How different would things be if your e-commerce business saw a 235% increase in revenue?
For one of our e-commerce clients, this was a reality.
Within four months of working with us, this client saw a 40% increase in search traffic and a 235% increase in revenue from search traffic.
Now, it’s worth noting that an increase in revenue from search traffic is a bit more notable than an increase in revenue from — say — Facebook ad traffic. The cost of ad spend when running Facebook ads cuts your profit margins.
Revenue by search traffic doesn’t come with a cost, meaning profit margins are higher.
Needless to say, this client was ecstatic when they saw our results.
I’m going to give you a brief background on the client we worked with, without divulging information that could give away their website:
- They started their e-commerce brand in February
- They started working with Inbound Pursuit on May 16th, 2019
- They sell products for women who are pregnant
- They did not have a blog
- They had never done SEO
This client was generating most of their revenue by running paid social ads, and they were looking to get into the SEO game in order to improve their revenue.
Starting Organic Traffic & Sales
Because we started working with this client on May 16th, we measured all results against the previous 30-day period, which was April 16th – May 15th.
Their organic search results weren’t half-bad:
- 1,179 users
- 106 transactions
- $4,260.85 in revenue
But they wouldn’t have contacted us if they didn’t think they could do significantly better.
Our SEO Strategy
Our SEO strategy comes down to several different phases:
- Keyword Research
- Competitor Analysis
- Technical SEO
- Content Creation
- Link Building
Perfection in each phase is absolutely critical for the success of the campaign, as the phases build off of one-another.
The client provided a list of keywords that they wanted to rank for, so our first objective was to qualify the keywords and make sure: 1) They had enough search volume and 2) They weren’t overly competitive.
When it comes to qualifying keywords based on search volume, I tend to stay away from keywords that get less than 100 monthly searches.
The only exception would be if the keyword is locational or closely-related to a product or service being sold.
As far are competitiveness goes, I check to make sure that the current pages that are ranking for that keyword aren’t overly authoritative.
What do I mean by that?
A consider a page to not be overly authoritative if:
- Its domain authority is less than 40
- It doesn’t have any backlinks
If there are 2-3 pages ranking for a keyword that aren’t overly authoritative, I’d consider the keyword to be uncompetitive and worth including in our campaign.
The logic behind this is a simple case of: “If they can do it, why can’t we?”
If 2-3 pages that aren’t overly authoritative can rank for a particular keyword, what’s stopping us?
It’s worth noting that we don’t always get rid of all keywords that we deem to be too competitive.
If a keyword is relevant enough to the client’s niche, we’ll still include it in our campaign. We’ll just target long-tail variations of that keyword as well, so we still get search traffic while we wait to rank for the primary keyword.
After qualifying the list of keywords provided by the client, we ended up with five keywords worth including in our campaign.
As you can imagine, five keywords isn’t a whole lot.
We needed more — much more.
So, we turned to our competitors.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
This old adage is just as true for SEO as it is for anything else.
At the start of an SEO campaign, I like to analyze competitor websites and see what kind of strategies they’re implementing (if any) to rank.
What keywords are they ranking for?
What type of content are they creating?
Where are they getting their backlinks?
Based on that information, I determine what’s working well for them, tweak that strategy to make it a little better, then implement it for my clients.
In the case of this client, I needed a stronger list of keywords to have in my back pocket as I worked on this campaign.
So, here’s what I did:
I used a tool called Ahrefs to analyze the keywords several competitors were ranking for.
I then qualified those keywords using the strategy I discussed above.
This left me with a much larger list of keywords to use throughout the campaign.
Technical SEO is the foundation of any SEO campaign.
It’s the process of optimizing a website for both users and search engines.
Without properly optimizing a website for users and search engines, you’re handicapping its ability of effectively rank from the start.
Here are some common technical errors that I fix during this phase:
- Slow website loading speed
- Non-mobile friendly pages
- Broken links
- Redirect chains
- Duplicate content
- Thin content
- Missing meta data
- Ineffective internal linking
- Harmful backlinks
I also focus heavily on re-working the architecture of the website, by re-nesting pages and re-optimizing the URLs of each page by shortening them and including the target keyword.
