SEO Case Study: 7 Steps to Increase Organic Traffic by 200%

Want to get better rankings on Google? Of course you do!

However SEO is a complex beast and it can be hard to know where to focus your time to bring the best return.

In this case study, we’ll show you how we implemented a custom SEO strategy for one of our clients, and the results delivered.

Our case study provides actionable takeaways, following a simple and repeatable SEO strategy.

Any business can use this format to rank for a wide range of target keywords and drive more qualified traffic from search engines.

As can be seen below, the business is now ranking for over 50k more organic keywords:

Source: AHrefs

The process delivered an increase of almost 200% in high-quality organic traffic:

Source: Google Analytics

The Challenge

The client is a well-known magazine publisher, focused on travel, who were looking to increase the increase their Google visibility and make search a more important part of their traffic.

There was a clear need to improve their SEO performance and the increase the number of visitors coming from organic traffic.

We were challenged by the client to…”make it rain”!

Whilst Google search offers the potential to unlock a vast amount of additional traffic (the “rain”), for any client, the approach needs to be focused on sustainable, long-term growth.

Although the brand was a regular content producer, the articles published were not effectively optimised for search engines, resulting in limited organic traffic.

The challenge was:

  • Identify and resolve technical SEO issues
  • Cleanse the existing link profile
  • Enhance the link profile using high-authority in-bound links
  • Increase the overall Domain Authority
  • Improve organic rankings in Google
  • Increase overall organic traffic

SEO Strategy – Step-By-Step Process

The  goal with this case study is to introduce you to a range of new ideas which will help you to expand and improve your SEO performance and better serve your customers.

The approach that I will detail saw our client grow their organic traffic by almost 200%!

Step 1

Technical Audit

Any new SEO project needs to start with a focus on resolving any outstanding technical SEO issues.

Issues with the indexability of a site can cause fundamental obstacles to your ability to rank well for important search terms.

While your site is being crawled, search engines are checking a range of key areas including how secure, fast, and easy-to-use your site is.

Each search engine has its own algorithm, and algorithms get improved with regular updates.

When you conduct an audit, you are checking the SEO health of your website.

What is healthy one year can quickly change and therefore SEOs or in-house marketing teams need to keep up-to-date with an ever-changing landscape.

The core elements of a technical audit include reviewing both content and technical performance.

Back-end

  • Optimising site speed (hosting and image compression)
  • Reviewing the XML sitemap (submitting to Google Search Console)
  • Ensuring a logical site hierarchy
  • Review robots.txt file (adding XML sitemap if missing)

Front-end

  • Removing duplicate content issues
  • Identify issues with internal links

A technical audit is crucial to ensure key issues are highlighted and resolved.

There are a range of SEO Tools available to help with technical audits.

Those we mainly recommend are:

You may need to get some help with understanding technical issues, however this step is an important first step with any SEO project.

Technical Audit – Summary

  • Technical audits ensure that any issues which inhibit SEO performance are resolved
  • You will likely need a developer to assist with back-end SEO developments

Step 2

Keyword Research

Keyword research is a crucial next step to understanding the current SEO performance and the potential keyword opportunities.

There are a range of keyword research tools available, although the most popular is Google Keyword planner.

Understanding the scope of keywords which are most relevant to your business, and their average monthly search volume, gives you the knowledge to effectively optimise your website for search engines.

The starting point for your keyword research in PPC should be the landing pages for your products or services.

The aim is to identify the most important keyword to target with each landing page, considering both keyword volume and conversion intent (the search intent behind the user’s search).

You can research in 2 key ways:

  1. Search for new keywords
  2. Get search volume and forecasts for an existing keyword list

To find new keywords, use Google Keyword Planner to add words, key-phrases or your site URL.

You’ll get the following data:

  • Exact monthly search volumes (or volume range depending on PPC spend)
  • Level of competition
  • Top of page bid (the equivalent cost-per-click through Google AdWords)

The other option, if you have a pre-existing keyword list, is to upload the list into Keyword Planner to identify those with the highest search volume.

Researching your current rank for relevant keywords will help to identify ‘low-hanging fruit’. These are keywords ranking just off the first page of Google.

Once you have a better understanding of search volume and your current ranking performance, you will be able to identify keyword opportunities.

Look to identify as many relevant target keywords with search volume as-is possible before moving onto step 3.

The more data you have, the more informed your on-page decisions will be!

Keyword Research – Summary

  • Keyword research is key to effective SEO
  • Identify keywords offering strong search volume
  • Look for keywords with conversion intent (i.e. ‘family holidays’)

Step 3

On-Page Optimization

Once relevant keyword opportunities have been identified, it is important to ensure that there is a unique landing page optimised for each target keyword.

On-page optimisation is a crucial component of SEO, ensuring that landing pages have the best chance of ranking strongly in search engines.

Using your keyword research, the aim is to identify which is the most relevant landing page for each target keyword.

Effective on-site SEO optimisation is primarily focused on ensuring the Header 1 (H1) and page title are aligned in focus on the chosen keyword.

This process provides clarity to Google, giving you the best chance of strong organic rankings.

Having unique pages focused on specific target keywords also ensures that there is limited risk of keyword cannibalisation (two landing pages competing for the same keyword).

