So I have been trying to rank keywords in Google since the day I started my first website in 2007 but failed miserably, maybe because I really don’t know what I’m doing before or I maybe just too dumb and lack the skills needed to do it, but ever since I started this blog, I realized that I can rank keywords in Google now, so I really got a bit curious that’s why I have started this case study to confirm if I can really successfully rank a keyword now, though I will test the waters first and will start a case study for an easy competition keyword.
Enough of the talking and let’s start!
This case study will aim to answer the following:
- How many days will it take to rank the keyword in the first page of google (If indeed I can make it rank)
- How much will be the cost to rank the keyword (I will outsource the link building process and I will show the expenses once I became successful to make it rank in first page of Google)
- Will I be able to monetize it, and the payback period to recover the incurred expenses
First Step: Keyword Research
I used Keyword Finder and found several high volume, low competition keywords that got my attention
Main Keyword – 18,100 searches per month
Secondary Keyword 1 – 5,400 searches per month
Secondary Keyword 2 – 3,600 searches per month
The keywords are related to each other, and they’re all in the gaming niche, which is actually an advantage because I have an e-commerce website in the gaming niche that I built last year, and as of the moment, it is just collecting dust and I don’t know what to do with it, so might as well use it for this case study
Step 2: Website Setup
As I have told in Step 1, I have an e-commerce blog in the gaming niche and I’m gonna use it for this case study. I haven’t really done any link building campaigns for this website so it’s generally clean with zero link profile. The domain is about 8 months old so I think a somewhat aggressive link building campaign would not raise any red flag to google, but we’ll see
I also made a 900-word article, mainly revolving around the keywords, then I included several relevant images to make my article a little bit appealing. I published it on April 16, 2017, then used my neat technique to get the blog indexed by google in minutes.
Step 3: Off-Page SEO Campaign
For the Off-Page SEO campaign, I will be using a diverse link building strategy so as to make it somewhat natural. Also, I am planning to make my website an authority in the gaming niche so I will be taking into consideration the brand awareness in my link building campaign. To give you a summary of my link building campaign, below are the links that I am going to build for this case study:
- Guest posting (brand name as anchor text to improve brand visibility, if you need some tips on guest posting, you can refer to the post from Authority Hacker)
- Web 2.0 submissions
- Article submissions
- Social bookmarks
- High DA profiles
- Social signals (facebook shares, twitter tweets, linkedin shares, etc)
- .EDU links
- PBN links (I really try to stay away from this but I will consider this as a last resort)
I already started the off-page SEO campaign by the way, right after the post went live and indexed by google, and I think it’s just a waiting game from here thereafter.
Update: April 17-21, 2017
For tracking my rank in Google, I currently use SE Ranking (use WPISLIFE10 for 10% discount), and from the image above, you can see that there is a bit of a google dance happening in my keywords right now. I don’t know if the effects of the link building has been kicking in already but we’ll find out in a little while. Also, as you can see, the keywords disappeared on April 18-19, and I thought it was just because of the Google dance but when I tried to search in Google, I was not able to find the post, which means it got removed from the indexed pages, so I have to force again Google to recrawl my blog post to get it re-indexed. You can see that it appeared on the SERPS on April 20, and as of today, the main keyword has already been showing on the top 100 Google results. Pretty exciting isn’t it?
Update: April 22 – 26, 2017
Rank is still dancing but I think the main keyword is already normalizing. As of April 26, 2017, all the three keywords are now showing in the top 200 results with the 2 keywords in the top 100. Link building is still ongoing, and I think some of the links being build had an effect with the SERP.
Update: April 27 – May 01, 2017
The first phase of my link building effort has been finished and what I can do for now is just wait for the time being for the link effects to set in. As you can see from the screenshot above, the rankings are still experiencing some dancing so I will just wait for the moment for it to settle. Hopefully the links I built for this will be enough to power my site to first page google ranking but we’ll see.
