Case Study: Ranking A Niche Site

Case Study: Ranking A Niche Site
This article was contributed to our seo community blog by Scott Nailon from Sites By Design

Search Engine Optimisation is one of the most exciting things in my work life, it had better be – that’s what I spend most of my time learning about and doing!

As an SEO consultant I spend so much time ranking the most exciting website for the most exciting keywords! I mean who doesn’t get excited about helping their local plumber rank #1 in Google maps so that he can play with more peoples pipes?

In my Uber exciting job, it is rare that an opportunity comes along to rank a super niche website for a low competition keywords which is high in search volume and delivers massive profit on any sales it produces!

When it happens it is akin to that feeling you get from a breath of fresh air when you first arrive in a rural area or even the feeling of vitality you get from an ice cold glass of clean water on a dry hot day.

Imagine what happened when an opportunity came my way to do something totally different, and it came from inside my own family!

My Big Opportunity

I had better explain, you see my father was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s photographer in the 1970’s. They were the best of friends, training together, partying together and even dining together! They had a ball in those days, and whilst it was happening my dad had an addiction to clicking away on the camera he had! His only regret being that he didn’t take more photos!

So, a few years ago he handed me the rights to use any of his photos for anything I deemed would be good, with the stipulation that I respect the subjects of the photos, mainly Arnold Schwarzenegger.

So, considering my being a web guy I launched a new business which I named “The Arnold Collection”.

At first I sold photos to people over eBay and other similar sites, but it became too hard to get more and more so I digitised the images, cleaned them up in photoshop without distorting his already overgrown looking body and I started producing high quality posters, expensive memorabilia & even some promo products for good measure!

It was now time to leave Facebook, where I had gained a 10k+ following over 6 months, and join the rest of the internet in getting my own website. I am the owner of a web company, which specialises in Website Research, Planning, Writing, Construction and Exposure. So I started building my online presence in my (at the time) favourite CMS – Joomla!

Building the Website and SEO

I built the framework around Joomla and MijoShop, used lots of old photos, added some old blogs and even re-wrote some great articles by my dad from 1970’s bodybuilding magazines. Although later I swapped out Mijoshop for Shopify and made a dual technology website!

Once the site was up I did my onsite SEO foundations, tagged the images, headlines and other things that are no brainers. Then I started adding products to the store. One at a time I carefully added my posters and memorabilia clearly alt-tagging it all with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s name and a few choice phrases I knew were being searched on a regular basis.


The end result of my on page seo was I entered the top 10 pages of Google, the only search engine worth even looking at in my opinion, for the keywords I knew people were looking for.

Now it was time to back link! So I slowly ran more and more backlinks from relevant content on relevant websites until it started to move toward the front page rankings I was after. I even got cheeky and dropped some links to my products in Schwarzenegger’s website on the forum commenting section!

I did some commenting in the right forums, guest posting on other people’s blogs and asked others in the Arnold Scene to give me links from their websites.

Soon enough people started to link to my site without even asking me!

Now I was ranking for some great keyword phrases!

Arnold Schwarzenegger Memorabilia
Arnold Schwarzenegger Posters
And many more!

hoth niching

I Got Site Visitors!

Now I was ranking for some phrases which were being searched hundreds of times per month and even thousands in some cases. I was getting a steady flow of visitors and even selling the odd poster or two!

Next it was time to start building my domain name Authority by ordering some high quality back links, where would I go for that? There is only one place to go, a high quality backlining agency.

Remembering I am already in the SEO game and running Managed SEO, I will tell you my little secret, I chose a company from the USA called ‘The Hoth’. The Hoth is an SEO Wholesaler who look after Web Agencies all over the globe, they have an abundance of very useful product packages they sell and their backlinks are of reputable quality.

SEO Time! – So, in my situation what would you order?

Well! You start by looking at your anchor text profiles, this is best done through either, ahrefs or semrush. Ensure your best phrases are under the 10% mark for some good quality to flow through. Then focus on backlinking form some authority domains to your front page, this will help boost your authority with Google.

Once you have a few good links into your front page you should go through your website and send some outbound links to websites of authority, I often do this with wikipedia and other high authority websites.

Now it’s time to get a web of backlinks hitting all of your pages – especially your blog articles!

If you have a super niche product like mine it is awesome to run a press release on it, you may even get some direct referrals from the Huffington Post and other such news websites!

Now before you go rushing in to spend thousands on backlinking like I have I want to give you the following warning: Remember that 75% of the success you have in the search engines will come from the quality of your website and its content, if you have not done the onsite optimisation you have no chance!

Don’t forget, Google is like a man, the way to his heart is through his stomach, so feed him. What does Google eat? CONTENT, CONTENT and MORE CONTENT!

So every week for 3 months you should write a blog article with lots of words and make it useful to your reader. Ensure that it he filled up with great keywords and that you have done the onsite work to help it become a success!

About Scott Nailon

Scott Nailon has been in the web industry since 2008, he has been involved with the planning and production of websites in all different industries. In 2012, After reading ‘The eMyth Revisited’ 3 times over, Scott shut down his old website design business and started Sites By Design, a web design business shaped around the ever changing needs of the customer. Since then Scott has also been involved in training people to become web designers and even helped launch them into their own web design business. After building out systems at Sites By Design Scott has developed a love for SEO and opened a new business called ManagedSEO where he is servicing clients small and large in SEO capacity.