On-Page Optimisation – Summary

  • Keyword research is key to effective SEO
  • Identify keywords offering strong search volume
  • Identify the most relevant landing page for each target keyword
  • Look for keywords with conversion intent (i.e. ‘family holidays’)

Step 4

Cleanse Link Profile

An important step in delivering strong SEO performance is ensuring the overall link profile is healthy.

A healthy link profile is one which includes no ‘toxic’ links.

Links identified as toxic need to be disavowed in Google Search Console.

This process confirms to Google that you are aware of the link, however you do not wish for this link to be considered part of your links profile.

Disavowing poor-quality links is an essential part of giving your site the best possible chance of improving your SEO.

Note: The disavow process needs to be carefully reviewed as this can severely influence your ranks if not managed correctly. 

Cleanse Link Profile – Summary

  • Audit existing link profiles – Identify toxic links
  • Submit disavow file to Google Search Console
  • Treat disavow submission with caution (don’t be over-zealous)

Step 5

Internal Linking 

Once we completed a technical audit and solved key on-page optimisation issues, we need to think about improving the internal link structure.

Bounce rate is an SEO ranking factor, hence an initial focus was on creating clear calls-to-action (CTAs) and ensuring each page has a logical next step through relevant internal links.

This involved working with the internal team to ensure pre-existing blog content has links to core sales landing pages.

Key steps for improving content involve:

  1. Adding additional content
  2. Adding/improving imagery
  3. Adding/improving calls-to-action
  4. Adding additional internal links to key sales pages

Where possible, content relating to a specific destination or product should have an optimised link through to the relevant landing page.

Adding new links to content already live on the clients’ website was crucial in giving landing pages the best chance of ranking for competitive key-phrases.

Internal links are an increasingly more important part of SEO performance, therefore any time spent in this area is beneficial.

Internal Linking – Summary

  • Internal links are an increasingly important part of SEO performance
  • Links between related pages is crucial for overall performance
  • Use optimised anchor text for internal links (aligned with your target keyword)

Step 6

Content Strategy

An initial starting point was to review the existing blog to ensure ALL content on the site is representing the client’s brand in the best possible way.

Generally speaking you don’t want pages with less than 500 words of original content being crawled by search engines. Ideally, content will have a minimum of 1,000 words.

Reviewing and improving existing content provides 3 main advantages:

  1. Increased content depth increases the possibility that each article ranks well in search engines.
  2. Improving the content to include clear calls-to-action (CTAs) ensures that ALL of your content is working hard to convert visitors into enquirers (and hopefully bookers)
  3. Adding relevant internal links (to appropriate sales-focused landing pages) improves the websites internal link profile, aiding overall SEO performance.

Ideally all content should be reviewed, looking to improve both the keyword focus, content depth and user engagement.

Key steps for improving content involve:

  1. Adding additional content
  2. Adding/improving imagery
  3. Adding/improving calls-to-action
  4. Adding additional internal links to key sales pages
  5. Change keyword focus, if required (based on keyword research)

As well as utilising existing content, we worked closely the internal content teams to ensure that there is a strategy in place for new blog content.

Essentially the aim is to add to the number of contextually-relevant articles and to create ‘topical clusters’ which can be thought of as groups of pages that talk about different elements of the same key topic.

Ensuring that the content matches the user-intent across the entire conversion funnel is a great way to build awareness of your brand as well as helping with link acquisition and visibility.

The content you produce should:

  • Position your brand as an authority within your specific niche
  • Be of sufficient depth to effectively cover the subject
  • Contain internal links to key sales-focused pages

Your content plan should ensure that content is regularly being published.

A regular publishing schedule makes that the process is easy to manage, whilst also ensuring that Google crawls your site more frequently index new content.

Note: The more frequently your content is crawled, the quicker your search rankings are likely to improve.

Content Strategy – Summary

  • Content is king – Create fresh content regularly
  • The higher your keyword count, the better chance of your pages ranking well in Google
  • Focus on answering customer questions and providing inspiration

Step 7

Link Profile Development

Your link profile is one of the most important elements dictating your ranking performance in search engines.

Both the number of referring domains (links from external website), as well as the quality and relevancy of the sites linking to your domain, are key contributors to your overall organic performance.

Whilst the above is true for any domain, it is essential to grow your domain’s backlink profile in a natural-looking way, especially if you have a limited number of pre-existing backlinks.

With little previous history, there is a higher risk of penalisation by Google if your approach is not careful.

An initial focus was on developing high-quality back-links to the homepage which use safe branded anchor text.

A focus on links to the homepage ensures that the link-development process appears natural and also benefits the overall Domain Authority of your site.

Improvements to the overall Domain Authority improves ranks across your all your pages, delivering an increase in both ranking keywords and organic traffic.

Link Profile – Summary

  • Focus initially on links to your homepage
  • Start by using natural anchor text (brand name and URL)
  • Develop links from high-authority domains
  • Aim for content-rich links (links in detailed blog articles)
  • Start with a limited number of links per-month (ensure the link building rate looks natural)

The Results

Ensuring that the client’s site was effectively optimised for specific search keywords, whilst improving the internal link structure, has been fundamental to the results delivered.

Inbound links from contextually-relevant domains has improved the Domain Authority and the rankings for a wide range of pages.

Organic performance has been very strong, with a noticeable improvement in terms of keywords and almost 200% more organic traffic YoY!

