Thursday, 19 November 2009

SEO Case Study - Pension Cash

The term pension cash attracts around 8,000 searches/month here in the UK. It's a lucrative term at the moment, due to an upcoming deadline that pushes up the age a UK resident can withdraw tax-free money from their pension.

Independent Financial Advisers 1stFF asked me if I could get them to the top of Google, so they could reach people interested in withdrawing pension cash. 1stFF CEO Yash Tosar is especially concerned about people who like the idea of tax-free money, and didn't understand the implications of simply helping themselves.

In other words, he's on a mission to save UK pension-holders from themselves (and a certain kind of financial adviser).

So I started the process, and had a look at whether or not anybody in the UK was actually using Google to find out about withdrawing cash from their pension. They are, and the aforementioned term 'pension cash' is the term we settled on (i.e. tight focus).

The company's main site had a few issues in SEO terms, and we opted to set up a separate sub-domain that included the main keyword phrase. In this case:

This wasn't necessary for SEO purposes, but for something else the site has to do (lead generation). I wanted to implement something special (not yet live) that wasn't possible on the company's main site. This required a special CMS that has advanced tracking and lead generation features built in.

Of course, in SEO terms it doesn't hurt to have a domain that includes your main keyword phrase. Having said that, it's initially easier to push an older site up Google's results pages.

I've literally just removed the robots.txt file that tells Google not to index the site, and added it to my Google webmaster account. As I write this, the site should appear in Google's index sometime over the next 2-5 days.

To help Google index the site correctly (i.e. the way I want it to), I've done the following...
  • Selected a specific keyword phrase for each of the main pages
  • Included the keyword phrase in the title of each page
  • Included the keyword phrase in the headline (h1 tag) of each page
  • Included the keyword phrase in the meta keyword list and description tags
  • Used a keyword density tool to ensure the main keyword phrase appears in sufficient quantity, and that the meta keyword tag contains useful words from the page's content (versus a pointless wish-list)
  • Used internal contextual links to reinforce the main keyword phrase I want associated with the site's main pages
  • Established 5 external inbound contextual links to reinforce the main keyword phrase I want associated with the site's homepage (pension cash)
As the term pension cash attracts over 8,000 searches/month in the UK, this won't be enough to get the site into the top 3. Especially as Google will deem it to be a brand new site. I'll have to establish more external inbound contextual links, and add more content to the site over time.

Never-the-less, the site is starting off on the right foot.