Case Study: Low-Competition Keywords Increased Traffic by 245%

Case Study: Low-Competition Keywords Increased Traffic by 245%

In an era where young people often find themselves buried in debt, financial literacy is more important than ever before. 

In 2014, a debit card company sought to set teens up for future financial success. Part banking app, part education hub, the company teaches families and children about smart spending, investing, and building credit. Within a single platform, parents and guardians can make deposits for allowances, research investments, and monitor spending habits for their kids.

By 2022, the soon-to-be Growth Machine client averaged an impressive 340,000 monthly organic sessions to their site and 3,400 to their blog. But while crossing the six-digit traffic threshold is an impressive feat, the client set their sights on bigger goals: Launching an online knowledge center on financial literacy for teens and families. The client partnered with Growth Machine for content marketing and SEO strategy, but struggled passing over the reins on keyword research.

When our team of SEO strategists convinced the client to let us take over keyword research, their blog traffic exploded. By August of 2023, the client hit 528,590 organic sessions to their site and 11,719 monthly sessions to their blog, a growth rate of 55% and 245%, respectively.

Here’s how we did it.

The Problem: Fully Entrusting Your Content Strategy With an SEO Firm 

The client faced two entirely different business problems at the beginning and midway point of the project.

When the client initially partnered with Growth Machine for SEO and content strategy in December of 2022, their problem was simple: While traffic to their site was high (averaging 340,000 monthly organic sessions), it didn’t carry over to their blog. In fact, traffic to the company blog was one-tenth of the greater site, hitting just 3,400 monthly organic sessions. This roadblock prevented the company from becoming a financial education hub for families and converting readers into paying customers.

When the project launched, we were met with a second problem: The client didn’t fully lean on us for their content planning. They wanted to conduct their own keyword research, which led to very little traffic growth for the first six months of the project. 

Seven months in, we were able to convince the client to trust us with content planning and keyword research. We made some vital pivots to their strategy — and the site experienced tremendous growth because of it.

The Strategy: Become the Go-To Online Resource on Financial Literacy for Families

While this project experienced a few bumps along the way, our team of writers and SEO strategists were able to exponentially scale the client traffic in eight months. With a rigorous cadence, the right mix of keywords, and writers who could speak to two audiences, we built a successful financial resource library for families in less than one year.

The Keywords: Targeting Long-Tail, Low-Competition Keywords Relevant to the Client Niche

As mentioned above, the client provided their own content plan for the first phase of the project. Unfortunately, many of the client’s targeted keywords came with one of the following issues attached:

  1. The keywords were too competitive and vague: Rather than steer into their niche, many of the chosen keywords were quite generic and highly competitive, like Roth IRA topics. While we like to target high-competition, short-tail keywords once a blog is really taking off, we felt we had some more work to do on laying the foundation. We got relatively good results for these keywords, but we knew we could do even better for our client with a different strategy.
  2. The keywords weren’t relevant to their target audience: While the client aimed to build a financial knowledge base for families, they targeted unrelated keyword phrases like “learn how to drive.” Yes, these are teenager-related and we understood why they chose them, but convincing the reader to sign up for a debit card for teens at the end would be a stretch. There were better-fit keywords out there.

When the company blog experienced little growth six months in, the client agreed to let us do what we do best: keyword research and content planning for SEO. When we took over keyword research, we targeted long-tail keywords with lower competition that were relevant to the pain points of their target audience. Within two months, we saw the site content moving up the ranks in Google like we hadn’t seen for many months previous.

The Cadence: Launching a Financial Knowledge Base Online 

When the project first launched, the client set a lofty goal: Publish 200 articles in one year. The client aimed to build a large database of educational posts.

We launched the project at an aggressive cadence of 15 posts per month, publishing nearly every other day on the client site. Seven months in, we decreased our pace slightly, publishing 10 new posts per month.

The Writers: Hiring Writers Who Understand Their Target Audience 

For this project, we hired writers who could fulfill two main criteria: 1) they could handle a high volume of articles and 2) they could write legally compliant, highly researched articles intended for two target audiences: parents who wanted to teach their kids about finances and teens who wanted to learn about money on their own. 

In addition, due to the industry being highly regulated, each post went through a rigorous compliance review. 

The Results: A 245% Increase in Traffic in 8 Months 

Once the client trusted us with the keyword research and content planning, they experienced an immediate spike in traffic. 

While we began our partnership in December of 2022, we didn’t take over keyword research until July 2023. Once we fully did, we saw across-the-board spikes in impressions, clicks, and organic traffic. In August of 2023 — just one month after taking over content planning — the client site hit an all-time high of 528,590 monthly organic sessions and 11,719 sessions to their blog. Translation: The client experienced a 245% growth rate on their blog and a 55% growth rate on their overall site in eight months

While the project ended in 2023, the client’s newly published financial literacy education hub continued to move up the ranks in Google. Today, the company blog holds the coveted #1 spot on Google for 1,200+ keyword phrases.

What Could You Do With a 245% Increase in Blog Traffic?

Organic traffic chart of Growth Machine's financial education client

If you want to become your industry’s authority online, SEO and content strategy is critical to seeing an increase in blog traffic. But when partnering with an SEO agency, remember you hired us for a reason: To move your website up the ranks in Google.

And to do that, we need your full trust.

Our team scaled our client’s blog content to 11,719 monthly organic sessions in just eight months. Most of that growth appeared seven months into the project, when we took over keyword research and content planning. (Makes you wonder: If we hit these results with just one month in the driver’s seat, what could we have done with all eight? 😜)

At Growth Machine, we help clients become the go-to online resource in their niche through strategic content planning for SEO. To see how we can help your blog move up the ranks and Google and win more customers, contact us to schedule a consultation.

Kara McCartney

Kara McCartney

Writer

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