Organic Keywords

A focus on high-authority links to the homepage improved the overall Domain Authority.

As a result of this process, rankings for a wide range of keywords have improved:

Source: AHrefs

Organic Traffic

Overall organic traffic has improved noticeably due to the increase in ranking keywords:

Source: AHrefs

As can be seen below, at the start of 2020, Google was delivering an increase of almost 200% in high-quality organic traffic:

Source: Google Analytics

Whilst the subsequent issues caused by Covid 19 has resulted in more limited value from the increased ranking positions, however once the market improves, the ranking positions deliver a stable flow of relevant search traffic.

Conclusion

Through this case study, we have illustrated the need to build content and back-links at a controlled pace, in a natural way.

The right content allows your brand to showcase expertise and authority within your niche, which increases your chances of ranking for tons of relevant keywords, both at the bottom and top of the funnel.

Talk To Us

Whilst your SEO performance is something which requires a hands-on approach, the best approach is to talk to the experts.

Advice tailored to your website, and your resources is crucial to achieving the best possible ROI from Google search.

Get in touch with us today for a FREE, no-obligation SEO Audit.

This will show your current performance and the potential opportunity through Google Search.

SEO Case Study: How to Rank for 10k MORE Organic Keywords in 4 Months!

In this case study we’re going to show you how we implemented a custom strategy for one of our clients, which has increased the number of keywords ranking in Google by over 10,000 in only 4 months!

March – July 2020 Comparison YoY (+10,000 more ranking keywords)

We want to share a process we’ve developed to improve the link profile and Domain Authority (DA) which any business can use to drive more qualified traffic from search engines.

Our case study provides actionable takeaways, following a simple and repeatable SEO strategy.

More site visitors means more impressions, more signups, more purchases — and, importantly, more revenue!

The Challenge

In this case study, we feature a fast-growing travel business offering wildlife and safari holidays worldwide.

The business is run by a team of specialists, who know everything there is to know about turning wildlife dreams into reality.

We began working with the client in March 2020.

The business was keen to improve their overall SEO performance at the start of the outbreak of Covid 19.

They were keen to invest in growing their search exposure in a way which was sustainable and offered long-term value to the business.

Our initial focus is on understanding more about the business, the most important search keywords, and the existing SEO performance.

The business was ranking in top 10 positions for a very limited number of relevant search terms.

The plan was to:

  1. Use keyword research to identify keyword opportunities.
  2. Optimise landing pages for key-phrases offering relevance and high search volume.
  3. Utilise existing content and focus on new content creation.
  4. Review the existing link profile.
  5. Develop the link profile of the homepage and other important pages.
  6. Focus on developing the Domain Authority.

So, if you’re ready, let’s dive into the case study.

Step-By-Step SEO Process

Step 1

Keyword Research

Keyword research is a crucial first step to understanding the current SEO performance and the potential keyword opportunities.

There are a number of keyword research tools which can help you to understand the keywords you rank for currently, and identify keyword opportunities based on search volume.

The most effective free tool is Google Keyword Planner which, provided you are currently running paid PPC ads, gives you exact search volumes for related terms.

The initial focus is on identifying keywords which are considered ‘quick wins’. These are pages ranking just off the first page of Google.

Pages already ranking strongly may simply need to be targeted more specifically on the relevant keyword.

The aim of the process is to identify the most important keyword to target with each landing page.

For each key-phrase will need to consider the average monthly search volume, the level of competition and the conversion intent behind the user’s search.

For example, ‘Kenya Holidays’ has more conversion intent than ‘Kenya’, albeit with much lower search volume.

Focus on  defining your niche (i.e. Safari holidays in Kenya)

You can research in 2 key ways:

  • Find new keywords

To find new keywords, add words, phrases or your site URL related to your business and you’ll get the following data:

Exact monthly search volumes (or volume range depending on PPC spend)
Level of competition
Top of page bid (the equivalent cost-per-click through Google AdWords)

  • Get search volume and forecasts

If you have a pre-existing keyword list, you can upload the list into Keyword Planner to identify those with the highest search volume.

The more keywords you have to review, the more informed your on-page decisions will be.

Look to identify as many relevant target keywords with search volume as is possible before moving onto step 3.

Step 1 – Summary

  • Keyword research is key to effective SEO
  • Identify keywords offering strong search volume
  • Look for keywords with conversion intent (i.e. ‘safari holidays’)

Step 2

On-site Optimisation

Once a list of relevant target keywords has been identified through the keyword research process, a crucial next step is to ensure that there are unique landing pages created to target each key-phrase.

This involved amending the focus on pre-existing landing pages to ensure these are focused on the most valuable keyword opportunities.

The most important on-page changes relate to the H1 and page title.

These key SEO elements need to be aligned to ensure there is a clear focus on the target key-phrase for each page.

As part of this process, it is important to identify whether there are any keyword cannibalisation issues.

Such issues occour when separate landing pages are optimised for the same target key-phrase.

It is crucial to resolve such issues by ensuring each page has a distinct keyword-focus. This process removes the chances of multiple pages competing with others for the same keyword.

Step 2 – Summary

  • Ensure you have a unique landing page targeting each key-phrase
  • Ensure the Header 1 (H1) and page title are both targeting the same key-phrase
  • Identify and resolve keyword cannibalisation issues

Step 3

Audit Existing Link Profile

It is important to ensure that the link profile of your website is clean.

