To boost your organic website traffic you need to have a strategy for producing content that attracts your clients. It sounds like a no-brainer, but when we start working with businesses and begin auditing client sites, we often find that they aren’t creating content that actually interests their audience.
The underlying problem is that many businesses do not understand their audiences well enough to produce content that interests them. They jump straight into content creation without adequate user research and end up publishing content that boosts their website traffic, but this traffic doesn’t include their target customers!
To address this, we help companies create original content that addresses the pain points, issues and interests of their target clientele. In this case study, we’ll dive in into our user research methodology and show you the exact SEO techniques that we used to boost one of our client’s organic site traffic by 350% in 3 months.
Step 1. User Research
When we begin working with a business, the first thing we do is timetable an extensive user research session. Usually, we organize a meeting with C-level employees, somebody from the sales development team, client support/account management team (if there is one), and any relevant employees that have direct contact with customers. Once done, we have a good understanding of the company’s ideal customer profile.
We then try to learn everything we can about these customers using a variety of methods including ongoing customer research, emails, surveys, looking at customers service chats, and talking with more people at the company.
We ask questions such as:
- What was the problem you were looking to solve before stumbling across our product or service?
- How were those problems solved once we started working with you?
- If you were to research our product or service, what would you search for?
Once we know more about these ideal clients, we’re able to create content pieces that address the pain points they are experiencing at different stages of the sales funnel, ie the journey that potential customers go through before making a purchase. We translate the most common use cases, questions, and problems that customers are trying to solve into content ideas. This enables us to move on the keyword research step where we can find the exact keywords that the target customers commonly enter into a search engine to find find the answer to their particular problems or questions.
Step 2. Find the keywords
To find the best keywords, we use a variety of different tools and techniques during the keyword research phase.
- Collect Keywords opportunities with Keyword everywhere tool
The Keywords Everywhere is a free keyword research tool (a Chrome extension) that shows you the Google keyword search volume and cost-per-click data on any websites or directly on the Google search engine result page. It saves you the hassle of copying data from various websites and using the Google ads keyword planner to see relevant search volume and CPC data.
For example, we’ll go to Google with the list of questions and topic ideas that we’ve come up with, based on the target audience, and start typing in questions to see what comes up.
- Spy on the competitor’s best keywords with SEMrush.
One of our favorite tools for competitive keywords research is SEMrush. We enter all of our client’s competitors into SEMrush one by one, then to check their organic positions within ranking and traffic driven to their website for each keyword.
We then use the filters in SEMrush before exporting the data to remove branded queries or other irrelevant terms. To find more keyword opportunities, we filter all relevant content and keywords that fall within specific URL structures on these competitors’ sites to only include URLs that fit those patterns.
After generating a list of relevant keywords, the next step is to create content that directly matches the user’s search intent and helps solves their most common pain points, questions and issues.
Using a technique known as ‘siloing’, we create precise content groupings and link signals to organize the content we produce for a client’s website. Our experience shows that websites can benefit massively from organizing content into silos. Google prefers websites with a silo organization and structure over similar ones in the same market because they are able to clearly understand the content and the keywords that the website is targeting. The linking between topics and pages strengthens the website’s topic and keeps the content tightly related and focused.
Let’s look at how siloing works in practice.
The following screenshot shows the main search queries used by the target audience of a vacation rental software company.
On the above screenshot, you’ll notice that under the question “Looking for vacation rental software?” there are additional silos such as “vacation rental cleaning software”, “vacation rental accounting software”, and “vacation rental reservation software”. Each of these subcategories could be broken up into further silos, but eventually, instead of new silos or topical ideas, you will find more content or page-level ideas that answer user queries.
The key concept of siloing is to include all the relevant queries our buyer personas have at the moment they are looking for a solution, such as comparison, complementary tools, etc. All the content we create has the same goal: to cover all the pain points and questions our target audience may have before to buy vacation rental software.
Many SEO techniques focus exclusively on earning links from other sites because they’re a major signal of authority to search engines. But internal links are also important for helping search engine crawlers find the connections between your pages.
To boost organic website traffic, we plan a precise link structure before implementing the new silo pages. This shows search engines that these particular pages are all related to one another and that the site offers extensive information on a particular topic. We include at least 3 – 5 quality subpages under each core silo landing page and each page is linked to each other internally. Lastly, we link each subpage back up to the main silo landing page.
– 350% increase in site traffic after only 3 months.
– 3x increase in organic leads through their website.
– 4x increase in sales-qualified leads.
– Over 90 relevant keywords ranking in the top 10 search engine results, with 38 in the top 3.