HighlyStructured.com is a blog website run by Mike D'Agostino about search engine positioning, online marketing, php/MySQL, tae kwon do, and various other topics.

KeepMyGolfScore.com - Search Engine Positioning - Online Marketing - Part I

December 05, 2005

KeepMyGolfScore.com is a free online golf score tracker where golfers can enter and manage their golf stats and golf handicap. The service was originally online in 2001 but went through a complete overhaul and was re-published last year (2005). Within that time the site has seen over 1500 users subscribe and first place ranking on Google, MSN, and Yahoo! for the search terms "golf score tracker" and "online golf stats".

I will attempt to explain the strategies used to achieve these results. The service reaches for a niche market, online tech-savvy golfers. The audience can be pretty diverse age-wise, but the keywords we are going after are well-defined. The two main keywords which describe the service are "golf score tracker" and "online golf stats".

The site is produced using PHP and a MySQL database to store user, golf course, and round score information. The main front-end pages are static, and those are the pages that get picked up by the search engines.

After the basic layout of the site complete, and all of the scripting and PHP code was complete, search engine optimization was performed. Title tags, keyword and description META tags, header tags, image ALT tags, etc. were added. In addition a Links section was added so that reciprocating links could be added.

About 2-3 months went by before we were significantly picked up by Google and the search engines. We started receiving traffic from MSN and Yahoo! and pretty quickly (within 6-8 weeks) achieved first page ranking with "golf score tracker" and "online golf stats". During that time we found a great way to drive traffic to the website: golf message board postings.

By posting messages on golf message boards, we accomplished two things. First, we were able to include a custom signature, which obviously contained a link (hyperlink if possible) to www.keepmygolfscore.com. So, anyone who read the posting saw the link. In addition, by including our link in every posting, we received credit for many incoming links rather quickly, since all our signatures had the link/hyperlink back to our site.

Probably around late March/early April we attained first-page ranking for the terms "golf score tracker" and "online golf stats" on Google. Our traffic skyrocketed and new users were signing up in bunches every single day.

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