On Page SEO Case Study Results
Why You Should Finally Stop Ignoring This!

On-page ranking improvement

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur C. Clarke, author.

Often, when talking to someone who doesn’t know a lot about SEO, I get the feeling that they think of SEO as this dark magic, this incomprehensible process of tweaks and manipulations that can make magic happen in the Land of the SERPs.  Yes, SEO is complex, has many layers, and takes time to understand, but there are some fundamentals that persist no matter how often the algorithms are updated:

  1. Your website needs to be easy for a search engine like Google to crawl and understand.
  2. You need strong links from trustworthy, high-authority sites.

This case study is about a site that went from no man’s land in the SERPs before we stepped in, to a site that is ranking in the top three for a host of competitive, extremely lucrative keywords.

The main purpose of this post is actually to be a resource to send our clients who are still being reluctant to make the changes we recommend (Update* We created a full on-page seo guide here). So if you’re a Supremacy client and we just sent you this article please know that yes we still love you, and I know you’re a pretty snowflake, but you’re leaving so much money on the table! I speak from experience on this because I’m a dope and I’ve made this dumb mistake before myself!


This particular client came to us hoping to rank well in a service niche, in a major American city, and it was struggling.  As mentioned above, the two big moves are a) look at on-site issues, or b) look at the backlink profile.

When our customers sign up for RankBOSS, they are usually most excited about our juicy backlinks. Understandable, as they are like the candy of the SEO world. But also when we have new customers, we also almost always have a batch of needed on-page changes to maximize their sites potential. Practical SEO is not just about links, or just about structure, it’s one big happy family all tied together.

Unfortunately in this case, the client was super-busy and didn’t implement the recommendations we suggested (as they too often do).

Fast forward a couple of months. We had built some pretty powerful Boss-level links, and DID see some movement, but in general most rankings didn’t rise above bottom of the second page, at best.

This is kind of what it was looking like across all keywords:

Our links were doing what they were supposed to, but our suspicions were that this site was just NOT going to budge if the chages weren’t made. So after a little more coercing, the client finally gave in.

The Usual On-Page Suspects:

When it’s time to dive into on-page SEO, there are tons of things we look at, but the three main areas we focus on that usually provide the quickest results are always the same:

    • Meta Data
    • Content
    • Site Load Speed


I’m gonna keep it really simple here (and not even touch on much of site structure), but this is what you should know about each of the above sections (and is the general roadmap for what we changed). This is simply the 80/20 of what you should do for maximum results with the least effort. We always focus on this first, and then do deeper dives if it proves to be necessary:

Meta Data

    1. Your Page Title (Part 1)— Include your main keyword(s) and sum up what your page is about. “buy” or “online” style keywords are cool too if it’s relevant. It really is just that simple


    1. Your Page Title (Part 2)— STOP BEING FREAKIN BORING. Click through rate is a hell of a ranking signal these days. If searchers are clicking to your page over others, you will be rewarded. Make it stand out.
      Don’t use “Water Bottle – Plastic – Blue” as a title.
      Use “The #1 Water Bottle IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!” and see the floods of visitors.


    1. Your Page’s Meta Description — Don’t go stuffing your keywords in as many times as possible here. Use a few relevant keywords, and again try and get the users to click to your page! Use basic copywriting, and use First Letter Capitalization where it fits.


  1. Use Proper H-tags. Don’t fret over this, just organize your page topics using h1/h2/h3/h4/etc. Again, just don’t keyword stuff this. It’s not necessary (especially in your H1)


    1. Don’t have duplicate content! No duplicating throughout your site, no sharing with Web 2.0’s or press releases. Your site and that’s it!  Original content wins; duplicate content gets penalized.


    1. Use More Content! Create rankable content. Give Google something juicy to gnaw on. These sites with 200 pages of empty content are just plain useless. Use useful content everywhere and be rewarded. Usually the longer and more in depth the content the better! We always recommend using 1000-2000 words.


    1. Never, ever keyword stuff your content. This is probably one of the #1 problems we see after lack of content. Stop trying to fit a bazillion and two keywords in there. Use keywords naturally. This includes your inner page links (site wide links, etc), image titles/alts, and everywhere else you try and sneak them in that you think will help you (hint: it won’t).


  1. Use LOTS of rich, relevant media (images and videos) to supplement your content. You want the #1 quickest way to up your page relevance, time on site, user metrics and content? Add in a relevant YouTube video. Seriously. Put one on every single page you can. If you’re an e-commerce site just take others product review videos if necessary and embed them.

Page Speed

Ok so this is the least important of them all unless your site is so slow that people leave before it loads. But there is zero downside to fixing this if it’s an issue, as it can provide benefit once the other factors are taken care of. WPcurve can do a better job than us explaining how to improve WordPress speed (aren’t I nice to hook them up with that anchor text!), so just read it there.

Now back to our case study

So after a couple of months of link building and no site changes we finally got this client to do the deed. Really it seriously was just as easy for this site as I wrote above.
They simply:

  • Added a big long chunk of baller content
  • Made their page title a lot more sexy
  • Added in a youtube video and a few more images
  • and de-stuffed their internal links and content

The results are pretty conclusive after JUST 3 DAYS:
ranking1ranking2 ranking3ranking4
Monthly Rankings

It’s not magic, it’s simply doing things the right way. Different sites need different things. Sometimes we ask our clients to improve user friendliness, some need to fix wacky site structure, and others have designs from 1999. But no matter what these basics from above will always ring true.

Awesome sites + Awesome backlinks + Happy users = You making money.


Oh and ps, I’m told I should have a call to action or something so
(but only if you’ll fix your site of course)

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Sean Markey

Sean Markey

Obsessive consumer of SEO news and strategies, writes the This Week in SEO column. Loves playing drums and writing fiction. Bets you he can throw a football over them mountains.
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