google Knowledge Panel

If you don’t already have a Google My Business account, you need one right now. It’s what allows you to have control over how your business displays in Google’s search results when people are searching for you. However, it’s important to know that Google says simply verifying your business does not guarantee that it will appear in an outage panel. While verifying your business is important, concentrate on offering your customers the best possible service.

Google’s Knowledge Panel will offer a lot of information if you are able to show up on it. When you search for a business, you may see information regarding that searched Topic in a box that appears on the right side of the search results. This is known as the knowledge panel and is instrumental in helping customers to discover and reach your business. Inside the knowledge panel, customers will be able to find things like your website, directions, operating hours and more.

It’s also possible Google will include your business in a broad or knowledge panel that will suggest businesses that are in the neighborhood. You could be featured as part of a few listings with your reviews. Customers can then read more about your business by clicking on it.

Whether or not your business is featured in the relevance, and your business Providence. For instance, if someone is searching for a coffee shop and you are not a coffee shop in the area, you won’t show up in the knowledge panel.

The best way to have any kind of control over the information that is displayed is to make sure your Google my business profile is verified. Google often uses this source for information when putting together its knowledge panels. Make sure the information is not only current but is as complete as possible.

Look at Your Google My Business Timeline

Start monitoring your Google My Business Timeline. Google has now released the Q&A feature that allows people to ask questions about your business. However, business owners don’t get notified. This is why it is an important feature to pay attention to. Many of your prospective customers are already reaching out to you so all you need to do is respond.

Encourage Your Customers to Leave Reviews for Your Business on Their Preferred Platform

While encouraging customers to leave reviews on Google is important, it is not the only platform where people will leave reviews for your business. Instead of pushing one platform over the other, advertise several different options and allow your customers to choose the one they want to use. Focus on providing absolutely stellar customer service and you may find your customers are leaving reviews for your business on multiple platforms.

Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for reviews. Make sure that you are paying attention to the best review sites for your locality or your niche. For instance, if you are in the construction or interior design niche, you may be better served by having your customers review your products and services on Porch, Angie’s List, and Houzz.

Use a Custom Trackable Link to Provide Directions to Your Business

Do you need to provide directions to help customers find your location? Create a custom link and place it on your contact page, footer, and Confirmation emails. When someone clicks the link to your driving directions, it is considered an engagement signal which will help boost your overall ranking and improve your SEO.

Automate Engagement With Your Prospects

Use a service like Zapier to set up your major search terms. Set up a zap so that when anyone mentions the keywords in a certain radius of your location, you can tweet them a coupon or a discount to encourage them to visit your business.

Wrap-Up

The tips provided in this blog post will only be helpful to you if your website is easy for your Target audience to use. It’s important to remember that not everyone has the same computer skills and if you make navigating your website difficult for your users, they will choose someone else. Feel free to reach out with to us today to discuss your options for improving your local SEO in and around the Denver area.


How Can I Target Multiple Cities With the Same Website?

Local SEO

Part of building the best, most useful website is making sure it reaches your entire customer base. SEO is a wonderful tool to help you do that, particularly local SEO keywords that target your customer base. If yours is a small business operating within a region that spans multiple cities, it may have occurred to you that potential customers are conducting web searches for services in their city specifically. Thus, including a city name in an SEO keyword is often a good idea.

But this raises an issue. You don’t want to alienate members of one city by focusing on another. You want all your site’s content to reach everyone. How can you optimize your site for the multiple cities within your region?

Create Individual Location Pages

When you claim a location with Google My Business, it’s essential to create a landing page for that location to link back to. You should also make sure the location landing page links to the Google My Business location page. Ensure that your landing pages are exceptional by including tags in various places throughout – this will increase their visibility to search engines.

