2017 SEO Case Studies

seo case studies

Want to see some cool case studies of recent SEO results we’ve got for our clients?

Below we detailed out 4 case studies from various niches that got some great results in only just a few months.

All of the case studies are from clients on our HOTH X managed SEO program. You can learn about the strategy behind all these case studies here.

Let’s get into it!

1. Pet Niche Site SEO Results

Background

This site was getting almost no traffic, even though it was registered in late 2013. The owner had spent a good amount of time on this site and built out a significant amount of pages, however it wasn’t getting hardly ANY traffic.

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Audit

The first thing we always do is audit the site to see if it has any major underlying issues. This site had no penalties, it just never ranked page 1 for the target keywords. It also had no over optimization, they just didn’t have many links.

Ahrefs shows organic keywords but it doesn’t tell the whole story – You can see below that the site had keywords in the top 100, but that’s not as important in being in the top 10. That’s where our “easy wins analysis” REALLY COMES IN HANDY.

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Easy Wins Analysis

With our easy wins analysis, we look for keywords that are ranking somewhere in Google, but not in the top spots where the majority of the traffic is. If we can identify these, we can push them up and see quicker traffic gains.

For this site, we identified 1001 easy wins keywords, ranking mostly on page 2-3 with traffic between 10 – 9,400ms, with CPC between about .50 cents – $6.

This site had HUGE potential, but since the site wasn’t cracking page 1, it wasn’t getting much love.

Content Gap Analysis

With the content gap analysis, we look for competitor keywords that the site isn’t targeting yet, and this becomes the basis for our content creation.

For this site, we found 103 keywords volume between 150 – 2900 ms, with similar PPC costs to the easy wins. We worked with the client to pick out high priorities and selected some keywords based on their industry trends knowledge (This is why we work WITH the customers to understand business goals).

Here’s what our campaigns looked like:

Month 1:

  • 1 Guest Post – Exact match on easy wins
  • 1 Guest Post – Exact match (another kw) on another easy win
  • HOTH Results (Web 2.0s) – partial match, brand, naked anchors
  • HOTH Blogger 1 x 1000 word post – informational kw focus based on industry trends

Month 2 – Very Similar

  • 1 Guest Post – money keyword variation
  • 1 Guest Post – money keyword variation
  • HOTH Results – partial match, branded, naked anchors
  • HOTH Blogger 1 x 1000 word post – money keyword

Month 3 – Similar, But got more anchor text diversity

  • 1 Guest Post – Branded
  • 1 Guest Post – Branded
  • HOTH Results – Branded, URL, Partial match mix
  • HOTH Blogger 1 x 1000 – Content gap kw, high volume

Results:

Since this site had a decent amount of content already, and had so many opportunities for easy wins, we really focused on getting those easy wins up to page 1.

When we were able to do this – The traffic exploded:

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Takeaways

This was only 3 months of work and this site has a ton more potential. In the next 3 months, we’ll begin linking some high volume keywords that we used for content. This site is set up for domination in the niche!

2. Foreign Language Local SEO In A Major City

Background

So this one is a bit crazy because it’s both non-US and even Non-English – It’s a French Canadian Site. For most of our SEO products, we work natively in English but the client was OK with that even though it’s a French site. This was a good test to see if our strategy would hold up in a non-English use case.

Audit

We always start with an audit. This site had no penalties, it just wasn’t getting much traffic. They were slightly over optimized for their money keywords, having 1 exact match at 28% and another at 25%. This wasn’t a big deal, as they just didn’t have many links, but still a consideration.

Easy Wins – Find “Hidden Goldmines”

This had less easy wins than some other sites, but that’s OK because it’s local. Traffic is lower than other niches, but it will convert higher since there is higher intent.

We found 43 terms with traffic between 20 – 1000 searches a month, with CPC between .20c – $5 a click. We started by focusing on some high priorities around the $4-$5 a click range.

Competitive Gap

We found 31 terms between 20 – 1,600 ms with CPC between .10 – $3. Some of these were local areas they hadn’t targeted yet, some of these were popular brand names of appliances that they work with, and some of these were great keywords for services they offer that they don’t have pages for yet, or weren’t optimizing. We showed them all of these.

This one was a bit different than our other case studies in that they had actually started doing SEO on their own with us around January 2016 before they hopped on HOTH X mid 2017.

Their first order was placed in March 2016, and right after that they got a nice bump. For some reason, they stopped and didn’t place an order until Aug 2016:

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They started ramping up orders around January 2017 with a mix of HOTH Platinum, HOTH Press etc:

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Mid 2017, they hopped on HOTH X and we went at it more strategically:

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Remember we have limited options, this is international AND foreign language, so here’s what the strategy looked like:

Month 1-3 all the same

  • HOTH Results Packages
  • Mix of Natural, Branded, and exact match since we have control

As for the results?

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BOOM!

