505 to 677k organic in 19 months

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From 518 to 677k organic visits per month in 19 months with “untapped” aggressive SEO — and how we double traffic multiple times in weeks.

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Quite the title but this case study has so much into it I had to write a long title!

Going from 516 organic visits per month to 667k visits per month in 19 months is a challenge, but more challenging is to grow the traffic by 50% in the span of days, multiple times, almost every month  — which is not happening intentionally, it's been sort of “luck”, more on that in a second.

In this case study, you’ll discover how we did that by implementing the opposite of what the competition was doing and also implementing an “untapped” and aggressive SEO strategy that’s actually safe.

I’ll also explain how you can duplicate it (won’t apply to every business but you’ll find if it does for yours quite soon).

In fact, you may possibly know about it already and if you haven’t added it to your SEO arsenal, this could be an extra confirmation that it works.

In August 2018 I started working with a startup that has a successful app, 2nd in its category and with around 300k users per day on peak days. Now they wanted to additionally focus on search to capitalize the massive traffic potential there is.

The challenge is that the current competitor companies are very big and have 20+ years of presence online.

As you can imagine they also have a lot of authority (sounds familiar? Check my other case study from 312 to 1.2 million in 2 years).

Just to give you an idea here’s a snapshot from the top competitor — Ahrefs metrics.

Some Website facts:

** The website has a small number of pages: 57 pages TOTAL as I write this.

** It’s in 14 languages (so 14 landing pages).

** US traffic accounts for 22.29% of the total traffic.

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Source: Google Analytics.

OK so before we dive into it, let’s log into Google Analytics and see what’s happening as well as see how the traffic grows by 50% multiple times?

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Video to be updated soon.

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The untapped and aggressive SEO marketing method “some” companies are safely using to bring a ton of traffic and $$$$

If you have competitors that are well known, you’re in luck. You can capitalize on their brand name to drive very valuable traffic to your website (not everyone can but you’ll know if it applies to you really quick).

In some other cases, not only could you drive valuable traffic (qualitative), but a lot of traffic as well as we have seen (quantitative).

What’s the “aggressive” and “untaped” method?

Simple.

Writing about your competitors. Specifically reviews.

Why is it aggressive?

Because it could be confrontational.

It depends on your niche and the behind the scenes things that go with your specific industry or company (company focus, internal politics, potential issues…).

Now to be clear.

These types of reviews are not created to bash, criticize or bad-talk about your competitors.

That would be the wrong move for you to make and it could backfire pretty quickly.

This type of review has a specific structure and it breaks down into 3 steps:

Feature the good stuff about the competition. The reason to do that is that talking bad about a company, brand or service is distasteful, and if they’re big brands, they have been able to become one by doing something good (sure there are exceptions).

You don’t want to be known as the company that talks bad about others.

Visitors can smell BS from a distance as well.

2 Feature what they lack or what they can improve. We know that all companies can improve something and it actually feels natural to talk about what other companies can improve after addressing the good.

Fill the gap with what you offer. In theory, your product or service should have the good and also fill in your competitor’s weak points. Or at least have an angle that gives your company an edge over your competition.

If it fills the gap or has an edge that is good enough, you have a high probability to siphon visitors to get their credit cards out with your company instead of your competitors.

So if you’re competing with Nike (which we’re not) and your directly competing with their shoes (don’t know who in their mind would do something like this… Anyone from Adidas reading? :D) a “review type” title could go something like this:

The Nike Shoes Review You Didn’t Know Existed

Or

The Nike Shoes Review You Always Wanted To Read

Now, this may or may not be a good example, so how do you know if you’re on the right path?

We did something that may or may not be obvious. It’s based on how Tim Ferriss chose his 4-hour workweek book title: Running ads.

We run a couple of hundred bucks in Google Ads to see if people were interested.

And they were, so we wrote the content afterward.

That’s how we’re getting a lot of growth and traffic, ranking for competitor’s keywords and bringing people to the business instead of having them go to the competition.

IMPORTANT: BE CAREFUL about the content, the ad, what you say and so forth. Do your due diligence unless you want to get sued. Here’s an article about it.

How did traffic grow by 50% a lot of the weeks? — If you watched the video you already know :).

 

I mentioned it was “luck” and the reason why is because we didn’t intend to do it. We didn’t say:

Let’s see if we can grow traffic 50% consecutively multiple weeks every month!

But it happened. It’s kind of “simple”.

We got multiple featured snippet for the biggest keywords we're targeting, sometimes in multiple languages.

I mean, imagine getting a snippet for “Nike shoes”… or “best Nike shoes” like these guys have in their affiliate site:

According to Keywords Everywhere they have 12,000 searches per month.

Now imagine the same for a 240,000+ searches per month terms…

That’s pretty much what happened.

The more interesting part?

There was no snippet before (and it obviously had a pretty short life span).

** By the way, talking about featured snippets, look at what I found doing some keyword research on January 27th. Have never seen a double snippet so big on Google before.

That’s it!

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Ready To Take Your Business To The Next Level?

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SEO Case Study: 14 Million organic visits in 2 years

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SEO Case Study: How we brought 14 million organic visits in 2 years - starting from virtually scratch

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Next Level SEO Growth

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In this case study, you will learn how we took a website and grew it to the top 32k of all websites in the world and the top 20k websites in the US according alexa.com – in only 2 years and starting virtually from scratch.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/alexa-traffic.jpg" align_tablet="center" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" border_width_all="0px" border_color_all="#aaaaaa" border_style_all="solid" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);" use_border_color="on" border_color="#aaaaaa" border_width="0px" animation="off"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74"]Alexa Rank as of October 12th 2017 [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74" custom_margin="50px|||" custom_margin_phone="0px|||" custom_margin_last_edited="on|phone"]

If you want to see how I log into Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, there’s a video at the end of the case study where I where you can see “live” the changes month after month – and other things like live visitors on the site.

Some people ask me what type of industry this was for (B2B, B2C, SaaS, etc), and while the question is relevant is not important. The reason is because what you're about to read can be applied to any industry, any type of website and vertical.

The fundamentals are the same and we've successfuly applied them for all the mentioned industries and verticals.

This is how it all started

In June 2014, we were approached by a business owner wanting to take his business to the next level.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74"]This was a smaller startup that had been in “inception mode” for three years and was itching to find an online marketing company that could help them grow. As you may imagine, they didn’t come to us and say: “Hi, I want a website that gets at least one million visits per month and breaks into the top 42K websites in the world.” It went more like this: “Hi, I’m a startup that wants to grow. My competition is well established. Are you guys up for the challenge of making this happen?”

This caught our attention.

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 Why was it a challenge?

On one side, their competitors were well established businesses – 10 to 20 years of online presence.

On the other side, because of the nature of their business, we were unable to create a blog, long form content, backlinks, or do content promotion – one of the methods most businesses need to grow (other than CRO, remarketing, and all that good stuff).

What did we do?

We said: “this seems pretty interesting, let’s have a look.”

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74" custom_margin="50px|||"]The RoadMap

We engaged in creating a roadmap to lay out what would be the best options for the client.

This process usually takes between one and three weeks depending on the scope of the project.

It includes a discovery session, assesing priorities, planing and delivering the roadmap.

At the end of this process the client had a clear plan of action to use. They decided to move forward with the execution.

Then the roadmapping took place:

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74" custom_margin="50px|||"] 1- Studying the Competition and Discovering If This Was a Viable Project. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ecommerce-competition-analisis-from-moz.jpg" align_tablet="center" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" custom_margin="50px||50px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74"]Even though we were up for the intriguing challenge, we needed to do some homework to see if this was even possible… Studying the competition is our first step in every single project we take when doing roadmaping. This not only helps us gather key information about what’s working for them, but we can also save weeks of research and analysis before we come up with a game plan.  There’s three levels of competition: Low, medium, and high. After our initial research, we found they were in a medium competition market that was solely focused on organic search. This was in alignment with the businesses we usually work with – medium and high competition – unless there’s a business that is in an untapped low competition market.  After what we discovered about the competition, it was time for THE question: [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74" custom_margin="50px|||"]2- What Would It Take to Make This Work?[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/competitor-shop.jpg" align_tablet="center" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" custom_margin="50px||0px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74"]- Competitor traffic graph [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74"]If you know your competition is a $30 million-dollar company and they are investing 3% in digital marketing, that means they have a $900K budget per year. That’s what it would take to replicate exactly what they are doing. But if you only have a $120K budget rather than a $900K budget per year, the question is: Would that give us enough leverage to compete? As an example, we’ve had clients competing with companies like Home Depot, which according to a study made by frac.tl they had a 2015 online marketing budget of: Obviously, I don’t expect you to have a business that is looking to compete with them in every single category and every single product – unless you are Lowe’s, Costco, etc. However, if they are one of your competitors, we will need to come up with creative and innovative marketing approaches to get a part of their market share. They have a very mature online presence. In our current case study, after learning the competition’s average budget and the client’s budget, we all decided we were a good fit. We accepted this exciting challenge. Our promise was to put our best skills together and execute the best strategy possible to turn a real challenge into something that could grow over time. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74" custom_margin="50px|||"]

3- Digging Deeper into the Competition

Now that we were all on board and feeling the excitement that a new project brings, we went into deep research mode.

