No matter what niche you’re working in, one thing is for sure - great content is a must if you want to rank high and drive organic traffic to your website. After all, the saying “Content is king” didn’t come to be without a reason.
Creating fresh, high quality, informative copy on your website and optimizing existing content that’s already on your website can make a world of difference - and our client’s story is a testament to that.
During this campaign, we had two main objectives. First of all, we aimed to improve the client’s rankings for keywords with informational search intent rather than just commercial terms. Secondly, the aim was to increase the organic traffic to the website’s main pages, especially the service ones.
The client is a lead generation website within the financial niche that targets customers who are UK-based.
Issues Holding Website Back
The client had a few issues that were holding them back from improving their rankings:
- The content on the website mainly targeted search terms with commercial intent. There was little to no copy targeting informational intent, which is why we created a content strategy involving Power Hubs that focused on resolving this discrepancy.
- We created new core landing pages - however since they were newly added they had no ranking authority. For this reason, we focused our outreach efforts on building backlinks leading to those pages, which in the long run would help us increase the domain’s authority.
- The website’s main menu had two main issues - it was full of pages that weren’t that important, and the menu categories were not optimized properly.
- The final problem were the orphaned pages that couldn’t be found and/or indexed by Google.
Course of Action
Creating Content Hubs
The first thing we focused on during this campaign was content, specifically creating power hubs so that aside from commercial keywords, the client would also rank more keywords with informational intent.
Power hubs, often also referred to as content hubs, are a compilation of pages, which features one central pillar page that is supported by a number of cluster pages. Those cluster pages are then linked to the main piece of content and vice versa.
There are several benefits associated with using power hubs, with the most important ones being increased number of informational keywords your website ranks for and the opportunity to showcase your industry knowledge.
A good way to find a topic that will make a great content hub is using Ahrefs - specifically, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer tool:
- The first thing you want to do is pick a broad keyword that is relevant to your niche. For instance, if you have a craft website, you might want to consider a keyword such as “DIY”. Remember to also pick the country you want to target.
- Go to the Keyword Ideas section of the page. There, you will find other keywords that are related to your initial search term. They are divided into four categories - Terms Match, Questions, Also Rank For and and Also Talk About.
- The one that interests you is the Terms Match category. Click on “View all” - you will be redirected to a complete list of keywords that include your initial term, in this case “DIY”. To make things even easier on yourself, you can use the “Terms” filter that you’ll see on your left, which are a group of keywords related to each other that contain either the same or a similar word. Let’s take a look at the “costume” group.
- In order to find topics for the supporting pages, repeat the previous steps, but instead of “DIY”, use “DIY costume”.
As you can see, there are many keywords related to “DIY costume” which means that it would make a great content cluster.
Once you find the right topics, you need to create the copy.
To do this, look at your competitors and try to match your content to what they wrote, while also keeping it unique. After you’re done, make sure that all the supporting pages are linked to the central pillar page and vice versa.
Improving Keyword Visibility for Informational Keywords
Targeting a few different types of keywords can attract users at all stages of the buying process to your website. For example, transactional keywords mostly bring users that are ready to make some sort of a decision, be that buying something or subscribing to a service, while informational search terms are used by those that are just starting to learn about the topic and want to gain some more information (they’re usually at the beginning of their search process).
Our client’s website had no issue ranking for transactional intent search terms - the problem was lack of informational intent content.
To write informational content you first need to find informational keywords.
There are a few ways, but the ones we like are People Also Ask and Ahrefs.
Just to show you an example, let’s assume that you have a website dedicated to international wines. One of the category pages that is ranking pretty well for transactional keywords is “Italian wine” - however, it doesn’t provide any information that a person looking for Italian wine might find helpful or interesting.
Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer
- Open Ahrefs and go to the Keywords Explorer tool. Insert your main keyword, in this case “Italian wine” and select the country you want to target.
- Go to the “Keywords ideas” section, find “Questions” and click “View all” - there you will see a list of keywords that you can target that are phrased as a question.
People Also Ask
Search “italian wine” in the Google browser and navigate to the “People also ask” section.
These provide great insights into what kinds of questions users are asking for based on your seed keyword. You can create content to target and answer these very questions within your website.
