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Case Study

User-First Case Study


Over the past few years, Google has released several core algorithm updates, the latest being in March 2024. These updates emphasize that Google prioritizes websites with helpful, user-centric content.

In other words, if your website doesn't provide value to your target audience, climbing the search results pages will be difficult.

Objective

The primary goal of the campaign was to boost the rankings for service-related keywords which are more likely to lead to conversions compared to informational queries.

Website History

The client provides drug rehabilitation services and treatments, targeting the UK, Australia, and the USA.

Issues Holding Website Back

Below are the main issues preventing the client from reaching its full potential in the search results.

  • Service pages didn't align with search intent. Content on services pages required improvements in order to provide what users were looking for.
  • Indexing newly created & optimized pages. We needed to make sure that the newly created and existing, optimized service pages were indexed as soon as possible.
  • Blog pages lacked CTAs. The client was already ranking well for informational queries, but articles on the blog were missing clear CTAs to drive more conversions.
  • Building an online presence. We needed to build brand awareness and grow the site’s domain authority by building backlinks through well-researched and executed whitepapers.

Course of Action

Here are the four main cornerstones of the strategy that helped address the challenges outlined above:


  • User-first content plan that utilizes AI to bulk-check search intent and optimize content
  • Use Google’s Indexing API to notify Google about newly created and optimized content
  • Create calls-to-action on the blog that are optimized for conversions.
  • Publish engaging white papers that attract organic backlinks.

Find out more about how to replicate these tactics for your own website below.

User-First Content Plan

In order to provide users with the appropriate content that meets their needs, we needed to identify the search intent for the target keyword and page.

Here are the four main types of user intent:


  1. Informational Intent: Users are looking to learn about a topic or find an answer for a question e.g. “How to make coffee”.
  2. Navigational Intent: Users are trying to access a specific website or page and already have a destination in mind e.g. “Starbucks menu”.
  3. Commercial Intent: Users are considering a purchase or a specific action in the near future but require a little more convincing e.g. “Best coffee machines 2024”.
  4. Transactional Intent: Users are ready to make a purchase or perform a specific action e.g. “Buy Nespresso Vertuo capsules”.

Here’s how you can use ChatGPT-4 to understand and analyze the content fetched by WebPilot from a specific web page.


  1. To access WebPilot, head over to the GPTs page, search for “WebPilot” and enable it.
    ChatGPT WebPilot ChatGPT WebPilot
  2. Enter this prompt:
    							
    Use WebPilot to fetch content from [Competing Page URL] and analyze
    the user intent of its content. I want you to tell me:
    1. Content format (options are: blog post, guide, landing page,
    service page, category page, product page, homepage) 2. Content Length 3. Detail amount (score this out of 10, where 10 is very detailed
    and 1 is not detailed). 4. Search intent (options: informational, navigational,
    commercial investigation, transactional) 5. The heading structure 6. How much rich media is used (this includes images, tables, videos etc).
    Here’s an example of the prompt being used for an informational article about writing a cover letter:
    ChatGPT Response

Once you’ve identified the search intent of your target keyword(s) and page(s), the next step is to optimize the existing content so that you’re providing users with what they’re looking for. All of the points described below have been integrated into the above prompt, but here’s some additional context:

  • Content Format: Identify what kind of content is required for the target keyword i.e. f blog posts, product pages, videos, infographics, etc.
  • Content Depth: Assess the level of detail that is expected for the keyword.
  • Tailor Content Structure to Intent: Identify what kind of content is required based on the search intent:
    • Informational: Use clear headings, lists, and FAQ sections to organize information.
    • Navigational: Ensure brand and product names are prominent, and navigation is intuitive.
    • Transactional: Highlight product benefits, use strong CTAs, and streamline the purchase process.
    • Commercial Investigation: Provide detailed comparisons, reviews, and testimonials.

It’s important to also look at the content structure:

  • Headings: Analyze the use of H1, H2 etc. headings to provide contextual cues on how content is structured to cater to user intent.
  • Rich Media: Does the competing page have images, videos, tables, charts, infographics, calculators etc?
  • Internal Linking: How and where are internal links used to guide users to related content?

Finally, look at:

  • Content Gaps: Identify topics or subtopics that you haven’t covered within your own page, but the top ranking result has.
  • Unique Angles: Identify if there’s a unique perspective or new information you can add to stand out from the competition - this is where your own personal experience and expertise within your industry is crucial.

Google’s Indexing API

Once you’ve optimized or created new content on your website, you want Google to be able to discover and index it as soon as possible. This is where Google’s Indexing API is extremely useful and effective.

The Indexing API allows you to directly let Google know when you want to:

  • Add new pages to its index in bulk
  • Remove existing pages from its index
  • Get the status of previous requests

Although Google says that the Indexing API can currently only be used to “crawl pages with either JobPosting or BroadcastEvent embedded in a VideoObject”; we’ve found that it can successfully crawl and index all kinds of pages.

Find out how you can configure the Indexing API here. Once you have, here’s how to use it using RankMath’s WordPress plugin.

  1. To install the plugin, go to “Plugins > Add New”. then search and install the “Instant Indexing” plugin.
    Instant Indexping Plugin installation
  2. Once activated, it will appear in the left navigation. Click on it to connect the Indexing API. Copy and paste the info on the JSON file you downloaded from your configuration.
    Instant Indexping Plugin settings
  3. Select the type of the URL that you want Google to instantly index and click “Save Changes”. For example, selecting “Blog Posts”, will ensure every time a new blog article is published, the plugin will create an API call to Google’s Indexing API.
    Instant Indexping save settings
    Here’s what you should see:
    Instant Indexping save settings
  4. To start indexing your pages, go to the Console tab and paste in the URLs of your pages.
  5. Select “Publish.update URL” Action.
  6. Click “Send to API”.
    Instant Indexping save settings
  7. You’ll receive a confirmation and the page should appear in Google’s index within a few hours.

