Real Life On Page SEO Case Study

Back on May 18, I did a video showing a great On Page SEO trick that I use to control what is displayed in the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP). I recommend you watch it if you haven’t because this post is related to that one.

Today, I want to show you a real life On Page SEO case study. Back on Wednesday, I wrote a post about the season final of American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior. I wrote that post because I enjoyed the show. However, it was not lost on me that Discovery Channel was heavily promoting the final episode. I knew the promotion would result in a lot of interest and, more importantly, a lot of Google searches. I also knew that many American Chopper bloggers don’t know dick about On Page SEO.

The results have been pretty spectacular. Thanks to Discovery Channel promoting the hell out of the show, I have seen a flood of Google traffic hitting my blog. How great has it been? Watch the video and find out.

112 thoughts on “Real Life On Page SEO Case Study”

  1. Keith says:

    I have to admit, you are brilliant, John! Thanks for sharing. How much of that is also because you have a powerful domain already? Or am I wrong in thinking that way.

    1. I would say he is having powerful content which helps him to build the authority in the eyes of google and other search engine.

      1. Abhik says:

        Not only the quality contents.. John updates his blog twice a day, and that matters too.

        1. Yes consistency is also vital if you want to build authority in the eyes of search engines.

    2. Kevin Kimes says:

      I think starting with a high PR definitely is the first step to achieve these kinds of results. Google obviously already trusts this domain, so when John posts on a topic, with his great on-page SEO, he jumps right up to the top of the SERPs.

      1. John has content to show others,again John has all hard work for his SEO,then obviously Google will prefer him.I can remember when John was fighting against Google,no pages was then in Google search.

        1. Yes everyone remember that and recently with Neil and Matt everything settled in between of google and john.

        2. It think it is more on working smart rather that working hard… Great Job John.

    3. Rich Kent says:

      Having a high-PR domain makes a big difference, as the Page Rank from the main domain trickles down to the other content on the site.

      It also helps that John has a lot of readers to retweet, like, and otherwise bookmark his content, as social media activity factors into SEO ranking.

      Finally, a lot of Johns posts get links from other blogs as other bloggers comment on stuff that John writes about – and those backlinks are a huge part of ranking.

      1. Yes now John simply post and rest can be done by his reputation and established loyal readers.

    4. You aren’t number 1 any longer, you are down to number 3.

  2. I really like the video and the tips you’re sharing 🙂 and the stats look awesome!

    1. Yeah it was always nice to have video likr this after weekend …

      1. I also voter of video….keep more sharing such videos.

    2. I wonder if I can beat you and get a higher ranking for that term.

      1. Yes you can start building with thos keyword and soon you will be able to see the results, do not forget to add quality and long content.

  3. Awesome case study to building your traffic though capitalizing on media. Blogging about trends is a fast way to get an instant boost in traffic. Loved the case study!

    1. Yeah keep an eye on trend … But this is hard to manage. Though many blogs run simply on trends.

  4. Nisha says:

    To be honest, I am a bit confused about the latest algorithm changes announced by Google. Although I didn’t feel any changes at the beginning, one of my main blogs were thrown to the fifth page without having any reason – hope this one would help!

    1. Nisha how do you know that there is no reason ….

      Would you like to share that blog link with us with your keywords …

  5. Wow. That just proves that your technique works. I am using your technique of on page seo by changing permalinks and finding good keywords. Thanks for the video.

    But I have one question though. What is the purpose of this traffic on your blog? There wouldn’t be any conversions, right? Isn’t it as useless as buying traffic?

    1. John Chow says:

      People who watch American Chopper are a perfect audience target for me. However, to explain why would require a separate post. I may do that in the future.

      1. Kevin Kimes says:

        John, does the fact that your whole site already has a high PR give you a sort of “automatic” boost in the SERPs (which is of course then amplified by the on-page SEO) when you put up a post on certain keyword topics?

        For example, if I had done the exact same thing on my site, with equally great on-page SEO, and my post was let’s say identical for the purpose of discussion, would I have done just as well?

        I expect the answer is no, because my site doesn’t even have a page rank, and has very little off-page SEO at this point.