A toxic link profile may be causing un-told damage to your ability to rank for competitive keywords.

An initial starting point is to review how ‘toxic’ existing links are.

Paid SEO tools such as SEM Rush provide clear visibility as to how to the total number of links to your domain deemed toxic or potentially:

Links need to be manually reviewed to ensure that those being listed for review are in fact poor quality.

Note: Links from niche domains run by specialists with poor understanding of website development can be listed as toxic. Niche-relevance is important to your overall performance, so don’t be too hasty to remove swathes of links at once. This can do more harm than good.

As well as paid tools, you can also review links pointing to your domain using Google Search Console.

Once a list of links to be removed has been agreed, you will need to submit a disavow file.

The disavow file tells Google that although you are aware the toxic links exist, you do not want these links to be considered part of your link profile.

Step 3 – Summary

  • Audit existing link profiles – Identify toxic links
  • Submit disavow file to Google Search Console
  • Treat disavow submission with caution (don’t be over-zealous)

Step 4

Improve Pre-existing Blog Content

Blog content forms an important part of the overall visibility for your domain.

Whilst the aim is to develop your authority with new content, the best place to start is to ensure ALL existing content on your site is representing your business in the best possible way.

The initial aim of the process is to review blog content, which provides 3 main advantages:

  1. Increased content depth increases the possibility that each article ranks well in search engines.
  2. Improving the content to include clear calls-to-action (CTAs) ensures that ALL of your content is working hard to convert visitors into enquirers (and hopefully bookers)
  3. Adding relevant internal links (to appropriate sales-focused landing pages) improves the websites internal link profile, improving SEO performance.

Key steps for improving content involve:

  1. Adding additional content
  2. Adding/improving imagery
  3. Adding/improving calls-to-action
  4. Adding additional internal links to key sales pages

The main benefits of investing in your existing content is:

  • Attracting new users 

Once ranking for relevant search terms, blog content can provide a valuable stream of visitors.

Content focused on answering questions relevant to your products, or providing inspiration, will ensure that visitors are similar to your target audience.

  • Promoting key pages

As well as attracting new users to the domain, content needs to focus on converting readers into enquirers.

This includes adding clear calls-to-action on blog content and using internal links to promote key sales-focused landing pages.

As we discussed earlier, internal links to these pages will also aid overall SEO performance.

Step 4 – Summary

  • Review existing content (landing pages and blog articles)
  • Identify additional content requirements
  • Add additional content, images and calls-to-action

Step 5

Internal Link Strategy

Isn’t it odd how something as simple as adding a link to another page on your site can help your SEO?

Any content on your should be utilised to promote key landing pages using internal links.

This will both promote relevant product, as well as improve the internal link-profile of important landing pages.

When we started working with the client, there were a few internal links on most of his pages and posts, but there wasn’t a clear strategy behind them.

After completing the initial content audit, there was a focus on adding new internal links and optimizing the anchor text of existing links.

The aim is to add a selection of internal links to other landing pages using anchor text that included either:

  • The target keyword of the landing page
  • Or, a variation of the target keyword
  • Or, a secondary long-tail keyword

The aim was to add links pointing to landing pages which related to the specific blog posts, including destination pages (i.e. Uganda), experience (i.e. Gorilla Trekking) and places-of-interest pages (i.e. Bwindi National Park).

This process ensures the target landing pages benefit from increased SEO authority as well as more exposure to readers of the blog articles.

Step 5 – Summary

  • Internal links are an increasingly important part of SEO performance
  • Links between related pages is crucial for overall performance
  • Use optimised anchor text for internal links (aligned with your target keyword)

Step 6

Link Building

Links from high-authority domains to your website are the most important component in improving your organic performance.

Whilst on-page optimisation ensures that your website is in the best possible position to perform well in search engines, quality in-bound links are a crucial part of highlighting the credibility of your site to Google.

The majority of links (at least at the outset) will need to be directed to your homepage.

This focus ensures that the links improve the overall Domain Authority of the website; helping to improve the ranks for a wide range of pages across your site.

Referring Domains Gradually Increased
Referring Domains Gradually Increased

This focus on links to your homepage using branded anchor text (your brand name or URL) is also the safest way to improve your overall SEO performance, whilst also protecting the long-term health of your website.

Moving forward our focus has diversified to include links to specific landing pages to improve the rankings of specific target keywords.

This process is based upon the keyword research process discussed earlier.

Depending on the existing link profile of your website, you may need to look into submitting a disavow file.

Disavowing poor-quality links is an essential part of giving your site the best possible chance of improving your SEO and this played it’s part in the SEO improvements.

Step 6 – Summary

  • Focus initially on links to your homepage
  • Start by using natural anchor text (brand name and URL)
  • Develop links from high-authority domains
  • Start with a limited number of links per-month (ensure the link building rate looks natural)

Step 7

Creating SEO-driven content on a regular basis

An important part of long-term SEO performance is regularly publishing new content.

Looking at the search engine performance of news websites, it is clear that Google loves fresh content.

Publishing content on a regular basis means that Google will index content more frequently, and subsequently is more likely to notice improvements to your domain and authority, and hence re-adjust their ranks accordingly.

SEO-driven content refers to content based on the important keyword opportunities relevant to your niche.

