How Websites Are Us increased organic traffic from Content Marketing blog in 615% in just 6 months – WAU
When you think of a successful content marketing strategy, what comes to your mind? If you answered to increase the organic traffic of a blog that you created or of your site know that you are on the right path. Since organic blog traffic is increasing […]
When you think of a successful content marketing strategy, what comes to your mind? If you answered increase organic traffic from a blog you created or your website know that you are on the right track.
Since organic traffic to your blog is gradually increasing, you can reduce the cost of some additional strategies that aim to increase traffic to your domain.
Organic traffic is the golden goose of content marketing, if I can make such a bizarre reference, but you get the point.
Websites Are Us is a company focused on generating results for its customers through content marketing. I have already interrupted this sentence to make it clear that this post will not be a material that will only talk about WAU. I will explain what the SEO strategies we used in our marketing team were to increase the organic traffic of the blog you are reading.
I venture to say that when you found this post you were surprised. After all, how was a company specialized in content marketing having problems with organic traffic?
I will not go into the subject now, but I already give you a preview: we were missing the most basic points of an SEO strategy. Things so small they don’t seem to matter. When we hit the machine and fixed the errors the results were incredible!
I hope you enjoy reading and that this post will open your eyes to possible mistakes you are making, without even realizing it. We will talk a lot about SEO techniques that we use to enhance our results!
Panorama of 2014 in relation to SEO
Before going straight to the point and explaining how we managed to increase organic traffic by 615%, it is essential that you understand how we did content marketing and SEO by the end of 2014.
When the startup Websites Are Us was founded in late 2013, the workforce was reduced. Everyone did everything. Whoever could sell, sold. Whoever could write, wrote. And so on, without forgetting a truckload of things that still needed to be done for the company to continue growing.
The blog marketingdeconteudo.com had its first article published on September 26, 2013 (you can check it out here) and its main objective was to educate the market on content marketing and other related topics. In addition, it would be one of the most important access points for new visitors with the brand.
So far so good, correct? Did you identify with Websites Are Us?
At first, the objective was simple: we produced a truckload of content to get the blog going and the mission was to speed up lead generation. The publication was daily and 90% of the posts produced at that time were the responsibility of the Websites Are Us marketing team.
At that time, monthly content planning was closed at the end of each month. Some keywords were defined that would be worked on next month, in addition to ebooks that would also be produced internally. Most of the content was produced from this planning, but some ideas also emerged from the doubts of our customers and readers. Despite that, at that time the focus was not on SEO.
On average, the content that was published on the blog had 500 words and only a few more elaborate pieces exceeded 1,000 words. There were 5 weekly posts: 3 were produced in-house and two more, simpler, were made by our freelance writers. With this volume we were able to reach an average of 20 monthly posts on the content marketing blog.
Would you risk saying how many people the Websites Are Us marketing team had in almost two years? Three is the number, but during 80% of that period it was run by only two people.
They were responsible for:
- Content production for marketingdeconteudo.com;
- Creation of e-books and other rich materials;
- Google Adwords and Facebook Ads campaigns;
- Lead generation;
- They managed nutrition flows so that the sales team received good leads;
- E-mail marketing;
- And many other things.
With so many things to worry about, Websites Are Us’s marketing team did a great job and managed to achieve organic traffic of 57 thousand hits from its launch until December 2014.
How monthly and quarter planning was done
Well, as I had previously introduced, monthly planning was not focused on SEO. The keyword research aimed to find some keywords that made sense to our readers and to solve customer doubts.
SEO strategies used
The only SEO strategy that was used at this time was content production.
On page optimization was poor, as was off page. We just produced content like an unrestrained machine. Despite this, in the first year of the company, Websites Are Us managed to conquer more than 56 thousand unique sessions on the blog.
