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Ranking in Google: How I Took My Client from Position 29 to 2 in One Week!

Beth Kahlich
Ranking in Google: How I Took My Client from Position 29 to 2 in One Week!

Gone are the days that the intricate, complicated custom content management system (CMS) will do the SEO job for you. Unfortunately, that’s a common challenge that new clients come with. An old CMS, plus a new client, isn’t exactly seamless, and it requires a ton of work. It may seem like a big stretch for your company to change to a new CMS, but the benefits are well worth the work!

Within a week of our work, the client jumped 27 spots all the way to 2 for one of their most desired keywords. Find out what changes we did!

Our client was in the B2B industrial industry, with a website built with a highly proprietary and old CMS. In regard to SEO, they were not receiving relevant traffic and not ranking well for targeted keywords.

While we know ranking isn’t everything - it certainly met a requirement of the client - and lets us know we are headed in the right direction to increase their organic traffic. We needed to solve their problem.

Cleaner URLs

The way our client’s URLs had been structured made it extremely difficult for search engines to understand what the page was about. Descriptive, unique URLs were just what the doctor ordered, and significantly helped the site’s key pages move up in the rankings.

The client’s CMS showed URLs as:

Instead, we made their URLs unique and descriptive:

Topic-Focused H1 Tags

In another effort to create an easy-to-interpret content for the search engines, we cleaned up the H1 tags and focused the topics. Instead of just “Operation” for an H1 tag, we changed it to “How to Operate the XYZ Widget,” which makes a lot more sense to Google and gets the client indexed for the right keywords.

Use Proper Tracking Tools

Taking advantage of the customized reports in Google Analytics, we watched the organic traffic very closely.

Rank Changes

We recommend tracking key pages (such as the Get a Quote page, which show leads) and metrics (average time on site) to show your progress over time. Additionally, tools like SEMRush can help you determine if you’re moving in the right direction by analyzing your ranking position.

A big theme to note here is that we didn’t make changes in huge, swift moves. We made it with small, strategic changes that built the client’s trust over time. One big solution does not fit all.

Was there one small move that made a big impact for SEO on any sites you’ve worked on? Let us know in the comments!

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Beth Kahlich is a Dallas-based digital marketing trainer and consultant. In addition to operating the SEO training classes at the Dallas Search Engine Academy, she currently serves on the board of the Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association ( and is a continuing education instructor for SMU. Her students have included national and international firms from Fortune 100 companies all the way to locally owned businesses. Putting technical talk in plain English, her passion is empowering people to make better decisions about their online marketing.
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Worst article.
How can SEMrush publish such a worst article?
H1 tags + SEO permalinks moved her site from 3rd page to 2nd spot.. R you fooling us?
Alex Tsygankov
Candy Deck
Hi Candy,

Thank you for your feedback.

Please note this post was published in 2015. Since then, we have been working hard on improving the quality of posts on our blog. Hopefully, you will find recent articles more useful.
Mujahid shaikh
What happen if your website already have a H1, tags in every pages and URL structure is also good. But the problem I am facing right now is the ranking. I am working on a project from last 2 month and the ranking is stuck on the second page. Earlier it was on 4page and it is now on 28 position. But from last 1 month it is not going no where. Any recommendation would be really helpful.
Beth Kahlich
Mujahid shaikh
Great question - I would look at the competitors on page one and do an in-depth link analysis as a start. That keyword is most likely very competitive and you'll have to use more tools in your digital marketing toolbox to get results.
Beth Kahlich
Quick update – we just sent the client their latest reports and organic search is up 34% from when we first launched the site!
Good post "Beth". One thing that I want to confirm from you that do we need to set h1 per page if we want to target keyword per page.
Beth Kahlich
Hi Manish - yes, you should always have one H1 per page that includes a clear description of the topic of your page. Thanks for asking!
ummmm are you serious? :D
i came here to see the "big thing", the magic, and all your secret was using SEF URL and H1 tags? You got to be kidding. I dont know what niche was this, but if you can rank for 2nd position with just these 2 things there must be .. i dont know - 30 pages for a query...
Beth Kahlich
Thanks for your comment! You are absolutely right that it varies a lot depending on the competitiveness for a term (and this was a two-word keyword btw).

However, so many businesses are not aware of the simple, basic changes that make a huge difference in their rankings. Especially those that are using outdated CMS systems. No magic bullets for sure.
Also disappointed, albinocombino.

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