Case Study:

How We Helped Our Client Dominate Their Niche

About The Site

The website is five years old in the outdoor niche. It was initially established as a side-project with the intention to grow it into a full-time operation.

However, it quite quickly grew, building monthly organic traffic of over 100K and the owner decided to start using the site as a source of income.

He was continuously developing and publishing content but, other than content creation had been managing all other aspects of the site alone. He came to us with frustration as he felt the site had plateaued and his organic traffic was starting to decrease.

The client decided he had reached his limitations to be able to take the site to the next level. The client’s goal was to use our full management service to improve all aspects of the site in order to increase traffic, conversions, and rank.

Initial Assessment

The client has done well in terms of publishing content continuously.

A sizable number of keywords were ranking in positions #1-3 but traffic had significantly declined month-by-month over the past three months. Therefore, revenue from ads and Amazon associate commissions had declined as well.

As many of his keywords (around 50 percent) were already ranking in the top three positions, on the surface, it was easy to assume there is not much room for growth.

However, we ran a full assessment of the site in order to build a comprehensive strategy that was specifically tailored to the needs of his site based on analysis and metrics.

Here’s what we found:

Content

As mentioned, the client was already organically ranking in the top three positions for a significant percentage of his keywords.

However, by analyzing his keywords further using Ahrefs, we found that that the site was currently ranking at the bottom of page one for a combined volume of over 30,000 monthly searches.

Therefore, we used Surfer SEO to run content audits on those keywords in order to see what we were missing and what we would need to implement in order to claim the top spot for those articles.

For the most part, it came down to three main issues:

  • Missing content elements from the article.
  • Site speed.
  • Domain rating.

We also found that in terms of keyword research, what had been performed previously was not optimal. Many of the keywords that were ranking well were for very low volumes of monthly searches.

Whereas, many low keyword difficulty keywords with high monthly search volumes had been missed entirely. As well as there being many keywords the site’s main competitors were ranking for that this site was not.

UX

The design of the site was poor and significantly lacking in terms of user experience. There had been no investment in the branding or design of the site. This was, in turn, having a negative effect on how authoritative and trustworthy users found the site. This was reflected in Google Analytics, with a very high bounce rate and low average session time/amount of returning traffic.

CRO

A lack of call to actions and poorly designed review pages meant that conversions were low.

On-Page SEO

We ran site audits with SiteBulb and found the overall health score was not great. Many basic aspects of proper on-page were missing, such as image ALT text, meta descriptions, etc.

Technical SEO

The site speed was very poor. We analyzed this with GTmetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights.

There were also some significant technical issues including the Sitemap showing as 404, incorrect robots.txt, and some pages being unable to be crawled.

Social Media

The client had never set up social media and there were no accounts to work with.

Backlinks

The client had never actively pursued any form of link building. He had never performed any kind of outreach or paid for links.

Despite this, he had over 1,500 links to the site, however, his domain rating as shown in Ahrefs was only at DR8.

We used SEMRush to perform a detailed backlink audit which showed more than 50 percent of links we considered extremely toxic.

Many were from very spammy domains and were possibly the result of a negative SEO campaign by a competitor.

The links that were non-toxic were either no-follow or from very low DR sites and therefore, not providing much link juice.

case study phase one

Considering Aesthetics

Although not part of the initial strategy our client wanted, it became very clear early on that a serious amount of UX improvements and conversion rate optimization would need to be done. Overall, the design of the site is not resonating with the target audience.

The site had been heavily focussed on trying to gain organic traffic, without the aesthetics being considered for the “human factor”.

Based on Analytics, the majority of site visitors are leaving very quickly and never returning. Furthermore, considering the traffic volume, conversions in terms of ads and affiliate commissions were low.

We implemented a full redesign plan with a focus on creating a brand. We Redesigned:

  • The logo
  • All pages
  • Text fonts
  • Page Copy
  • CTAs
  • Post layout
  • Sidebar layout
  • Sidebar CTAs
  • Ads placement

What We Did For CRO

Using Microsoft Clarity, we were able to get a better understanding of how the site was being used and where it was falling short in terms of conversions.