How we realized that we were missing opportunities …
At the end of 2014, the blog marketingdeconteudo.com already had more than 300 posts. Always addressing topics that are relevant to our audience, such as:
- Digital marketing
- Content Marketing
- Inbound Marketing
- Inbound Sales
- Social media
- Among others
Amid so many pieces of content, some stood out for being a broad theme, evergreen (perennial) and for being a recurring question from customers, blog readers and friends. Despite this, a large part of the content published on the blog was superficial. For those who want to educate the market and its customers it is essential to produce content that is in-depth and really takes the readers’ doubts.
In December of that year, the Marketing team underwent some changes. New hires were made and we started to think about how we could deal with the blog in 2015.
Using some specific tools, like SemRush and Moz, we identified a series of SEO errors in a large majority of blog posts. Among the main errors:
- Lack of keyword definition
- Articles without meta-description
- Images without Alt Text defined
- Absence of internal and external links
- Multiple broken links and images
- Contents with more than one H1
- Duplicate Title Tags and H1
The list was long. The failures accumulated and a sea of opportunities was being lost (in fact, wasted).
In addition to this detail – after a series of keyword ranking analyzes – we realized that some of our best articles had a huge opportunity to reach the top positions and pages of the search engines, with keywords with a significant monthly search volume that we we could be taking advantage.
The opportunities were many and we had already wasted too much time.
And how do we tackle these opportunities?
Several measures were taken to make the blog grow again with all the potential it had. Changes that apparently are silly and simple were made to test the possible results that we would have about the increase in organic traffic.
In January 2015, we decided that the content production, publication volume and monthly and quarterly planning would be dramatically increased.
The main point that needed to be resolved urgently was the SEO bug fixes, which were hampering the blog’s performance.
Panorama of 2015 in relation to SEO
We ended the first phase of the content marketing blog with a positive balance. And in 2015 marketingdeconteudo.com underwent a drastic reformulation, which significantly increased the number of accesses, as well as the quality of the content.
Now you can see in detail the changes that caused our organic traffic to increase 615% in just 6 months.
We decided to make the most of the content production capacity we had in our hands. The production of content was doubled, as well as the size of publications. We went from 20 to 40 monthly publications, apart from guest posts. We left the internal production focused on the production of unique pieces that really needed special attention.
Example: digital marketing / inbound Marketing / Marketing
We left the 500-word articles aside and from that moment on, the minimum size of every blog post was set to 1,000 words. In addition, all articles now have a keyword definition, as well as a previously defined internal link.
In one year the Websites Are Us Marketing team increased to 8 people, two of whom were responsible for the blog – in this case, one of them is the narrator who speaks to you. With more “hands” focused on the production, correction and optimization of content, the machine started to move more fluidly.
How monthly and quarter planning was done
This was possibly the factor that provided the most improvements to the blog. We abandoned the old habit of just producing content without planning and adopted some basic strategies:
- Each month would have a specific theme
- Themes were defined at the beginning of each quarter
- Monthly keyword research according to theme
- Half of the monthly production would go to the decided theme and the other half would be free
Thanks to these changes in the planning, content size and SEO strategies (which you can see below), the picture was starting to change.
SEO strategies used
Keyword research focused on organic traffic
At the beginning of each quarter, the themes for the next three months are defined. After defining the subjects, keyword searches are performed. One of the main objectives of this SEO strategy is to find the best keywords for each topic, according to the number of monthly searches and relevance to our audience. For us it is useless to choose a keyword that has a huge volume of searches if for our audience that subject does not arouse any interest.
It was with these researches that we found incredible opportunities for subjects that we could be addressing, but that due to lack of planning we were missing.
Optimizing old content
In the first phase of the blog marketingdeconteudo.com there was no concern with SEO on and off page. So one of the main missions we had in this second phase was the optimization of old content.
With more than 300 blog posts already published in our domain, we can imagine the number of terms and posts that could be occupying much better positions in the organic ranking than they were.
One by one, post by post, they all suffered updates or additions from:
- Key words
- Title Tags
- H1, H2, H3
- Alt text of images
- Correction of broken images and links
- Insertion of new internal and external links
Yes, it takes time and dedication. Soon you will see the results of this workforce!
