Rank Guardian Mini Case Study
There has been a ton of interest in our new Rank Guardian service since we launched it back in August. Unlike a lot of other similar SEO link building services we’re providing both some on-page guidance to help you choose the best keywords to target and also figuring out the optimal link strategy to get the keywords ranking well.
We’re getting a lot of questions from people about which package they should sign up for and I thought it would be helpful to do a mini case study on one my own sites that used the exact same links as what we provide with Rank Guardian. This way you can gauge for yourself which package would be a good fit for your own site.
For obvious reasons I won’t be sharing the exact URL of the site. However, I can tell you it’s a small niche site with just about 25 posts (started with 10 posts and added in 15 posts over the span of few months in late 2015). I originally built the site in the summer of 2014 and meant to try and rank it then, but got distracted with a lot of other projects and other niche sites I was working on. So the site mostly sat around until earlier this year when I finally had a chance to focus a little on it.
Now in the interest of full disclosure I had done a little link building in late 2015 and early 2016 before I started using Rank Guardian style links on the site. I used a Hoth “platinum package” and about 15 PBN links from my own network to target about 5 separate pages on the site. However, I specifically had not targeted the page that I focused on later with the Rank Guardian links.
Unfortunately I wasn’t planning on using the site for a case study so I don’t have the best rankings data to share. I use Serplab.co.uk to track most of my rankings and while it’s a fantastic free ranking tool that I highly recommend, it only tracks 30 days of data unless you pay $5/month, which I wasn’t doing until recently. Here are the rankings in Serplab for the keywords I was targeting for this case study.
I luckily did have a couple of the main keywords in Serpfox which is another good rank tracker to use, but you have to pay for it based on how many keywords you track. Keyword #1 has an estimated monthly search volume of 5,400/month according to Serpfox and when I first started targeting it in late March it was fluctuating between the high teens and the low 20s. It’s currently ranking #2.
Here you can see the SEMRush report that shows the number of keywords the site ranks for in the top 100 (3.5k). SEMRush also shows the estimated traffic for the site as well which loosely corresponds to the real traffic it’s getting.
While I don’t have the best rank tracking data available I do have very useful traffic analytics to show. Below you can see the traffic quickly increase for the entire site since I started tracking it in Clicky ( Clicky is a great analytics tool that I prefer over Google Analytics, but you unfortunately have to pay for it). It steadily climbed from around 50 visits a day for the site to around 400-500 visits.
As I mentioned above, I was focusing on one specific page with all the links I was doing and in the screenshot below you can see the traffic for both that specific page and the entire site (dark blue line = site’s traffic and light blue line = specific page).
As you can see, the page I was targeting went from pretty much no traffic at all in mid-April to over 200 unique visits a day by July.
What’s really interesting is that the traffic for the entire site went up across the board despite the fact I was only targeting one page with all the links. This is almost certainly because of the inner linking I have done on the site (i.e. I have internal links on the targeted page to several other key pages on my site that I want to rank well).
The point of this whole mini case study is to give you an example of what to expect with Rank Guardian so below I’m going to list exactly what I did to get the site ranking so well.
In total I added in 3 sets of links over about 4 months targeting the one specific page I was trying to rank
- Mid-April – Added in a “Results” (15 links) $399 package
- Mid-May – Added in a “Results” (15 links) $399 package
- Early-July – Added in a “Basic” (10 links) $299 package
So with 40 links and what would cost $1,097 with Rank Guardian I went from around 50/visits a day to well over 400/day on most days, including 200/day on my targeted page.
Below is an outline of when the links got added in and how the traffic improved after each set of links. Note that for the early July links most of the keywords were already ranking pretty well so I was really trying to bump the last ones in the 3-5 range up to #1 or #2.
As you can see by targeting just one page with about 40 Rank Guardian links the site’s rankings and traffic have jumped considerably over the past 6 months. Traffic and rankings are great to monitor to see progress, however, what really matters is whether the site is really earning any money. Well I’m happy to report the site has continued to improve and in August (the latest full month I have stats for) the site shipped 177 items and earned over $400.
I’m very pleased with how this site has done both in terms of the traffic/rankings and earnings. My plan now is to target two new pages I had made for the site and try and get them ranking well within the next 2-3 months. I think I can continue to bump the earnings of this site up and hopefully reach $1,000 month in the next 3-6 months.
Since Penguin 4.0 launched a couple of weeks ago I thought it would be useful to give a quick update on the status of the site. I’m happy to report that this site (and all of my sites actually) have so far not seen any negative impact from the new penguin. In fact traffic for the site has actually jumped over the past few days as you can see below.
It’s too early to speculate on what might happen in the future, but right now I’m very optimistic about this site and its longevity. Of course no artificial link building is completely risk free, but with Rank Guardian we make the links look very natural and use a lot of diversification. This will very likely help sites continue to rank well while avoiding the potential negative consequences from appearing to have too many unnatural links.
To recap this mini case study:
- Started trying to rank a specific page and set of keywords in mid-April
- Created 40 links in total over the span of about 4 months (would cost $1,097 using Rank Guardian)
- Traffic jumped from about 50 visits a day to 400-500 visits
- Rankings for the keywords I targeted jumped from the 20s to either #1 or #2
- Rankings for the site rapidly climbed from around 500 in the top 100 to about 9,000 in the top 100
- The site earned around $400 last month and I expect it to do well, especially during the Christmas holiday season
- My new plan is to target 2 new pages and get them ranking well and have the site earn $1,000/month within 3-6 months
I know there is a lot of confusion over links and when to expect results, so hopefully this mini case study gives you a better idea of what to expect when using Rank Guardian (or any link building service). If you have any questions leave a comment below.