We implemented proper CRO techniques as part of the redesign process and ensured that CTAs were included across pages and within the content.

Content Strategy

We used Surfer SEO both to optimize existing content that was ranking in positions #4-10 as well as the content for all pages on the site.

We also started producing more content with Surfer SEO ensuring we also optimized it for NLP.

Using a combination of SEMRush and InLinks, we found more appropriate content to produce through proper keyword research techniques and implemented a 90-day content strategy.

On-Page SEO

We amended all fixable errors showing in the initial audit and maintained the on-page SEO by uploading new content ourselves and ensuring that all proper measures were taken.

Unfortunately, due to the way the site was built, there were some issues (such as excessive amounts of code vs text on pages) that were going to need to be implemented as part of a longer-term strategy to fix.

We set up a site persona and built out an about page with full author bios to improve E-A-T.

Technical SEO

We increased the site speed overall and set up accelerated mobile pages.

As Analytics showed most of the site’s traffic came from mobile, we felt it was important to not only improve the speed on mobile but also give it a cleaner look with AMP. We also added schema to all pages.

We addressed issues in Google Search Console and submitted the sitemap and manually indexed all pages,

Backlinks

We ran a backlink audit to determine what was missing in terms of link diversity on the site. We disavowed all toxic links with SEMRush and set the site owner up with our HARO management service and guest post service as well as implementing a skyscraper outreach campaign. We swiftly acquired a decent amount of high-quality links to sites with DRs of 80+ and guest posts to DR 90+ sites. We also used Ahrefs to find "Dinosaur Links" and broken link opportunities.

All of which boosted his Ahrefs domain rating to over 30 within 30 days.

Social Media

We set up social media platforms to build a social fortress and begin sending social signals to the site: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Linkedin.

We developed custom-designed social posts and set up a daily posting schedule to ensure a consistent supply of content, and set up IFTTT to sync posts from the site.

We also set up Tailwind for Pinterest as the client had a specific interest in building a Pinterest following. Because of this, we started designing and adding pinnable images to content that we could share as part of our social media strategy.

Massive Gains In A Short Time

Within 90 days we managed to:

  • Organic traffic increased by 30 percent.
  • DR increase from DR8 to DR35.
  • Conversions increased by 17 percent.
  • Social traffic increased by 70 percent.
  • Referral traffic from new backlinks increased by 15 percent.
  • More than 50 keywords jump to rank in the top three positions.
  • Catching a huge amount of featured snippets.

"The team at Clever Touch Marketing has been a pleasure to work with. From the quick response times and helpful staff to the excellent service, I had a great experience with them from start to finish. Try them out - you won't be disappointed!"

Med M,
Client

Second Phase Plan

  • Continued to produce content with Surfer SEO for higher volume keywords.
  • Produced content to pick “low hanging fruit” targeting low difficulty KWs.
  • Produced pillar pages as hubs to better organize the structure of the site silos.
  • Optimize the site’s internal linking structure.
  • Continued to maintain SEO health of 99% or above.
  • Continued to utilize HARO to build high-quality links.
  • Implemented another skyscraper outreach campaign and continued with guest posts and niche edits for further link building targeting links with a dr 65 and above.
  • Continued to produce original content daily for social media and syndicate site content through IFTTT.

Now It's Your Turn

If this case study interests you and you feel that you’d like to take your site to the next level with professional help, contact us today.

As this is a fully managed service, we look to take on only a few select clients each month.

If you want your site to grow but don’t have the time or feel you are at a roadblock in terms of getting it there yourself, then partner with us and we will achieve epic gains together.

We are a results-driven agency and are very selective about whom we work with. We only want to help those who need it most and can reap the biggest rewards.

We will even run a free analysis and provide an initial report of what our first 30 days will look like.

We look forward to working with you.

About The Site

The website is five years old in the outdoor niche. It was initially established as a side-project with the intention to grow it into a full-time operation.

However, it quite quickly grew, building monthly organic traffic of over 100K and the owner decided to start using the site as a source of income.