Content production focused on the user and search engines
We stop worrying about silly themes or great ideas. We started to adopt a more analytical view, focused on results. All content from this moment onwards started to be developed after a definition of who is the person who seeks this content, how does he search for this content and what are the doubts that we must solve with this content.
Increased content size
We analyzed all the content and realized that the longer articles were performing much more significantly. After this analysis, we started looking for national and international references on the subject until we found out that this really is a reality.
Longer, deeper and less introductory content performs much better than the famous “5 killer tips” and so on. Not that content like this doesn’t work, but we look for something more. Content that goes beyond the basics and is capable of proving your knowledge and authority in a given subject.
Guest posts / Link Building
Your article can be spectacular, optimized and impeccable. Without external links it will be very difficult to reach the top positions in the search engines. For this reason, we carried out an intense external link work for the publications that we wanted to improve the organic positioning.
Main focus: on page optimization
Now we can see how much our concern has gone back to correcting past mistakes in order to get better results with what we already had in our hands. The first step would be to put order at home and you learn now how we achieved incredible growth in one semester.
January and February – Optimization, correction and production [esforço máximo]
Without a doubt this was the moment when we had more work. The maximum effort came in the first two months of 2015. We needed to put the SEO on page of more than 300 posts up to date, and the faster this was done, the faster we could feel and analyze the changes in organic traffic.
In addition to this “small” detail, there was still a mission to double the production of content that was being done so far. We did not know what this would actually be like, the problems it would cause or what the real reflexes of this sudden increase would be.
January and February were also months where we focused a lot on producing pieces of unique content that were extremely important for our blog. The Digital Marketing, Inbound Marketing and Marketing posts were published in late December and early January. After the publication of these articles our link building and guest post work took full force.
Our greatest fear during this period was the much loved and hated carnival. Those who work in marketing know very well what I’m talking about. It is during this period that a huge drop in paid organic traffic is felt. The five days of the party cause negative effects in the week before and in the week after the party.
Well, let’s go. After understanding everything that needed to be done in the first two months, this was the result of organic traffic that we obtained after the period.
Compared to November and December, we obtained an increase of 53.1% in organic traffic from the blog marketingdeconteCont.com.
Main changes made in this period:
- Optimization and correction of old content SEO errors
- Doubling of monthly content production
- Keyword research to select the best opportunities
- Content production focused on SEO, but mainly thinking about the user
- Internal link of related posts within the blog
- Guest posts
- Link Buiding
Result: 53% more organic traffic in two months
March and April – 1st strategy review (Focus on Mkt Digital head tail) / 1st part of results
After the first stage of the new SEO strategy we reached the month of March, the last of the first quarter of the year. Along with the Leads goal we have, there was the objective of further increasing organic traffic. After achieving a great result in the first two months of the year, we realized that there was still much to be done and that the results could be even better.
At that time, SEO optimizations had not yet been finalized, as content production was running high and our team was bogged down with blog production, correction and management, in addition to several other tasks.
What changed the main thing in this period was that we gave it a total focus on the keyword digital marketing. With over 14,000 monthly searches, this term was chosen as the theme for February. During the month we noticed the enormous demand and interest of our readers on the subject. More than 20 articles on digital marketing had been published during the period and we decided to adopt another strategy.
The article “Digital Marketing: What is it, anyway?” it was published on the blog just over two months ago and, despite having a complete and unique content, it was reaching just over 100 monthly accesses. And it was during this period that we worked hard on digital head tail marketing. We created a huge network of internal links, as well as more than 20 external links that attract people from other places to our post. Finally, we updated the article to include several variations of the keyword that had a good search volume. With that, we added another 1,500 words to the post, which was already big.
Okay, let’s get to the results. First let’s talk about the general:
Without the carnival holiday and after fixing 70% of the SEO problems on the blog, we managed to achieve a 100.9% increase in organic traffic in this period. Yes, it was surprising and our team was also impressed. We were getting the last details of the content production strategy on the blog, the SEO was up to date and the link building was still in full swing. During this period several blog posts had an increase of 100, 300 and even 400% of organic traffic, but the best was yet to come.
