Jan 12

RI SEO Company Case Study for Rhode Island Search Engine Optimization

We Burned a British Ship *Before* the Tea Party, and refused to Sign the Constitution until the Bill of Rights Was Added

We Burned a British Ship *Before* the Boston Tea Party, and Refused to Sign the Constitution until the Bill of Rights was Added

For an SEO consultant in Rhode Island (just as for any business), it’s important to leverage all possible marketing channels to reach potential clients.  Word of mouth and references from website design firms and various website and internet solution providers can be key.  With this in mind, I recently met with a local RI marketer who may be able to help me with some SEO consulting references, and in the process, I might be able to help him with his clients in RI search optimize their websites.  He mentioned he has been doing a lot of on-page optimization for his firm’s marketing services, and even with little to no link building, they are ranking well and getting some good leads.

This prompted me to take a look at whether I rank for any terms people local to me care about, and I don’t.  In fact, I have to confess that, while one might think I must be doing all kinds of crazy things to optimize this blog to market my RI SEO services, I really have been doing nothing other than trying to write interesting articles with interesting titles. Sometimes the cobbler’s redheaded stepchild does indeed go shoeless.  Although I’ve been getting plenty of business, primarily through referrals, if I want to be the big fish in the small pond that is Rhode Island SEO, I can’t afford to ignore the search engine result pages myself.

So, I decided to at least put together one posting that is hyper-optimized to rank for a few local RI SEO-oriented search terms and throw it up on my blog.  But then I thought about you, my loyal readers – how could I do that, publishing such an irrelevant piece of drivel and clogging up your morning with it?

SEO often makes you do things as a marketer that you don’t like; I often tell clients “would you like to publish something titled ‘A’ which is preferred and have no one ever see it, or would you like to publish something titled ‘B’, which you really don’t prefer, but people will actually find and read?”

At first, I thought this may be one of those cases.  However, I realized that I can turn this into an interesting overview of how I approach search optimization, particularly from an on-page perspective.

So this article’s purpose is both to try to rank highly for “ri seo” and a few other terms, and to inform you, the reader, how I did it.  At the same time, this should serve to give prospects (who are hopefully searching on the terms, and then reading this) a sense of what SEO involves, and what process I use for optimizing.

1. Keyword Research

The best content approach is to hyper-optimize a separate page for each term.  The theory is, if your page is about multiple things, then it’s really about none of them – you’re smearing the relevance out, and it won’t rank well for any of them.

Sometimes however a page has to focus on several terms – I am not about to hassle my readers with separate postings on “search marketing rhode island”, “ri seo consultant” and so on, so I decided this article will do quadruple duty.  Awhile back, Rand Fishkin did a *great* posting on how to optimize a page for terms in different orders; if you haven’t read it, it’s a real treat.  I’m using some of the same principles here.

I did some searches with the Google Adwords tool and also some Google suggest searching.  A very useful tactic was to examine other SEO Consultants web pages  (notably Jill Whalen’s, she does a great job of ranking well in the Boston area, I like what she’s done there) and settled on targeting the following terms based on search volumes:

  • ri seo
  • rhode island seo
  • search optimization ri
  • ri seo consultant

2. Writing the Title and Meta-Description

I followed the practices in my posting Writing Meta-Descriptions: The Complete Guide and came up with the meta-description you can see on this page (just view source and look for the tag).

I used this great snippet preview tool that @ZunairaKarim pointed out (thank you!) to make sure it will display properly (if chosen by Google), and the second line should show up correctly.

Note I have a call-to-action “Download” and the great term “Free” in there (if Google actually chooses to display it).  Run a search in Google and see how it looks; if Google picked it up it should obtain a good click-through-rate.  In fact, please go ahead and click through from the SERP; I’d be really grateful, as I believe Google is using relative CTR as a ranking factor.

Since you should of course always be truthful when marketing, here is the free downloadable ri seo search optimization case study that the meta-description refers to.  I will be updating it as results accumulate.  Who knows, perhaps with the help of soda PDF the file itself will show up in the SERPs as well, taking up additional shelf space and helping me to dominate my tiny niche.  Note that I applied many of the techniques detailed in my recent SEO article SEO for PDF files: Advanced Tricks when creating the case study.

Best practices for Titles are pretty similar to Meta-Descriptions.  As revealed in my article A Key Paid Search Learning Every SEO Should Study, you really need to push the primary keyword as far to the left as possible; so I came up with the title you see for this post (just look at the top of your screen).

I really shouldn’t have focused on the search optimization case study aspect in that title, but I wrote it that way for the regular readers of this blog, so the title would make sense to them, and they might actually find it interesting, rather than the other title that I *really* wanted to use which was:

RI SEO Search Optimization Consulting in Providence, Rhode Island

3. Keyword Density Analysis

I used a keyword density tool by goRank to analyze the top 4 ranking pages for each of the queries above, to see how many times on average I should use each term.  I also threw in the names of a few of the smaller RI cities that people may search on, which came up zero times but I will make sure to throw them in at least once, thus beating the competition by one.