Some of the tools we used for this project were:

We took the top 5 competitors we had previously analyzed on the surface and looked at what they were doing from an SEO and CRO perspective.

Some of the elements we analyzed were:

The look and feel of the website – design, mobile version vs. desktop version, copy, language, user experience, colors, buttons, trust-building elements, popups, engagement, blog, social sharing…

Structure of the website – categorization, silos, sections, breadcrumbs, internal linking, page size (word count), H tags and descriptions, website speed…

Monetization and shopping experience – mobile experience, price tags, calls to action, coupons, discounts, offers, checkout flow, shipping & handling, refund policies…

Audience – age, sex, marital status, education, income, hobbies.

Marketing – SEO, CRO, paid advertising, remarketing… (we already knew this was a purely organic search project).

After we wrote down what they were doing right and what could be improved, we outlined a specific plan that was created with the intention of helping our client “be the best.”

 

4- These are some specifics:

Increase the word count per page. The competition didn’t have much content on their “product pages.” Their low description word count could be improved to give more value to search engines and visitors.

Improve the internal linking structure. We built a framework to add link silo structures pointing only to pages within the same categories. A silo structure is basically links inside the website that point to specific areas of the website creating a framework.

Optimize Titles and H tags properly. Their competitors didn’t have all H tags on point. Some didn’t have H2 tags and some didn’t have them properly optimized.

Add a breadcrumb navigation to each page. Competitors had some but not all of them.

Optimize images. Competitors weren’t really taking advantage of this. Optimizing images can send additional traffic from the image section on Search Engines.

It doesn’t sound too complicated, right?

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First Phase

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It was time to put all the pieces together and execute.

The system that we designed would pull information from a database to automatically create pages that would include all the improvements previously mentioned. If you would like to learn more about the nitty gritty, keep reading. Otherwise, click here to continue without the specifics. * The right titles that were optimized and written with the correct keywords. They also utilized psychological triggers to “help” people searching online to click on the client’s website instead of the competition – compelling titles with the right keywords on them. * The right H tags with optimized keywords, synonyms, LSI terms (Latent Semantic Indexing), and variants that would cover a wide number of keywords within the group of keywords we wanted to rank for. * The right amount of content with optimized keywords, synonyms, and LSI terms. The pages would have at least 20% more content than the competitors with a higher word count across the board. * Optimized images that would contain keyword rich file names, metadata, and relevant alt tags that would add even more keywords relevant to what they represented. * The right internal linking structure so page links would point to the other generated pages within the same category. These links had exact match anchor text, synonyms, and LSI variations. Basically, links that contain words related to what we wanted to rank for. * Add Breadcrumbs: They add an extra layer of internal linking, help with indexation (we had a lot of pages to build), and create a better user experience. We also did some other things like adding multiple sitemaps.xml (50K pages per sitemap max) for pages and images, setting up everything in webmaster tools, fletching and crawling the website, etc. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74" custom_margin="50px|||"]

First Results

About 6 months after the first phase was implemented, the site started to take off. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ecommerce-store-receiving-465k-organic-visitors.jpg" align="center" align_tablet="center" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" max_width="550px" custom_margin="50px||50px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74"]We were really pleased, excited, and proud of how we had turned an initial challenge, with no guarantees of becoming successful, into a project that was getting good traction: 465,190 visits per month. But something happened. On February 2016, after 7 months of growth, the traffic became stuck and plateaued. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ecommerce-traffic-plateau.jpg" align="center" align_tablet="center" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" max_width="600px" custom_margin="50px||50px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74"]

Second Phase

Even though the traffic had plateaued, we knew we had created something very valuable: a proven framework that brought us excellent results. After hitting a plateau, it was the perfect time to push our framework to the next level: creating a new big segment of pages and categories. If we were right, this would be another growth stage. If we were wrong, this had the potential to turn into a big spoof. So, what happened? We deployed the second phase and we got yet another home run. We were back in growth mode. With up to 808,043 visits per month, we felt invincible. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ecommerce-business-growing-online.jpg" align="center" align_tablet="center" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" max_width="650px" custom_margin="50px||50px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74"] Growth continued; however, like the previous cycle, the traffic growth plateaued again in October 2016.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/stagnant-online-store-traffic.jpg" align="center" align_tablet="center" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" max_width="650px" custom_margin="50px||50px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74"]As you may imagine, we were in such a rush looking at how the traffic had been increasing before the plateau that we just had to keep pushing it. We thought we had a proven and invincible framework. We were crushing the competition. So, the third phase was born. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74" custom_margin="50px|||"]

Third Phase - Epic Fail?

In the third phase, we did something slightly different. We decided to translate the website into two additional languages in order to grow it three-fold. This was going to be the epitome of the project. We were expecting to create something impressive. However, not everything went as expected. Check the image below to see why: [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image align_tablet="center" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_image src="https://realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/failing-ecommerce-seo-image.jpg" align="center" align_tablet="center" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" max_width="650px" custom_margin="20px||50px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74"]No bueno. In 3 months, we went from 968K visits per month to 639K visits per month – losing around ⅓ of the traffic. This looked like we were having an epic crash! We analyzed every single bit of information we could possibly gather to try and figure out what was causing this monumental traffic loss (and of course revenue loss), but we couldn’t find anything major that was causing this problem. Did we merely experience a brief golden era and that was it? We came to the conclusion that Google was a little bit confused because of the two extra languages launch – pretty much at the same time. In fact, the traffic loss started closely to the traffic gain for the other two languages. There was nothing wrong with our approach so we had to trust the process and the system that we had put in place. In the worst-case scenario, we would lose all traffic and have to develop another framework. At least we knew we had a framework that was successful up to this point. So, we all just tried to relax and trust what we’d done. And then the magic happened… BOOM! [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/online-store-receiving-one-million-visits-per-month.jpg" align="center" align_tablet="center" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" custom_margin="50px||50px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74"]We were once again experiencing rapid growth. To the point that we achieved a major milestone crossing the 1 million visits per month for the English version only (you can watch the video to see how other languages are doing). It doesn’t seem this growth is going to stop anytime soon. This has been one of our most epic and challenging case studies to date. Nothing was “average” and there were a lot of ups and downs, but we worked with our client through the good times and through the bad. We found a way to make things work and formed potential solutions in the event of these undesirable worst case scenarios. All in all, a rewarding experience that will continue to grow in the years to come. Here’s the video where I log into Google Analytics and Search Console for you to see it “live.” [/et_pb_text][et_pb_video src="https://vimeo.com/223713053" play_icon_color="#7cda24" _builder_version="3.0.51"][/et_pb_video][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.74"][/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

611 to 100k organic traffic increase in 6 months

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From 611 to 100k organic visits per month in 6 months with “untapped” aggressive SEO — and how we double traffic in 5 days

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built="1" _builder_version="3.16.1" custom_padding="0|0px|0|0px|false|false"][et_pb_row use_custom_width="on" custom_width_px="753px" custom_padding="0|0px|27px|0px|false|false" _builder_version="3.16.1"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="3.16.1"][et_pb_image src="https://realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/strong-organic-growth.fw_.png" _builder_version="3.19.11"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.19.11"]

Quite the title but this case study has so much into it I had to write a long title!

Going from 612 organic visits per month to 100k visits per month in 6 months is a challenge, but more challenging is to go from 2,632 organic visits per day to 5,470 visits per day in 5 days — which didn’t happen intentionally, it was sort of “luck”, more on that in a second.

In this case study, you’ll discover how we did that by implementing the opposite of what the competition was doing and also implementing an “untapped” and aggressive SEO strategy that’s actually safe.

I’ll also explain how you can duplicate it (won’t apply to every business but you’ll find if it does for yours quite soon).

In fact, you may possibly know about it already and if you haven’t added it to your SEO arsenal, this could be an extra confirmation that it works.

InAugust 2018 I started working with a startup that has a successful app, 2nd in its category and with around 300k users per day on peak days. Now they wanted to additionally focus on search to capitalize the massive traffic potential there is.

The challenge is that the current competitor companies are very big and have 20+ years of presence online.

As you can imagine they also have a lot of authority (sounds familiar? Check my other case study from 312 to 1.2 million in 2 years).

Just to give you an idea here’s a snapshot from the top competitor — Ahrefs metrics.

Something interesting: This client is a physicist and I have another client that is a mathematician we’re getting a lot of traction too — soon to be another SEO case study ($20k increase MRR in 5 days and growing).

I don’t know if you’ve ever talked with a physician, but they have the scientific process nailed down, are pretty down to earth and have a very efficient way of thinking — at least the ones I’ve been able to speak with.

Some Website facts:

** The website has a small number of pages: 57 pages TOTAL as I write this.

** It’s in 14 languages (so 14 landing pages).

** US traffic accounts for 18.86% of the total traffic.

Source: Google Analytics

OK so before we dive into it, let’s log into Google Analytics and see what’s happening as well as see how the traffic grew 2x in 5 days?