        1. John Chow says:

          It depends on the competition. But the higher your PR the higher you rank. So far, it looks like only Discovery channel is out ranking me. The PR on all the other blogs about American Chopper is pretty low. You should be able to beat most of them with some good SEO.

          1. Kevin Kimes says:

            Perhaps I should start an additional blog in a niche where less than 100% of my fellow bloggers are SEO experts. 🙂

            And/or keep some personal interests on my site. After all, it is my namesake.

          2. Abhik says:

            PR!!? Does it really matter?
            I guess it is the authority which outranking you.

      2. @ Rison +1 to you for this question and would love to see John’s reply on it on future posts.

      3. That would be an interesting post because I don’t really see how they are.

    2. There’s no such thing as useless traffic. For instance, more than 10 000 views on this post in 5 days. That’s 10 000 + people seeing John’s blog. They will either comment or go and tell others about this post, which means even more traffic. They might even link back to this post and ultimately to the blog, which means John might even get high ranking backlinks. Which means John’s blog wil get a higher PR rank from Google. From a marketer’s point of view, that’s priceless.

      Way to go John. 🙂

      1. PPC Ian says:

        Agreed! Any traffic is good traffic. Especially when you’re talking about a broad offer like make money online.

        1. Kevin Kimes says:

          Yeah, I bet a useful portion of those viewers are noticing the rest of this blog and thinking, “Hey, I heard about people making money online, but this guy is actually doing it for real, while posting about choppers and whatever else he wants.”

          Suddenly the rumors about people making money online are turned into concrete reality and this site becomes their gateway to the whole industry.

      2. so basically this post was not for conversion. This was simply to get more links and more authority in other niches and area.

        Would love to read John’s post on it though.

  6. Alexis says:

    Thanks John. Very useful SEO tips.But is the traffic targeted?

    1. Abhik says:

      Well, those are definitely targeted, but I doubt if they converted to a lead at all since John’s niche is completely different.

      1. Kevin Kimes says:

        Ordinary people are the perfect candidates to become blog-entrepreneurs. It cost John probably an hour of time to gain 10,000 visitors. I bet at least a few signed up for the list and another handful will be regular readers.

        Eventually he might earn several commissions as a result of that one post.

        Even with small percentages, 10,000 visitors for one post is great. Blogs are built one-post-at-a-time. If I could get 10,000 vaguely-targeted visitors for every post, I’d be growing a lot faster than I am now.

      2. Abhik … If they are not related to John’s niche than how it can be targetted my friend ?

        1. Abhik says:

          Did I say they are targeted traffic for John? Naah!!!
          But, they sure are targeted traffic for a blog on American Chopper.

  7. Keepong an eye on what is going is also an important quality of any businessman and glad that you have such quality John.

    1. Abhik says:

      I wonder how John manage all these alone.. 😀

      1. Yes sometime I am also surprised to see all these efforts by john himself.

        Would love to see daily routine of John in details.

  8. Julie Kilmer says:

    Kick ass John! I need you to show me how to do that!! I am ready and on fire!

    Peace, J

  9. Tikyd says:

    Thanks for this case study. I have one question I would like to ask John. Do you think that a brand new site can achieve similar results just based on the on page SEO?

    1. John said about this earlier.
      “So far, it looks like only Discovery channel is out ranking me. The PR on all the other blogs about American Chopper is pretty low. You should be able to beat most of them with some good SEO.”

    2. Yes you can provided the competition is too low, you get the main keyword based domain names and original content with relevant link building.

  10. great case study, Thank you John for sharing it. We are trying to establish our site and hoping that this case will help

  11. SEO SEO SEO, Can any one tell me that we can proceed without it? If no then i have to learn about it.

    1. If you are on online business than you should and you must learn about it. Because sooner or later you will need seo information.

  12. Nando says:

    Hey John,

    Thanks for the video and way to go on crushing the serps with your on page seo. Imagine how much potential traffic a blog could get if the majority of the posts on it were constructed this way.

