If you want to know which SEO techniques work best, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll cover three SEO case studies and break down the behind-the-scenes techniques that made them work.
Let’s get started!
Editor’s note: Want to turn around your brand’s SEO? Send us a message!
SEO case study #1—40,000+ monthly visitors in 14 months
When eCommerce jewelry brand Blush & Bar wanted to generate more search traffic, they turned to us.
The goal was simple—generate more sales through organic traffic and rankings.
And together, we far exceeded that goal. Since bringing us on, Blush & Bar has seen results like:
- Growing first-page keywords from under 2,000 to over 49,000
- Increasing referring domains (backlinks) from under 150 to over 1,700
- Boosting organic traffic from under 5,000 to over 40,000 monthly visitors
Here’s how we did it.
Step 1: Create a target keyword list
To start, we built a content strategy that focused on attracting interested buyers. We created a list of the best target keywords for Blush & Bar’s ideal customers.
Those keywords fell into three main buckets:
- Competitor reviews
- Buying guides
- Informational articles
We focused on low-difficulty, high-volume keywords so Blush & Bar could see results fast.
Step 2: Build detailed content briefs
In addition to the focus keyword, each article was designed to grab the top search engine ranking from day one.
We created a content brief for each piece that included related terms and topics to reference.
We made sure to cover the basics of good SEO practices. Every piece needed a set amount of internal links and images, complete with alternative text and source attribution.
We also created eye-catching headlines and meta descriptions to boost click-through rates on the Google results page.
And in some cases, we wrote text designed to place in Google’s Featured Snippets.
Step 3: Generate consistent, high-quality content
Up next was scaling content.
While there’s no one “perfect” blog posting schedule, we decided on a frequency of one article per weekday.
That meant publishing an average of 20 high-quality pieces of content per month—more volume than usual, but well worth it. Many of those pieces ranked on Google’s first page within a week of publishing.
Organic SEO results like traffic, backlinks, and rankings speak for themselves.
But if you know my thoughts on eCommerce KPIs, you know those can be vanity metrics. An eCommerce store exists to generate profit—so what did that traffic mean for the bottom line?
I can’t share revenue figures, but I can share that organic visitors were more than twice as likely to buy than visitors from social media.
That’s right—search engine traffic had a higher conversion rate than visitors from paid social media ads. And the best part? Once the content went live, continuous organic traffic costs next to nothing.
We helped Blush & Bar build a stream of tens of thousands of high-converting visitors every month.
(Want more details on our work with Blush & Bar? You can also read our October 2020 snapshot.)
SEO case study #2—Consistent link building with guest posts
The next SEO case study comes from a client that sells eCommerce software.
But there was a problem—the client’s site had low domain authority, which means poor performance on the search engine results page.
We worked with them on a link-building SEO campaign focused on guest posts. In other words, creating high-quality content for relevant sites with links back to the client.
The results speak for themselves. Those guest posts played a role in building a steady stream of new backlinks:
Here’s how we did it.
Step 1: Find guest post opportunities
The first step for any strategy like this is to find websites open to blog posts from guest authors.
There are a few criteria for this:
- Domain strength. You’ll get much better results with higher domain authority—that is, a link from Shopify.com means more than a link from your cousin’s blog.
- Relevance. We want links from related websites. In this case, those were sites that also worked with eCommerce stores.
- Open to the opportunity. A lot of websites aren’t interested in guest posts. Some won’t give dofollow links (or they’ll make you pay for them). We needed sites that recognized the win-win—free, high-quality content in exchange for a high-quality link.
(If you want to understand more about how linking works with SEO results, check out my article on eCommerce SEO 101.)
With a solid list of prospects, the client chose to handle the outreach and find opportunities. And as soon as we had a piece lined up, it was time to write.
Step 2: Brief content using SEO best practices
You’d be surprised how many guest posters don’t try to create above-and-beyond content for the host sites.