Are you curious to see the result we obtained with digital head tail marketing?
Yes, this number is correct and it was exactly the increase in organic traffic that we obtained only in one post. In the first two months of 2015, the digital marketing post had received only 141 visitors, but after all the work done in March and April, we ended the two-month period with more than 1,800 hits.
After this result, we decided to change the focus of our SEO strategy a little and that’s how we arrived at the second phase of our 2015 strategy.
Main changes made in this period:
- Completion of SEO errors on the blog
- Updating content with promising keywords with high search volume
- Focus on keywords head tail
Result: 100% more organic traffic in two months
May and June – Expansion of the second strategy [Mais head tails] and final quarter result
At the end of the fourth month of the new strategy, we found and identified the greatest opportunity to increase organic traffic on our blog: head tails. The incredible result we obtained with the keyword digital marketing only proved that we should focus our efforts on keywords that are relevant to our readers and that have a large volume of monthly searches.
To crown our efforts in the first four months of the year, in May the post of digital marketing reached the first position on Google and this was further proof that we were on the right track.
The blog continued to grow and once again we managed to beat what was expected: we achieved 113.56% growth in organic traffic
At this time we were dedicating our efforts to update old content, so that they improve their respective rankings in search engines. Some old keywords were starting to receive more traffic and this improved their ranking positions.
Just now I was talking about the digital marketing post. He reached the first position on Google for the main keyword of the subject and this was the result he obtained in relation to organic traffic:
Once again the post achieved a frightening growth and reached 943% of traffic. Now the mission has changed. Our main concern is to monitor the competition to see how they are working on posts on the subject. Remember if: the work doesn’t end when you reach the first position. Possibly the biggest job will be now. The content will need to undergo constant updates according to market news.
After the success we had with the digital marketing post, we decided to test the same strategy with another very important head tail on our blog: inbound marketing. The monthly search volume for the keyword is only 1.4 thousand. Despite being a low number when compared to digital marketing, this keyword is extremely relevant to the audience we want to reach with our blog. Thinking about it, we adopted the same strategy:
- Content update
- Inclusion of new keyword variations
- We added more than 3,000 words of unique content to the post
As the subject is extremely comprehensive, we did a special job in the post “What is Inbound Marketing” and the result at the end of two months was as follows:
In this period the article had a growth of 402% in organic traffic and nowadays its placement in search engines varies between the first and third places. It is not fixed in a position because the contents that compete for the term are as complete as ours.
After the updates this post became the biggest article on our blog. In terms of SEO it is also one of the most worked. In addition to an enormous amount of internal and external links, it has an immense number of variations of the keyword inbound marketing. It is worth remembering that the main work of link building in this article had started in January and February, just when we started the new SEO strategy.
Result: 113% more organic traffic in two months
When we started thinking about the new SEO strategy that we would adopt for our blog, we had 7,201 hits on marketingdeconteudo.com. At the end of June, six months later, we closed the second quarter of the year with 51,670 unique sessions. We achieved an incredible 615% growth in organic traffic in a short period.
I will not say that this is the recipe for the cake. It is not enough to replicate what I said here for you to have a result similar to ours, but one thing I can guarantee you: small SEO mistakes can compromise the success of any blog. These are failures that we often ignore, neglect due to laziness or even neglect because we believe they are not that important.
You realized that the work was enormous and the result was not fast. In this post you followed a two-year blog. Today we have almost 550 posts on the Websites Are Us blog and the work remains the same, day after day. Study, update and always look for new opportunities or ways to improve your results. Do not expect to achieve different results if you do the same things every day.
SEO is not dead and you must dedicate yourself to your strategy to achieve positive results. Hit 615% organic growth in just 6 months it wouldn’t be possible if we had just published content on marketingdeconteudo.com. The work of analysis, research, study and especially the dedication to the content marketing strategy and SEO are the essential tools for your success.
Now I ask you a question:
How is your blog SEO?
We hope that this content has helped you to understand more about the subject.
If you want to learn even more about SEO, be sure to download our free material!