He was continuously developing and publishing content but, other than content creation had been managing all other aspects of the site alone. He came to us with frustration as he felt the site had plateaued and his organic traffic was starting to decrease.

The client decided he had reached his limitations to be able to take the site to the next level. The client’s goal was to use our full management service to improve all aspects of the site in order to increase traffic, conversions, and rank.

Initial Assessment

The client has done well in terms of publishing content continuously.

A sizable number of keywords were ranking in positions #1-3 but traffic had significantly declined month-by-month over the past three months. Therefore, revenue from ads and Amazon associate commissions had declined as well.

As many of his keywords (around 50 percent) were already ranking in the top three positions, on the surface, it was easy to assume there is not much room for growth.

However, we ran a full assessment of the site in order to build a comprehensive strategy that was specifically tailored to the needs of his site based on analysis and metrics.

Here’s what we found:

Content

As mentioned, the client was already organically ranking in the top three positions for a significant percentage of his keywords.

However, by analyzing his keywords further using Ahrefs, we found that that the site was currently ranking at the bottom of page one for a combined volume of over 30,000 monthly searches.

Therefore, we used Surfer SEO to run content audits on those keywords in order to see what we were missing and what we would need to implement in order to claim the top spot for those articles.

For the most part, it came down to three main issues:

  • Missing content elements from the article.
  • Site speed.
  • Domain rating.

We also found that in terms of keyword research, what had been performed previously was not optimal. Many of the keywords that were ranking well were for very low volumes of monthly searches.

Whereas, many low keyword difficulty keywords with high monthly search volumes had been missed entirely. As well as there being many keywords the site’s main competitors were ranking for that this site was not.

UX

The design of the site was poor and significantly lacking in terms of user experience. There had been no investment in the branding or design of the site. This was, in turn, having a negative effect on how authoritative and trustworthy users found the site. This was reflected in Google Analytics, with a very high bounce rate and low average session time/amount of returning traffic.

CRO

A lack of call to actions and poorly designed review pages meant that conversions were low.

On-Page SEO

We ran site audits with SiteBulb and found the overall health score was not great. Many basic aspects of proper on-page were missing, such as image ALT text, meta descriptions, etc.

Technical SEO

The site speed was very poor. We analyzed this with GTmetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights.

There were also some significant technical issues including the Sitemap showing as 404, incorrect robots.txt, and some pages being unable to be crawled.

Social Media

The client had never set up social media and there were no accounts to work with.

Backlinks

The client had never actively pursued any form of link building. He had never performed any kind of outreach or paid for links.

Despite this, he had over 1,500 links to the site, however, his domain rating as shown in Ahrefs was only at DR8.

We used SEMRush to perform a detailed backlink audit which showed more than 50 percent of links we considered extremely toxic.

Many were from very spammy domains and were possibly the result of a negative SEO campaign by a competitor.

The links that were non-toxic were either no-follow or from very low DR sites and therefore, not providing much link juice.

case study phase one

Considering Aesthetics

Although not part of the initial strategy our client wanted, it became very clear early on that a serious amount of UX improvements and conversion rate optimization would need to be done. Overall, the design of the site is not resonating with the target audience.

The site had been heavily focussed on trying to gain organic traffic, without the aesthetics being considered for the “human factor”.

Based on Analytics, the majority of site visitors are leaving very quickly and never returning. Furthermore, considering the traffic volume, conversions in terms of ads and affiliate commissions were low.

We implemented a full redesign plan with a focus on creating a brand. We Redesigned:

  • The logo
  • All pages
  • Text fonts
  • Page Copy
  • CTAs
  • Post layout
  • Sidebar layout
  • Sidebar CTAs
  • Ads placement

What We Did For CRO

Using Microsoft Clarity, we were able to get a better understanding of how the site was being used and where it was falling short in terms of conversions.

We implemented proper CRO techniques as part of the redesign process and ensured that CTAs were included across pages and within the content.

Content Strategy

We used Surfer SEO both to optimize existing content that was ranking in positions #4-10 as well as the content for all pages on the site.

