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SEO Case Study - Ichessu.com


IchessU which stands for International Chess University are an online entity that specializes in chess education. The classes are online and use the in house developed Chess Learning Platform and Audio/Video interactive system. They teach kids, teens, juniors and adults. They also work with special needs populations, such as ADHD, Alzheimer´s and similar. IchessU teaches in group and private classroom settings.

Client : IchessU Ltd.
URL : http://www.ichessu.com/
Industry : Legal
Campaign : Search Engine Optimization & Website Redesigning


IchessU was confused with so many SEO offers at hand. It was getting extremely hard to compare the proposals and make the right choice. They were very specifically looking for results vs. costs, i.e. volumes and their relevance to their business which impact the conversion rate and the cost for bringing and maintaining the traffic. After conducting a feasibility study, they decided to go with SEOValley because of the following reasons-

  • Low cost as compared to proposal from top SEO players in US & Canada
  • Extensive experience in SEO
  • Good client referrals.



The goal was set to use 25 keywords to generate good volumes of targeted traffic. Any keywords related to the chess education are the most valuable. Keywords related to playing chess online will be probably lower ROI, but can attract higher amount of visitors, since playing is much more popular then studying. They set a goal to achieve 20-25 conversion per day and extensive weekly and monthly reporting covering all the activities we carry out. They also wanted us to consult on the new website under design.



Embarking on a 25 keyword campaign, SEOValley team draw up the plan -

SEOValley team completed a targeted keyword analysis based on results and analysis of the competition. This analysis, along with our competitive analysis, determined that the website would see a dramatic increase in traffic from the search engines through improved rankings on top level category keywords like “learn chess”, “chess learning”, “chess class”, “chess coach”, “chess lesson”, “chess tutor” etc. The strength of the site was the vast amount of content and newsletter being regularly published on the website. Our job was to make sure that the spiders indexed the content, that the content on the page was keyword rich, and that the code on the page was optimized for those keywords.

The most important part of the optimization was to improve the website architecture, so this was the first thing we consulted on with the IchessU team. We worked with them to change the URL structure seen by the search engines so that the dynamic pages would have a flat URL structure, fix the duplicate pages (between static and dynamic URLs), changing the 302 temporary redirection on several pages to 301 permanent redirection, made suggestions to improve the download speed of the website pages. Our consultation also included several recommendations to improve the navigation by incorporating a more search engine friendly use of text links in the navigation and content within the site. Once the site architecture improvements were made, we provided suggestions for META and robots tags, implementation of accessibility attributes, cross browser compliancy, and other body optimization.



Before hiring SEOValley none of the target keywords were rankings anywhere within the top 10 positions on any top search engines. We were able to beat out their main competitors on most high value keywords and achieve high rankings for most of the “chess learning” keywords.


Improvement in Rankings for some of the core keywords on Google.com -
Keywords Google Rankings
Apr10 May10 Jun10 Jul10 Aug10 Sep10
Online chess school 7 6 5 4 4 2
Chess lesson 9 7 6 6 4 3
Chess class 10 4 7 5 4 4
Online chess lessons 10 8 6 6 6 4
Chess learning 8 6 8 8 5 5
Chess lessons 8 8 6 6 6 5
Chess mentor 13 10 8 7 8 5
Learn chess online 8 9 7 8 7 6
Chess tutor 18 23 14 11 10 7
Chess tutorial 16 15 14 14 12 7
Learning chess 9 9 9 8 7 7
Chess coach 19 15 9 11 9 9
Chess trainer 29 21 16 16 9 9
Learn chess 15 14 13 10 11 9


Improvement in the traffic on the website over the period of time -
  Baseline Status (May 2009) September 2010
Total Visitors on the site 1,052 4,275
Total Pageviews 3,680 9,845
Referrals from Google (non-paid) 307 2,631
Referrals from Yahoo (non-paid) 113 171
Referrals from Bing (non-paid) 14 99
Top referral keywords Ichessu Chess university Kids chess online chess attention deficit disorder Learn chess Chess lessons Chess strategy Online chess


Actual Graph of Referrals from the Natural Search Engines since the start of the campaign -


Actual Graph of Organic Referrals (non-paid) from Google since the start of the campaign -