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  • Writer's pictureCarli Van Stolk

How I Brought A Client to Google’s First Page Overnight

One of my consulting clients runs a retreat business on Salt Spring Island, a small island off the coast of Vancouver, Canada.

This client has been running her retreats for over five years now, and doing all of the marketing herself.

Most of her retreat clients were referrals through word of mouth. And while referrals aren’t a problem, she wanted new clients—ones who weren’t friends or friends of friends.

I consulted her on how best we could use SEO to help bring in new traffic. And then I got to work. Here's how I brought her from Google's fourth to first page—overnight.

Step 1: Research

First, I did some keyword research to see what keywords were possible to rank for. “Salt spring island retreats” was possible, as well as “salt spring island yoga retreats.”

However, when I typed each of those into Google, she was nowhere to be found on the first page. She was all the way on page four. (Unfortunately, I forgot to take screenshots of that, but it’s true! I wasn't expecting to see such positive results so quickly.)

Once I determined the keywords we wanted to rank for and our goal for the project—for her business to show up on the first page—I started updating.

Step 2: On-Page SEO

I started by updating her on-page SEO, such as title tags, meta descriptions, and page descriptions. I included "Enso", "salt spring island", and “retreats” and/or “yoga retreats” into each of these elements.

I also wrote a strategic piece of long-form content that included these keywords as well, placing them specifically into the blog title and header tags.

Lastly, I made sure that all images had alt-tags with the target keywords.

Step 3: Location SEO

It was crucial to update her Google My Business information to ensure potential attendees could find her on Google Maps.

I included the important information (location, business category, business name) and made sure to include the target keywords on her Google My Business page.

Note: She didn’t want certain information on her Google My Business page, such as her phone number or hours, so we omitted that (although that information would help boost her business in search).

Step 4: Off-Page SEO

Lastly, I did some minor off-page SEO tweaks, too. I updated her social media channels to include the target keywords in their bios and informed her to include these keywords in captions going forward.

The Results

Within one night (yes, one night!), her business showed up on Google’s first page, and even within the top five results. I was in shock! I knew we would see positive results, but I didn't expect to see this so quickly.

I even tested this from multiple different browsers, on multiple computers, and all in private mode.

Here is a screenshot showing the results, one day later, from the piece of long-form content.

Now, here’s a screenshot of the results six months later. She's still up there.

Before, when she wasn’t showing up on the first page at all, she’s now in the top location results for the target keywords on Google My Business.

And even now, six months later, her business is still a SERP feature on Semrush!

These results are why I love working with SEO. My data-driven yet creative brain is so satisfied: I get to use my strategic and creative skill set and, in cases like these, get to see clear, measurable, and positive results.

What’s all the more gratifying is that unlike some ‘softer’ forms of content marketing, improving a business’ SEO is a direct way to boost a business’ success.

Get in touch if you’re looking to see results like these too. Let’s see what we can do!


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