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 ExactMatchKeywordPro.com 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 training, 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 “same as” 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 me. 


We did a branded network and two tier II networks from Web20Ranker.com 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 to be 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.


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