A common problem is to write write content then find the most valuable keywords they can find to ‘optimise’ the content for.

New content ideas for blog posts can be found through the keyword research phrase and through taking advantage of your industry-expertise.

  • Keyword opportunities

Use keyword research tools to identify keyword opportunities, use Google  medium-to-high traffic keywords with low (or medium) competition.

  • Questions

Ask your Sales team what questions customers and enquirers are asking.

This is a good way to understand the concerns that you can help to answer.

  • Best-of lists

Best-of lists are an effective way of inspiring potential customers and also ranking for competitive keywords.

With the increased word count available with such lists, the articles deliver high levels of monthly search traffic.

Step 7 – Summary

  • Content is king – Create fresh content regularly
  • The higher your keyword count, the better chance of your pages ranking well in Google
  • Focus on answering customer questions and providing inspiration

The Results

Organic Ranking Performance

The number of keywords ranking in top positions has improved dramatically since we started working with the business in March:

The focus on high-quality links to the homepage has delivered an increase in the number of keywords ranking in Google by over 10,000 in only 4 months!

(Source: A Hrefs)

High-authority links to the homepage improves the overall Domain Authority (DA), which is the key reason behind such a clear increase in pages ranking in Google.

The overall DA affects the ranking of all pages, hence this is the most effective way to improve overall organic traffic.

Organic Traffic

As a result of the improvement in organic ranks across a wide range of pages, the monthly organic traffic the website receives has improved dramatically:

120% More visits from Google alone in Just 4 Months!

Value of Organic Traffic

The value of organic traffic has also increased significantly, proportionate to the increase in traffic:

(Source: A Hrefs)

Talk To Us

Whilst your SEO performance is something which requires a hands-on approach, the best approach is to talk to the experts.

Advice tailored to your website, and your resources is crucial to achieving the best possible ROI from Google search.

Get in touch with us today for a FREE, no-obligation SEO Audit.

This will show your current performance and the potential opportunity through Google Search.

Case Study: Effective SEO for a NEW Website

In this case study we’re going to show you how to follow a repeatable process to greatly improve SEO rankings for a NEW website.

SEO case study on new website
(Source: Google Analytics showing Organic Traffic YoY)

If you’re expecting this article to tell you how to cheat at Search Engine Optimisation without putting in much effort, you’re in the wrong place!

With a new website, there needs to be a focus on improving organic performance gradually.

This article shows you the process we put in practise with new clients to effectively improve search engine rankings, whilst protecting the long-term health of your website.

Today’s SEO case study features Tailor Made Rail, a fast-growing travel business offering specialist rail holidays throughout Europe and further afield.

Whether you’re looking at a new site, or an update to an existing site, this article will look at developing the authority of a domain with limited existing history or authority.

Step-By-Step SEO Process

The Challenge

Our initial focus when engaging with the Tailor Made Rail team was on understanding more about the business, the most important search keywords, and the existing SEO limitations.

The existing website was using a Wix Content Management System (CMS).

The Wix CMS platform had limitations which restricted SEO performance, with the site also looking dated and was not performing effectively in converting visitors into enquiries.

The pre-existing website was ranking poorly for all relevant search terms, resulting in the business looking to invest in improving their search performance.

Organic traffic was not delivering value for the business, and hence a focus on improving the overall SEO performance of the site was required.

Step 1

Re-building The Website

There are a range of reasons why businesses invest in a new website.

A website is essentially your shop window, representing your business and providing the opportunity to effectively market and sell your products.

A new website is important if:

  • You do not currently have a website.
  • Your current website is not performing well in terms of site speed (an important SEO ranking factor).
  • Your current website is not performing well in terms of converting visitors into enquiries or sales (conversion rate).
  • Your current website has SEO restrictions (such as limitations regarding the URL structure), or does not allow you to effectively manage your site content.

Working closely with the team at Tailor Made Rail, we embarked on a project to modernise the businesses web-presence.

The focus for the project was on ensuring the new website effectively highlighted the quality of the products on offer whilst providing a clean user-experience.

The site was designed with SEO in mind from the outset, focusing on a logical site-hierarchy and effective use of on-page optimisation.

The new website included:

  • Mobile responsive design – An important SEO ranking factor
  • An easy-to-use, SEO-friendly WordPress platform
  • Well optimised landing pages focused on specific search terms

Whilst re-developing a website, or creating a new website won’t automatically result in tangible SEO benefits, a poorly optimised or slow-loading website can be the primary reason why you’re not seeing the results you would have hoped for.

You can see how your site is performing regarding page speed using Google Speed Test or GT Metrix.

Step 1 – Summary

  • A modern website is crucial for SEO performance
  • The loading time for your website is a key consideration
  • Your website should be user-friendly with clear calls-to-action

Pro Tip

Correctly implementing 301 re-directs is a crucial part of re-launching a new website.

Effective re-directs ensure that any rankings previously earned are maintained, and ensure that search engines can correctly re-route users to the most appropriate content.

Step 2

Keyword Research

Effective keyword research is a crucial part of building a new website.

The aim is to utilise research tools to identify keywords which offer high monthly search volume., as well as conversion intent.

Conversion intent relates to keywords clearly showing the intent of the user to purchase.

For example, ‘Orient Express Holidays’ would be used by searchers looking to holiday on the Orient Express (clear conversion intent); whereas a search simply for ‘Orient Express’ (which has higher search volume) would likely include a wide range of information searches.