This particular client had a ton of thin content (less than 300 words) that wasn’t providing any value.
They cluttered Google’s search results (while receiving no traffic), and had no real reason to exist.
So, I simply deleted them and redirected each URL to the website’s home page.
Pages that I kept were optimized for the keyword I deemed most appropriate.
The process of optimizing a page for a keyword is simple:
- Include the keyword in the Meta Title
- Include the keyword in the Meta Description
- Including the keyword as the alt-tag of the primary image
- Sprinkle the keyword throughout the body of the page, while including it in an H2 tag if possible
Optimizing this client’s product pages for the correct keyword is what made the biggest difference in this campaign.
Optimizing a product page for a keyword is similar to optimizing any other page for a keyword, with one notable difference: the Meta Title.
Here’s the Meta Title structure I use for most pages: [Keyword] | [Secondary Keyword – optional] | [Brand Name]
Here’s the Meta Title structure I use for product pages: [Product Name] | [Keyword] | [Brand Name]
With this structure, the product’s name is retained and the page is still optimized for a keyword.
Here are some other more specific ways I optimized this client’s website for users and search engines:
- I updated the website’s main navigation to include About Us, Contact Us, Products, and Blog. This makes it so that Google can easily “crawl” the website and find any new products or blog posts.
- I submitted an XML Sitemap. This also helps Google more easily “crawl” the website and discover newly added pages.
- I downloaded an App that “compressed” all images on the website — meaning it reduced the size of all images. This helps to increase the website’s loading speed, which does affect your search rank.
- I added alt-tags to images that were missing them. This helps Google “read” the image, so it’s best to alt-tag images with the keyword the page is targeting.
- I fixed broken links that were “leaking” website authority
- I revamped the meta data on each page to make sure they weren’t too long — meta data that is too long will but cut off, harming the click-through rate of the page in the search results
Once you’ve laid the foundation for your campaign, you need to begin publishing content so your website ranks for more keywords and generates more organic traffic.
The general rule of thumb is that each page of a website should target one primary keyword. You can target secondary keywords if you’d like, but they should be closely related to the primary keyword.
For this client, we decided to publish one blog post per week. The blog posts covered topics related to the products sold on the website, so we could include an internal link from each blog post to a related product page.
The blog posts we published were long — each over 1,000 words, covering the topic better than most other resources on the internet. They also each targeted a specific keyword that we pre-qualified.
This allowed the website to rank for more keywords than it did prior to us working on it.
On May 16th, the website ranked for 18 keywords. By September 16th? Over 630.
The first thing I did was secure their brand on all social media platforms, and build out a local business citations.
These links build a ring of trust around your website in the eyes of Google, showing them that your brand is legitimate and worth ranking in their search results.
As for the contextual link building strategy — or in other words, links built on relevant blogs — I focused on building links to the blog posts. Because each blog post linked to relevant product pages, that authority built from the backlinks could be transferred to the product pages.
This helped the product pages rank higher in search results, without me having to build links to them.
It’s essentially a two-for-one deal.
Within four months of executing this strategy, the client saw a 40% increase in organic search traffic and a 235% increase in revenue.
The client received:
- 1,469 users
- 332 transactions
- $14,263.82 in revenue
So what’s the plan from here on out?
I’ll continue executing the strategy, making changes as needed, attacking weak points and take this website to $30,000 per month organically.
Besides, that’s just how SEO works…
If you have a solid plan in place, the sky’s the limit as far as organic search traffic and revenue.
If you continue to optimize the website and publish high-quality content that ranks, organic search traffic will continue to increase — and that means an increase in revenue.
That’s winning SEO.
[Update: May 2020]
When I published this case study back in September of 2019, we were only four months into the campaign.
Now that we’ve run this campaign for a full year, I wanted to show you our results.
Not only did traffic increase by 846%, but revenue was able to clear the $36,000 mark.
It’s only a matter of time before our SEO campaign is generating this client 6-figures every month.