We also started producing more content with Surfer SEO ensuring we also optimized it for NLP.

Using a combination of SEMRush and InLinks, we found more appropriate content to produce through proper keyword research techniques and implemented a 90-day content strategy.

On-Page SEO

We amended all fixable errors showing in the initial audit and maintained the on-page SEO by uploading new content ourselves and ensuring that all proper measures were taken.

Unfortunately, due to the way the site was built, there were some issues (such as excessive amounts of code vs text on pages) that were going to need to be implemented as part of a longer-term strategy to fix.

We set up a site persona and built out an about page with full author bios to improve E-A-T.

Technical SEO

We increased the site speed overall and set up accelerated mobile pages.

As Analytics showed most of the site’s traffic came from mobile, we felt it was important to not only improve the speed on mobile but also give it a cleaner look with AMP. We also added schema to all pages.

We addressed issues in Google Search Console and submitted the sitemap and manually indexed all pages,

Backlinks

We ran a backlink audit to determine what was missing in terms of link diversity on the site. We disavowed all toxic links with SEMRush and set the site owner up with our HARO management service and guest post service as well as implementing a skyscraper outreach campaign. We swiftly acquired a decent amount of high-quality links to sites with DRs of 80+ and guest posts to DR 90+ sites. We also used Ahrefs to find "Dinosaur Links" and broken link opportunities.

All of which boosted his Ahrefs domain rating to over 30 within 30 days.

Social Media

We set up social media platforms to build a social fortress and begin sending social signals to the site: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Linkedin.

We developed custom-designed social posts and set up a daily posting schedule to ensure a consistent supply of content, and set up IFTTT to sync posts from the site.

We also set up Tailwind for Pinterest as the client had a specific interest in building a Pinterest following. Because of this, we started designing and adding pinnable images to content that we could share as part of our social media strategy.

Massive Gains In A Short Time

Within 90 days we managed to:

  • Organic traffic increased by 30 percent.
  • DR increase from DR8 to DR35.
  • Conversions increased by 17 percent.
  • Social traffic increased by 70 percent.
  • Referral traffic from new backlinks increased by 15 percent.
  • More than 50 keywords jump to rank in the top three positions.
  • Catching a huge amount of featured snippets.

"The team at Clever Touch Marketing has been a pleasure to work with. From the quick response times and helpful staff to the excellent service, I had a great experience with them from start to finish. Try them out - you won't be disappointed!"

Med M,
Client

Second Phase Plan

  • Continued to produce content with Surfer SEO for higher volume keywords.
  • Produced content to pick “low hanging fruit” targeting low difficulty KWs.
  • Produced pillar pages as hubs to better organize the structure of the site silos.
  • Optimize the site’s internal linking structure.
  • Continued to maintain SEO health of 99% or above.
  • Continued to utilize HARO to build high-quality links.
  • Implemented another skyscraper outreach campaign and continued with guest posts and niche edits for further link building targeting links with a dr 65 and above.
  • Continued to produce original content daily for social media and syndicate site content through IFTTT.

Now It's Your Turn

If this case study interests you and you feel that you’d like to take your site to the next level with professional help, contact us today.

As this is a fully managed service, we look to take on only a few select clients each month.

If you want your site to grow but don’t have the time or feel you are at a roadblock in terms of getting it there yourself, then partner with us and we will achieve epic gains together.

We are a results-driven agency and are very selective about whom we work with. We only want to help those who need it most and can reap the biggest rewards.

We will even run a free analysis and provide an initial report of what our first 30 days will look like.

We look forward to working with you.

nv-author-image

Jenny Abouobaia

Jenny Abouobaia is the Co-Founder of Clever Touch Marketing and an SEO Specialist. Working regularly with Don’t Panic Awards, Jenny has been included on the 2021 judging panel for the APAC Search Awards, Canadian Search Awards, and Company Culture Awards. She can also be seen as an expert speaker, panelist, and guest on numerous SEO webinars and podcasts including the Lion Zeal Show, SEO SAS, The InLinks Knowledge Panel, SEO Mastery Summit, and Semrush.