The most effective free keyword research tool is Google Keyword Planner which, provided you are currently running paid PPC ads, gives you accurate search volumes for related terms.

The keyword research process is also useful to identify any ‘low-hanging fruit’ which are pages ranking just off the first page of Google.

These keywords provide opportunity to deliver immediate ROI, with a focus on improving ranking positions of these pages into top 10 positions.

Once a range of related keywords have been identified, a crucial step is to ensure that there are unique landing pages created to target each key-phrase.

Where possible, the proposed URL structure for your new website should highlight to Google which pages are more (or less) important, based on their position in the site hierarchy.

A simple Excel (or shared Google Sheets) document is a sensible way to understand for yourself the ideal hierarchy for your website, whilst also ensuring all key search-phrases are targeted with dedicated landing pages:

A core element of deciding the URL structure process for the new website is to identify whether keywords with sufficient volume would be better served through a static landing page, or a blog post.

  • Landing page

A sales-focused landing page, such as a destination (i.e. Italy) or experience (i.e. luxury rail holidays) is designed to highlight relevant product and provide clear calls-to-action (CTAs).

A landing page ideally will have a logical position in the site hierarchy, and is not a date-specific piece of content.

Effective landing pages will have a strong impact on the total number of conversions from organic traffic:

An example of a landing page would be https://www.tailormaderail.com/destinations/italy

  • Blog post

Blog posts provide the opportunity to add a large amount of content to a page which greatly improves overall SEO performance.

A blog provides the opportunity to link to relevant sales-focused pages, improving the internal link profile of key landing pages.

Blogs may include answers to relevant questions (i.e. What to pack for an Orient Express holiday?) or lists (i.e. Best rail holidays in Europe).

Step 2 – Summary

  • Keyword research is key to effective SEO
  • Identify keywords offering strong search volume
  • Look for keywords with conversion intent (i.e. holidays)
  • Ensure you have a unique landing page targeting each key-phrase

Pro Tip

Create a document containing your new URL structure, as well as the URLs of any existing any existing articles which they are replacing.

This will allow you to better manage the migration and ensure that no content is missed in the site migration.

Step 3

Improving Existing Content

Where possible, the amount of content on landing pages or blog posts needs to be increased.

Pages with thin content are those which have a low text to html ratio.

Generally speaking you don’t want pages with less than 500 words of original content being crawled by search engines. Ideally, content will have a minimum of 1,000 words.

Reviewing and improving existing content provides 3 main advantages:

  1. Increased content depth increases the possibility that each article ranks well in search engines.
  2. Improving the content to include clear calls-to-action (CTAs) ensures that ALL of your content is working hard to convert visitors into enquirers (and hopefully bookers)
  3. Adding relevant internal links (to appropriate sales-focused landing pages) improves the websites internal link profile, improving SEO performance.

Existing content, in whatever form, is your best starting point to improve your overall SEO performance.

Similarly to the keyword research process detailed above, an effective process for review outstanding content is simply using an Excel doc.

With a new (or fairly new) website the amount of pre-existing content will be very limited, allowing you to quickly group content into 3 key categories:

  1. Fine as-is
  2. Needing review
  3. To delete

Whilst the aim is to develop your authority with new content, the best place to start is to ensure ALL content on your site is representing your business in the best possible way.

Key steps for improving content involve:

  1. Adding additional content
  2. Adding/improving imagery
  3. Adding/improving calls-to-action
  4. Adding additional internal links to key sales pages
  5. Change keyword focus, if required (based on keyword research)

Step 3 – Summary

  • Review existing content – Identify those pieces in need of improvement
  • Ensure all landing pages and blogs are effectively optimised for specific key-phrases
  • Improve content depth (where possible)
  • Lay out text for mobile (short and succinct content sections)
  • Add imagery to sell your product and break up text sections
  • Add clear calls-to-action to all pages

Pro Tip

Focus on adding as many relevant internal links as possible, but don’t over-do it.

The link format for an internal link should simply be:
/destinations/italy

as opposed to:
https://www.tailormaderail.com/destinations/italy/

Step 4

Link Building – Start Sloooow with a NEW Website

With any new website, there are limitations.

Depending on how new the site is, and whether the new site is replacing an existing website; Google will likely have little prior perception of the authority (or importance) of your website.

Whilst the aim is to improve Google’s overall picture of the authority of your new site as quickly as-is possible, effective SEO involves ensuring that any growth in authority appears natural:

Links to the homepage are important to the performance of a new domain, developing the overall Domain Authority which has a strong bearing on the SEO performance of all pages.

This focus on links to your homepage using branded anchor text (your brand name or URL) is the safest way to improve your overall SEO performance, whilst also protecting the long-term health of your website.

The process ensures that all pages benefit from the increase in top-level domain authority.

Step 4 – Summary

  • Focus on links to your homepage
  • Start by using natural anchor text (brand name and URL)
  • Develop links from high-authority domains
  • Start with a limited number of links per-month (ensure the link building rate looks natural)

Pro Tip

A natural link profile will have most links pointing to the homepage, therefore your initial link-building is best-utilised focused solely on the homepage.

Step 5

Start to focus on deeper pages

All pages need external links to rank well in search engines.