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_video src="https://vimeo.com/315294650" _builder_version="3.19.11"][/et_pb_video][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.19.11"]

The untapped and aggressive SEO marketing method “some” companies are safely using to bring a ton of traffic and $$$$

If you have competitors that are well known, you’re in luck. You can capitalize on their brand name to drive very valuable traffic to your website (not everyone can but you’ll know if it applies to you really quick).

In some other cases, not only could you drive valuable traffic (qualitative), but a lot of traffic as well as we have seen (quantitative).

What’s the “aggressive” and “untaped” method?

Simple.

Writing about your competitors. Specifically reviews.

Why is it aggressive?

Because it could be confrontational.

It depends on your niche and the behind the scenes things that go with your specific industry or company (company focus, internal politics, potential issues…).

Now to be clear.

These type of reviews are not created to bash, criticise or bad-talk about your competitors.

That would be the wrong move for you to make and it could backfire pretty quickly.

This type of review has a specific structure and it breaks down into 3 steps:

Feature the good stuff about the competition. The reason to do that is that talking bad about a company, brand or service is distasteful, and if they’re big brands, they have been able to become one by doing something good (sure there are exceptions).

You don’t want to be known as the company that talks bad about others.

Visitors can smell BS from a distance as well.

2 Feature what they lack or what they can improve. We know that all companies can improve something and it actually feels natural to talk about what other companies can improve after addressing the good.

Fill the gap with what you offer. In theory, your product or service should have the good and also fill in your competitor’s weak points. Or at least have an angle that gives your company an edge over your competition.

If it fills the gap or has an edge that is good enough, you have a high probability to sifon visitors to get their credit cards out with your company instead of your competitors.

So if you’re competing with Nike (which we’re not) and your directly competing with their shoes (don’t know who in their mind would do something like this… Anyone from Adidas reading? :D) a “review type” title could go something like this:

The Nike Shoes Review You Didn’t Know Existed

Or

The Nike Shoes Review You Always Wanted To Read

Now, this may or may not be a good example, so how do you know if you’re on the right path?

We did something that may or may not be obvious. It’s based on how Tim Ferriss chose his 4-hour workweek book title: Running ads.

We run a couple of hundred bucks in Google Ads to see if people were interested.

And they were, so we wrote the content afterwards.

That’s how we’re getting a lot of growth and traffic, ranking for competitor’s keywords and bringing people to the business instead of having them go to the competition.

IMPORTANT: BE CAREFUL about the content, the ad, what you say and so forth. Do your due diligence unless you want to get sued. Here’s an article about it.

How did we 2x traffic in 5 days? — If you watched the video you already know :).

I mentioned it was “luck” and the reason why is because we didn’t intend to do it. We didn’t say:

Let’s see if we can 2x traffic in 5 days!

But it happened. It’s kind of “simple”.

We got a featured snippet for the main service one of our biggest competitors offers.

I mean, imagine getting a snippet for “Nike shoes”… or “best Nike shoes” like these guys have in their affiliate site:

According to Keywords Everywhere they have 12,000 searches per month.

Now imagine the same for a 240,000+ searches per month terms…

That’s pretty much what happened.

The more interesting part?

There was no snippet before (and it obviously had a pretty short life span).

** By the way, talking about featured snippets, look at what I found doing some keyword research on January 27th. Have never seen a double snippet so big on Google before.

That’s it!

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Ready To Take Your Business To The Next Level?

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Ecommerce Linkbuilding Case Study: 225% increase in Sales in 3 Months

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Ecommerce Link Building Case Study: 225% increase in Sales in 3 Months

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built="1" _builder_version="3.16.1" custom_padding="54px|0px|0|0px|false|false"][et_pb_row use_custom_width="on" custom_width_px="753px" _builder_version="3.16.1" custom_padding="0|0px|27px|0px|false|false"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="3.16.1" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.16.1"]

Imagine you have a seasonal e-commerce store, and every year around June you see the same trend:

Sales decrease in the warm months (or very hot depending on where you live — Death Valley anyone?).

At the same time, you know your traffic and rankings can increase overall — as well as your revenue because you’re not the dominant website/business in your industry.

What to do? Start with SEO in the low season or high season?

In my biased opinion, do it any time you want to increase revenue 🙂

MORE TARGETED TRAFFIC = MORE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

This is no fiction and a real case study of a real business owner. They, as you may already know, decided to move forward:

Here’s a video where you can see the results comparing month to month for 2018, and month to month 2018 vs 2017:

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_video src="https://vimeo.com/289384669" _builder_version="3.16.1"][/et_pb_video][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.16.1"]

While some of my previous case studies have been focusing on results with no backlinks and just technical and on-site SEO — even CRO — in this case study, you’ve already seen what happens when you get link building done the right way — even if you focus on just one aspect of it.

Why focus on one specific method is based on multiple factors like current link profile, competition, link velocity and if it actually makes sense…

But that may be something to discuss in another article.

So, What Did We Do Exactly?

We strictly focused on guest posts. That “easy”

We had already done a technical analysis and applied most of the things this website needed to get fixed.

We had a good foundation already. We already had a content strategy as well and were writing 4 articles per month; however, we never published an article for this stage of the SEO plan.

Here’s the process we were following:

Keyword analysis.

We plugged the website into Ahrefs and found out 2 main pages and keywords clusters to target.

We went for:

Create an anchor test strategy.

By analyzing the competition and analyzing the current anchor text of the website, we decided what was the best combination of anchor texts to start the campaign.

In this case, we went for:

** General are random things like “click here”, “more info”, “visit this website”, etc.

** Branded are the business names with some variations.

** Exact are variations of the exact keywords they want to rank.

Now that we had what we wanted to go after, we created an email under the client’s domain to start the campaign.

Finding link opportunities.

We concentrated 100% on guest posts from relevant websites that had actual traffic.

Here are some of the metrics of a couple of websites we have received links from — metrics from Ahrefs:

Create pitch ideas.

After we had gathered a set number of websites that were relevant and had traffic, it was time to create ideas for these guest posts to pitch.

We needed to create ideas that were fun and interesting for these audiences so there’s a part of creativity and research involved.

Send pitches to website owners.

After we had the ideas (or titles) created, we needed to craft emails that would be opened and read to pitch these ideas.

Not read emails means not even having a conversation about it.

We had some proven pitches that we have improved and tested over time so we went with them.

Negotiate fees if they ask for it.

Some of these websites will ask for money to place the guest post on them.

Negotiation is part of the process as there’s a lot of website owners that have a “dollar policy” to get articles published. There are some that will publish for free for good content, but more times than not they ask for a fee.

Write the content.

When an article is accepted and given the green light, we go to work and hire a US native English writer that can bring quality and speed (or someone in the business team that can write them).

For better results, these guest posts need to be sent back within 7 days max.

Some will need to be written under the website owners’ guidelines, and other ones are more of a “free ride” type of thing.

Send finished content with links to websites.

Now that the content is written, we add the links and images if needed and send it to the website owners.

More times than not, this usually needs a follow-up as some will disappear and never respond.

Others will take several weeks to respond, and other ones will even take months.

The idea is to create enough pieces of content that can be pitched to hit the targets knowing that some of the articles will never get published and may or may not be used unless other websites like the same topic, taking into consideration the initial owners won’t get back.

Manage the Whole Thing, and Set up the System to Run Smoothly.

Between spreadsheets, Trello boards, and communication needed for all the parts to work together seamlessly, there’s a good system that needs to be set up, and that’s what we do.

This is putting all the pieces together to make things run smoothly.

You may be thinking: how did this guy come up with the 180% increase in sales?

Let me break it down for you.

* June 2018 organic sales: $1,921

* August 2018 organic sales: $4,335.15

($4,335.15 * 100) / $1,921 = 225.67%

The previous year was:

* June 2017 organic sales: $5,733.75

* August 2017 organic sales: $2,488.96

Sales decreased by 230.37%

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SEO for Colleges & Universities

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SEO for Colleges & Universities — How We Increased Organic Traffic by 43% in Less than One Month — No backlinks

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Organic Search Increase by 43% (and direct by 78.5% but I won’t talk about that :))

Is it possible to get massive results with SEO for a college in one month? (This applies to any other industry, but this case study is for a university in Mexico, hence the title).

You’ve heard this before:

  • SEO takes time.
  • It takes 4–6 months to see some results.
  • We cannot guarantee results.

As a general rule, I agree with most of these statements; however, accomplishing massive results in a short period of time like the one you’re about to see for this college in Mexico, is possible under the right circumstances.

Here are the one-day results we got:

Note:

  • Week column: when we started tracking positions.
  • Day column: positions from previous day.
  • Rank: current rankings “today”.

Explanation: their most important keyword went from position 43 to position 2 in one day which increased its position by 41 “steps” (green circle).

SEO Guide for Colleges and Universities

A bit of a background.

About a month and a half ago, I was contacted by some of the owners of a well known university in Mexico.