These pages should not be carbon copies of each other, with nothing but the name of the city changed. Google catches on to that, and it might even end up harming your SEO. Instead, try to come up with ways to differentiate the pages that specifically focus on the city in question. There are a number of ways to do that:

  • Cultural touchstones. Reference something everyone in town knows about, like a local sports team or a popular museum. It doesn’t need to be relevant to the product you’re selling. It’s just a good way of letting the city’s residents know that you really did create this page with them in mind; that it’s not just a copy/paste job.
  • City history. Go back to the founding of the town. Even a casual reference to this can let page readers know you really are writing for them.
  • Common problems. What issues do residents of the city face? Is it cold there? Is it hard to grow plants? Is there something your company can do to help?
  • Find the way you relate. No matter what else there is to say about the town, there’s a reason your business serves them so successfully. Even if that reason isn’t unique to them, you can build on it and use it to explore things that are. For example, Firestarter SEO helps companies build a successful online presence. We might choose to use a city landing page to congratulate residents on the number of successful small businesses in their town before moving on to what we can offer.

Linking to Your Landing Pages

Your landing pages should not stand alone. Integrating them with the rest of your website is absolutely crucial. You can do this by mutually linking your page with other local and relevant sites, which will generate more traffic for both your site and theirs, and by ensuring that your site contains internal links that take visitors to the landing pages.

Your landing pages should also be developed with informative and concise anchor text. Anchor texts lets both search engines and users with an overview of what to expect from the page. Therefore, it’s important to include the target keyword you want to rank and the location you’re trying to target in the anchor text.

Additional Tips for Local SEO Targeting

If your business does not have a brick and mortar location, it’s worth considering registering an address in a city or town you wish to rank for so that Google and other search engines will spot your business name in association with that location. This might be a good strategy if you live adjacent to a large city. However, use caution. If you register multiple addresses, Google could decide you’re misrepresenting your business and penalize your SEO.

Another handy little trick is geotargeting every piece of content you post. When you upload a photo to your homepage, tag it with the name of the city as well as a description of what it shows. When you geotag each piece of content, your city name is suddenly layered much more densely throughout your website.

Targeting multiple cities on your website is an important and delicate part of your SEO strategy. If you’re giving local SEO a try and want the benefit of years of experience at your back, contact Firestarter SEO today.


How to Get Your Website in the Google Answers Box

Google is constantly changing the way their search engine results display in an effort to provide a better user experience for their users. More and more queries are providing Solutions directly within the search results page rather than taking you to another website. Known in the industry as “ranking zero” or “position zero”, when your website comes up in the featured Snippets or the answers box for a query, you are liable to see a dramatic increase in your traffic. So, even though there are lots of websites competing for that spot, if you know what you’re doing, you can land your website there.

Three different types of content are presented in the Google Answers Box:

Paragraph

Table

List

This list result is further down the page because four ads are presented at the top before the actual results start.

When your website lands in the answer box, people are going directly to your content and that content serves as a teaser to what else they can find on your website. Users become invested in your content and brand before they even have the chance to know who you are. Google has a patent on the answer box so it’s likely won’t see it anywhere else for an extended period of time. Because what land you there is algorithmic, it is possible, though somewhat difficult depending on the keyword phrase, to get your website in that spot.

Here are a few different strategies to help you, but before we get started, let’s take a closer look at why the Answer Box has become such as competitive space.

Why is the Google Featured Snippet So Competitive?

When you’re the first result on a page without an answer box, you’ll get a click-through rate of anywhere between 25% to 30%, on average. But, when you’re number one on a page with an answer box – and you’re not the answer in the box – that won’t bump you down the page too much – but it will dramatically affect your click-through rate – dropping it to anywhere between 15% to 20%.

Let’s transfer that to dollars with a hypothetical. Let’s say you have a 1% conversion rate at $100 per sale, based on that low end 25% click-through rate. If that query gets 2,000 searches a month – that means you’re getting 500 clicks. And of that 500 clicks, 5 people will make a $100 purchase, giving you $500 a month.

