This post will chronicle a recent client case study, going behind the scenes to show you the exact strategies used to grow organic traffic and leads over 300%.
Let’s get into it!
Watch the video for additional insights.
As a consulting firm helping students get into the college of their choice, the client needed a steady flow of leads in order to grow.
They hired us to help rebuild their web presence and generate steady, qualified inbound leads.
Every client engagement starts with our proprietary Website Quality Audit, to understand past performance and forge a strategy going forward.
It didn’t take long for us to uncover why their marketing wasn’t producing leads…Content.
While the client was creating content, it was poorly targeted and lacked value to their target audience.
Most of our clients struggle with content – they know they need it, but struggle to understand content’s role in their business.
Content is the vehicle that helps move website visitors into qualified sales leads. It needs to be present at every stage in the customer journey, not just “bottom funnel” content that’s heavy with sales pitches.
Our plan for the client was all about ideating, building and promoting content across all stages of the customer journey.
1. Measurement plan
You can’t scale a marketing campaign without the right data. In order to ideate and build content, we first needed to understand what the “right” content looked like (which current assets were driving engagement/leads).
We created a full measurement plan, mapping out new conversions, user engagement events and content groupings in Analytics to make data driven improvements. We then setup a custom report in Google Data Studio to monitor and track progressions.
2. Content audit
With tracking setup, we began the content audit process to review existing assets and get a handle on how much content was needed to meet their goals.
- Review existing pages and determine whether to make improvements, delete or leave alone
- Understand the “gaps” in their content keywords compared to the rest of the market
- Determine the proper “types” of content to create (blogs, video, podcasts) based on what resonates the most with their audience
The content audit uncovered a lot of issues that needed to be addressed during our time together:
- Thin, low-quality content. Our first priority was increasing the quality and presentation of the content published on site. We started by identifying which pages to update, refresh or rewrite and which pages needed to be deprecated.
- Fractured information architecture. Key pieces of content was spread across the site, the site lacked pages that were focused on covering key topics in their entirety. We needed to condense and establish the categories to create content around, based on their target audience. This would enable the ability to create topical depth and logical information architecture, which we could formulate a content marketing strategy around.
- Lack of media. Given the nature of the content we were creating, we knew we needed to use more rich media and better data presentation 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 the existing content on a website. However, this is just the beginning – we also need content targeting keywords that are not currently on the website.
This is where a wholistic content strategy + execution plan comes into play. A compilation of existing topics that need updating and new topics that need creation.
For our client, we put together a content strategy that outlined:
- 6 months of content topics (new, existing, updates)
- The type of content to create (blog post, video, etc) and promotional outlets
- Full content calendar with assigned deadlines for writers
- Completed content briefs for each topic
The value of this process can’t be overstated. Leads don’t come from theory, they come from execution. Most companies marketing falls short simply because there’s a lack of structure, organization and accountability in their processes.
4. Link outreach
With content creation in full swing, the last step was to turn the website into an authority. This comes from steady, consistent acquisition of authoritative links.
We setup outreach campaigns targeting specific links that we knew would have a high “win rate” for the client:
- Broken links on top industry publications
- Open contributor roles on top publications
- Link reclamation campaigns
- HARO responses for anything related to education
On average, we acquired 7 links per month during our 1 year working period. The key with links isn’t quantity, but relevance.
Within 6 months of working together the client started to see massive increases in organic visits to the website. We worked with a website design firm to improve the structure of their pages and maximizes conversions. The results speak for themselves – 300% increase in traffic and leads.