Two years prior, they hired the wrong person to do their SEO, and because of that, their enrollments had dropped by more than half (as well as their traffic) — one of these “horror” stories you’ve probably heard before.

Over these two years, they changed their CMS (Content Managment System — think Wrodpress, Joomla, Wix, etc) multiple times without taking into consideration any website remapping (aka maintaining the same architecture) or any structural improvements.

They were adding “keywords” to the content that made the copy sound weird to try to rank for these keywords (like in the old days).

And, a bunch of other things that didn’t go well and would take too long to explain…

So, yeah, the pain was real.

I quickly advised them to hire someone to put together a good site on WordPress as a starting point…

… and boy oh boy.

The site was made in two languages, starting in English with a template that had just a video above the header… and pretty much an empty home page.

No thinking about conversions, no thinking about a “student journey” when visitors arrive to the website, no thinking about engaging with potential students to give them what they’re looking for right off the bat — you know UX 101…

Did I mentioned this is in Mexico? — hola amigo instead of hello friend?

Long story short, we had to take over the dev and design and build a brand new site focusing on a strong onsite SEO and UX.

As this was a complete rehowl of the website, we wanted to begin with a great starting point, and leave a bit of room for tweaking to see how Google would react to the first version of the new website… so, before I go over what we did, here’s what we didn’t do much with:

  • Internal linking: We left a lot of room for improvement. We only did very light on internal linking (I’ll tell you why later).
  • Schema Markup: They have two locations in different cities, and we didn’t implement it right of the bat.

We also left room for improvement in areas like:

  • CRO: Conversion Rate Optimization (Even though we really thought about this and the student journey, this is a part that can always improve).
  • Remarketing Funnels with Facebook, IG and Youtube

This is the SEO Implementation We Did for This College:

Note: reminder… this applies to any other business out there.

The first step of the process was to clearly understand what we called the “soon-to-be student journey”:

Things like:

  • Why do they want to have a career like the ones the college offers?
  • What are they thinking about when they’re searching for these careers?
  • What would make sense to present to students when they arrive to the home page?
  • What does it mean to have a good experience when arriving to a page?
  • How do we influence potential students to take action without being pushy?
  • How can we gain (or regain) trust and credibility (despite the College being one of the best colleges in their field)?
  • How do we take all these things and create a layout that supports it?

Take into consideration the previous websites didn’t have any focus on these elements, so, in theory, applying all these concepts should give us a good conversion rate.

Adding Optimized SEO Titles with Strong Positioning

For each of the pages, we focused on adding main keywords and also positioning them in an authoritative and trustworthy way — as they are the top college in their field.

Example for a home page title could be:

  • #1 Dental School in Texas since 1995 — University of [NAME].

You obviously have to demonstrate statements that are that strong. So, if you’ve been named the number one by an association, well known magazines or college ratings, then you can use it to your advantage.

If you’re not the number one, use an angle that makes you different than the rest.

In our example we can break the title down like this:

  • Positioning and authority: #1 and since 1995
  • Keyword: Dental School in Texas
  • Branding: University of [NAME]

Strong Meta-descriptions to Support the Title

Once you’ve grabbed the attention of the potential student, you need to entice them to go to your website.

That means adding your keywords on the description so they get bolded, adding engaging questions, mind-reading copy (aka answering what they’re looking for), and opening loops to get them to click on your result and call to actions.

An example could be:

“Looking for a profession in the dental industry? As the #1 dental school in Texas, we not only have top-of-the-line education, but you’ll also learn how to get your dream job or start your own practice. Find out more on our site.”

“Little bit of positioning and everything else about THEM”.

Optimized Website Structure

When it comes to website structure, it’s all about using simple logic:

In this case, they have two main sections to drive students that are searching for a career in their field: bachelors and masters.

The home page has two main sections that allow visitors to go to these two sections, and the structure looks like this:

  • websiteurl.com/bachelors
  • websiteurl.com/masters

It makes sense…

Then, different fields of bachelors go like this:

  • websiteurl.com/bachelors/bachelor1
  • websiteurl.com/bachelors/bachelor2

And so on…

And for the masters, the same thing:

  • websiteurl.com/masters/master1
  • websiteurl.com/masters/master2

And so on…

It’s just common sense and well-organized.

They also have two locations. Following the same logic, we have:

  • websiteurl.com/locations
  • websiteurl.com/locations/location1
  • websiteurl.com/locations/location2

The entire website is structured in this way to make sense of it from a website crawling and organization standpoint, as well as a user standpoint.

Also, each of these pages will link to its parent page with an anchor text that will vary depending on where the rankings hold and what keywords we want to push to the top.

Optimized Content

Taking into consideration what the future student’s journey looks like, we optimized the content in two ways:

  1. Optimized content based on the visitor’s user experience which included content layout, concepts, images, videos, testimonials, copy, multiple options for contacting, and visitor flow.
  2. Optimized content for search engines which include adding keywords on key places like meta-tags, images, videos, and content.

The first part is obviously focused on the person visiting.

The idea is to make the experience so good that it feels easy, pleasant, and allows them to find what they want quickly so they can make the next step (contacting, calling, etc).

The second part is what got us these short-term, fast, big jumps.

The third component, something that I didn’t mention yet, is tying both parts together. That is what makes everything stick… which allows us to achieve these results so far:

Note: the dates I’m using on Google Analytics are June 1st to June 29th, but we deployed the site on the evening of June 6th.

Contact form submissions:

Zopin Chat conversations: they have a live chat where visitors can engage with a person.

WhatsApp clicks: this is how many visitors clicked to start a conversation, although I cannot show you how many real conversations happened as the tracking can’t go that deep — as soon as they leave the site, the tracking stops.

Note: each of these leads are worth about $24,000, and they usually enroll 40% to 50%.

If we take into consideration the contact form submissions only, that’s about $1,257,600 in the first month — deadline is September — two months to go as I’m writing this.

They’re eager to ramp it up even more…

Optimized Locations

This university in Mexico is well known in the entire country, but why not optimize them for the two specific cities they have their campuses on?

We created two location pages that have all the elements we’ve discussed before, adding geolocation signals like the name of the city, addresses, and a bit of each city.

We added testimonials of students on each city and a video of past and “famous” previous students praising the university with a form at the end.

They had very well done videos with emotional testimonials, great presentations, and things that made placing them on the website on key locations very easy and great to connect with visitors.

Conclusions

In the right circumstances, businesses can have massive results (like the example I gave in this guide), results that can bring businesses back to life after a period of darkness…

And, even though this is featuring “college SEO”, I could have named it “business SEO” or simply “stunning SEO results”…

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On-site Local SEO guide for Businesses

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On Site Local SEO Guide For Businesses

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An approach to our process

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Can you imagine becoming an on-site local business SEO master with just one article like the one you’re about to read right now?

Can you do that?

The answer is:

NO.

Sorry to bust your bubble, but

NO.

HOWEVER,

You can become good at it if you take time to understand the information AND if you put what you read into practice.

And YES, you also need access to the right information.

Nowadays, the problem with a lot of the information that is available online is that most of it is scattered: a little bit here, a little bit there, and more over there. It is difficult to get the whole picture.

This article is about what has worked for my local clients and an effort to get everything organized in one place.

I’m also going to use this article for readers and prospects, so when I get asked a question about the topic, I can send them here.

Before we start, I pinky promise:

I need you to promise me something as well — this is a two way thing, right? We’re having a conversation here, building a relationship — I’m married, sorry…

If you like it, give it a clap, ask questions in the comment section if you have any, and if you feel reaaaaally enthusiastic today, like… man! I’m feeling good and generous today!… (as you should — life is awesome)… share it on social media. It’ll make me like you .

Okay, enough jokes and messing around. Let’s get into it.

Becoming a master in pretty good at On-Site Local SEO

For this guide, we are going to be focusing on two main pillars:

  1. Your website. Duh!
  2. Your Google My Business page — or “GMB” for short. GMB optimization is related to the results that appear in Google with a large map image at the top (image below).

I’m going to be searching for something random that comes to mind…. In this case, I’ll search for “Portland orthodontist”. I’m 1.31 hours from the city center according to Google Maps.

This is the maps section of Google search results when I search from my laptop:

These results may vary depending on your location or the device you’re browsing with: mobile, tablet, laptop… and they show up there because of the GMB optimization (and the site as well, but more on that later).

If I go to the 4th page of results, I can see an example we can use for this guide:

Amy, I’m sorry. I don’t know you, but this is terrible…

I hope you’ll agree with me when I say this is not good.

One of the first steps when optimizing your local business website is looking at your home page title and description (if you have a single-location based business) — taking into consideration you have a “decent” website and it’s not all messed up.

The reason why this is important is because it’s the very first thing potential “patients” — clients, customers, etc. — will see after they do a search online and before they even visit your website.

If they go directly to the website, that’s another story.

By the way, I will be using “patients, clients, or customers” to be able to address you in case you are not a dentist/orthodontist…

People mostly search using Google.

If they check the organic results, they read a couple titles, then descriptions, and click based on what “clicks” with them.