    Good stuff,

  13. David says:

    Hey John! What SEO plugin are you using? I watched the video 3 times trying to figure this out. And what is your recommendation on using keywords? Should we be using many keywords or just a few main keywords? Thanks, Dave

    1. John Chow says:

      It’s not a plugin. Those features come standard with the Thesis Framework:

      Or you can use a plugin call All in One SEO. I install that for free as part of my free WordPress install.

      1. Kevin Kimes says:

        Are the stats shown in the video also part of Thesis? Or is that a plugin?

        1. John Chow says:

          The is Stats plugin. It also comes with my free WordPress install.

          1. Kevin Kimes says:

            Sweet, I was thinking that might be it. I’m going to go install that tonight so I can look at my two-digit visitor stats! HAH.

      2. David says:

        I’m using Yoast on my blog and it’s working pretty good for me. Also, I like how your blog is based around internet marketing but your not scared to mix things up and post about Paul and Paul Jr. It shows that SEO is more important than the niche to google.

  14. Jon Domer says:

    A truly kick ass tip! Thanks, John, for sharing this video. I echo Tikyd’s question.

  15. Edwin says:

    Thanks for sharing. Will implement this on-page SEO tactics. Also show that those who has an eye on the trends and knows how to capitalize on it will be at the top of SERPs. Now, we know how to do it. Thanks. John.

  16. Abhik says:

    Oh!! I noticed that you +1’d your own link.
    John, how seriously you take that new feature from Google?

    1. Kevin Kimes says:

      Well, he’s taken it seriously enough to use it, at least. It’s simple to set up, so better to be safe than sorry.

  17. Hashimotos says:

    I just would like to confirm that the techniques you explained in both your posts are really working. I have also implemented it on my blog and have seen excellent results within a couple of days. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Steve says:

    Old Chinese proverb: “If it sounds too good to be true, it is.”

    1. Kevin Kimes says:

      Which part sounds too good to be true?

  19. This is awesome John! I believe alot of us have all in one seo plugin installed but are not fully utilizing it. Thanks for showing us a great way of doing it with impressive results as proof no less =)

  20. Kirk Taylor says:

    I’ve been doing this with shows related to entrepreneurial topics. Last Friday night I had 2,000 visitors in about 3 hours to one post that was from a rerun episode. It actually did better than the orginal run over two months ago.

    What I’ve discovered from this is that there are all kinds of offline topics that are not capitalized on and are huge traffic builders because the SEO guys aren’t focused on these channels.
    Like you said, the amatuers are the ones writing posts on the show and that gives the guys with the right tools and strategy an incredible opportunity.
    Great post…

    1. Yes there are still thousands of untouched gems …. You simply need right software to get those long tail keywords.

  21. Quick question John:
    Talking about the plugins: What was the plugin for stats on your site? (kstats or something else)
    Thank you very much

    1. John Chow says: Stats. It’s was written by WordPress and was first designed for sites but has since been expanded to include self hosted WordPress blogs.

  22. Kevin Kimes says:

    What I want to see now is a comment on this post by somebody who just started reading after coming here for the Chopper post. 🙂

    But even if nobody does, there’s no doubt it was effective.

  23. Kevin Kimes says:

    Okay, I’m officially commenting too much on this post. But it really has my interest.
    I’ve recently read that Google IGNORES the meta-keywords.

    This is from Google’s own blog.

    If that’s the case, those meta keywords from the SEO plugins (or Thesis in this case) are pointless?

    1. John Chow says:

      Just because Google maybe ignoring meta keywords doesn’t mean Yahoo, Bing or other search engines are ignoring them. Don’t put all your eggs in Google’s basket.

      1. Abhik says:

        Well Said!!
        Also, there are a few meta search engines too. I get at least 1 ~ 2 visitors from search engines other than those big 3.

  24. Interesting…

    For anyone else attempting this, do be sure that you don’t spend too much time focusing on a one-time promotion. Remembering back to Michael Jackson’s death, there were a ton of sites and articles taking advantage of the increased traffic, but building out a “business path” along something that’s temporary like this wouldn’t make much sense, of course.

    1. Kevin Kimes says:

      Exactly, real business is built for the long haul. John isn’t trying to sell us on a “look how I got 10,000 visitors from one post”, but rather is showing us the true power of proper on-page SEO techniques.