The number of links needed to be competitive depends upon the page, the site, your niche, the type of query and so on.

Lower-level pages may only need a limited number of direct links to rank well, so it’s important to understand your site structure and the relationship between pages:

Remember, a link to a ‘Category Page 2’ (in the example above) will benefit any pages set as children of that page.

Therefore it’s worth deciding (based on your keyword research), which pages you will focus on with links, and how links to this page will also benefit others.

Hence the Homepage has the highest overall link benefit to your site.

The focus needs to be on increasing the number of high-quality links, at a rate which looks ‘natural’ to Google.

When developing links, the key is to identify websites which have relevance to your brand.

In the example of Tailor Made Rail, we were looking for websites and blogs which were related to trains, travel and holidays in Europe.

Content placement on 3rd party websites needs to follow a few key guidelines:

  1. Work with the highest authority domains you can afford with your budget – high quality link development cost money, there’s no getting away from this!
  2. Create in-depth content – aim for at LEAST 1,000 words of well-written content (more if possible although don’t add filler just to meet the word-count)
  3. Add your link towards the start of the piece – early links carry the most value
  4. Ensure that your link looks as natural as possible – ideally the link should look like a natural citation (reference)
  5. Add a selection of good quality links to the piece – ensuring that the additional inks are pointing to high-quality websites and that there are a selection of links to eCommerce and informational resources.

Step 5 – Summary

  • Target specific landing pages ranking just off the first page of Google
  • Consider the relationship between pages
  • Start to use optimised anchor text (the keyword the page is targeting

Pro Tip

Use optimised anchor text carefully. The more natural, the better.

You need to ensure that your overall anchor text ratio is not too highly focused on optimised keywords.

Step 6

New content strategy

Whilst the process of updating existing content and creating new links from high-quality external websites will take time, there needs to be a focus on creating new content.

A new content project will follow on from the keyword research, identifying which keywords are not being effectively targeted through pre-existing landing pages.

Once identified, the blogs or static landing pages need to be effectively optimised for search engines, which primarily includes ensuring page titles and headers are optimised for the selected target keywords.

To ensure that Google regularly visits your site, and hence indexes any new content quickly, it is important to publish content.

Step 6 – Summary

  • Content is king
  • The higher your keyword count, the better chance of your pages ranking well in Google
  • Internal links between related pages are important SEO ranking factors

Pro Tip

Adding social credibility to your blog posts (including Facebook likes) will improve your SEO performance.

This is an increasingly important SEO ranking-factor.

Results

As a result of the processes above, the overall SEO performance has been very strong.

There has been a clear increase in total visitors from organic traffic:

The SEO project has delivered noticeable improvement in the organic ranking for key search terms:

Organic Rankings

(Source: SEM Rush October 18 – July 20)

Aside from the key-phrases targeted above, the focus on links to the homepage delivers an increase to the overall Domain Authority.

This subsequently results in a wide range of keywords increasing ranking positions.

Ranks in Top 10 Positions

The number of keywords ranking in Top 10 positions in Google has improved dramatically during this time:

(Source: AHrefs)

Value of Organic Traffic

The overall value of organic traffic has increased significantly:

(Source: AHrefs)

Overall Organic Traffic

With a strong increase in overall organic traffic.

Performance Vs Competitors

When comparing overall performance with key competitors , the growth has been very encouraging:

As a result of the growth, the business is now out-performing long-established competitors.

Feedback

“Having worked with Apollo for 2 years now, we have been delighted with the accessibility and delivery of PPC and SEO services, as well as assisting us in building two new SEO-friendly websites for our UK and Australian operations.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Matt and his team to anyone looking to enhance their online presence and drive their business forward.”

Simon Hodge, Managing Director, Tailor Made Rail

Talk To Us

Whilst your SEO performance is something which requires a hands-on approach, the best best is to talk to the experts.

Get in touch with us today for a FREE, no-obligation SEO Audit to understand your current performance and the potential opportunities.

5 Tips to Get Results with Facebook Marketing

Social media marketing is a very powerful tool when leveraged correctly.

Social interaction is growing exponentially, which is evident in the fact that nearly everyone has an account on a social networking platform.

Why Use Facebook Marketing?

It’s no longer a secret how Facebook is crucial in online marketing.

Facebook is an excellent avenue for businesses and serves as a strong foundation for business , capable of forging personal relationships with a network, as well as turning potential into paying customers.

It’s a quick and easy way to generate a huge amount of traffic for business owners and to create stellar growth for your business.

With over two billion users globally on Facebook, Facebook marketing is a popular way to reach a broad target audience.

However, there is so much more to Facebook marketing than just setting up your profile.

Social marketing is different from any other type of marketing, therefore it is vital to learn how to use Facebook effectively to promote your business.

Otherwise, it will cost you money, time and effort…for little reward!

However, all you need is creativity, technique and a friendly relationship with your customers.

Keeping your fans involved is the ultimate aim.

After that, sit back and let Facebook bring the business to you.

The platform has a high number of users who are (almost) always on the website, spending much of their time checking out profiles and pages.

Users access Facebook an average of eight times per day! *

Therefore, your Facebook business page becomes your showroom.

The page can also become the focal point of interaction between you and your customers.

People can easily post their concerns on the page, and you can quickly respond.

Through this immediate interaction, you can deliver excellent customer service without exerting much time and effort.

