Sometimes SEO is Just SEO

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the growing complexity of SEO. I’m guilty of this myself.

However, sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that there is value in the same SEO we’ve been doing for years. I’ve had a reminder like this recently that I’d like to share (well, within reason… I can’t share all the details).

Here is the broad match traffic from one keyword phrase (includes filter).


That represents a million dollars lift in revenue for a product line.

How was it done?

Step #1 – Find keywords sending traffic, but there isn’t a dedicated landing page. Pick a single keyword from that list that has strong (and broad) traffic and a product line behind it.
Step #2 – Make a single page, target it, slap the products on it.
Step #3 – Build internal links to it by adding links on content you can control.
Step #4 – After some red tape, get page linked to on a valuable internal page you don’t control.
Step #5 – Redesign / relaunch page for better CRO.
Step #6 – Acquire links from 20 domains.

Some days I really love SEO.

Tactically plugging holes may not be as sexy, but it can be valuable.

24 thoughts on “Sometimes SEO is Just SEO

  1. Hey Justin,

    With all the negative and spook talk in recent yeards, it’s nice to emphasize on the positive side of SEO from time to time.

    Just wondering what do you mean by step #4? I’m trying to think of an example of an internal page that I would’t be able to control.

  2. Hey Bogdan,

    Thanks for the comment, and completely agree.

    For #4, I was referring to a pages an SEO has direct access to vs. a page that another group in an organization might control. For example, a different team might own the blog vs. forums vs homepage vs wiki vs product pages, etc. And different lines of businesses might control different product types. The success of that point was dependent on having another group make changes to allow for the link to appear there. It was a bit harder than just going in an editing a page.

    Hope that makes more sense.

  3. Hey Rob,

    You can see my reply to Bogdan above, but I was referring to content types on the site that the SEO team may not be able to edit directly. Another group in an organization might control an area of the site, so it requires getting that change approved and prioritized by them.

  4. You’ve probably heard it a million times, but can you please blog more often? Even short little posts like this are more entertaining reads than 95% of the crap in our industry πŸ™‚

    Also – glad to see you’re kicking so much butt over at Big Fish, you seem to be one of the few guys I know REALLY excited about what they do on a daily basis (unless that’s just how you want to appear!).

  5. A post and comment by two of my favorite SEOs. This is a reminder that we can get caught up in all the gimmicks, read 100 articles with different tactics, but correct targeting, adding value, and doing outreach still wins the day for the focused SEO.

  6. Short and sweet, thank you Justin, I like little posts like this, it’s just good to hear that you (and other SEOs ) still enjoy SEO as much as me. Bringing it back down to earth where SEO should be!

    I did something very similar recently (not quite 1 million dollars, but getting there though though) I’ve since become a big fan of cluster / category rank tracking to optimise specific new landing pages, it has proved very valuable indeed.

    Good to know everyone else has problems getting links from areas out of their control too.

  7. SEO KISS at it’s very best! After reading your Step #3 I realize how lucky I am to be able to adjust/control pretty much all the content on my company’s ecommerce site. I’m sure the red tape is infuriated in many places.

    May I be bold and recommend that you add a Step #7 – Big Profits! πŸ˜‰

  8. It’s a sweet image. I’ve just shared it, the success proves that the best SEO practices will never be replaced and they will stand the test of time. And also many marketers overlook the importance of internal linking, thank you for bringing this point as well! πŸ™‚

  9. This post is a great reminder. Thanks. So simple; yet, I’ve bookmarked it and read it twice.

    I think every SEO should have their own blog (and sell stuff online) too because then you see over time what actually creates traffic and rankings over the long term.

    For example, picking the right keyword with a decent amount of traffic is one of those simple things you forget with all the “hyper long tail–only pick keywords with intent to buy” posts you read.

    But anyone with a long term blog, knows that you can get huge wins and exposure with a broad keyword that answers a very fundmental query to your audience.

    Not a surprise that companies like Copyblogger and SeoMoz target keywords like “SEO101” and “content marketing”—while the less successful companies are obsessed with keywords like “buy software right now I’m a CMO with money to spend”

  10. Sorry to just link drop, but this is a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot lately:

    Classic old boring SEO works. I think as an industry we all suffer a bit too much from ‘shiny object’ syndrom.

  11. So true. It’s really easy to get lost in dynamic markup, site speed, social sharing, etc…and those are all good things. Projects like these are always the most rewarding.

  12. I think sometimes for a lot of businesses there is always at some point in time they need to get back to basics. We always seem to over complicate things in whatever it is we do but sometimes its the simple things that work and will continue to work forever.

  13. That is a pretty impressive upward curve! Like several people have already stated, revisiting the basic strategies every now and then should be core to any campaign. Keeping it simple. With so much cool material being written on a daily basis we sometimes feel that we should be keeping up with it all and seeing what sticks – it’s not often that we’re reminded to ditch the cool stuff and get back to what we should be doing. Nice post.

  14. Tremendous post! I see all too often in the industry, everyone trying to be so innovative. It’s great, when it works. However, sometimes it’s just best to follow the steps we all learned to begin with.

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