To break it down to grandma-level:

Optimizing Your Homepage Title and Description (Single-Location Business)

TITLE: If you want your business to appear on search engines in a way that “speaks” to your potential patients, clients or customers… you want to have a title that describes what you do and where.

If you are thinking… isn’t that obvious?

Well, yeah.

Let’s say you’re walking around pretty relaxed with some friends or family after a nice meal, and you’re craving delicious chocolate ice cream.

You find two signs for ice cream shops.

One is:

The other one is:

Which one would you visit?

Exactly.

This type of title will create a connection (conscious or subconscious) with the person searching:

“Ah, that’s exactly what I’m looking for.”

You may also add some brand awareness (your business name) so you gain “a name” with your community.

I call it congruence.

Your title becomes congruent in their mind even if they don’t “see it” consciously.

You also want to know what people search the most (what they type on Google the most) in order to try to appear for these searches instead of searches that nobody types.

The easiest way to do this is installing a little plugin called “Keywords Everywhere” for Google Chrome.

The reason why this is important is because you want to know if people search more for “orthodontist Portland” or for “Portland orthodontist”.

Results:

We obviously want to optimize for “Portland orthodontist” as it has more searches per month (more people searching for that phrase).

With RankBrain, and search intent, Google is making this less relevant and the order may not be that important nowadays, however I still recommend to add the highest searched combination if possible.

DESCRIPTION: The description doesn’t play a big part into how well your website ranks, but optimizing it helps with how many people may click on your website instead of your competition — remember the chocolate ice cream example? Kind of the same for the description. 🙂

Google will bold some letters that it considers to be related to what the search is about, and it is a good place to add your phone number and/or a call to action.

Let’s see a potential good title and description for the ortho example:

Why is this good?

The title is good because it describes what she does and where. It has variations that are related to what she does and what people may search for (“Portland braces” or “Portland invisalign”).

The description talks about having a great smile (what people look for when searching for an orthodontist — one of the main benefits) and when their practice began (credibility 20XX could be 2001 or the year they open their office).

Something to take into consideration is to check the length of your title and description so it doesn’t get cropped.

This is the tool I usually use: SEOmofo

 

 

  Source: http://www.seomofo.com/snippet-optimizer.html.

You can play with your titles and descriptions in real-time and see how they’ll look like on Google.

The length of the title and description have changed over time (most common ones are 65 characters for Title and 160 for the description); just make sure they don’t get cropped.

Optimizing the Rest of Your Website Titles and Descriptions

By the way, these steps don’t need to be done in this specific order.

After some additional sections, we will talk about your website look, feel, and your first impressions for visitors. You can easily start from that step or any other one in this article.

We’re going to get your inner geek on this one, remember? I promised you…

To analyze all your titles and descriptions, download this free tool (up to 500 pages/items)

 

Source: https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/

If you’ve done this before, no biggie, but if this is your first time, you may feel some sort of joy after it… LOL. It’s like discovering a secret that makes you feel special — or like a nerd. I personally had both feelings “my first time”, hahaha.

Ok, copy your URL, paste it into the white box, and hit “Start” (image below). Then, click on the dropbox in the filter section and click “HTML”.

You’ll get a filter with all your website pages… crazy, right?

Then, you can really go for it and hit the “Export” button to get an Excel sheet that’ll have your titles and descriptions.

After doing some tweaks to the sheet so it’s easier to take a picture and add it to this guide, you’ll find something like this:

If the image is too small click here to see it bigger (opens in a new tab).

Man! If this is your first time doing this, you may be feeling like a pro by now! Look at you running SEO tools and all…

Ok, now we can use this information for optimizing every page title and description.

In our case, we won’t do it because this website doesn’t really have much content to be optimized (more on what to write on your website later), but think about adding titles that grab people’s attention and are aligned with what the page is about.

And adding descriptions that entice potential website visitors to click on your results instead of the competition.

Website Look and Feel — Your Visitors’ First Impression

Have you ever met someone you’ll never forget?

We all have, right?

Your mind may have to travel a little bit to that amazing person you met, a person you may have had a great conversation with, or maybe someone that gave you advice or helped you in some way and changed your life. A teacher, coach, mentor, friend, family member…

Maybe your partner or loved one?

Good.

Lets rephrase the question a little bit:

Have you ever met someone that you’ll never forget, but you’d like to forget?

Ok.

Well …

Don’t let your website be that guy or gal that everyone wants to forget about.

Having a good-looking website that it is actually easy to use will potentially have a POSITIVE impact for your visitors they can remember and won’t want to forget.

And, because of that, they may be happy to call to schedule an appointment, ask for a quote, hire your services, etc.

Maybe they prefer email, and they send you an email…

Our ortho website example clearly needs tome TLC (Tender Loving Care) as it hasn’t been updated since what seems to be 2011.

Taking into consideration that Google is launching Mobile First as I’m writing this, you need a website that is mobile-responsive (looks great in all devices) and gives the potential patient, customer, client, etc., a good experience.

Check this out:

Ouch!

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t call.

Seriously, most people with a smartphone will scream at this design (just imagine the last time you visited a page that was difficult to read, navigate, etc. and how frustrating or time-consuming it was).

Millennials would be one of these demographics, and in 2015, Accenture estimated that they had a $600 billion spending power, (source) and they have been expected to surpass baby boomers in 2017 (source).

If you are a millennial, would you agree with me?.

So,

Bad website = money going to your competitors.

To point out the obvious, this website is very difficult to read, it doesn’t have much information, the design is pretty outdated, and it is not mobile-friendly. This will very likely lead to a “click to the back button” to search for another orthodontist competitor.

I know my wife probably wouldn’t call either.

Check out this other orthodontist website example on mobile:

Much better.

The best I’ve seen ever?

No.

But, I’d be happy calling them if I needed braces. It’s pretty good (although having all the chairs in the same room feels a little bit weird to me).

Some highlights:

So, you need a website that is not only attractive to the eye, but that is easy to read and navigate in mobile, as well as in other devices like tablets, laptops, desktops, etc.

You need to be sure you make your visitors feel good and have a pleasant experience.

That includes things like allowing the visitor to easily find important information (contact, benefits, doctor credentials, reviews, etc.) and making your website load quickly.

We’ll get into how to gain trust in a bit.

Let’s keep going…

Headers Optimization — called “H-tags” in SEO “Nerd” Language

I usually mention the analogy of a book when explaining Titles and Headings — or H-tags (H1 tags, H2 tags, H3 tags, etc.).

The title of a page (what we covered already) is like the title of a nonfiction book.

You only have one.

And it gives you an overview of what the book may be about.

I said nonfiction, because there are a lot of fiction book titles I would never imagine what they’re about just by reading the title.

Example:

A story that happens within a mental health institution … (would have never guessed it)…

However, most nonfiction books usually give you a good idea about what you’re about to read:

You know what the book is about, right?

It’s about you being a badass (that’s not cursing, so I’m still keeping my promise).

Now, the H-tags, or Headings, are like the titles of the chapters of a book.

You have the main title of the chapters, or H1: only one per page.

And then you have sections within the chapters or subtitles (H2s).

Within these sections you may also have subsections (H3s). And the list goes on and on.

So when writing your website content, you want to segment your H-tags as elements or sections related to what the article is about and what the titles and H1s are about.

Some pointers:

An example could be a recipe website. The recipe title and H1 is unique but there may be subsections (H2) like “Ingredients” that are the same on every page.

In our example, for the home page:

Title: Portland Orthodontist: Braces, Invisalign, Smile!

H1: Portland Orthodontist: Braces, Invisalign, Smile!

Website Content: The Meat and Potatoes

Your content is the first “conversation” you will have with your potential patient, client or customer. That means you want to think about what you’re going to say and why.

Hello, my name is Jesus. Wanna marry me?

(That sounds kind of weird… ) No?)

 

Source: http://gph.is/2f0kWIN

It is a good idea to introduce the office, the staff, and the doctor (or business owner).

A video is a great way to add a personal touch, and your patient, client, or customer will feel more connected to you.

Remember, patients, clients, or customers are going to see you in person, so the more exposure they have about you, the more they’ll feel they know you and are connected to you.

So,

If you see your patients, clients, or customers in person, a video (or multiple videos) is a great way to introduce yourself before you meet and create a connection.

Think about how you feel about the TV shows you see all the time. It’s like you know the characters or hosts and you create a “connection” with them.

In your content, you also want to talk about benefits and a couple of things we will mention in a bit.

Let’s break the content down.

These are the most important elements you need to have in your content for your local business.

Trust Elements

As mentioned before, having a video on your website is a great trust element as it makes visitors see you and develop a relationship. Seeing a real person creates trust.

Pictures about your office can be a good thing to add, in addition, so that patients, clients, or customers can take a look at the space/office and have an idea of how it feels to be there (office video walkthrough = awesomeness when done right).

And, I’ve even seen websites with the owners dancing or doing something funny if that fits your personality. Remember, people like “normal people”, and if you like to goof around, you’ll do it in person as well!