How to Write Informational Content
Once you know which informational keywords you want to target and have an idea of what you want to write your copy about, you need to execute it:
- Search the chosen keyword in Google - in our case it will be “what is the most popular wine in Italy”. If you see a Featured Snippet, then definitely pay attention to it, as it means that that article was deemed to be providing the best answer according to Google.
- Take a look at how your competitors tackled the topic - some of the most important things you need to take into account are how detailed their articles are, what are the structures of their pages, whether they included information about more than just the selected topic and what kind of voice they used in their content.
- Write and optimize the content as well as other on-site elements, such as headings or meta description of your new page.
Main Menu Optimization
If you want your SEO efforts to bring the desired results, you shouldn’t disregard the importance of the main menu navigation.
A badly structured main menu can not only affect your rankings, as it can prevent Google’s crawlers from correctly indexing your pages, but it also causes bad user experience, making the visitors less likely to spend time on your website - instead, they’ll go to your competition where the navigation is much easier.
Main Menu Navigation Types
There are a few different types of main menu navigation that you want to consider.
- Horizontal navigation - in this type of navigation the items are presented to users at the top of the page, side by side.
- Dropdown menu navigation - in this case you have a primary item that expands into sub-items once you click on it or just place your cursor over it.
- Vertical navigation - similar to horizontal navigation, but the items are displayed below each other rather than next to each other, and the bar is located on the side of the page.
- Hamburger main menu navigation - typically used on pages optimized for mobile devices. It involves a “hamburger” icon, under which the menu items are hidden - once you click on it, they will be revealed.
Best Main Menu Navigation Practices
Here are some of the best practices to follow when creating your main menu navigation:
- Use descriptive labels instead of generic ones like “Products”, “Services” or “What We Do”.
- Avoid overcrowding your main menu by selecting the most important pages you want the visitors to see.
- Put the items in the right order, with the most important ones at the beginning, and the less important at the end.
- Make sure that your main menu also looks and functions great on mobile devices.
- Maintain consistent formatting and styling by sticking to one font, color and so on.
An orphan page is a term used to describe a page that does not have any internal link leading to it. Unfortunately, those can have a pretty big and negative impact on your website, as Google’s crawlers will most likely not be able to find it and therefore index it, which will result in them not ranking.
If your website has quite a number of orphan pages, here are some ways in which you can fix them:
- Add internal linking to the orphan page - think about which of the pages on your website are somehow relevant to the orphan page and add an internal link to them.
- Add a noindex tag - if a specific page doesn’t need to be indexed, but you still want to keep it on the website, you can add a noindex tag.
- Merge pages together - if you have an orphan page that has similar content to another page on your site, you can merge the content together. Remember to implement a 301 redirect from the orphan page so that users will be automatically redirected to the new copy.
- Delete the orphan page completely - if a page doesn’t really bring value to your website and your visitors, the wisest decision would be to delete it completely. Again, remember about a 301 redirect implementation.
Blogger Outreach Strategy
It might take a while before your new pages are crawled and indexed by Google, so to help your chances of the content being recognized by Google, you should carry out a link building strategy. Apart from this, lin building is also considered one of the most powerful and effective techniques to boost a page’s ability to rank for your target keywords.
To do it, you need some link prospects and one way of finding them is using Ahrefs’ Link Intersect tool. This tool provides you with a list of domains that link to your direct competitors but not to your website.
Once you add all of the competitors, click the “Show link opportunities” button. If you want to get more relevant results, filter by Intersections, so that you are only shown those that link to two or more of the competing domains and sort them so that the ones with the highest DR, aka have the most ranking power, are at the top.
After you’ve created your list of potential bloggers, the next step is to contact them. The easiest way to get contact information is to check their website - there should be an email address dedicated to enquiries like yours.
Now you need to create your pitch. Remember - don’t send generalized pitches. Adapt them to the website you are pitching to. The things that you should include in every pitch are who you are, why you’re contacting that website and what you can offer them in exchange for a link.
After you’re done pitching, you should monitor the results (for example, in a spreadsheet). Keep track of which subject lines and email copy where the most successful (had the highest conversion rate, meaning they resulted in a backlink for your website).
This is what we achieved within the first twelve months of the campaign.
When compared year-on-year, organic traffic grew by 80.12%
In addition, the number of keywords that our client is now ranking for within the top 100 positions of the search results increased by 85.19% from 2,707 to 5,013.
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