SEO Website Example: A Before & After Story!

When you’re thinking about making a website findable. A lot of it is about strategy. Do this, do that, do this, do that. But it doesn’t really give you a holistic understanding of how to do it from start to finish. I’m going to walk you through a real-life SEO example. So, you can get a sense of what this looks like a full circle? 

This is Aaron. He runs a bamboo manufacturing company. So, they make all kinds of manufactured products out of bamboo. Now, this is a fairly interesting client because they have a couple of interesting things going on.

First of all, their name is Pick On Us. Now, the problem with Pick On Us is that it was also ranking for bullying websites. Pick On You, pick on me, right? Weird, right? And when you’re in that mindset of naming a business, you don’t think about what other things it might mean. You’re just thinking about it from your perspective. 

Now, another problem with this website was that when we went in there and you type in picks. They were convinced that the word picks was their keyword. Let me show you maybe what’s wrong with that theory: 

If we type in ‘picks’ you’ll see we’ve got all these guitar picks. Guitar picks winds. I am NOT going to kick off guitar picks for bamboo picks. So, when we took a look at how to make them findable, we had to walk away from the word picks and start using the word bamboo toothpick. 

They make very specialized bamboo products for the hospitality industry. So, a cruise line by millions of toothpicks from this company. Or a hospitality group is going to buy a bunch for all their catered events, weddings, the big parties that they throw. So, we’re not talking about selling you know a box of toothpicks to two one-off people on the web. We’re talking about big website orders. Bulk is a happy word for us because that means they’re gonna order a lot.

Aaron doesn’t just sell toothpicks. He sells perceived value. What’s interesting about Aaron’s problem is that they sell perceived value. Not necessarily just toothpicks. Because if it’s just about toothpicks then I can go to Alibaba, I can go to any place on the planet and buy toothpicks from them. But that’s not what their end game is. Let’s just say I do those really fancy lattes with the hearts inside. Maybe I sprinkle it with a little bit of color on top. Maybe I call this a venti nonfat mochaccino or Frappuccino. It’s not just a coffee anymore. It’s about perceived value. Now all of a sudden, this cup of coffee that is pretty a dollar at the local 7-eleven has now become a $6 cup of coffee. They make regular items look expensive. Which means I can charge a lot more for it.

As part of our process, we take a look at how people search. And then we start picking those individual keyword phrases. We use a very fancy high-tech process of sticky notes, sharpies, and some kind of keyword tool. It might be a SEMrush. It could be a number of different tools. will also give you that data but you want to find something, a keyword tool that’s going to give you the data. So you’ll see where we invited the sales team, we invited the customer service team and we invited the marketing team. All of them have a different relationship with the customer. And they all know different keyword phrases that they might be searching for.

Keywords Everywhere are going to then integrate how people search the search volume with the actual phrases. So, take a look at this so I’m gonna type in bamboo toothpicks. Now, what you see on your screen right here is it’s telling me exactly people type bamboo toothpicks 590 times per month. If I type in bamboo toothpicks bulk, that’s ten times a month. And you’re like,10 a month. Why should I care about that? Well, that’s 120searches a year, and bulk means they’re ordering in toothpicks at a time. So, don’t be so stingy about which one you’re going to pick. Thinking about the quality of that keyword phrase versus I want a bigger number is not necessarily the best number here in this situation. And this tool is called Follow the prompts. Install it. It is amazing. And it integrates these searches right inside of yours.


We start brainstorming, this is what we come up with a series of pages that Aaron wants to rank for. So from an SEO example standpoint, this is the process we take all of our clients through.

A sitemap is going to be planning out your keywords by page. Now, Google’s not just going to take one page that’s like a one-trick pony. A one-hit-wonder. Just because you wrote one page doesn’t mean you deserve to rank page one under that. Thinking about a website is like a book. The cover of the book is the name of the website, right? That’s the homepage. If I open to the table of contents, each one of those chapters has a topic. 

If I’m an expert in bamboo products, you’ll see here that my home page is optimized for bamboo products. That’s the highest level concept, that’s where I put you in the library. Now, I’m going to open up to the table of contents, you’ll see chapter 1, bamboo toothpicks. Chapter 2, bamboo skewers. Chapter 3, dinnerware disposables, and picks by use. So, google comes here and says, “Oh, so good. Your topic is from your home page.” And then now I know all of the chapters in your thought leadership website or your book. Then I can start looking at optimizing.

You can see here that bamboo toothpicks have 3,840 searches a year. Then if I turn to the bamboo toothpick chapter, you’ll see I’ve got knotted toothpicks, paddle toothpicks. All of these phrases that are specific to caterers and the restaurant industry. Remember, I’m not interested in selling one-off packs of toothpicks.

This is one of my favorite tools. I talk about it all the time. It’s search engine marketing. Now, we’ve launched the website and we’ve obviously written content.  That’s 23% of their traffic. Then we’ve got the good stuff. Remember this sitemap. We want to see each page has its own keyword. So, fancy toothpick page now ranks for fancy toothpicks. 

Number 1 which is always the best place to be. 720 searches per month for that phrase and it’s 20% of their total traffic to the website. Boom! One keyword is giving them 20% of traffic to their website and it’s getting a significant amount of searches. 720 a month is a lot. Then we look at…

Ironically number two or number three is skull toothpicks. You know everyone has their own sort of theme they want to do for a birthday party or Halloween. So skull toothpicks, they ranked number 1. That’s 4% of their traffic. Bamboo toothpicks are obviously huge for us. That’s 3% of our traffic. If I click the full report, I’m going to get every single keyword that I currently rank for or pick on us currently ranks for.

Remember, when you’re creating a sitemap it’s so important that you think about not just one page at a time but how do I look like a thought leader with a definitive book and every chapter covers a topic that I would like to be findable for. 


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