There are lots of reasons that make Facebook marketing ideal for businesses.

Insights

Facebook gives you the information on the number of people your page (and your posts) has reached.

Through this, you have statistics to help you assess the progress of your Facebook marketing campaign.

It also breaks down the number of likes into different categories such as gender and age.

As such, you can easily gauge if you are effectively reaching out to your primary target audience.

Easy to Manage

Facebook provides features that help you manage your page (s).

You can easily switch from your personal account to your business page.

This lets you manage your personal and professional pages simultaneously, using one login.

You can also build your audience by inviting your friends to like your page.

This helps you easily promote your page, which, in turn, is promoting your business.

In this article, we are going to discuss five Facebook marketing tips to help you find your way to success on Facebook!

Whether you are just starting out or an established Facebook marketeer, these fundamental and proven Facebook marketing tips, updated to match the latest Facebook features should help!

Facebook Marketing – Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Build a professional profile

Start establishing your identity by creating a Facebook profile for yourself and your business.

Having a Facebook profile as your way of positioning business will take you a long way in establishing relationship with users.

Facebook business pages are typically designed for brands, products, services, celebrities, musicians and businesses.

The pages enable organizations, public figures and other entities to generate a public presence on Facebook.

You can encourage users to become fans (or followers) of your business page by sharing information with them, including photos and videos.

If you are a brick and mortar business or if you have an office, give your complete address, along with the full contact number and everything they need to know to validate your identity.

Step 2: Quality Content Updates

People are looking for information.

Information can be anything from a good informative article, infographics, images with quotes, or questions to generate interaction.

Give people what they want…what they enjoy…

Equally, be personable when needed.

By actively engaging with your audience on your Facebook business page you strengthen your online reputation.

The best marketers know that quality and trust are the most important foundation when it comes to any social media marketing technique, and all the other things will simply follow.

Today, we live in a world of interactions, where communication is vital.

Facebook is your opportunity to get in front of your target audience with your unique message.

It’s all about attracting people to you and your content. It’s about sharing valuable information to your audience.

if you are helpful to them, they will talk about you and your brand and this spreads your reputation.

It builds your brand, your reputation.

Step 3: Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are taking the world of advertising by storm.

As we’ve discussed, social media has completely revolutionised the way people look at social networking.

Facebook ads are visual and allow you to prospect for new customer (as opposed to Google where you’re relying on the user searching for a relevant keyword).

Travel ads on Facebook look beautiful…

So, are Facebook ads worth exploring?

One of the key advantages of Facebook is strength in numbers!

One of the things that Facebook has going for it is the sheer number of its users.

As of today there are 2+ billion members around the world.

22% of the world’s total population uses Facebook *.

7. 400 new users sign up for Facebook every minute *.

So, if you’re looking to reach as many people as possible, Facebook is the best platform you could ask for.

In fact, a lot of people are joking about how powerful Facebook would be as a country!

Step 4: Use Facebook frequently

You cannot implement these Facebook marketing tips well if you’re not regularly sharing content on Facebook.

If Facebook is one of your chosen digital strategies, then use it every day.

Be seen…

Be interactive…

Be there!

View it as a place you go to. If you go there often, people there get to know you, and feel more comfortable and familiar with you.

This can only be good for your personal brand and digital marketing efforts.

Facebook can be a very useful marketing tool, but not all Internet Marketers see success from their use of Facebook.

Success is, of course, not only measured by website sales conversions, but also by the amount of interest, interaction, and excitement generated by your Facebook efforts.

Facebook is a bustling and active community.

There is always something happening in your newsfeed.

And if you don’t actively participate, you will be left behind.

Remember that fan engagement doesn’t end with regular post updates.

If you want to achieve maximum results, you must exert your Facebook marketing efforts.

Instead of staying within your page, get out there and start connecting with other fan pages.

This way, you can capitalise on their existing fan base and use it to your advantage.

Step 5: Create a Contest

A contest, whether weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, can go a long way in keeping people engaged with your Facebook page.

Offer a prize associated with your business and make it fun (where you can).

You can run a competition in which participants solve a problem, come up with a creative solution or find clues on your business page that help them win.

It may be trivia based or involve predicting some specific outcome.

Facebook has various guidelines, rules and restrictions concerning contests, such as a business cannot make part of the requirement of a contest that entrants “Like” your page.

This used to be a no-brainer for FB marketeers, using programs such as Shortstack.

A well-run contest presented via your Facebook page can help to ensure loyalty, entice new fans to join and create a solid base that you can continue to cultivate.

Conclusion

Facebook is an excellent tool to use for marketing.

By harnessing its immense reach can prove to be very advantageous for people starting out in the online marketing industry or even seasoned professionals.

It really is the place to be right now!

If you want to improve and excel in your Facebook marketing, then start following similar businesses in your specific niche.

Watch what they do, take inspiration…

Then do it better!

Facebook is undoubtedly the most important social networking site on the internet.

Making proper use of your knowledge of Facebook marketing information plays a significant role in today’s business marketing.

Does Facebook marketing work? Just like any other opportunity, it works if YOU work it.

Use the five tips above as a checklist for your Facebook marketing, or learn more about Facebook Ads support.

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Get in touch with us today for a FREE, no-obligation Audit to understand your current performance and the potential opportunities.

 

*  https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/11/07/facebook-statistics