Doubling Organic Traffic (YMYL SEO Case Study)

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Over the past few years, Google has focused on ranking pages based on the authority, relevance and trust conveyed by a website’s content and backlinks. That being said, increasing a website’s authority, relevance and trust has become more difficult than ever before. If you have concerns that your site is falling behind your competition when it comes to these three factors, you’ll want to follow the steps outlined in this case study. Below, you’ll find how my team at The Search Initiative more than doubled our client’s organic traffic. You’ll learn how to: But, before you implement the strategy used, it’s important you know the site’s background, goals, and the main challenges that you’ll need to overcome as well. The Challenge The primary goal for this campaign was to increase the traffic from non-branded search terms (i.e. keywords that don’t include your brand name in them). Considering that the client is an independent insurance broker targeting the UK market, one of the biggest challenges we faced was the fact that the search volumes for many keywords in this niche are extremely low. After all, most people tend to search for their life insurance only once in their life. However, what we quickly identified is that despite the low search volumes, the revenue potential for each visitor could be substantial. As a YMYL (Your Money Your Life) website, the client’s site was lacking in E-A-T (Expertise-Authority-Trust), which is extremely important if you want to rank. We focused on building more E-A-T by optimizing the content on the site with text that established the client as a trustworthy source of information. We also added informational content, specifically FAQs, to the client’s website to increase their chances of ranking for featured snippets. The final piece of the puzzle was to build the site’s authority with a competitor-based link-building strategy. While E-A-T is essential for YMYL niches, it’s also an important factor for all websites that are looking to stay ahead of the competition. Below, you’ll find out, step-by-step, how to achieve these results so you can replicate them on your own websites. Optimizing For E-A-T (Expertise-Authority-Trustworthiness) If the content on your website could potentially impact a person’s happiness, health, financial stability, or safety – then it qualifies for Your Money Your Life (YMYL). In August 2018, Google introduced a new set of guidelines for it’s third-party Quality Raters (QRs)  (QRs are real humans who check the quality of web pages) to measure the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (aka E-A-T) of a site. The guidelines outline certain signals that the raters should look out for based on characteristics of the content along with other ranking signals like backlinks, performance etc. In the case of this client, we needed to establish E-A-T within the insurance market so that Google and readers could see that the information provided was written by a credible source, from a respected firm. What does E-A-T actually mean though? Let’s break it down: There are certain steps that you can take to earn the trust of both Google and your visitors. Take a look at some ways that you can optimize your website for E-A-T. Building Authorship Including information about who’s responsible for the content on your website is crucial for building authorship. Why? Because it’s something that Google specifically asks its QRs to find. Adding author information, like a short description and links to other online profiles, helps to raise your author’s (and your website’s) expert status. This helps Google (and your readers) see that the information that you’re providing is written by a credible, trustworthy source. For example, if an author is visible on other authoritative pages within your niche (or their own social media channels), where they post (high-quality) content, then mentions or direct links from those sources can be beneficial for improving your website’s E-A-T. Here are some tips to help build more authorship on your website: Here’s an example of the About page from What Hi-Fi: Following the above steps makes it easier for both your readers and Google to establish the content creator’s E-A-T. Adding Contact Information User experience and transparency are important factors that Google considers when looking at E-A-T. You should make it as easy as possible for your visitors to get in touch with you. Here are some tips on how to do this: This includes contact information such as your address (if you have one), email address, telephone number, etc on your website. Here’s an example from the TSI website, where we’ve included our contact information in the footer of each page. A Positive Reputation According to Google, a positive reputation is one of the characteristics of “high-quality content”. Google instructs its quality raters to conduct “reputation research”. In other words, what people say about your business or brand online, matters. Google is trying to calculate the overall public sentiment for your brand and website. The odd negative review of a product or service isn’t going to hurt you – Google acknowledges that no website will have a perfect set of purely positive reviews. But if, for example, a particular product is receiving mostly negative reviews, or your brand is being talked about negatively in the press – then this is likely going to affect Google’s assessment of the quality of your website. You can’t control what people say or write about you, but you can monitor it. For example, you can set up a Google Alert to notify you when there are new mentions of your brand (or individuals from your website) online. Learn more about how Google perceives reputation here and find out how to manage your online reputation in the video below.  Building Topical Authority Topical Authority is all about a website’s perceived authority within a particular niche or subject. This signals to Google that you have a deeper understanding of your subject matter and therefore, can be trusted. Having strong Topical Authority is vital if you’re looking to improve your E-A-T and, as a result, rank in the SERPs. To build Topical Authority, you need to create content that showcases your knowledge across every aspect of your niche. In our client’s case, this was insurance. Look at how your website’s content compares to that of the competition – i.e. identify information that is missing from your website but is included in your competitor’s sites. It’s important to remember to cover all bases of the user’s journey. For example, a Law firm will have service pages that target specific commercial keywords like “personal injury lawyer london”. But to build Topical Authority, you’ll also want to target informational keywords that help support these pages e.g. “what is personal injury law”. You now have a list of relevant keywords that you can create content around to further expand your site’s Topical Authority. To find out more about Topical Authority, watch this interview with Koray Tugberk.  Reviewing & Updating Old Content As “freshness” is one of the ways Google judges the quality of content, regularly updating older content is a good way to get back on the search radar. Doing so can give you a ranking boost and subsequently increase traffic. This is especially important for YMYL sites (it’s specifically mentioned in Google’s guidelines – see below), or for time-sensitive content where facts, regulations, etc may change over time. For example, if you have a website where you review the latest turntables, you should avoid having articles like “Top 10 Turntables Under $500 for ”, as Google and your readers will see that it’s out of date. For this example, one way to identify outdated pages is by using a site search like this: intitle:2021 Note: you can replace ‘2021’ with any year In the example below, you can see that the site’s page title includes 2021 instead of 2022. You should also update the “post-last-modified” date to be as recent as possible. If your website primarily contains informational content, it’s important to make sure that you regularly review it to ensure that it’s as up-to-date as possible. Content Optimization: Dealing With FAQs Regardless of what kind of website you have, you’ll likely need to rank for informational keywords. For example: Many informational keywords tend to be posed as questions – which means that you can add valuable content to your website to answer queries that users may have about what you’re covering. Below, you’ll find out how to find FAQ keywords to target, how to optimize them to increase your chances of appearing as a featured snippet, and how to use structured data to markup your FAQs. How To Find FAQs Here are three simple ways to find FAQ related keywords to target on your website: People Also Ask To find potential FAQs using People Also Ask: Related Searches To find potential FAQs using Related Searches, scroll down to the bottom of the search results page to find Related Searches. Google presents these related searches to help searchers find more information that is related to their original Read More Read More

The post Doubling Organic Traffic (YMYL SEO Case Study) first appeared on Diggity Marketing.

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