My name is Marc.
I have been in SEO for more than a decade, hailing out of Australia, where I run two online marketing agencies.
I am also an avid SEO tester for SEO Intelligence Agency (SIA) and Internet Marketing Gold (IMG).
I also developed several WordPress plugins, such as IndexJet.
All in all, I think it's safe to assume I love SEO. 😊
Today I will share the process that I use in my agency to rank local SEO clients.
The process works in ANY niche.
And most importantly, it is designed to impress even the fussiest of SEO clients.
We are targeting low competition, easy-to-rank keywords first, so you have some great results to show in no time (3 months to be exact)!
I want to be very clear that this case study mainly explains how we achieved a 3000% traffic increase by publishing 20+ low competition supporting articles.
Let's get started, shall we?
What we will cover in this SEO case study:
- Client Background
- Keyword Research
- Keyword Cupid Content Clustering
- Content Creation
- On-Page Optimization
- Technical SEO Implementation
- Internal Linking
- Backlink Building
- Results Of Launching Supporting Articles
Client BackgroundWe run an SEO agency in Australia and our goal is to rank our client for the keyword: "Breast Implants Perth".
The website started by only having four pages covering the topic of breast augmentation and we were stuck ranking between spot 16 and 13 for a while.
This client is in the very competitive plastic surgery space in a 2 million population city in Australia.
Their business had been going steady, but the client wanted to grow the business by ranking for breast augmentation keywords.
To give you more of an idea of how invisible they were, they had organic traffic of fewer than 100 visitors per month when we started with them!
Initially, the client was not even in the top 100 for their target term: "breast augmentation Perth".
Once we created a new page for the money term, the client ranked in position 51.
That’s when we knew there is a lot of work ahead of us.
Campaign GoalsThe goals of the SEO campaign were to increase organic traffic for breast augmentation and facelift keywords to the website.
Ultimately, driving leads and growing the clinic’s revenue by improving keyword rankings to their target keywords.
Here is what we did to achieve these results...
What We Do For All Our ClientsThe below tasks are nothing new in SEO, but they form the foundation for everything that is about to follow.
- Complete the technical SEO audit
- Improve page titles, meta descriptions, header tags and image alt tags
- Deindex low-quality pages that did not get any traffic
- Build out new money pages that target competitive terms
- Create internal links from the homepage to money pages
- Create supporting articles (4) per money page
- Internal link supporting articles to money pages
- Build backlinks to money and supporting articles
Keyword ResearchI like to take a broad approach with keyword research.
Rather than only looking for keywords that contain "breast implants" or "breast augmentation" we wanted to see all possible keywords.
The best way to broaden your keyword research is to check what your competitors are already ranking for.
I do this for 9 competitors in the same niche, to be sure that I have the largest possible pool of keywords to choose from.
SEMRush Keyword Research Process
- Get a list of breast surgeons that rank in the top 3 spots in Australia (repeated for 3 cities).
- Now we have a list of 3 websites x 3 cities = 9 total domains to check
- We find all of the keywords that these competitors rank for and put them in a master list
- Now we have a list of 5000 keywords (removed duplicates)
- We then give this list to keyword cupid and let it work its magic
- With our keyword research complete, it's now time to get help from Keyword Cupid
Keyword Cupid Content Clustering
How is Keyword Cupid Supposed to work?By grouping your keywords precisely the way Google would do it themselves, KC gives you a list of supporting articles that can drive massive amounts of traffic.
What does the Keyword Cupid Output Look Like?You get back a mind map and an excel list of your keywords.
The mind map is an interactive online document that you can browse to get an idea of how specific topics relate to each other and what headings are best included on your article pages.
The Excel document gives you the same information and is more actionable than the mind map because you can give it to a staff member or content writer.
Here is the mindmap:
And here is the Excel List View:
Column B has the target keyword and column D. has the sub-headings that you should use on the page.
I found this very helpful because it allowed me to skip the content brief phase.
Since I used KC for supporting pages (that’s what it's meant for in my view), I want to reduce the amount of time I spend on content briefs.
We cranked out 20 articles based on the recommendations from Keyword Cupid and the new articles started getting traffic almost immediately.
Does Keyword Cupid Help to Get Featured Snippets?Because these supporting articles are low competition, we did NOT build backlinks and still ranked in the top 3 spots for almost all queries!