For websites that aren’t on WordPress, you can still use Google’s Indexing API, but it requires hard coding the API requests. You can find out more about how to do this using this guide from Google.

CTA Optimization

Creating high-quality content that ranks well and attracts organic visitors is just one half of the strategy. The other crucial part is converting those visits into paying or engaged users.

Despite having a good amount of organic traffic for informational queries on their blog, the client struggled to generate leads before partnering with us. To address this, we needed to optimize existing calls to action and create new ones to ensure that users landing on their content were motivated to use their services.

This allowed us to more than double the number of conversions on the site from 158 to 337 per month.

stats

A call to action (or CTA) is a prompt that encourages users to take an action such as:

  • Click a button - to provide more emphasis to a particular user action, such as “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” for eCommerce websites.
    Add To Cart button
  • Fill out a form - to collect information about your audience.
    Fill out a form
  • Click on a link - to direct users towards an important page where an action is required.
    CTA

When optimizing your CTAs, ensure that you:

  1. Use Clear & Concise Language - Make it as clear as possible what it is you want the user to do and (ideally) what they can expect when they perform the desired action. If your CTAs are longer than five words, they’re probably too long and unclear.
  2. Build a Sense of Urgency - use language (i.e. verbs) that compels your audience to interact and perform your desired action.
    Combine action words like “buy”, “discover”, “learn” and “join” with phrases/words that create a sense of urgency like “now”, “today”, “last chance”.
  3. Don’t Overdo It - having too many CTAs on a page distracts and potentially confuses the user into making the most desired action.
    For example, from the screenshot below, which CTA is most important?
    Free Acc
  4. Make it Visible - ensure that your CTAs stand out against the main content by using contrasting colors and positioning them in the right place so that they’re easy to find. Importantly, your CTAs shouldn’t completely overshadow the main content, this can put off your audience.

Publishing White Papers

A great way to build brand awareness whilst attracting backlinks naturally is to publish white papers. This was an especially important and effective tactic for our client, who operates in a YMML (Your Money Your Life) niche, where the information provided may impact a person’s physical/mental/financial wellbeing.

White papers contain original research and provide a much deeper level of detail compared to general blog articles. They can serve as valuable references for journalists, bloggers, social media posts, and anyone seeking to cite authoritative information.

Establishing yourself as a source of such in-depth content positions you as an expert in your niche.

White papers have the following SEO benefits:

  • Build Authority: Publishing white papers showcases expertise and enhances your website's credibility, boosting search engine authority.
  • Generate Backlinks: High-quality white papers attract organic backlinks, signaling trustworthiness to search engines and improving rankings.
  • Increase Website Traffic: Compelling white papers drive targeted traffic, enhancing search visibility and rankings by demonstrating content value.
  • Enhance Keyword Optimization: White papers allow for natural keyword incorporation, improving relevance and visibility for industry-related search terms.
  • Encourage Social Sharing: Engaging white papers generate social media shares, driving traffic and signaling content popularity to search engines.
  • Support Long-Term Traffic Growth: Well-researched white papers attract sustained organic traffic and backlinks, bolstering long-term SEO performance and visibility.

When it comes to writing white papers for SEO, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Choose a Relevant Topic - Select a topic that will interest your target audience and address their pain points, preferences, and challenges.
  2. Write an Engaging Title - Capture your audience’s attention and generate clicks with a title that is succinct, captivating and clearly conveys how users will benefit from your white paper.
  3. Do Your Research - Gather relevant data, statistics, case studies, and other supporting evidence to back up your arguments and recommendations. The best way is to conduct primary research through interviews with experts, surveys/polls with customers and client feedback. This is what will make your white paper stand out from the competition.
  4. Develop a Clear Structure - your white paper should include the following:
    • An Executive Summary: introduce and outline the purpose and scope of the white paper. Highlight the problem or topic you’ll be addressing and preview the key points or arguments you’ll be presenting.
    • Problem Definition: Provide context to frame the problem that you’ve identified and help readers understand the significance of the topic.
    • Main Body: Use clear headings and subheadings to organize the main body of your white paper.
    • Add Visual Elements: Use diagrams, graphs, charts and graphics to break up text-heavy sections.
    • Solution Description: Describe how your product or service solves the problem that you defined in your problem definition. Highlight the benefits that your target audience will have by using your proposed solution.
    • Case Studies: Incorporate relevant case studies, examples, or success stories to illustrate your points and provide real-world context.
    • Conclusion: Summarize the key points and arguments presented and highlight the main takeaways and emphasize the significance of your findings or recommendations.
    • Calls to Action: Provide a call-to-action to your product/service page, a contact form, sharing links to make it easier for readers to share your white paper on social media, or next steps for readers to further explore the topic or implement your suggestions.
  5. Design a Landing Page - the best white papers have a well designed landing page that presents the information in an engaging and easy to follow manner.

Results

Within 12 months, the organic traffic grew by 5,073.19% from 1,052 to 54,422 sessions.


Organic Traffic Growth

The number of keywords that the site ranks for in the top 10 positions of Google increased to an all time high of 648 keywords in the past twelve months.


Keywords Growth

This is also true for the site’s overall keyword visibility, where they’re now ranking for 9,916 keywords within the top 100 positions.


Keyword Visibility

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