The whole point of search engine optimization (SEO) is to get more website traffic. You don’t simply want to rank higher for certain keywords if it means no increase in traffic, right? I mentioned before how important quality content was for increasing blog traffic and your overall favor with search engines, but I wanted to make that point abundantly clear with another great example.
I’ve had the privilege of running SEO for big startups with VC funding – which is great, but sometimes it’s fun to look at it from the perspective of a sole proprietorship – the everyday small business owner.
Recently a professional photographer, Ashleigh Rachel, used me as a model in a mock wedding photo shoot. One of the goals this photographer had for this fake wedding was to drive more traffic and awareness to her website, so I worked with her to craft an epic blog post about this photo shoot and worked with her on a basic promotion plan. (Disclaimer: The photographer is my wife – which also means this consultation was entirely pro bono).
According to Google Analytics, ashleighrachel.com:
- Had a 1,586% increase in unique visitors month over month (MoM)
- Earned three backlinks (verified with Moz and Buzzsumo)
- Had over 800 shares on social media
How We Did It
Step 1: Create the Epic Blog Post
The first step, besides actually doing the mock wedding, was to create the content. I worked with Ashleigh to create a blog post that was authoritative, engaging, and full of high quality photos that would allow readers to fully experience the photo shoot. We also made sure to link out to anyone else that had a hand in creating this photo shoot. High quality links out to good references are still important for well-rounded SEO- just don’t over do it.
Step 2: Promote it on Social Media
We both promoted this on our own social networks – which is a great place to start. But, we also used BuzzSumo to find influencers that were talking about our keywords – things like Frozen, Elsa, Wedding Photos, etc. We used that research from BuzzSumo to reach out to those influencers and make sure they were aware of the photo shoot – this helped us get the word out to people who were outside of our current social network.
Step 3: Utilize the Email List
We curated a list of about 250 emails from blogs about weddings, photos, and Disney. We emailed every one of those individuals and let them know about the blog post. We asked them to share it with their social network and let them know that we would be happy to provide them with photos that they could use on their blog if they wanted to write anything about it. This was helpful in getting in front of more social networks as well in getting some natural link backs from relevant websites.
Step 4: Pay for Promotion
We also set up a couple of basic Facebook ads that targeted two different audiences. We targeted any females that were engaged on Facebook, since they were likely looking at wedding photos they would want taken at their wedding, and we targeted anyone that was a fan of the movie Frozen, since that was the main theme of this pretend wedding. We only spent $50, but it generated a significant amount of the referral traffic.
What About SEO?
Getting a big jump in traffic for a few days from a great blog post is one thing – but how does that impact SEO long-term? So far, over a month later her organic impressions continue to climb as evidenced by this screenshot from Google Webmaster Tools. In fact, impressions are up 24%, which means she is showing up more frequently for mentions of her usual keywords, as well as a few new ones. Next step is to work on CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) to get those impressions to turn into clicks!
Do you have a success story that outlines how content marketing has improved your SEO? Tell me about it in the comments below!
Featured Image: B Calkins via Shutterstock