This case study demonstrates how we helped a startup without any SEO results make SEO their top revenue driver in just three months.
Short Term Needs for a Long-term Strategy
SEO is widely considered a long-term strategy that grows steadily over time. It is worth the investment because organic traffic is typically the most valuable traffic a website can get. It consistently drives the highest engagement and conversion rates. It also plays a big part in other channels success with the potential to lower paid search costs and aid as a valuable touch point in products and services with longer buying cycles. Although SEO sets the foundation for digital success, some clients need immediate results. In this particular case, we were able to drive some quick wins for our client.
Working with a newly launched eCommerce startup we were tasked with gaining top rankings on the brand name, which was a very generic term with a lot of competition. Due to the growing number of partnerships, this client was making it was imperative that they rank for their name and other unbranded terms as soon as possible so when their potential partners would search for them they would show up.
At The Missing Link, we have several robust year-long SEO offerings that drive top results. However, with the sense of urgency here we needed to condense the time frame and focus first on the low hanging fruit. This approach goes against our traditional model, but we will always adapt to client needs.
Foregoing our up-front tech audit and in-depth landscape research, we initially focused on on-page optimization for branded keywords. These keywords were carefully selected so they also target the top unbranded keywords we would go after. In fact, with most startups, we target keywords this way and focus on only one keyword per page. With the initial target keywords set as a combination of branded and unbranded it allows us to rank on our target branded terms and also gives us a head start on the unbranded keywords. This makes phase two of the engagement a little easier.
With the target keywords in place, we begin our optimization. We started off with metadata, updating both the title tags and the meta descriptions. Although we optimize these for the target keyword of each page we also focus more on readability. The metadata is what shows up in the search engine results, so we want it to read well in order to entice a click.
After the metadata, we shifted our focus to image optimization setting both filename and alt tag descriptions of all images to target our desired keywords for the page they are on. This not only helps the page itself to rank but enhances rankings for image search, which can also drive quality traffic.
Although we had to stray from our normal SEO strategy and focus on quick wins, we exceeded our goals in the short time frame (three months) that we had.
When we began working with the client, October 1, 2018, they did not have a single top 100 ranking keyword. By the end of the quarter, they now have top rankings for several branded terms. Additionally, they have several top 20 rankings on key unbranded terms. As we transition our strategy to focus on driving more awareness and new customers through their unbranded rankings this foundation puts us in a great position to grow.
At the launch of their company in late September, our client had a heavy focus on paid social media. With this being a brand new company that was all that was really driving performance. When our engagement began organic was not driving any revenue at all. As you can see you in the chart to the right, by the end of the first-month organic drove 16% of total revenue. That 16% remained steady through November. In December, because it can take Google a while to notice website changes, we really started to see results. Even though all channels grew and more budget was pushed into social media, our SEO performance surpassed them all. In fact, for the month of December organic drove 38% of total revenue.
While SEO is a long-term strategy that can consistently drive high ROI the strategy can be adapted to gain traction early. That is why at The Missing Link, although we focus on long-term success, we prioritize low hanging fruit to gain our client’s quick wins. After quick wins are gained it is important to continue on with a stable SEO strategy. Google updates the ranking algorithm multiple times a day every single day. Without a consistent SEO strategy, performance will decline as Google evolves and more competitors enter the space.