Testimonials from happy patients, customers, or clients are also a must to develop trust (if you have them on video format, even better!).

When people trust other people, people like them.

Your affiliations to boards, community associations, charity, your license numbers, titles, studies, case studies, etc., are trust factors as well.

 

 

Case study = trust element

In this day and age, there is so much information available online that can be manipulated that people have developed a sense of “mistrust”. This means that showing elements of trust will make a big difference in your practice or business.

Showing your knowledge about what you do can also make people feel and know that “you know what you’re talking about”.

Yes, I know that professionals should know what they are doing.

But, if you show your knowledge, and they can read it, that will stick in their minds.

If you didn’t say anything, they’d need to “imagine it”.

It’s like you, right now, reading this guide.

If I didn’t write it, you wouldn’t have not read it (duh!) and you may or may have not known I know what I’m talking about (true story).

Contact Availability

I feel I should be cracking a joke or telling a story right now to break information saturation, but I feel we are getting into a good rhythm here, right? So let’s keep going!

It is very important to give visitors the opportunity to call you or contact you from every single page of your website. You don’t want them to be clicking here and there to try to find how to contact you.

This can be easily achieved by having your phone number at the top of your website, a chat pop-up so they can chat live with someone, or even implementing a Facebook chatbot.

It doesn’t mean they will use them all, but you are giving them multiple options to communicate with you.

This would be a good idea for most businesses, unless you don’t want to be that accessible due to your own internal business processes. Having all these communication avenues increases the “trust” factor we talked about before.

Some businesses may choose to not have that option due to their own processes, but as a general rule, it is a good idea.

You may even have one of this green buttons that allows you to call on mobile (and looks neat).

 

 Source: https://wordpress.org/plugins/call-now-button/

Words that Solve Problems

You want to get into the heads of potential patients, clients, or customers to make them feel you understand what their needs are and what they are looking for.

The way to do that is to pre-answer the questions and worries they may have before visiting you. For an orthodontist or dentist, it could be:

If you pre-answer their questions, they will feel at home.

An easy way to do this is to make a list of the most common questions patients, customers or clients ask you when they are at your office, or make a list of the concerns you know they have.

If they have them, visitors to your website will likely have them too.

For example, if you are reading this guide and you are an orthodontist, you want more patients, you want the phone ringing, and you want to profitably grow your practice.

If you are a business owner that doesn’t receive “patients”, you pretty much want the same thing: more clients or customers, more phone calls, people hiring your services, purchasing your products, and growth with positive ROI.

Services You Provide

Allowing a visitor to read about all the services you provide has two roles.

First, it allows potential patients, customers or clients to know what you offer — easy peasy. And, aligned with what we mentioned before, if you don’t show what you offer, then they need to guess it.

Second, when done right, having pages with good content about your services will increase the size of your website — more content, its authority, and will send signals to Google to help you rank on the “maps” section of your website.

When adding your categories in Google My Business, you should take note of what they are and add pages to your website that are the same within these categories.

That will send Google signals that are congruent with your practice/business.

For example, here are all the sections in GMB for a full-service dental clinic:

Dentist

Dental clinic

Cosmetic dentist

Orthodontist

Dental implants periodontist

Periodontist

Emergency dental service

Pediatric dentist

Endodontist

Oral surgeon

Teeth whitening service

Denture care center

Dental Hygienist

(I know all these categories because I have dental clients, and I’ve already done the research for that vertical).

You can only add 10 categories max, so choose from the most closely related to the least related.

And, add them only if you can legally say you provide these services or procedures.

(Example: a dentist that doesn’t provide oral surgery in their office could get into trouble unless clearly specified is by referral or something like that. This is not legal advice. I’m not an attorney).

You should have pages with URLs that are exactly the same word within? each category.

Like:

yourwebsite.com/dentist

yourwebsite.com/dental-clinic

And so forth.

Does that mean that if you have services that don’t appear in Google My Business (GMB) you shouldn’t create a page on your website?

No.

But you certainly need to add the ones that are on your GMB listing.

Business Blog

Most local businesses don’t understand the power of having a blog.

They don’t know what to write or think it’s useless.

Most business owners think they should share news about their business, what they’ve done during the day, updates about their business, and things like that.

This content belongs to a “news” section of the website. A blog is a powerful tool to:

Let’s briefly talk about each of these points:

Increase your website authority: The more value-based content you have on your website, the more Google will link your business to being a “leader” or “authority” in your community and in your industry. Of course, it has to be content that is related to what you do and that adds value.

For example, a website is more authoritative with 100 pages/posts than one with 10. I’m not talking about 300 word blogs, but 750–5,000 word blogs jam packed with value.

Value means if a visitor arrives to the page, they will read it and get value out of it.

Answer more questions: It could be a great opportunity to answer questions that patients, clients, or customers ask you or your team when they are at the office.

If they have these questions, other people will probably have them as well.

This will help you generate traffic for related searches that don’t necessarily have buyer intent (like: orthodontist portland), but are in the “curiosity stage”, such as, “Which are the most comfortable braces?”

It’s a great first contact you can have with your visitors so they get familiar with your practice or business. If they find the answer, they may be more likely to call you.

Add supportive articles: Supportive articles explain what you do in more detail: services you offer, articles that talk about the technology you use, articles that add additional information to a specific procedure, etc.

These posts should have a backlink to your main service page that will “support” it. This will increase the relevancy of your website, and that will help with rankings.

Example:

Let’s say you do braces and you have a page that talks about braces, some information about type of braces, and so on.

It’ll be a great opportunity to expand on the type of braces you have to support your main braces article.

Something like:

yourwebsite.com/braces

yourwebsite.com/braces/10-ways-to-clean-your-braces

yourwebsite.com/braces/how-to-cope-with-braces-mouth-sores

yourwebsite.com/braces/best-foods-to-keep-your-braces-safe

This is getting a little bit intense, but we’re finishing this section. Bear with me!

Cat gif for some relaxation (recommended staring time: 1.5 min before continuing your read).

Geographically Supportive Articles

We are getting pretty deep here, but this is the last part for the “content section”.

This is one of the most underutilized methods to gain geographical relevance and to help your website to rank better in Google within your city.

When you add pages on your site that talk about the city you’re in, things to do, etc., it gives your website GEO (geographical) relevance.

That means Google will connect your city with your business, add it into the “cocktail shaker” and then bring back a delicious Google-like cocktail to rank better in your city.

Ooooookay…

As you may see, the content part is pretty big. As they say: “content is king”.

I’m thinking if you’ve read until here (we’re almost done), I’d reward you. Click here for a checklist of everything we’ve talked about and what’s coming.

Internal Link Building

This step is directly associated with the content, but I’m writing it separately to have things more organized.

Internal linking is the process of adding contextual links to your website content (clickable text) that connect pages with each other within your website.

In simple words, internal linking connects pages with each other without using the links on the navigation menu.

This is important, because it makes Google and other crawlers have a better idea about what your website is about and how it is structured.

It makes it more organized.

It also helps with distributing the power of external links pointing to your website.

Link “power” distribution:

Example:

yourwebsite.com/braces

yourwebsite.com/braces/traditional

yourwebsite.com/braces/ceramic

yourwebsite.com/braces/damon

Each of the three last pages will link between them, and they will link to the braces page, as well. Then each of them will link to your home page if you have only one office.

You want to add different and related anchor texts (the words contained within your link).

For example, you can add anchor texts to the last three articles pointing to your braces pages that could be: “our braces”, “these braces”, “braces”, “brackets”, “braces colors”, etc.

Images and Image Optimization

We’re going to get a little bit nerdy here, so I apologize in advanced.

I bet you didn’t know that “image optimization” was a thing. You’d probably take some pictures or download some stock images, upload them to your site, and you’re good to go, right?

Not really.

You can take advantage of “image optimization” to add extra optimization to your overall efforts.

Let’s say you want to add an image to the homepage of our ortho example.

This is how you’d optimize the image:

  1. Add an image file name that describes what the image is about. Instead of having an image file name like: 234523452300.jpg

Change it to: portland-orthodontist-office-dr-your-name.jpg

Google can’t fully understand images (it can find a pattern, but not 100% accurate right now), so we need to add data to the image to tell the story about what it is.

b) Optimize the image size using something like: https://tinypng.com/ so it doesn’t take too many resources and helps your site load quickly.

c) Use your business information and add it to the details section of your images:

d) Geotagging Images: If you are taking pictures with a professional camera, the location of the image will be added to the images themselves with coordinates. That sends extra information to Google with the location the images were taken.

If you have images without coordinates, you can use a service like this one:

Source: https://www.geoimgr.com/

NOTE: Use real pictures as much as you can instead of stock pictures as stock images contain some data you don’t want to have in the images themselves.

You will find new data added to the image in the GPS section:

Voilá, your image is “attached” to a location now.

Website Speed Optimization

Slow website = slow business.

If I was going to create a section about this, I would bore every single person that goes through it, so I’m going to skip it.

However, I wanted to mention it, because it is a VERY important factor.