But when the answer box comes in, and you’re not in it, you’re now only getting 300 clicks per month, which is costing you $200 a month – if your conversion rate stays the same. That’s almost half the revenue difference – and that’s on a relatively small scale. Imagine what it could do to someone with millions of clicks and hundreds of thousands of conversions?

Start with a Strong SEO Foundation

Most of the time, the site where you see the answer in the answer box is the number one result, but not always. One thing we know though, it’s always ranked within the top five for whatever the query may be. As such, your site needs to be there, too, and if you want to knock the others down, you’ll at least 1,000, if not more high quality referring domains. This means creating content that’s worthy of others linking to it. But, beyond that, you’ll also need to have a high level of engagement on the specific page you’re trying to get ranked in the Answer Box.

You’ll also need high value content that’s fewer than 2,000 words in length. The more relevant your information, the more value it offers, and the more updated your website is, the better. But, if it fails at basic optimization tasks such as being optimized for mobile devices, none of the rest of your SEO work will matter. More than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices – so if you haven’t already, make sure you’re using the Mobile-Friendly tool to see if your website is mobile friendly. Even if it is, Google can still provide some suggestions to help you improve the user experience. When your website helps Google provide a quality user experience for the searchers, Google will thank you with an improved ranking.

Go After Low-Hanging Fruit: Find Questions Without Answer Boxes

The search engine results page will only have one answer box, so if you already see one for a query you’d like to get your results in, you’ll have a much harder fight – especially if you’re not already ranking in the top five for that phrase – getting into that answer box than if you were trying to rank for a question that doesn’t have an answer box at all yet. Though it’s a bit harder to find pages without answer boxes, you can still use a variety of keyword research tools to help you find them.

If you’re up for the challenge of trying to knock a current result out of place – you’ll have to start with a bit of competitive audit, to make sure you know exactly what you’re up against. You’ll need to see how many backlinks the current answer has in place, how many referring domains, and most importantly, how well the content answers the question. Then, you’ll have to make sure your content is better, you have more backlinks and more referring domains. You’ll see the process won’t happen overnight, and you’ll have to closely monitor ranking changes because you don’t know how many other websites are also making an effort to knock an answer out of place to try to get their own site there.

Edit Your Old Content with the Answer Box in Mind

Whether you’re going back to refresh some old content, or writing new content, always keep the answer box in mind. Nothing that’s valuable, well written, or informative will ever detract from content you write specifically for the Answer Box. Most people who are going to your website are doing so to find the answer to a question, whether they’re given the answer directly in the search results page or not. If they’re not directly searching for an answer to a question, they’re at least searching for a solution to one of their pain points.

Start with that answer or solution and work backward. Creating content that way ensures the overall content doesn’t suffer and increases your chances of landing in the Google Answer Box from the beginning.

Find Entities to Structure Your Content

Entities can be considered a type of keyword. While Google has a rather complex definition of what an entity is, it’s basically people and places. Like in the screenshot above, actor and comedian Jim Carrey is considered an entity. When you create content around an entity, but you use related keywords with it, you’re creating the ideal situation for Google.

Google is able to learn more about how the keywords you’re using relate to what you’re saying, thanks to topic modeling. This helps them figure out what’s most relevant to the user based on their search query, allowing the best results to rank higher, while pushing the low-quality results further away from users.

Improve Your Answer Score

Though we’ll never know exactly how the Google algorithm works, we know it looks for what it calls “Answer Elements.” It scores yours, and all other content, based on those. If the best answer to the question is in a paragraph, that’s the paragraph that will make it to the answer box. If you can provide more detail than the paragraph, you’re providing Google with more answer elements, thus improving your answer score.

Depending on the nature of the question and it’s natural answer, you’ll see answers that feature step-by-step directions, images, and tables of data. Google considers all elements of an answer, so the more you have, the better. If you include data, statistics, or graphs at the end of your answer, you’re making improvements to your Google Answer Score. When you take the time to answer questions that supplement larger questions, you’re making even more improvements.

