How the Websites Are Us Community increased 603% of its traffic! – WAU
Want a good SEO, Marketing and Community case study? In this post we show how the Websites Are Us Community blog improved its results by 603%!
[ATUALIZAÇÃO] After producing this post, we migrated the blog from “Write for Web” to “Websites Are Us Community”. So you can find the information for both domains in this post. If you want to know more about the change, visit this post and understand what we did.
Hello! My name is Luiza Drubscky and I’m a Community Manager here at Websites Are Us. I don’t know if you’ve read any of my articles here on the blog, but if this is the first time we’ve met, it’s a pleasure to meet you!
If you have been following the blog for some time, I’m sure you are used to coming here at marketingdeconteudo.com to read Renato Mesquita’s articles on the blog’s growth case, right?
Well, today I came here to try to follow his path. Complicated task, isn’t it?
But, I will not talk about the strategies of this blog. I will talk a little about what we are doing on another WAU blog, the Websites Are Us Community.
What is this Websites Are Us Community?
I don’t know if you know, but Websites Are Us outlines several content marketing strategies for its customers. And to produce each piece of these strategies, we rely on the collaboration of freelancers.
The Websites Are Us Community blog is our portal for attracting and training freelancers to produce web content. It has been on the air since January 1, 2014 and in this last year of work, we had the incredible result of 603% organic growth!
But, to achieve all this result, it took a lot of work and dedication, which go beyond the production of content. Check out a little more about this organic growth case here inside Websites Are Us itself!
Challenges and how we face them
Well, as it couldn’t be different, taking on a new position presupposes new responsibilities and, of course, difficulties as well. Therefore, when I received this proposal in January 2016, I faced several challenges and, for each of them, it was necessary to draw up a different action plan. See only the main ones below:
Volume of publication and instability of organic results
Until January 2016, the blog did not have a very defined structure of the volume of posts that should be made per month. And, as the blog did not have an established publishing routine, organic traffic was very inconsistent, as you can see in the traffic graph for the last quarter of 2015:
Usually, in the graph of organic visits to a blog with constant volume of publications and a well-designed strategy, it is possible to see quite clearly what the weeks are. However, it is not what our graph showed, since we did not have such stability.
So, this was already the first challenge, because we had to establish a constant volume, without losing the quality of the content, of course. We opted for a strategy that was not very aggressive initially, and then we reached the number of 3 posts per week.
Production of rich materials
Like blog posts, we didn’t have a strategy outlined for the production of rich materials. We published ebooks according to the demand given to us by the Content Quality team, which is responsible for reviewing the texts made by freelancers.
We decided to better structure this production, establishing a strategy of one offer per month. Thus, we would be able to increase our lead generation and increase the number of registrations, which was also another initial difficulty.
Creating a sense of belonging in the community
At the beginning of 2016, we had about 3,500 freelancers registered on our Platform. However, we had no way of openly interacting with them, let alone encouraging communication between freelancers.
To solve this situation, we decided to create the Community of Freelancers Websites Are Us, a closed group on Facebook, exclusively for freelancers active on our platform.
In the Community, we can talk about the freelancers’ perception of WAU, ask questions, get their opinion and much more. It is great to have the collaboration of people who participate so intensely in our production process.
June: the great milestone of 2016
All these actions that we took had a lot of effect to “organize the house”. We started the blog running with a certain frequency, we were generating leads and establishing a closer communication with the community.
When we arrived in the middle of the year, in June, there were some specific events that changed the direction of our community.
Launch of Web Content Production Certification
What, for WAU, had always been an idea to develop came to fruition in June 2016. We launched the Web Content Production Certification, with the aim of enhancing our professional training power for freelancers and organizing all information that you need to know in order to be a good content producer.
The course explains a little about fundamental content marketing concepts, in addition to detailing more clearly the fundamental steps for creating successful web content.
As of the month of June, this certificate started to be a basic prerequisite for registration on the Websites Are Us Platform, which significantly increased the qualification of freelancers who have registered since then.
Community team increase
In the first half of 2016, the community team was composed of just one person: me. As complicated as it may seem, it is not impossible to play a content strategy alone.
