Investing in Local SEO: A Case Study
In 2019, I designed, built and launched a brand new website for Hackney Therapy Centre.
Throughout the course of a year, I developed an SEO plan for their business and executed my strategy that has taken them from out of the top 100 search results to owning the top spots in Google for their highly-competitive Hackney orientated local search queries.
The therapy industry in Hackney is a highly competitive one, with a lot of competition in one area. Just before the pandemic, Hackney Therapy Centre created a community for therapists, with rooms to rent in their exclusive therapy centre in Hackney, London. The centre not only needed to find clients for their therapists, they also needed to find more therapists to rent their rooms and join the community on a regular basis.
Before introducing SEO, Hackney Therapy Centre were gaining little traction and very little organic traffic, which is standard for websites that don’t execute an SEO strategy.
Around 60%+ of the clicks in search results go to the top three websites listed in the search. Result’s past the 1st page are lucky to get 5% of clicks. This means that if your website is not on the first page, your website will be highly unlikely to get much traffic.
In order to achieve the top spots in Google, I needed to find out what search phrases people were searching for for this particular niche, and develop a short term and long term strategy to rank for those phrases.
SEO Research Phase
My research suggested that there were 8 search phrases that had enough search volume to warrant attention.
For the phrases identified, there were 3 main competitors that consistently ranked in the top 3 results (or at least the first page). Throughout my SEO strategy I not only analyse data from Hackney Therapy Centre (HTC) but also for these 3 competitors too.
I performed in-depth analysis on those websites that included data like:
- How long the website had been in existence
- Their content strategy
- The user experience
- Keyword optimisation
- Number of pages
- Backlinks to their website
By having a better understanding of your competitors and their results, I can develop a strategy to out-optimise all of their strengths and also take advantage of elements they use that don’t work so well.
There were several factors that needed to be considered when putting together the strategy for Hackney Therapy Centre.
As I built the website, I was confident we had a well structured website to give us the best chance for ranking, including a clear user experience, ensuring that potential clients were able to find all information quickly and clearly.
With all new SEO clients, I recommend an SEO Booster, which is a full website audit with the aim to fully optimise parts of the site that need it, and to make the site fully readable to ensure efficient indexing by search engines.
On top of that, I needed to provide Google with other trust signals that would indicate that the information on Hackney Therapy Centre’s website was not only helpful, but consistent and reliable. This included ensuring their Google My Business listing was also optimised and all business name, address and phone number information (NAP) is consistent on all platforms. This is vital for trust, search engines must feel that the site is up to date and trustworthy to want to provide ranking.
The website was submitted to all the major search engines, and I installed tracking software (Google Analytics) so I could measure the traffic and see how people were using the website.
I always set a 3-month deadline to try and leave the website as it is to specify a baseline of traffic, although I often make tweaks and also build backlinks in this time.
After the 3-month period was over, I had enough data to begin to make some determinations as to what was working, and what things would need the most attention.
Here are the initial positions in the search results for our 8 search phrases through the first three months:
|Day of Launch||+1 Month||+2 Months||+3 Months|
|Search Phrase 1||100+||77||53||12|
|Search Phrase 2||100+||53||39||13|
|Search Phrase 3||100+||84||56||11|
|Search Phrase 4||100+||72||21||10|
|Search Phrase 5||100+||62||24||7|
|Search Phrase 6||100+||53||18||3|
|3Search Phrase 7||100+||98||46||10|
|Search Phrase 8||100+||82||36||12|
The data immediately suggested that I was on the right track.
Ongoing SEO strategy
After the first 3 months, the rankings were going well, I was pleased with the results, but I knew more adjustments needed to be made to ensure the website’s rankings still continued to rise. SEO has to be a long term strategy to see the return on investment, rarely can it be just left to gain ranking as there are so many factors that make up your ranking.
At this point, adjustments had to be made to the content throughout the site which led me to make a few tweaks to content, analysing any data I had to make sure I continued to provide the best user journey possible for potential clients, and make sure they had all the resources and information they need. I added sections and more information on the individual rooms available to rent in Hackney Therapy Centre and provided more images for people to view.
Some slight adjustments were made to the therapist profiles and other information on the site, including more call to action buttons and an improved process for the end user to contact a therapist directly.
By increasing the amount of content on the site, as well as encouraging more traffic from social media, I know that those would be good indicators to Google that our site was worth displaying on the first page.
Posts were also made every week on Google my business to ensure Google knew we were active and providing information to our users.
One Year Results
As of today (September 23rd, 2021) — here are the results with a comparison to the date we launched:
|Day of Launch||+1 Year|
|Search Phrase 1||100+||1|
|Search Phrase 2||100+||1|
|Search Phrase 3||100+||1|
|Search Phrase 4||100+||1|
|Search Phrase 5||100+||2|
|Search Phrase 6||100+||2|
|Search Phrase 7||100+||2|
|Search Phrase 8||100+||1|
|Search Phrase 9||100+||1|
- 6 search phrases in the top spot
- All in the top 3
Organic traffic continued to steadily increase and tracked almost perfectly with their rankings in search engines. Meaning the higher they were ranked the more clicks, visits, phone calls, and ultimately therapists and potential clients they had. Hackney Therapy Centres rankings go from strength to strength, as I add more search phrases that also benefit them and continue to work on maintaining those top spots.
Can This Be Repeated?
It can, yes.
While your strategy wouldn’t be the same as HTC’s, it is the principles applied that really make the difference.
By understanding what phrases to target, your competitive landscape, developing targeted content, and continual improvement your business can rank in the search results too.
Of course, there is a lot of detail omitted from this article as I can’t tell you it all, what I can tell you is it takes time. This takes patience. This does require a budget and it isn’t a short term fix, but you get it it right, the return on investment speaks volumes.
If you want to find out more about how I can help your business, I offer SEO Booster packages, ongoing strategies, SEO audits, and I can even train you up to implement an SEO strategy yourself going forward!