      We need to diversify and look at the life-long picture in order to thrive.

      People who are always looking to cash in on the latest fads never run out of busy-work to capitalize on them. But a good business plan will result in the workload steadily decreasing as the profit steadily increases.

    2. Kirk Taylor says:

      Actually, I expect the American Chopper post to receive constant traffic. What I’m learning is that shows like this get constantly replayed and that brings new visitors with a percentage of them coming back for more on a regular basis

      See my previous comment for an example of this.

      1. It may, but I meant it more as a warning in general against chasing after the short-sighted traffic and not against that post in particular.

        We did a bit of this with one of our other sites and definitely saw some improved traffic. The problem, though, was that the traffic really had no relation to the site…nothing whatsoever. The traffic we received was almost worthless, so that would speak to my second point…make sure that any bait-type posts you put out there relate back to the topic of the site as best you can…learn from our mistake! 🙂

        1. Kirk Taylor says:

          Yes, great point. I aim for areas that relate.

  25. ofri says:

    Thats useful…..

  26. a5v19 says:

    Although most traffic was off target is quite extraordinary considering that perhaps occurs a series of new admirers of your blog.I’ll try this for myself…:)

  27. John,
    I am a bit confused here. Your stats show about 10,000 visits, but when I went to Google Keyword tools to search for the same keyword, it showed me ZERO searches for the keyword phrase “american chopper cadillac bike”. I live in Edinburgh, UK. Just to make sure I am not searching in the wrong database (we use here), I switched to keyword tool and searched for the US geography . Same result – zero. Can you explain this?


    1. John Chow says:

      Google Keyword tools doesn’t provide exact numbers, only rough estimates. That’s why many IM uses other keyword tools.

      1. Ugh, Can I request you to suggest a reliable keyword tool..

  28. Great concept and i have some tips for on page seo,

    Keywords within Title-It is the title which is shown up in search results and used by SE robots to display specific search results., so it is the most important to use keywords, or key phrases on the title of website or each page.

    Article writing-Write or get someone write articles and submit them to various article sites. While submitting articles there is a Author box and website link in the sites, fill up these and it provides important back links for your website which helps with SE rankings.

  29. Bob Roberto says:

    Wow this is great tip John. On page is really a great help. Just be consistent in doing it.

  30. Bahasa says:

    nice share John, I realy like the video.

  31. I like the capitalizing on trends. John, your blog is a miscellaneous ramblings so even this thing on American Chopper can fit in. Sometimes I will try to capitalize on a current trending topic to tie it to my theme of small business, as I did with bin Laden’s death.

    Great stuff.

  32. Scolex says:

    I just wonder how a PR 0 blog outranks other blogs in a trending topic on the internet. The visible PR tool is not really a great factor in ranking. As with my experience, I can outrank other high PR blog even PR 5 in a particular keyword we both target. For example, just these days, the trend is NBA 2011 Finals and i made some posts pertaining to the keywords and i was surprised that i got a leap in traffic same happened happened during the Royal Wedding.

    It may not be a targeted traffic but at least i have tried and proved to myself that a PR 0 blog can outrank others if we just know the correct ways of using on page SEO.

    Credits to John Chow because for following his blog, i learned a lot from him.
    How I learned Search Engine Optimization(SEO)?

  33. Scolex says:

    I just wonder how a PR 0 blog outranks other blogs in a trending topic on the internet. The visible PR tool is not really a great factor in ranking. As with my experience, I can outrank other high PR blog even PR 5 in a particular keyword we both target. For example, just these days, the trend is NBA 2011 Finals and i made some posts pertaining to the keywords and i was surprised that i got a leap in traffic same happened during the Royal Wedding 2011.

    Check these keywords: Royal Wedding 2011 replay video, dallas vs miami game 6 replay video

    At least i’m on the Top 5.

    It may not be a targeted traffic but at least i have tried and proved to myself that a PR 0 blog can outrank others if we just know the correct ways of using on page SEO.

    Credits to John Chow because for following his blog, i learned a lot from him.
    How I learned Search Engine Optimization(SEO)?

