This article will chronicle a recent customer case study, take you behind the scenes to show you the exact strategies used to increase organic traffic and leads by over 300%.
Let’s get into it!
Watch the video for additional information.
As a consulting firm helping students get into the college they want, the client needed a constant flow of leads to grow.
They hired us to help them rebuild their web presence and generate stable and qualified inbound leads.
Every customer engagement starts with our property Website quality audit, to understand past performance and forge a strategy for the future.
It didn’t take us long to find out why their marketing wasn’t producing leads… Content.
While the customer was creating content, it was poorly targeted and lacked value for their target audience.
Most of our customers struggle with content – they know they need it, but struggle to understand the role of content in their business.
Content is the vehicle that helps website visitors become qualified leads. It must be present at every stage of the customer journey, and not just the content of the “bottom of the funnel” loaded with sales pitches.
Our plan for the customer was to imagine, create and promote content at all stages of the customer journey.
1. Measurement plan
You can’t scale a marketing campaign without the right data. In order to idea and create content, we first needed to understand what the “right” content looked like (what current assets were driving engagement / leads).
We created a complete measurement plan, mapping new conversions, user engagement events, and content aggregations in Analytics to make data-driven improvements. We then set up a custom report in Google Data Studio to monitor and track progress.
2. Content audit
With the tracking setup, we started the content audit process to review existing assets and determine how much content is needed to meet their goals.
- Review existing pages and determine whether to make improvements, remove them, or leave them out
- Understand the “gaps” of their content keywords compared to the rest of the market
- Determine the right “types” of content to create (blogs, videos, podcasts) based on what resonates most with their audience
The content audit revealed many issues that needed to be addressed during our time together:
- Thin and poor quality content. Our first priority was to increase the quality and presentation of the content published on the site. We started by identifying which pages to update, refresh or rewrite and which pages should be deprecated.
- Fractured information architecture. Key pieces of content were spread throughout the site, the site lacked pages focused on covering key topics in their entirety. We needed to condense and establish the categories around which to create content, based on their target audience. This would create a thematic depth and a logical information architecture, around which we could formulate a content marketing strategy.
- Lack of media. Given the nature of the content we created, we knew we needed to use richer media and better presentation of data like lists, tables and charts. This would not only make the information more consumable for readers, but also position us to capture SERP snippets in Google.
3. Content strategy + execution
The fastest turnaround in organic traffic always comes from updating existing content on a website. However, this is just the start – we also need some content targeting keywords that are not currently on the website.
This is where a holistic content strategy + execution plan comes in. A compilation of existing topics that need to be updated and new topics that need to be created.
For our client, we have developed a content strategy that describes:
- 6 months of content topics (new, existing, updates)
- The type of content to be created (blog post, video, etc.) and promotional materials
- Comprehensive content calendar with assigned deadlines for writers
- Completed content summaries for each topic
The value of this process cannot be overstated. Leads don’t come from theory, they come from execution. Most marketing businesses fail simply because there is a lack of structure, organization, and accountability in their processes.
4. Link to awareness
Content creation was in full swing, the last step was to make the website an authority. It comes from stability, consistent acquisition of authoritative links.
We implemented awareness campaigns targeting specific links that we knew would have a high “success rate” for the client:
- Broken links on major industry publications
- Open contributor roles on the best publications
- Link recovery campaigns
- HARO answers for everything related to education
On average, we acquired 7 links per month during our one-year shift. The key to linking is not quantity, but relevance.
Within 6 months of working together, the client started to see a massive increase in organic visits to the website. We worked with a web design company to improve their page structure and maximize conversions. The results speak for themselves: 300% increase in traffic and leads.