So, the first half of the year was great to organize the production of the blog and start documenting the strategy. However, we reached a point where to grow more, we needed more minds working in the Community.
So, in June, the Gustavo Grossi and the Raíssa Galvão came to complement the team. The main objective with the hiring of the two was to be able to make the blog strategy more robust, increasing the volume of publications, in addition to investing even more in the issue of the sense of belonging to the community.
So, starting in July, we started with a new strategy, of 5 texts per week and 2 monthly ebooks. And the results were scary!
Check out this chart of organic keywords that are ranking throughout the year, taken from SEMRush:
Visibly, we increased the number of keywords ranking from June, due to the consistent strategy that we were implementing in the first half.
But it was even in November and December that the results of our move to a more robust strategy began to appear more clearly.
New community relationship strategies
It was also in the middle of the year that we decided to invest more not only in the growth of the blog, but in better ways of communicating with the community. In addition to the creation of the Facebook group, we had some other actions, such as:
Websites Are Us Freelancers Meeting
In 2015, WAU had already held some events to unite the freelancers, but it was something that ended up getting lost over time. As of the second half of 2016, we decided to return with the holding of this event with a certain frequency.
We are holding events monthly, at Websites Are Us’s headquarters in Belo Horizonte. Look how was ours November Freelancers Meeting:
Newsletter – WAUing News
We revitalized the Websites Are Us Community newsletter and named it “WAUing News”.
We make themed curators with the best content to help readers of the Websites Are Us Community blog organize their freelance routine and learn more and more about web content production techniques.
In addition to the newsletter, we have implemented a way to make Successful Cases with our freelancers who work most on the Websites Are Us Platform.
We call it “WAUing Freela” and they are also sent by email to our entire freelance base, with several tips for other freelas to learn a little from those who have stood out positively.
The freelancer of the month also receives a bonus, a Kindle, the digital reader from Amazon.
One-year results of documented strategy
As you may have read several times here at marketingdeconteudo.com, online content production strategies are medium / long term.
So, what can we see from the results with 12 months of strategy running?
Increase in organic traffic
As I showed at the beginning of this post, in the last quarter of 2016 (considering until December 19th, the date this post was written), we had the 603% organic growth.
However, with a consistent strategy and constant analysis of results and experimentation with new actions, our graphics tend to grow even more.
Increase in ranking keywords
One thing that goes hand in hand with the growth of organic traffic is the increase in keywords that are ranking on Google. This year, we had a greater investment in SEO strategies and, therefore, we increased the number of keywords that bring visitors from Google results pages directly to our blog.
We went from 0 terms in Google’s top 3 in December / 2015 to 103 terms in the top 3 in December / 2016 – until December 19.
Increasing the community of freelancers
As Websites Are Us grows, it is necessary to increase the community of freelancers as well.
With these results of increased organic traffic and keyword ranking, we consequently reached a significant increase in the number of people who registered to be freelancers Websites Are Us.
In January 2016 we had about 3,500 registered freelancers. Today, we have more than 14,000 people who collaborate with our monthly delivery.
Increase in purchase by email
With the beginning of the strategy of newsletters and more frequent shots by email, a great result was also the growth of email as a channel for acquiring traffic and leads.
See this table that compares the traffic acquisition channels in the last quarter of 2015 and the last half of 2016:
We had the 2,609% growth in traffic acquisition by email, which proves that the strategy we are applying is in line with what our audience likes and expects of us.
Proximity and better relationship with the community
As much as we are totally addicted to metrics and numbers (as you may have noticed in the course of this post), we also immensely value the personal relationship and participation of each freelancer within our community.
As such, we have managed to considerably increase the number of active freelancers, increase engagement in social networks, increase the participation of freelancers from other modalities, such as reviewing and planning agendas and much more.
In general, 2016 was a year of many learnings and difficulties, but also of many positive results.
More than ever, we have been able to see and prove that content marketing strategies bring results, even though they need a certain duration of the strategy.
In 2017 we will continue with our strategy and, for sure, we will have new difficulties, which will bring new learning. And, can you rest assured that in December, I will come here to tell you what happened, agreed?
Hugs and see you!