SEO Case Study – Factors (Part 2)

I have been doing a variety of tests on domains and the importance of having the keyword somewhere in the domain, regardless of the extension (.com, .me, etc.).

What I have noticed is that in most cases, just having the keyword/phrase in the URL itself can drastically improve the ability for a site to rank. Although it is not critical, it can make the initial ranking of your site and domain that much easier if you can find a domain with the keyword somewhere in the URL.

Now, the purpose of this post is to be a baseline for the entire case study and provide a few metrics by which I plan to measure the success of the study.

Measurement Factors

Even if I don’t physically write/type out the objectives of a study, I find it to be very helpful to have some idea in mind of what you want to accomplish when you start a specific task. After all, if you don’t have a goal in mind, aren’t you just performing mindless work?

Here are 3 factors I will use to determine how successful this SEO case study is:

  1. Rank in top 10 for primary keyword
  2. Maintain rank for at least one month (bouncing may occur)
  3. Recover site investment in 3 months (domain and hosting)

I have never done an SEO study this structured, so it will be a learning experience for me as well.

On top of that, here are a few additional facts:

  • Site was ranked at #151 for primary keyword, then dropped to #183, and now is not in the top 200
  • These rank fluctuations occurred before any link-building
  • Traffic has started to come organically from Bing

My goal is to start by building some links that would typically be seen nearest the “money site” on a link wheel. From there, I will branch out and expand as necessary, but I do not want to overdo it, especially if it is unnecessary for the purposes of the study.

I want to determine how I can get the most bang for my buck, and ideally, the most residual bang for my buck.

If you have any tips or insight about how you would proceed, I would love to have your input. Just leave me a comment and let’s get a discussion going!

Have a great weekend, and be expecting an update in a few weeks.


Dino Vedo May 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Awesome case study and cant wait to see some results. Just a question, how many exact match searches does this primary keyword get? Also whats avg CPC through adwords if you decide to throw some up?

Jeremy May 12, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Hey Dino,

For exact match searches, it’s around 8k/month, and the CPC is around $0.50.

Nothing tremendous, but we’ll see how it goes!

Thanks for the comment.

Krupesh May 13, 2011 at 5:20 am

It is normal for rankings to fluctuate initially. Links from good sources will help with the comeback and rankings become stable with more links over time.

“Recover site investment in 3 months” – SEO is long term investment. If you don’t put serious effort into growing your site in first 3 months, don’t put ads on it. There is a risk involved as SEs may classify it as a thin content site with loaded ads. You can put ads later.

Jeremy May 13, 2011 at 6:36 am

Hi Krupesh,

I know it’s a long-term investment. The thing is, what is considered “serious effort”? It’s hard to define a term like that, especially when it can mean so many different things.

With how the site is structured, the ads actually provide an additional resource for readers, so I am not too worried about it.

Profits .IM May 13, 2011 at 6:54 am

If budget is a concern, write guest posts on related blogs for the best bang for the buck.

Jeremy May 13, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Thanks for the tip. In this case, I don’t believe writing guest posts would be the best bang for the buck, however.

PPC Ian May 17, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Jeremy, this will be fun to follow! I recommend setting up social profiles on YouTube, FB, and Twitter. You can get a video on Fiverr that you can upload to your YouTube channel. You can also embed video on your site. While these are not all dofollow links (only YouTube), I have found that social can really help kick start any site!

Jeremy May 17, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Thanks Ian.

What are your thoughts on monetization strategies?

Kang May 20, 2011 at 8:19 am

Hey I’m planning to do something like that too, maybe we can compare notes!

I’ll purely be using SENuke though, and I have my main keyword in the domain name, and doing this across 10 sites.

I have much to learn from you when it comes to analysing stuff and following through lol.

Jeremy May 20, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Awesome Kang, sounds like we could compile some decent information.

I’m glad to help you! Also, being analytical helps in most cases :)

fazal mayar | make money online May 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm

good stuff Jeremy, for sure having a keyword in domain has many benefits!

Jeremy May 23, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Yep, but it’s not a requirement to rank well!

Codrut Turcanu June 14, 2011 at 6:16 am

Very good game plan.

For Google rank domination, I suggest blog commenting on relevant and non relevant niche blogs, do-follow, no-follow, comluv enabled blogs, and so on.

What do you think?

Jeremy June 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm

I agree with the commenting. That’s actually the primary strategy I used when I started my blog and it worked pretty well.