Page One Ranking Case Study: Swipe Our Strategies

Mark LuckenbaughLocal SEO16 Comments


In an attempt to publish more case studies we decided to give you guys a step by step site ranking. What better to hook you guys up with than a page one ranking case study? I want to get pretty granular in this one, and I will strive to keep it as concise as possible, but I am hoping to get you guys some awesome insight into one of our rankings.


Let me lay the foundation for what we had going on with this site.

Niche: Service Based Niche – Average job size is $4-5k but depending on the case can be as much as 6 figures.


City: Atlanta and surrounding suburbs. We tackled the surrounding burbs as well to start generating calls quicker.


Searches Per Month: Locally the main keyword gets some really decent search volume. Here are just a few of the terms and their respective monthly search volume..

seo case study

Those are just three of the Atlanta keywords. I did change the geo modifier to Atlanta inside of Google in an attempt to procure somewhat of a more accurate monthly search volume.


Domain: We registered a new domain and went with a PMD (partial match domain) It is with the exact match kw obviously being city + niche.


The specifics of some of these tactics are covered in a lot more detail inside of LPB, so I am going to be covering some of these concepts on a higher level rather than super granular. The details will live inside of our discussions pertaining to word count and anchor texts.


Before we create any content, or even have the site completely built for that matter, we create our social accounts and implement IFTTT triggers. We do this now so when it is time to do the on page we can add the social tabs and “sameas” schema right away, instead of circling back around at a later time. If you want more details vis a vis our social seo process then check out the aforementioned post by Chaz and I. 


We did a branded network and two tier II networks from for this one.


As soon as the site evolves from a skeleton layout to having content we order a press release. There are a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions when it comes to using press releases for seo, but I relay more information than you ever wanted to know about PRs in that post. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions.


Let’s jump right into the on page and site work.


We have 808 words on the ranking page (1236 if we are counting stop words). Do not overthink a lot of this stuff. The main words like Atlanta and other single words that are not strung together to create an exact match keyword that we are optimizing for, but are still topically relevant to the theme of the site, range between 2.5%-5% keyword density. Exact match keywords show up less to make up <1% of the keywords on the entire page. This is another area that I feel needed mentioned but i have seen a vast array of percentages work very well. 


I have pages with thousands of words on the page that do not rank as well as some that have less than this one. Do not get caught up in the numbers. I just wanted to mention it for transparency sake.

Having said that I am a fan of having content heavy sites. This site has 21,879 words between the homepage, populated blog, surrounding suburb pages, and then the typical contact us, about us, privacy policies, etc. The site is interlinked very well using partial match anchors that look natural in the context of the page.


I prefer sites with a lot of words as it really pushes the thematic relevance of the site to search engines. 


The page title for the home page is actually a little over-optimized for my liking because of using the PMD and reiterating that as the brand in the title. It reads like so…

Main Keyword + Atlanta – PMD (Main Keyword + Atlanta + Pro)


It worked out well which leads me to restate that you should not over think some of this stuff. Take action first then quantify and modify later.


There was nothing special about the meta description. Phone number and some jargon followed by “main keyword + Atlanta + Georgia”. It totals exactly 100 words. The H1 was “Local niche Atlanta Expert”. This is actually optimized against my best practices as it does not read like proper English. It goes to show that action trumps perfection. 

ranking case study


We implemented schema and sadly it was not done like the schema according to the best practices that I outlined in this post sometime ago when people seemed to be struggling with adding structured data into their web pages. I grabbed some screenshots from the Google Structured Data Testing Tool so you can check out the exact schema we implemented. This further proves that action beats perfection. Seems to be a common denominator in this thread. 


schema-1 schema-2 schema-3


We embedded a Google Map on the target ranking page. Nothing special here, just something I like to help boost local relevancy.


Let’s talk about linking. That is something everyone is always interested in. Before we get into actual links and anchor texts I would like to showcase the metrics of the website.



Just wanted to show that third party metrics have very little to do with rankings or the overall power of the domain. This site has less than 300 links and the entire theme of the site is not anywhere close to being related to our niche. 


Having said that, we built more than 277 backlinks over a few month period (Consider the pbn we built were blocking Majestic via htaccess). I will outline the anchor text and link breakdown below 


I do not give much mind to dofollow/nofollow but I know some people like to see that data, so here that is.

Now on to the fun stuff…the anchor text.





~29% of the anchor text is labeled “other”. This contains a lot of my LSI and “click here” type terms. Check out the actual breakdown below. Keep in mind, as I have said a few times, this is not be taken as a formulaic process. I am just showing you exact numbers for transparency sake.


Do not over think some of this stuff.


