Friday, 24 July 2009

SEO Case Study: The outplacement strategy

Recently I was asked to get an Outplacement site to page one of Google. After a keyword and competitor analysis, I judged it was possible to get to position #6 on page one for this term.

There is a lot of competition for the main keyword (outplacement), and getting to page one will be a real challenge. Here's a run-down of the strategy...

The Strategy:

The current economic environment means there is a lot of demand for this service, and that's reflected in the competition for the term in Google. What's more, the site itself contains only 2 indexable pages.

The amount of competition, lack of content, and the fact the site is a sub-domain of the main cimpany site work together to create an interesting challenge.

The site already has a Google sitemap, and is registered to my Webmaster account. It also appears in Google's index. There are now enough one-way contextual back links for me to know that getting to page one for a term like 'outplacement' requires some work.

The Solution:

This brings you up-to-date with developments so far. The solution for this Outplacement site is to...
  1. Hunt down and obtain as many high-quality back links as possible
  2. Create 6 new pages for the site and put them live over a 12 day period (one per 2 days)
The process of finding good quality sites to obtain back-links from is much easier when you have a resource that does all the hard work for you. The one I use is free, and can be found here.

Generating 6 pages worth of content isn't difficult either, at least in terms of what can be added to the site. Examples of potential additional content are...
  • Tips for coping with redundancy
  • One or more case studies that illustrate the process and its benefits
  • A comparison of the different types of outplacement provided
  • A free downloadable resource pack for companies thinking about outplacement
  • Tips for how to handle outplacement (e.g. 10 outplacement dos and don'ts)
In this particular case, I can't simply generate content and add it to the site. The company has to decide if they're happy to go ahead with this approach. Then the content has to be approved. Such is the reality of SEO for a third party.

The way forward is crystal clear. Search engines don't currently believe the site has much to offer. More content is require before the site will move up the search engine results pages. And one-way inbound contextual links are needed to add to the sites PageRank and trust.

Are you interested to hear what a Google insider has to say about PageRank and trust? Take a look at this useful blog entry by Matt Cutts.