Update: May 02 – 06, 2017
For this update, all the keywords have entered the top 100, with the main keyword already in the the top 50. I have not done any new link building campaigns as of the moment and just waiting for the previous links to get indexed and take effect. For now, I will just monitor the rankings for maybe 2 to 3 weeks, then after that, will decide if I need to do another link building campaign.
Update: May 07 – 11, 2017
For this update, I believe the keyword ranking has already stabilized a bit except for the first secondary keyword which went out of the SERP last May 09, but went back again the following day. I will still be monitoring the rankings for a few more weeks and won’t be doing any link building campaigns maybe until the 4th week of May.
Update: May 12, 2017
I feel like I need to update again today because of the significant ranking improvement of my keywords today. My main keyword jumped to the second page, and the secondary keywords also made significant jumps compared to their previous rankings. I guess the effects of the links that I have built are already kicking in, though I will still continue to monitor the rankings and will not do any link building activities until the 4th week of May.
Ranking Update After 1 Month (April 17 – May 17):
This is just a comparison of the rankings of the keywords after a month of my first update (April 17, 2017). It is clear from the table above that my link building technique has been effective, though I am still not done yet because the keywords are still not in Google first page.
Update: May 20, 2017
For this update, there is really not much movement in the rankings and the keywords are just moving sideways. I guess it would be safe to assume that all the link effects have already been felt, and the major effect happened on May 12 where there is a significant improvement in the ranking. Up to this date, there are no additional link building campaigns that took place, and I will still wait for a few more days to monitor if there will still be some major ranking changes on my keywords.
Update: May 26, 2017
My keywords started dancing again, I guess this because of the recent google update last May 17 (as reported in Semrush) My main keyword went out of the SERP on May 21, then went on and off the SERP after that. As of this update, it got back again at rank 58. I think I will extend my monitoring to a few more weeks before I start another link building campaign.
Ranking Update After 1 Month (May 17 – Jun 17):
This is just the ranking comparison from the previous month (May 17 vs Jun 17). The keywords have really not recovered yet from the May update and up to now, they are still dancing in the SERP. I have not really done additional link building campaign but I think I have already waited enough so I might do additional link building this coming week.
Update: July 01, 2017
For this update, I was not able to start another link building campaign that I have been planning, but I have observed that my rankings are still somewhat improving. Anyway, I might delay my additional link building plans and just wait for the mean time. Maybe I’ll just need to give more time to this and see what will happen next.
Update: July 10, 2017
For this update, you can see that my main keyword has become somewhat stable with minor daily fluctuations. My first secondary keyword is the one having some significant changes going on and off the SERP. I still have not done a new link building campaign but might do another one next month depending on how things go. For now, I will just monitor ranking changes of my my keywords.
Update: August 21, 2017
It has been more than a month since my last update. I was actually suppose to provide an update before the month of July ended but a very unfortunate event happened which caused a delay in my updates. Anyway, in this update, it seems that an algorithm update happened last August 19 which caused a significant drop in my ranking for all my keywords visible in the SERP. Also, you will notice that my first secondary keyword has been out of the SERP and it has actually been going on and off for a couple of weeks already and it’s been off the top 200 ranking since August 15. I haven’t really done any new link building campaign until now but I think it’s about time to do a new one. I will provide another update once I’m done with the new link building campaign.
Update: September 30, 2017
The result for this update is really disappointing. You can see that my ranking dropped significantly even more after my last update and my keywords have been dancing on and off the SERP since then. I haven’t really made a new link building campaign because I just want to monitor the rankings but what I just saw is the continued drop. I actually have no idea if its still worth continuing this case study considering what happened to my rank but will still monitor it for another 2-3 more months after I do my next link building campaign next month before I decide.
I guess that’s all for the mean time and I will give you another update once a significant movements in the SERP takes place.
This is an interesting article. I’m trying to learn SEO myself. If you keep updating, I will definitely continue to read.
Thanks! This is an ongoing case study so just stick around 🙂
Very insightful thus far. Looking Forward to August’s results.