Though it seems like it could be overwhelming to choose one of these tactics to focus on, the best way to get your site in the featured snippet is to work on all of them. Yes, you can do them one at a time, but it will slow down the speed of your overall progress. Create a plan of attack that starts small, focusing on the most popular unanswered questions your content can answer, and then work up from there.


Always Greener: A Case Study of Success in a Competitive Market

Background

Firestarter SEO serves a growing landscaping company in the Denver area.  This client provides landscaping design and sprinkler installation and repair to both residential and commercial properties.  One of the foremost challenges lay in their competitive landscape. There is no shortage of sprinkler or landscaping companies in Denver.  This kind of market saturation typically indicates a longer period of time before results are really seen, depending on the starting point of the campaign.

Fortunately, while the competition certainly had a head start, it was clear that their strategies had not heavily involved SEO.  Keyword targeting on their site was decent, but not stellar. Their link landscapes were also very mediocre, as evidenced by the table below.  Bottom line: there was a significant opportunity.


Beyond those first page rankings, there were a quality number of keywords ranked on the 2nd – 5th pages.  These did have search volume, and represented our opportunity keywords for this campaign.  When the client initially reached out to us, there were several first page rankings.  However, further research showed that very few of these top-ranked keywords actually had any search volume.  At Firestarter SEO, these are often what we call “junk keywords,” as it feels great seeing yourself at the top of that search, but the absence of any search volume means it won’t really benefit your business by targeting it.

  • Page 1: 27 (3 of which had any search volume)
  • Page 2: 10 (5 with search volume)
  • Pages 3-5: 6 (3 with search volume)

Their search traffic wasn’t ideal – with 103 organic visitors in the first month of the campaign and 0 conversions.  Ultimately, the goal was to increase traffic and conversions in order to help scale their business.

The Strategy

The start of the strategy was very clear from the beginning: we needed to implement a better keyword strategy.  As evidenced by the lack of search volume for keywords they had targeted, we needed to identify search terms that were relevant, had quality intent, and search volume.  This would lay the entire foundation for the strategy moving forward.

From a technical standpoint, the site was fairly sound, with a small number of errors needing correction.  Their link landscape, however, was non-existent. There were no external links, and very few internal links throughout the site.  Link acquisition, therefore, would be an immediate priority for our campaign.

Finally, in order to expedite results and increase the effectiveness of the campaign, we began a PPC campaign after a couple months of service.  Doing so allowed us to maximize visibility for our target keywords, and also generate quick results for the client.

SEO process of accumulation

The client saw an initial bump in results after implementing basic SEO elements with the new keyword strategy.  In the 3rd month of the campaign, they received 74 Organic calls and 29 calls from PPC.  A key benefit of running both SEO and PPC was the maximized exposure.  From a sheer numbers perspective, if a client is running PPC for a keyword and shows up at the top of the SERP, and also ranks on the first page for the same keyword, their exposure and credibility skyrockets.  As Boostability explains, this is a powerful combination.

Links remained a significant element in our strategy.  As a local SEO campaign, directories played a big role.  We also utilized guest posts for relevant sites as well. The ongoing application of links, on-site optimization, and content continued driving rankings, increasing traffic, and boosting quality leads on a monthly basis.

Final results/successes

Our client’s campaign has been one of ongoing, consistent growth.  SEO & PPC have become a cornerstone of their marketing strategy due to the tremendous success of the campaign.  At the time of writing, there were 17 keywords with 1st-page rankings, and 23 with 2nd-page rankings. Organic Traffic for the previous month sat at 1,096 – a 964% increase from the first month of service.  All of this leads to the crowning statistic of the campaign: 206 conversions in one month, with 190 phone calls.

Thanks to SEO & PPC, they have been able to grow significantly, and scale their business in a way they never thought possible.