  34. Very nice idea! I am glad that you share your ideas and let everyone learn from your experience.
    You forget to mention that your blog is quite popular and important to Google and you can add this beside the particular meta and title to the facts that you get first on the Google’s SERP! 😉

  35. fas says:

    John I want to know one thing. Your using Thesis today, after say a year a better platform comes along, you might shift to it. What happens to the thesis SEO options? If you use a plugin like all in one, your keywords are intact in the post, irrespective of the theme platform.

    1. John Chow says:

      You’re assuming Thesis won’t update. Chris has been making constant improvements to it since it started. At any rate, both Thesis and All In One has a module to import each other’s SEO data should you want to switch.

      1. fas says:

        Oh that is fantastic. I never knew about that. I asked because I have a theme, which too has thesis like SEO options but I chose to use the All in one SEO plugin. How different are the theme options and the plugin?

  36. PPC Ian says:

    I like this strategy because more traffic helps you sell more banner ads. I know John does not make a ton of money doing that vs. email list but could really help for blogs making a lot of money from ads.

  37. Wow, excellent job John, I am impressed 🙂 I have an SEO plugin as well, but wouldn’t have thought to try and grab traffic off of something like this. Gonna have to try it 🙂

  38. Rina says:

    Wow. this is a very interesting concept. Thanks for sharing yout ideas and let us know about it. I have all-in-one seo plugin installed on my blog but i dont really know how to use it until now. Thanks!

  39. andrew says:

    Do you recommend a specific Adsense plugin that works well with Thesis?

    1. John Chow says:

      I don’t run AdSense on my blog. I use OIO Publisher to serve my ads.

  40. Great study, SEO is crucial to any website’s success.

  41. Bala2898 says:

    I just learned about On Page SEO system here and thanks.

  42. Please let know, how to get more information about on page seo in details.?

  43. George Tee says:

    Hi john, I look at your previous blog post related to this one. That’s a great tips for controlling what search engines see. I now then look at the video here and that’s a lot of information that are really interesting. I like how you say to blog about topics that are trending today. People would definitely look for hot stuff plus the fact of customizing your title and descriptions and target right keywords. Awesome, man. Thanks for this post.

  44. Kathy says:

    I love working with on-page SEO – and I equally love the idea of finding a trending topic as John mentioned in his video. I feel like I need to learn to locate trends.

    I do look at trends when I’m doing my keyword research – but when it comes to mainstream/day-to-day topics, I’m just not that up on things. We actually do not have TV at our house (too time consuming) – so I don’t know what shows or products are really being pushed. Time to find a way to learn!

  45. fas says:

    JOhn can you please do a post on how to install the wp-stats plugin. it keeps asking for API key and does not recognise it. Do we have to add the blog in Its for selfhosted.

  46. Helen Neely says:

    Hey John, you never seize to blow us away with your awesome tips.
    I will look into on page SEO for my blog from now on.

  47. fazal mayar says:

    On page is really important. I have been trying to interlink lately and add some meta tags and it helps! Thanks John

  48. Powerful content…
    The most important On Page optimization techniques include –
    #1. Use Relevant Keywords for the domain name
    #2. SEO Optimized Titles
    #3. Pay attention to anchor texts in links
    #4. A Perfect Debut paragraph
    #5. Good Permalinks Structure

  49. And wish you all best on want to show a real life On Page SEO case study.
    Have a good time…

  50. This is awesome, John. Thanks for giving us the heads up – I can see that I’m going to be taking a good look at what my current SEO settings are and make the changes! Thanks a lot!! 🙂


  51. onpage are the most important factor in seo

  52. Great video, John. Thesis is such a powerful tool for optimizing your Google snippets, and as a result, your SEO efforts. Thanks for sharing how you’re using creative snippets to drive traffic to JCdotCom!

  53. Kadir says:

    Wonderful video John!!! Now I am more convinced with Guest posting. Thanks for sharing your tips!!!

  54. brilliant strategy for traffic! Good show man.

  55. Forex News says:

    Thanks for this case study. I have one question I would like to ask John. Do you think that a brand new site can achieve similar results just based on the on page SEO?

  56. Erwin Miradi says:

    Nice trick there, John. I wonder if All in One SEO Pack could do the same.

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