What’s even cooler is that they have spent in total, all time since 2016 with us $5,300.99. However, Ahrefs is reporting a PPC cost of $8k PER MONTH.

$8,000 per month = $96k per year they would have to spend on PPC!!

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Takeaway

The takeaway from this is that consistency is key. As you can see from the charts above, their SEO dropped off when they stopped taking action, and ramped back up when they got more consistent.

By using our SEO strategy, you can uncover big wins for consistent results. No matter what type of business you are, we probably have a solution for you. In addition, it’s important to not focus on tons of traffic – focus on the RIGHT TARGETED traffic.

3. Niche E-commerce SEO Case Study

Background

This is an online store that sells items that cost between ~$50 – a few hundred dollars each. They had started SEO with us and did some blog content starting Feb 2017 and some linking starting April 2017.

Audit

This site had very little traffic until this year. They had No over optimization since most of the SEO was with us.

Easy Wins Analysis

We found 76 potential targets, mostly bottom of page 1 through page 3 all with CPC between .60 and $2.50. These terms / URLs were a mix between homepage, product pages, and their blog content and we selected high priority targets with the customer.

Competitive Gap Analysis

E-commerce is a bit different that other sites with the content gap analysis. When you run it, you often get a ton of product names that you may not sell. The other thing is that many stores have very little content on their product pages (not good for ranking). We work closely with the client on these and pick targets together. In this case they LOVED our content and we found some killer keywords where we could write long articles about.

Month 1 – 3 we kept strategy the same

  • HOTH Results – Focused on easy wins, exact and variations, homepage branding and URL
  • Blogger 4 X 1000 word with nice volume keywords related to the niche products

And for the results, the traffic starts improving when we started:

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Going Forward

Now we have these awesome, long form blog content ranking (AND they are valuable pieces of content, as opposed to just product pages), we’ll be able to do some surgical link building and get these pushed up even farther.

What’s great is that we have LOTs of content to work with now… and it’s beginning to show!

By following this strategy, we see Google starting to unlock the floodgates – This is showing the massive potential that we can target coming up:

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Takeaways

Ecommerce needs content, and by writing long form blog posts, you can start ranking for your valuable keywords. These pages are easier to rank, and you can do an internal link to your product pages. After you have the content, it makes getting good links 1000X easier!

4. SAAS Company SEO Case Study

Overview

This is a software as a service business with big contracts. Even though most of the terms they want to target have small search volume, it’s OK becasue they are very valueable keywords. Just 1 conversion for them means big money.

This site had a pretty good amount of content, full pages, a blog, but they just weren’t seeing the rankings.

Audit

This site had no previous penalties. It did have some previous traffic, but it wasn’t growing. There was no over optimization, and overall they just didn’t have enough link juice! We wanted to increase their link equity, as well as continue making sure they got consistent content.

Easy Wins

This site had good content, a few first page rankings, but this is such a lucrative industry just getting a few more clients could easily mean $100k+ a year difference per client – Some of the PPC costs were up to $130 per click!

We found 114 terms with volume between 10-40 a month, with an average CPC of $20! The majority of these terms were on page 2-3. We knew from the beginning we probably wouldn’t see impressive traffic graphs for easy wins, but it would be lucrative!

Competitive Gap

We found 301 terms between 300 – 10,000 searches a month, all with CPC. However this is a competitive space, and there were lots of brand names in there. Even with that said, there were lots of gems in there and we shared these ALL with the client.

Strategy

This was a pretty sound HOTH X strategy without too many variations. Here’s what we did:

Month 1

  • 1 Guest Post – exact match with easy win keywords
  • 1 Guest Post – exact match with other easy win keywords
  • 1 HOTH Results – naked, brand, and partial match
  • 1 HOTH Blogger x 1000 words – exact match from content gap

Month 2 – Same thing without repeating keywords

  • 1 Guest Post – exact match with easy wins
  • 1 Guest Post – exact match product page 2 from easy wins
  • 1 HOTH Results – Branded, URL, partial match
  • 1 x HOTH Blogger 1000 – keyword from content gap

Month 3 – Same thing without repeating keywords

  • 1 Guest Post – exact match
  • 1 Guest Post – partial match product page 2
  • 1 HOTH Results – Branded, URL, partial match
  • 1 x HOTH Blogger 1000 – keyword from content gap

We have only completed 2 months of links and they haven’t even taken full effect yet… but look at this huge spike in keyword rankings:

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Traffic following suit:

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and the $$$:

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Takeaway

If you have a good amount of content, but you’re not getting ranking, build high quality, diverse links. Remember content + authority links is the key.

Month 4+ starts getting really exciting because we see the results from the linking, have more to target, and can push more to page 1!

Conclusion

As you can see, by following a strategic plan, you can get some pretty impressive results in a short period of time. All these clients are on our HOTH X managed SEO program. We encourage everyone to be consistent in their SEO plan and stay on for at least 3 months to start seeing results.

Any questions? Let us know in the comments!