There are two easy fixes, though…well, three.

  1. Reduce the file sizes on your site (images takes a lot).
  2. Use good hosting.
  3. Use a CDN.

To check your site speed, you can use this tool:

Source: https://gtmetrix.com/

A lot of people talk about the “3 second golden rule” (well, I actually made the name up).

Basically, if your website loads in more than 3 seconds, you’re toasted. People won’t stay.

So, try to make your website as fast as possible.

Schema Markup — JSON

What is this JSON sorcery?

Scary, I know.

I’m NOT expecting you to learn schema markup and JSON language, but it is important you know what it is, and EVEN MORE important, that you know how to test if it’s been added to your website.

It’s fairly simple:

  1. Go to this URL: https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/u/0/

Add your URL in the box that you’ll see and click on the “run test” button.

Take a look at the section on the right column (desktop). If you don’t see a rectangle with the word “Dentist” — if you had a dental, orthodontist, etc. clinic — you don’t have properly optimized schema.

There’s a lot more into it and what should appear when you click on the “dentist” square, but if it shows up, that means you are on the right path.

Of course, other business types would have other things there like a lawyer, restaurant, professional service provider, real estate agent, etc.

If you are thinking why this is important, it is simple.

Schema is a coding or “markup” language that has been popularized for search engines to be able to know what a website is about. It links your website, information like phone number and address, your social media profiles, and your logo.

Then, it correlates that information with other information available online and corroborates that everything’s the same.

So good schema = more SEO points for your website.

If you have a business that only has one office location, your schema should go on all pages. If you have multiple offices and multiple pages for each office, schema should go ONLY on the specific pages for the specific locations.

Embedded Maps

The principle is similar to the JSON schema part.

If you have a single location, adding a map embedded on the footer of your website will add local relevance to the site and will connect the website with your Google My Business listing. It’ll all be creating a good “connection” between your business, where it is located, and will nicely show your visitors where you’re at!

Alright!

That was all!

Weeeww!!

Did you made it till the end?

I mean, did you read it all?

If so, high five!

There’s a lot more that goes into this, but if you apply all this information, you’ll be ahead of 80% of local business owners out there!

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How To Increase Ecommerce Sales by 63% in 7 Days

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Increasing Ecommerce Sales by 63% in 7 Days Flat

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Here’s one way we used to increase conversions for an e-commerce store (this works for any website, really) that brought the fire to the owner. This, when done right, will add more revenue for your company and will get you all pumped.

Do you get pumped up when you see your store selling like hot cakes?

I know I do….

The best thing?

This is in the “instant-gratification” timeline of things.

Doing this brings results QUICKLY. And it's for e-com stores that are selling already (aka have traffic and purchases).

First of all, here’s an image from Google Analytics from a store we implemented this into - just one product to “test the waters” with the client...

We gave it 7 days, but ultimately compared it with 14 and 30 day time frame, as well.

So, here’s how it works…

Have you ever bought a house or a car?

If so, what are the steps you went through before buying them?

In June 2016, I bought a house and, soon after that, a car… the most important part of both purchasing processes had something to do with the experience and visuals.

For the house, it was to was to visit the neighbor, check the front yard and backyard, then get into the house, check the rooms… you get it.

And, for the car, it was the test drive.

Both of these things have something in common that can be applied to e-commerce sites.

While you can’t teleport someone inside of the screen they’re in front of or have a 3D and sensory experience (VR will get there at some point), you can make people come closer to that experience.

Do you know what is the second largest search engine?

YouTube…

And what is YouTube all about?

Videos….

That’s it.

The secret is out 😉

It may not be a big secret? Well, check how many e-commerce stores have video…not too many, right? Some are getting there, but adding video is going to be (is already) big.

If the second biggest search engine is video, people are consuming video like crazy…

… but other than watching music videos, people eating, makeup videos, or any of the trending videos online, why is video a good move for your e-commerce store or your website in general?

Because, if done right, it’ll increase conversions. But, why, though?

The reason is simple. It’s a closer experience to being “there”: touch it, smell it…

… it gives bits of information to our senses- more than just a picture: you can see a person wearing it (if it’s clothing), a person using it (if it’s a tool), you can feel the “personality” of a brand, see how “you” will look like (that’s for another writing: why we think we’ll look like the models we see wearing stuff or driving nice cars).

In addition to that, you can add voice over with a well crafted message explaining the benefits, why most people use/wear/buy it…

And, if you want to go the extra step, you’ll actually have a real person talking to the camera like a lot of the products that we see in YouTube by “Influencers”, Youtubers, brands, unboxings…. Have you heard of QVC?..

Side note: If your “thing” is to send products to influencers so they can make a video and share it with their audience but your product is too big to send it, invite them to your showroom/store/place to have them review it on-site :).

Here’s the “template” (not even optimal but it works) we got in place.

Are there any extra benefits about using video?

Yep.

If you know something about YouTube optimization and you get your videos optimized, guess what?… more traffic to your website!

And, it doesn’t stop there…

You can adapt your videos for Instagram, Facebook ads, remarketing, and a bunch of other things!

Hey, Jesus, what if I have thousands of products? How do I prioritize?

Here’s what I’d recommend doing:

Start with your best selling product (or a product that sells quite a bit).

Create a video, add it to the product, and gather information about how your audience responds.

It’s very important that you have already mapped out your audience: age, gender, what they like, what they don’t, their personality, etc., in order to know what’s “hot” for them…

So, no, it’s not the same to sell to females that like Harley Davidson than to a teenager that likes bubble gum...

You can even create a couple of these videos and do an A/B test to discover what style fits them the best. 

After you have found which video increases conversions the most, double down on the rest with that style and message.

Why do it with your best selling product?

Usually, it’s the one that receives more traffic and purchases. This means you can gather information quickly.

Now, in order to do this, I also recommend stopping any other changes you may be planning to execute for that product. This could be website copy, changes in your traffic generation efforts, or anything that could vary your customers behavior (as much as you can).

This is not as easy done as said because if you're running a lot of FB and Instagram Ads, you may be tweaking things constantly... but freezing the changes for a bit will make your data more accurate and reliable.

You will also need to take into consideration other things like seasonality, but you can always cross-check with previous years instead of the last week, 15, or 30 days if you have a seasonal product.

I’ve seen this in all kinds of verticals. Check this one out as an example:

Are you ready to get your videos up and running?

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114% Increase in Ecommerce Sales in 30 Days

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Increasing E-commerce Sales by 114% in 30 days

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Background:

An E-commerce website had a new redesign and the started to lose traffic as a consequence.

This traffic loss was dramatically affecting their sales month after month.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://www.realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/client-traffic-loss.jpg" align_tablet="center" align_phone="" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.25" custom_padding="|||" custom_padding__hover="|||"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"]

Analysis:

After doing an on-site technical analysis we discovered:

 

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All these changes resulted in the following

(images from Google Data Studio)

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Ecommerce SEO Case Study: 14 Million organic visits in 2 years

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SEO Case Study: How we brought 14 million organic visits in 2 years - starting from virtually scratch

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In this case study, you will learn how we took a website similar to an ecommerce store and grew it to the top 32k of all websites in the world (29,380 in the last update) and the top 20k websites in the US according alexa.com – in only 2 years and starting virtually from scratch.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://www.realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Result-1.png" align_tablet="center" align_phone="" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="4.3.4" hover_enabled="0" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);" border_width_all="0px" border_color_all="#aaaaaa" border_style_all="solid" use_border_color="on" border_color="#aaaaaa" border_width="0px" animation="off"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="4.3.4" hover_enabled="0"]Alexa Rank as of March 9th 2020
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If you want to see how I log into Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, there’s a video at the end of the case study where I where you can see “live” the changes month after month – and other things like live visitors on the site.

This is how it all started

In June 2014, we were approached by a business owner wanting to take his business to the next level.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4"]This was a smaller startup that had been in “inception mode” for three years and was itching to find an online marketing company that could help them grow.

As you may imagine, they didn’t come to us and say:

“Hi, I want a website that gets at least one million visits per month and breaks into the top 42K websites in the world.”

It went more like this:

“Hi, I’m a startup that wants to grow. My competition is well established. Are you guys up for the challenge of making this happen?”

This caught our attention.

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Why was it a challenge?

On one side, their competitors were well established businesses – 10 to 20 years of online presence.

On the other side, because of the nature of their business, we were unable to create a blog, long form content, backlinks, or do content promotion – the foundation most ecommerce stores can use to grow (other than CRO, remarketing, and all that good stuff).

What did we do?

We said: “this seems pretty interesting, let’s have a look.”
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4" custom_margin="50px|||"] 1- Studying the Competition and Discovering If This Was a Viable Project. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://www.realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ecommerce-competition-analisis-from-moz.jpg" align_tablet="center" align_phone="" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" custom_margin="50px||50px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4"]

There is one simple way to discover if the goals you have for your business are attainable:

If your competition is where you want to be, then it's clearly attainable.

Do you want to grow your company from $10 million to $20 million?

