I’ve had the pleasure of working with many incredible brands over my 10+ year career, ranging from small businesses to big corporations. What became evident is that every single website needed to be further optimized for proper search engine optimization and conversion optimization. Here are some of my most interesting SEO case studies that led to increased traffic and revenue for the brands (of all sizes) that I’ve worked with.
Writer’s Digest: SEO Training for Editorial Teams
Founded in 1920, Writer’s Digest has been at the center of the Writing community for nearly a century. In 2012, I began SEO training for the editorial team (5+ writers), who learned how to use keyword research to optimize their articles and drive their content strategy. The two-month training process consisted of requiring the editors to read a guide on SEO, and then take a quiz that I had created to ensure that they understand the basic principles of on-page optimization. Once the quiz was passed, the editors then researched keywords for their next articles, and shared them with me along with a draft of the post. I personally reviewed their next few articles to point out where they might improve their optimization efforts, and ensure they were optimized. With this approach, we were able to quickly grow organic search traffic beyond expectations. Just see the results below (ignore the red line from SEMRush).
Here’s what the Online Product Director, Winter Thielen, had to say about overseeing this transformation.
I had the privilege of working with Dan for five years where he helped transform the way the company thought about and utilized SEO and inbound marketing.
We started small in the beginning with Dan teaching the online editors about keyword research and how powerful it could be. Dan worked with them for a number of months and what transpired was truly amazing.
Normally editors are very focused on their thoughts and the topics they want to write about. However, after learning and practicing this “secret” they not only started to optimize posts on topics already in the works, but took it a step further and used keyword research to determine what topics they should be writing about in the first place! Traffic skyrocketed, increasing 7x over the course of six months. Friendly competition also started to brew immediately between the editors to the point where they would ask each other what their traffic and revenue numbers were on the first of every month.
While we had a very healthy revenue stream from editorial product suggestions within our original content, we took the learnings from Dan to another level when we incorporated them into actual product development. We had a ton of information around our current consumers and which of our products they were purchasing from us. However, there was a huge gap on new trends bubbling up in the marketplace. Arm Knitting, for instance, became a huge fad. Since we didn’t currently have any products on the topic, it would be missing from our research on what topics to create products around. Keyword research helped us to stay on top of emerging trends so that we could capitalize on them with the passionate early adopters and early majority instead of coming to the market late where we would end up promoting to the less passionate late majority and laggards.
Overall, the habits Dan instilled in the team helped transform the business in a very positive way in some high profile areas. To this day, everyone from my original team still uses these skills in their new roles and (for some of us) at new companies.
North Light Shop: Optimizing E-Commerce Product + Category Pages
As an industry leader in fine art educational material and supplies, North Light Shop (NLS) offered an incredible canvas for optimization. The big win with NLS was growing eCommerce revenue through increased organic search traffic. The initial focus was on technical SEO and optimizing category pages with keyword-rich page titles, meta descriptions and introductory descriptive content. These efforts began to grow traffic and increase revenue, however the biggest achievement came when we began rewriting and optimizing product pages in order to make them in-depth and unique from any other site on the web. NLS was feeding their product descriptions to sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online vendors…who all had higher domain authority than NLS. Once the product descriptions on NLS were made unique, and properly optimized, organic search traffic and revenue increased tremendously (organic search revenue doubled within a year!). Why? They gave Google a reason to rank them higher by making their content uniquely valuable. Just take a look at the results (ignore the red line from SEMRush).
Costa Rica Escapes: Travel SEO / Content Marketing for Lead Generation
One might think that a boutique travel agency can’t quite compete with the big vacation planning companies, especially with a destination as attractive as Costa Rica. However, with some SEO prowess and strategic content marketing, Costa Rica Escapes (CRE) was able to grow beyond their expectations and even drop their Google Adwords budget. Initially, the existing taxonomy was reworked to better align with target audience’s search behavior and then optimized to target the ideal keywords (considering both search volume and competition level). Once complete, the efforts moved toward content marketing and link building. Insightful articles were created about topics like Best Time to Visit Costa Rica, Where to Go in Costa Rica, etc. Links were naturally acquired by creating this helpful content, and some industry peers also began linking to CRE’s content as they began making waves. By focusing on high quality content (including professional video), better engaged site visitors and produced the natural signals that Google was looking for. CRE began ranking well for some relatively competitive terms (Costa Rica family vacations, Costa Rica honeymoons, etc.) and the efforts (and investment) have really paid off. See for yourself (ignore the red line from SEMRush).
Curious about CRE’s lead generation growth? Have a look for yourself.
Here’s what John Rabenau, Co-Founder of CRE, has to say about his ongoing working relationship with Kern Media.
Kern Media has provided only positive results for Costa Rica Explorations & Escapes since beginning our working relationship several years ago. Dan continues to exceed our expectations on a daily basis as he works tirelessly to keep up with industry trends and keep our site optimized. He always provides new ideas and creative solutions to keep our website a step ahead of the competition. If you want to increase your positive exposure on the internet, or looking to maximize your business’ leads and SEO, Kern Media is highly recommended.
Ready to Grow Traffic & Meet Revenue Goals?
Kern Media specializes on SEO + Inbound Marketing for lead generation marketing, E-Commerce marketing and online publishers. However, regardless of your website’s purpose, if you’re looking to increase traffic to achieve new goals, I can help. Request a free phone consultation. Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. If you’re not achieving the results you’re looking for, we need to talk.