They figure it doesn’t matter since it’s not their website—but they’re wrong.
The better a blog post, the more backlinks it gets. And the more backlinks, the stronger its own links are.
So we used keyword research, internal links, images, and media. We set up a framework to make every guest post a piece of best-in-class content.
Step 3: Publish content with backlinks
Finally, we wrote the piece following each site’s unique guidelines. Following those guidelines to the letter builds credibility and helps you get published.
Guest posting can be a slow strategy. First, there are weeks of back-and-forth emails to agree on a topic. Then a week or two to write a great piece. Perhaps another week of revisions. And finally, another 2–8 weeks for the piece to go live, depending on the host site’s schedule.
It takes patience. But the results pay off.
We helped our client tap into existing audiences, bring in high-authority backlinks, and attract new visitors.
Direct traffic like that is usually the most targeted and profitable you can find.
SEO case study #3—Five-figure monthly traffic value through content updates
A client in the eCommerce, marketing, and entrepreneurship space made an interesting choice—they bought someone else’s blog.
The only problem?
Those posts dated back over a decade and covered irrelevant topics like Vine and Google+.
The team turned to us for a content refresh.
After updating over 40 articles, our SEO efforts paid off. Today, those “outdated” articles rank for over 20,000 keywords and bring in an estimated 12,500 visitors per month.
Here’s what we did.
Step 1: Do an in-depth SEO audit
When you buy a new web property—or want to analyze an old one—you need to understand what you have.
And that was the first step. We divided the content into three categories:
- Delete (“Your Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing on Vine”)
- Rewrite (“2012 eCommerce Trends to Look Out For”)
- Freshen (“How to Boost Your Conversion Rates”)
Then we went to work.
Step 2: Delete old, irrelevant content
The next step was to work down the categories we created, piece-by-piece.
The “delete” category was tough but necessary. All those posts were taken down—having old, irrelevant content is usually worse than no content at all.
Those old posts still had backlinks, though, so they were redirected to related pages on the updated site.
Step 3: Rewrite outdated pages
Pieces for rewriting had targeted keywords that were still valuable, they just weren’t as modern as they could have been.
We started by removing anything that wasn’t relevant. Oftentimes, this left us with 2,000-word articles stripped to just a few sentences.
But that wasn’t a problem, because the next step was to write them back to their former glory. We added modern examples, screenshots, and internal links.
In a few cases, we also changed the web address of the updated pieces to better reflect the new content, like “ecommerce-trends” instead of “2012-ecommerce-trends.” The old web address was redirected to the new one.
Step 4: Freshen and update stale content
The last “update” category included relevant pieces that needed a final touchup before publishing.
Everything that wasn’t in the “delete” or “rewrite” categories went here. Each piece got a look over and a few adjustments.
First, we updated screenshots and images. An image of the 2014 WooCommerce home page makes your content look dated, even if the advice is still accurate.
So we replaced those images with updated ones.
We also fixed any irrelevant references, like “mobile traffic is expected to double by 2015.”
(Note: Whenever possible, future-proof your content by not referencing specific years. Otherwise, you’ll have to go back and edit it as we did.)
Finally, we did a copyediting pass to make sure the piece was grammatically correct and fit the site’s quality standards.
With the new posts ready to go, we uploaded them for the client to review and publish.
Today, that content is driving huge amounts of traffic. But more than just traffic, it’s attracting valuable visitors.
The articles we revised now generate an estimated $52,000 in monthly traffic value.
In other words, if our client wanted to bring in those visitors through paid traffic (like Google Ads), it would cost him over $600,000 per year.
Instead, those visitors stop by without the client spending a dime on advertising or additional content.
It’s just another example of how updating old content can be the best way to improve your SEO.
Will you be our next successful case study?
We love creating real results for real companies.
What we’ve shared here is just a sampling of some of our client successes. If you’re interested in these kinds of results for your brand, consider working with us.