Since late February I've been involved in an interesting SEO project with a branch of the British Government. In essences, I've been mentoring teams at 3 different institutions on the there SEO efforts as part of a pilot project.
The project has the following steps
1. Basic SEO Training
2. A technical review of their web sites along with recommendations (conducted by me)
3. Implementation of any technical changes (implement by their developers)
4. Identifications and recommendation of specific keyword phrases (joint effort)
5. Either the modification of existing pages or the creation of new content in support of the keyword phrases.
6. Monitoring of page ranking with on-going recommendations
7. Monitoring of impact on web traffic until the end of June
A couple of interesting things came out so far from this project. First off, at the time of the keyword research when the amount of time involvement became clear one of the two institutions dropped out of the pilot project. Leaving behind 2 participants CETLD and Archive Hub.
Fortunately, the remaining two organizations have given it their all and results have started to appear within 1 or 2 weeks of making the various adjustments.
In one case, CETLD chose low volume keyword phrases, but ones that were high quality. This included the phrases "Learning Spaces" and "student centred learning". In both cases, CETLD started rank in the top 100 within days of launching new content and has slowly been climbing of the SERPS.
In the case of Archive Hub it was decided to go after some very high volume and very competitive phrases. These include: "history of railways", "history of fairgrounds" and "history of textiles". Once again, a wide variety of changes were required, but as CETLD they are slowly climbing the SERPs.
The biggest issues we've faced on this project so far has been time. With different civic holidays on both sides of the Atlantic ocean, plus the usual paper work in getting anything done in a large organization has taken its toll and made getting the optimized pages published a little more difficult then expected.
What is interesting with both projects, is measuring the impact on web site traffic. Both sites have very seasonal traffic trends plus specific topics are being marketed externally which might be having an impact of the total amount of search they are targeting. The finds will be a interesting write-up next month.