For some, we got the featured snippet:
Content CreationI will only cover the content creation for supporting articles in this section.
Keyword Cupid was a huge help when it came to briefing our content writer.
We usually use Frase.io for content briefs.
However, because Keyword Cupid already selected the perfect article sub-headings for us, this was enough to guide the writer in the right direction.
My main suggestion to content writers is to answer the user's questions as quickly as possible in the top section of the article.
If someone has typed a question into Google, they want the answer as soon as possible, instead of having to read through thousands of words of irrelevant text, just to find the answer at the bottom of the page.
So let’s all agree to write more helpful articles.
That also means that there is no fixed word count.
However, many words are needed to satisfy the user intent. That’s how many words we will write.
On-Page CreationSince we are talking mainly about supporting articles in this case study, I will share the exact process we use to include all significant on-page ranking factors in our articles.
The focus here is on efficiency because we need to optimize 20+ articles that we want to release in a short amount of time.
The top on page ranking factors that we focus on are:
- Keyword + LSI in Title Tag, H1, H2, H3 tags
- Keyword + LSI in Image alt tags
- Using all headings as recommended by KeywordCupid
- Including HTML elements such as tables and lists
As you can see, our on-page process for low competition keywords is far from rocket science.
- Why is that, you ask?
Because we can get the featured snipped and/or top 3 spots with this simple process that keeps it simple.
Technical SEO ImplementationAfter performing a complete audit, I understood how we could generate significant wins for this client.
Here we will cover the technical SEO fixes and on-page optimization.
The client had numerous pages with very thin content.
As you are probably aware, these days, Google uses natural language processing (NLP), so one of the first implementations I implemented was to build out the content for these thin content pages.
I then also implemented the on-page SEO best practices and improved internal linking on other money pages.
My philosophy on backlinks is that I want to first improve the on-page SEO, before starting to build links to pages.
Internal LinkingFor internal linking, I fully subscribe to the Reverse Silo method from Kyle Roof.
The idea is that each supporting page links to the main page (money page) you are trying to rank.
Each supporting article also links to the previous and the next supporting article, as shown in the image below.
This creates a good user experience as users can jump from one topic to another and Googlebot can also easily discover topics in this silo/cluster of articles.
Since we implemented the internal linking strategy we saw some very nice gains.
You can then start to build backlinks to the supporting articles, which pass the link juice to the money page, via internal links.
More on backlinks in the next section...
Backlinks Did Not Move The NeedleOnce we started link building, we did have a hard time catching up to the competitors' backlinks amounts.
Some competitors had 400+ referring domains, while my client only had 20 when we started.
After doing link building for 3-4 months for this client, I realized that we do not see much positive movement.
I concluded that if we can’t beat the competitor with backlinks, we will beat them with content.
This new content can then attract backlinks naturally. Failing that we would run link-building campaigns to the supporting articles.
Since this client is in the medical niche, arguably EAT – Expertise, Authority, Trust is essential in this niche.
By having more articles covering the topic of breast augmentation in its entirety, we can expand on the expertise part.
What were the results of launching supporting articles?
November 2020 - 913 Organic Visits
February 2021 - 3,081 Organic Visits x237% increase
I have NEVER tripled traffic within a 3 month period before.
We went from 913 visitors at the end of November 2021 to 3,081 visitors in February 2021 and the month is not even over yet.
March 2021 - 5,843 Organic Visits x540% increase
Our main keyword also went from rank #13 to rank #6 over the same period of time.
What contributed to our success?
- Used Keyword cupid content clusters and headings for articles
- Launched a huge amount of supporting articles (20)
- Internal linked the supporting articles to main KW
- Built backlinks to supporting articles
By using Keyword Cupid's clusters, we improved rankings within 3 months from rank 13 to rank 6 in a competitive niche for our money page.
It was the supporting articles that saw the most significant boost.
We went from 1,000 visitors to 3,000 visitors.
And that's only the beginning!
We gained almost 3,000 new visitors in the past month.
It looks like our growth could be following a quadratic formula (f(x) = x^3), but it is too early to derive this conclusion.
The key takeaway is that our slope has surpassed linear growth, which itself is a massive feat.
We will monitor the site's progress to see when/if it will plateau, but for now, it's safe to say that the advertised growth in traffic and conversions has tremendously improved our client's business.
Till next time.