If you're the leader in your industry, all your competitors are doing $6 million and there's no one in your industry making more than $8 million but you, we don't have a validation.

Does that mean that we couldn't grow it to $20 million?

NO.

But we don't have the validation of a competitor doing what you want to do, therefore we cannot reverse engineer what they've done.

In this cases we look at other verticals... but that'll be another article.

Studying the competition is our first step in every single project we take when doing roadmaping. This not only helps us gather key information about what’s working for them, but we can also save weeks of research and analysis before we come up with a game plan. 

There’s three levels of competition: Low, medium, and high. After our initial research, we found they were in a medium competition market that was solely focused on organic search.

This was in alignment with the businesses we usually work with – medium and high competition – unless there’s a business that is in an untapped low competition market. 

After what we discovered about the competition, it was time for THE question:

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4" custom_margin="50px|||"]The RoadMap

We engaged in creating a roadmap to lay out what would be the best options for the client.

This process usually takes between one and three weeks depending on the scope of the project.

It includes a discovery session, assesing priorities, planing and delivering the roadmap.

At the end of this process the client had a clear plan of action to use. They decided to move forward with the execution.

Then the roadmapping took place:

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4" custom_margin="50px|||"]2- What Would It Take to Make This Work?[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://www.realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/competitor-shop.jpg" align_tablet="center" align_phone="" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" custom_margin="50px||0px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4"]- Competitor traffic graph
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4"]If you know your competition is a $30 million-dollar company and they are investing 3% in digital marketing, that means they have a $900K budget per year. That’s what it would take to replicate exactly what they are doing.

But if you only have a $120K budget rather than a $900K budget per year, the question is:

Would that give us enough leverage to compete?

As an example, we’ve had clients competing with companies like Home Depot, which according to a study made by frac.tl they had a 2015 online marketing budget of:

Obviously, I don’t expect you to have a business that is looking to compete with them in every single category and every single product – unless you are Lowe’s, Costco, etc. However, if they are one of your competitors, we will need to come up with creative and innovative marketing approaches to get a part of their market share. They have a very mature online presence.

In our current case study, after learning the competition’s average budget and the client’s budget, we all decided we were a good fit.

We accepted this exciting challenge.

Our promise was to put our best skills together and execute the best strategy possible to turn a real challenge into something that could grow over time.
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3- Digging Deeper into the Competition

Now that we were all on board and feeling the excitement that a new project brings, we went into deep research mode.

Some of the tools we used for this project were:

We took the top 5 competitors we had previously analyzed on the surface and looked at what they were doing from an SEO and CRO perspective.

Some of the elements we analyzed were:

The look and feel of the website – design, mobile version vs. desktop version, copy, language, user experience, colors, buttons, trust-building elements, popups, engagement, blog, social sharing…

Structure of the website – categorization, silos, sections, breadcrumbs, internal linking, page size (word count), H tags and descriptions, website speed…

Monetization and shopping experience – mobile experience, price tags, calls to action, coupons, discounts, offers, checkout flow, shipping & handling, refund policies…

Audience – age, sex, marital status, education, income, hobbies.

Marketing – SEO, CRO, paid advertising, remarketing… (we already knew this was a purely organic search project).

After we wrote down what they were doing right and what could be improved, we outlined a specific plan that was created with the intention of helping our client “be the best.”

 

4- These are some specifics:

Increase the word count per page. The competition didn’t have much content on their “product pages.” Their low description word count could be improved to give more value to search engines and visitors.

Improve the internal linking structure. We built a framework to add link silo structures pointing only to pages within the same categories. A silo structure is basically links inside the website that point to specific areas of the website creating a framework.

Optimize Titles and H tags properly. Their competitors didn’t have all H tags on point. Some didn’t have H2 tags and some didn’t have them properly optimized.

Add a breadcrumb navigation to each page. Competitors had some but not all of them.

Optimize images. Competitors weren’t really taking advantage of this. Optimizing images can send additional traffic from the image section on Search Engines.

It doesn’t sound too complicated, right?

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First Phase

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It was time to put all the pieces together and execute.

The system that we designed would pull information from a database to automatically create pages that would include all the improvements previously mentioned.

If you would like to learn more about the nitty gritty, keep reading. Otherwise, click here to continue without the specifics.

* The right titles that were optimized and written with the correct keywords. They also utilized psychological triggers to “help” people searching online to click on the client’s website instead of the competition – compelling titles with the right keywords on them.

* The right H tags with optimized keywords, synonyms, LSI terms (Latent Semantic Indexing), and variants that would cover a wide number of keywords within the group of keywords we wanted to rank for.

* The right amount of content with optimized keywords, synonyms, and LSI terms. The pages would have at least 20% more content than the competitors with a higher word count across the board.

* Optimized images that would contain keyword rich file names, metadata, and relevant alt tags that would add even more keywords relevant to what they represented.

* The right internal linking structure so page links would point to the other generated pages within the same category. These links had exact match anchor text, synonyms, and LSI variations. Basically, links that contain words related to what we wanted to rank for.

* Add Breadcrumbs: They add an extra layer of internal linking, help with indexation (we had a lot of pages to build), and create a better user experience.

We also did some other things like adding multiple sitemaps.xml (50K pages per sitemap max) for pages and images, setting up everything in webmaster tools, fletching and crawling the website, etc.
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First Results

About 6 months after the first phase was implemented, the site started to take off.
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://www.realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ecommerce-store-receiving-465k-organic-visitors.jpg" align="center" align_tablet="center" align_phone="" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" max_width="550px" custom_margin="50px||50px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4"]We were really pleased, excited, and proud of how we had turned an initial challenge, with no guarantees of becoming successful, into a project that was getting good traction: 465,190 visits per month.

But something happened.

On February 2016, after 7 months of growth, the traffic became stuck and plateaued.
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Second Phase

Even though the traffic had plateaued, we knew we had created something very valuable: a proven framework that brought us excellent results.

After hitting a plateau, it was the perfect time to push our framework to the next level: creating a new big segment of pages and categories.

If we were right, this would be another growth stage.

If we were wrong, this had the potential to turn into a big spoof.

So, what happened?

We deployed the second phase and we got yet another home run.
We were back in growth mode.

With up to 808,043 visits per month, we felt invincible.
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://www.realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ecommerce-business-growing-online.jpg" align="center" align_tablet="center" align_phone="" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" max_width="650px" custom_margin="50px||50px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4"] Growth continued; however, like the previous cycle, the traffic growth plateaued again in October 2016.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://www.realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/stagnant-online-store-traffic.jpg" align="center" align_tablet="center" align_phone="" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" max_width="650px" custom_margin="50px||50px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4"]As you may imagine, we were in such a rush looking at how the traffic had been increasing before the plateau that we just had to keep pushing it. We thought we had a proven and invincible framework.

We were crushing the competition.

So, the third phase was born.
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Third Phase - Epic Fail?

In the third phase, we did something slightly different. We decided to translate the website into two additional languages in order to grow it three-fold.

This was going to be the epitome of the project. We were expecting to create something impressive.

However, not everything went as expected.

Check the image below to see why:
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image align_tablet="center" align_phone="" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_image src="https://www.realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/failing-ecommerce-seo-image.jpg" align="center" align_tablet="center" align_phone="" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" max_width="650px" custom_margin="20px||50px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4"]No bueno.

In 3 months, we went from 968K visits per month to 639K visits per month – losing around ⅓ of the traffic.

This looked like we were having an epic crash!

We analyzed every single bit of information we could possibly gather to try and figure out what was causing this monumental traffic loss (and of course revenue loss), but we couldn’t find anything major that was causing this problem.

Did we merely experience a brief golden era and that was it?

We came to the conclusion that Google was a little bit confused because of the two extra languages launch – pretty much at the same time. In fact, the traffic loss started closely to the traffic gain for the other two languages.

There was nothing wrong with our approach so we had to trust the process and the system that we had put in place.

In the worst-case scenario, we would lose all traffic and have to develop another framework. At least we knew we had a framework that was successful up to this point.

So, we all just tried to relax and trust what we’d done.

And then the magic happened…

BOOM!
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://www.realfocusmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/online-store-receiving-one-million-visits-per-month.jpg" align="center" align_tablet="center" align_phone="" align_last_edited="on|desktop" _builder_version="3.23" custom_margin="50px||50px|" animation_style="slide" animation_direction="left" animation_duration="500ms" animation_intensity_slide="10%" custom_css_main_element=" box-shadow: 0 4px 8px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2), 0 6px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.19);"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4"]We were once again experiencing rapid growth.

To the point that we achieved a major milestone crossing the 1 million visits per month for the English version only (you can watch the video to see how other languages are doing). It doesn’t seem this growth is going to stop anytime soon.

This has been one of our most epic and challenging case studies to date. Nothing was “average” and there were a lot of ups and downs, but we worked with our client through the good times and through the bad.

We found a way to make things work and formed potential solutions in the event of these undesirable worst case scenarios.

All in all, a rewarding experience that will continue to grow in the years to come.

Here’s the video where I log into Google Analytics and Search Console for you to see it “live.”
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