BigT-Music.com had plenty of inbound links, but no onpage SEO. It needed to rank for the following phrases: Dallas Jazz Bands, Dallas Party Bands … So just how effective is onpage SEO - actually adding the phrases to the pages, in this case just adding the phrases to the index page. Title, meta description, h1, and paragraphs on the pages.
On Saturday I updated the website, and now Monday morning, the following rankings have been obtained. Previously, the site was not ranked at all for the phrases. Very pleased with the results.
And now a month later 6 April, great to see the improvement. The additional inbound links have kicked in - we have not got many new links, just a few selected band website links, plus this article. With the new YouTube listing, it will be interesting to see if the “Dallas Band” phrase lifts to top 10.
|Googe Search Phrase||10Mar08||6Apr08||6May08|
|dallas jazz bands||8||6||5|
|dallas jazz band||5||5||5|
|dallas party bands||12||9||10|
|dallas party band||10||6||12|
|dallas wedding bands||72||41||49|
|band in dallas texas||38||21||28|
Note - the “Dallas Wedding band” type phrases have confusion/competition with jewellery - mens wedding rings “wedding bands”.
And the other band phrases also have weight loss surgery phrases in them - ie lap band surgery. Makes for more competition, and tougher to get to the top.
Update 6 May 2008 - some of the rankings have dropped. This is one client that I have not subscribed to our full linking package. Without the continuing new additional links, rankings have peaked, and the “new” effect of the pages and inbound links has finished, lowering the rankings slightly. I have also found that several sites have copied the meta description and that the site owner used the sites wording on their profile on linkedin.com. I have now changed the meta description, and getting the owner to change the linkedin descriptions
How Good is the onpage SEO of your site?
So how well done is the onpage SEO on your site? Just by adding the phrases that people are looking for, onto your website, you are able to get rankings very fast, especially for non-competitive phrases. In the case of BigT-Music, they were able to rank for semi-competitive phrases because they also had a good number of pre-existing inbound links.
The balance between SEO and readability
It has not been easy adding the phrases to the site, yet still keeping the wording looking hot. The band is a singular “Dallas party band”, but people are looking for the plural. Hopefully I have been able to keep the wording looking acceptable.
There is generally a trade-off - Slightly non-professional/SEO looking wording, but far better traffic as compared to super-hot sales wording and no Google rankings.
Other SEO changes made
- In the .htaccess file, the following line existed:
ErrorDocument 404 http://www.bigt-music.com
Custom error pages need to have a 404 header (page not found header) added to the code of the page. Without such a header, the redirected page shows a 200 header (normal page). This means that were an infinite number of pages on the website, all having the content of the home page. Not the most brilliant thing for SEO.
The easiest remedy was to just delete that line in the htaccess file.
Usability and professionalism - There were a number of old pages that were accessible on the site. Links to these were removed.
I used the Xenu crawler tool to check for 404 error pages. Google likes sites that have no 404 errors, as do users.
All home page links were changed from
<a href="/">. Otherwise that represented yet another possible home page url.
The non www version of the url now redirects to the www version.
I submitted a sitemap and registered it against the clients webmaster tools account. The webmaster tools account gives access to details as to inbound links, Google rankings for top phrases on the site, when Google last visited the website, how many pages of the site Google has indexed, … Lots of useful information.
Adding a sitemap for such a small site is not that necessary. But it does give access to a few more stats on the site.
I created the xml sitemap using a Google sitemap creator/crawler. The crawler was also rather useful to find what pages there were on the site. I found a few old pages that I then removed links to and so tidied up the website.
- Added Google analytics - will be interesting to see how many people click through on the rankings as they now exist. Will there be any traffic with rankings at the 6-10 positions, or will I have to get to top 5 for better traffic.
There are an ever increasing number of searches via the Google maps listings. I recently blogged about Google Local Search Optimisation.
When you search for “Dallas jazz band” (singular), you get a Google map result for the top listing. The BigT band is not just a Jazz band, so this phrases was not that appropriate. So I have SEO’ed the Google Local listing for the phrase “Dallas Party Band” by adding that phrase to the name of the band, and also adding it to the Google Local description.
The next question was what sites did Google take into account for Google local/Google maps listings. I found a whole range of free and paid directories that we will be submitting to. Not only will these get traffic in their own right, and increase Google organic listings, but they will help for Google Local listings.
Youtube videos get listed in Google search results. And a good video gets great traffic as well in its own right. Craig Thompson has created a video and added it to YouTube - Entitled Dallas Bands. It will be interesting to see if we are able to get it showing in top ten on Google for the phrase “Dallas Bands”, and will be interesting to see how long it takes.