Background: Ranking any website from scratch is tough, especially if you’re a brand-new online magazine. But with the noble goal of helping young professionals, our clients were determined to succeed. There was just one catch – they wanted to target incredibly hard-to-rank-for organic keywords at the very beginning of the campaign. We convinced them to start local and build authority then target the more difficult organic keywords.
Building a place online for young professionals: Launched in 2016, the online magazine was founded by a professional in the news media industry who had firsthand experience with the difficulties of starting a career. They realized there was a lack of actionable advice written by young professionals for young professionals. Our client started their online magazine with the purpose of providing a place where young people could read about the experiences of each other and gain inspiration for a successful career.
Their Goal (Readers = Revenue): For any online magazine, the ultimate goal is to increase readership. As an online magazine without a print version, being discoverable via organic search is critical to its survival. Helping them increase the number of new readers was the primary goal of our organic SEO campaign. By the time we came on board, the website already existed with great content but there was not a keyword strategy in place to boost its organic ranking.
Our solution: An organic strategy with a local twist. We typically run organic campaigns for businesses that primarily do business online, compete for a national audience, or don’t have a physical location. Campaigns aimed at increasing a business’ local footprint are reserved for businesses targeting a specific group of people, usually centered around geolocation. For the online magazine we opted to focus on keywords that were local in nature because they were much easier to rank for and would allow us to build authority for the online magazine faster. This strategy is not ideal for all types of organic SEO campaigns as the related local keywords may be as difficult or more difficult than the organic keywords.
The online magazine wanted us to start the campaign focusing on the organic keywords and we did begin building authority for these keywords but most of our efforts were focused on the local keywords. Within 2 months we had 11 out of 17 local keywords on the first page with 5 keywords in the top spot. Just 2 months later, we had 13 keywords on the first page, 7 in the top spot and we started to see the first movement for our organic keywords. Fast forward to a few months later and the online magazine is on the first page for several organic keywords. This is a feat considering the difficulty of the keywords.
Campaign by the Numbers
Increase in traffic in first 3 months
Increase in traffic after 1st year
Percent of visits from Google that were new
A Winning Strategy
Trusting our experience paid off for our client. Within 6 months, the website was ranking organically for several keywords they never could have dreamed of ranking for. Both the number of new readers and the number of readers who return to their website has increased dramatically.
Average number of new readers per day
Increase in organic traffic since campaign started
Monthly clicks from search results
Results that speak for themselves.
When an online magazine can be discovered anywhere in the country via organic search, it’s the beginning of their success. A local audience can help readership get off the ground, but it is rarely enough to lead to a profitable business. Furthermore, our client’s ambitions were too great for just a local audience. By leveraging a strong local campaign to build local readership, in a short amount of time we turned that into a national audience.