Hitting The Links: How Link Building Transformed a Golf Client

Firestarter SEO provides monthly services to a company offering premier golf instruction to people throughout the United States.  With a focus on individual training versus group instruction, their mission is to provide personalized, first-rate training from professionals who boast over 350 years of collective golf experience.

The Starting Point

In October 2014, the client reached out to Firestarter SEO to see how they could improve their online visibility.  They had a big vision for the growing company, but didn’t know how to bridge the gap to reach that vision. At the time, our client’s rankings looked like this:

  • Rank #1-3: 4 Keywords
  • Rank #4-10: 34 Keywords
  • Page 2: 21 Keywords
  • Pages 3-5: 22 Keywords
  • Not in top 5 pages: 13 Keywords

They were getting just over 800 visits per month to the site from organic traffic.

The Strategy

In the beginning of the campaign, a relatively standard strategy was pursued.  This involved a combination of on-site optimization (implementing target keywords in titles, descriptions, alt tags, etc.), technical seo (resolving crawl errors), and off-site optimization. Within the first month of service, rankings began climbing – evidencing the power of simply getting the basics right.

Further into the campaign, most technical issues and on-site optimization had been resolved.  At this point, they had seen steady growth, though they were beginning to plateau in both their rankings and their traffic.  (See Charts below)

After reviewing the data, a determination was made to pivot the strategy going forward.  The strategy would revolve almost entirely around link building.

It is crucial to understand the parameters used for targeting quality & organic links, as they played a large role in the success of the campaign.

    • Relevance – First and foremost in determining which links to pursue was relevance.  In many cases, quality opportunities presented themselves with more generic sites, but they were overturned by sites relevant to the golf world.  
    • Type – Acquiring a wide variety of link types was also important, as it introduced a diverse portfolio of links for Bird Golf.  Some of the link types are below:
      • Press Releases – A press release served as a valuable tool for times when the client would introduce its services at a new premium golf course, or in a new state.
      • Guest Posts – Many opportunities presented themselves for guest posting.  With simple manual outreach, multiple guest posts were acquired as a result.
      • Sponsorships & Events – With a wide array of golf-related events, and an almost countless number of golf-related businesses, sponsorships were easy to come by.  These were great ways to improve awareness while still capturing the link value.
    • Authority – An ideal link would involve a highly relevant site to the golf world, which was also very authoritative in terms of Domain Authority.  Of particular note was in most cases, relevance trumped domain authority in the targeting of a link.
    • The Eye Test – The final factor in the evaluation of link opportunities was the eye test.  We would simply ask ourselves “Would our client be proud of a link to this site?”  Boiling it down further, if a site looked and felt valid, legitimate, and at least somewhat quality, we would consider it worthy. 

With all these parameters in place, outreach efforts began and the link building strategy was underway.

Results

Upon implementation, results came slowly.  This was a test of the principle that SEO is truly a process of accumulation.  Sure enough, a few months into the process, rankings began to climb further. As we remained consistent with our efforts, the client’s rankings continued to soar.  In November of 2016 – 2 years after beginning the campaign – they ranked on the first page for 94 different keywords, nearly tripling their 1st page rankings from the start of the campaign.

It got better.  Over the next one and a half years, links remained a constant in their campaign.  The result was more of the same. Traffic improved, with organic traffic increasing by over 40% compared to the previous year.  The rankings continued shooting up. Final Rankings at the time of writing were as follows:

  • Rank #1-3: 82 Keywords – Increase of 78 from the start
  • Rank #4-10: 41 Keywords – Increase of 7 from the start
  • Page 2: 19 Keywords – Decrease of 2 from the start
  • Pages 3-5: 7 Keywords – Decrease of 15 from the start
  • Not in top 5 pages: 6 Keywords – Decrease of 7 from the start

The evidence was resounding – 123 rankings on the first page, more than 3 times as many compared to the start of the campaign.  While rankings continue to grow, link building remains the core of the campaign, as it has served as the unquestionable catalyst to our client’s success.