According to all this analysis, this article needs to be 800 words long (note – it ended up somewhat larger), and should include:

  • rhode island SEO – 4 times
  • ri SEO consultant – 3
  • ri seo – another 2
  • island – 7
  • seo – 11
  • rhode – 7
  • search optimization – 6
  • providence – 3
  • search engine – 3
  • consultant – another 2
  • warwick – twice (there, I just did it).
  • newport – twice (ditto)
  • cranston – twice (ditto)

Note that I put <strong> tags around items above as a signal to the search engines that they are particularly what this article is about.

4. Stems and Frequencies to use

Per my recent article on Stemming for SEO, I also decided to include these additional word stems:

  • optimize – 2 times
  • optimized – 2
  • searching – 2
  • searched – 2
  • consulting – 2
  • consulted – 2

5. Related Keywords to Use

Per my article on textalyser, I used that great free tool to analyze text from the top-ranking pages, and decided after analysis to include these related keywords that it identified, ideally using each approximately 3 times.

    • web
    • marketing
    • website
    • site
    • internet
    • services
    • company
    • media
    • firm
  • solutions

6. Other Meta-Tags

Per my article Google’s Secret Ranking Algorithm Exposed, having the keyword in H1 tags, H2 tags, and H3 tags can help, but H4-H6 can hurt (i.e. Google may view them as “over-optimization”.  For my part, I just decided to use the title above that I would have liked to have used, but couldn’t, as an H1 tag (just before section 3).

7. Desired Anchor Text Links

I will attempt to obtain some links with the targeted keywords in the anchor text.  If you’re reading this in a few months (this was written in January 2012) try doing a search on the url for this page but with “-site:coconutheadphones.com” to see if I got any.

8. Interesting RI SEO Local Terms to Spice Things Up

It seems to me that any decent Rhode Island Search Engine Optimization web page should mention things like Del’s Lemonade, Buddy Cianci, Stepping Stone Ranch, Camp Yawgoog, The Big Blue Bug, Rocky Point, and South County.  Of course, neither Rocky Point nor South County actually exist (the former doesn’t anymore, while the latter has never existed but still does), but I should include all of these terms to give any local marketers warm fuzzies about my localness.  I will make sure I include those terms on this page, as well as the cities of Warwick, Cranston, Newport, and Quahog 😉

9. Reduce the number of occurrences of *non-targeted* terms

After I drafted this, I ran the article through the tool I mentioned before (I don’t want to say its name or search engines may think this is about it).  I found a number of items I was repeating multiple times, so I went through and eliminated them or substituted other words for them.  This is an important step that I believe many people leave out of their optimization process.


Hopefully this posting has been informative on how to optimize content to rank highly; and hopefully it will perform well in a self-referential way.  You may notice that I didn’t hit the *exact* frequencies I targeted, but got pretty close in most cases. This should be adequate; SEO in RI or anywhere else is not an exact science by any means, and all of the best practices noted above are simply rough guidance.

Check back in after a few weeks and I’ll post about the results in both the comments and the PDF referenced above.

In closing, I would like to say, as did Bobo from “Finding Bigfoot” on the show covering their investigation of Rhode Island last weekend:

“I have no problem saying Rhode Island is as squatchy as hell”.

That may have little to do with the topic at hand; however, I really wanted to use that line some time, and after all, it did allow me to get another two references to RI into this paragraph…


  1. Jan says:

    Well, this is really great blog about SEO Consultant benefits. This is very good SEO information. Good effort. I Like it.

  2. Ryan Underdown says:

    Hi Ted,

    Frequent reader – didn’t realize you were a fellow Rhode Islander. I’m an SEO living in Phoenix now but originally from “No School Foster Glocester”.



  3. Ted Ives says:

    I’m in Arcadia, so we get the exact same snow band that hits Foster. Just shoveled about 4 inches this morning…enjoy your dry heat over there…and your Fry’s Electronics you lucky dog, maybe they’ll crawl their way to the East Coast some day, it’s an electronics wasteland here!

  4. Ted, I did a search for ri seo right after starting to read point #2. your description is showing ellipsis in my results as are 1-2. But, dude, you’re #5 on a post that’s 2-3 weeks old for a competitive keyword.

    Looks like I’ve go some work to do…


  5. Ryan Underdown says:

    Used to camp at arcadia quite a bit. Beautiful country.

  6. Hey Ted, great post here. I love the idea of getting those local business mentions in there. Reminds me of the post Rand did on someone’s completely un-optimized page that was ranking really well because it was authentic. Would be interesting to try and test this, but the variables are just out of control when you take it city-to-city / market-to-market.

    Super interesting post! Thanks man!


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