22% of the anchor text profile is made up of one variation of the URL. Nothing tricky here.


~9% of our backlinks look like this “Main Keyword + modifier + company” I love doing pieces of anchor text like this as it pushes the topical relevance of the site, uses the kw in the anchor text, but keeps us out of hot water because of the two different words in the anchor that adds the modifiers.

~9% is a super long tail the encompasses our site persona that we made. It reads like so “Jon lastname, who owns Atlanta niche Pro”. Again, super long tail but it reiterates the area and the niche without getting ourselves in hot water with over optimization


~7% is another long tail “modifier + modifier + Atlanta niche Pro. If you were to delve into all of my site profiles, this is similar to what they would look like. Lots of this stuff.


~7% is the name of the persona we created with no other modifiers. “Jon Lastname”. No secret strategy here, just diversification.


~6% is the “brand name” which if you paid attention at the beginning of the post is basically just our main keyword with Pro at the end. It reads “Atlanta niche Pro”.


~4% is a really super long tail and I will do the best to articulate what it is….”topically relevant term that is associated with our main kw + secondary kw”. It is a big one.


~2% is pushing the topic and location. “Number + area + topically relevant + Pro


~2% is RSS Feed.


~2% is another variation of the URL


This data was pulled directly from Majestic so there are going to be some missing components.Like our PBN for example, but we built ~20PBN links to the site. If you want to check out how I structure my PBNs then by all means check out this killer post where I reveal the anchor text to rank a site for national keywords. 

I used my team, the ones behind the best link building services on the planet, lol at web20. Between the pillowing links and the high power contextual links  you can get most of what you are going to need for an ongoing campaign.


The anchor text falls into the top categories of LSI and KW + modifier utilization except we did use 4 exact match anchors on the main kw and 6 on the secondary kw. These were dripped to the site within a 90-120 day period.


I have been being a lot more aggressive but this site was somewhat put on an icebox for a while where we were not doing much with it.


If you guys have any questions please let me know and I will be happy to help. Have an awesome day.


16 Comments on “Page One Ranking Case Study: Swipe Our Strategies”

  1. Alek

    Great post to show people how important is common sense when thinking about stuff like anchor ratio outside metrics domain name keyword density etc. Overthinking leads to state of paranoia and even worse … Stagnation and lack of execution. Needed couple of years to figure this out and your blog was pretty darn helpful as well as the people in your community. You’ve helped me clear lots of things and now as a proud member of LPB and FF I finally am sure of how I can structure my online business. No questions for now and I’m pretty sure we all know why is that the matter. 1l

  2. Fredrik

    Hello LCT team,

    Great post!

    One question:
    You mention “registered a new domain”, and then you show the metrics of a site (TF2/CF18).
    – Are these the same domain, or the former is the money site, and the latter is a PBN site linking to the money site?


  3. Madhushalini

    Great Thanks for the advice. I will start updating my website more regularly. Short, simple and crispy information…Cool! I think that measurement of SEO activities is very important things – it shows you the proper way. This is what we are all in the process of doing. Total SEO revamp of our web design website.

    I think this information will help me to improve the SEO of my blog. Simple and to the point. SEO = Quality content, competitive & realistic KW or key phrases, optimize your links and avoid spamming – simply the key to getting good rankings. Keeping the content fresh is really key. Also remembering to gain inbound links for specific pages and articles can really help.

  4. FreeRangeWeb

    A great post indeed. There are so many different metrics and things to consider when aiming for the top spot on page one. I’m sure your post will help many dozens on their way. Overthinking things most certainly is not the way to go, as it indeed does lead to paranoia

  5. Kevin

    As a newbie to all of this it is really great to see strategies and information so readily available. I’m not yet where I want to be but I have been taking steps to get there every day. I’m stuck in the analysis paralysis and too-much-reading stages hah! But. I’ll get there.

  6. Loyalflow

    Thanks for the comprehensive article. It really give a complete breakdown of your method. I like the thematic relevance backlink ideas. Coupled with great contents, backlinks + contents will get your readers hooked and loves from google.

  7. Paul Foulkes

    This is very interesting indeed, can i ask – it appears you did a PR right off the bat – how much juice and ranking power did this give you and how many pbns did you add and how early. also did it get into the sandbox at all

    1. Mark Luckenbaugh

      I dont quantify the power of a press release in terms of ranking power because at the end of the day it is syndicated content and will be graded like so in the eyes of Google. What I like is getting some pillowing links from them in a way that is not automated or super spammy. I think it makes for a great first step for campaigns. i used ~20 PBNs and did not start dripping them as soon as I do now. These days if the client has the budget, or it is one of my personal projects, I start off with dripping more powerful links right away.

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