Connecting with Audiences Through Keywords
An international foundation asked Velir to help them improve their organic search traffic. They wanted assistance with identifying keywords relevant to their influential audiences, and with editing their website's metadata and content to improve search rankings. So, we used research, interviews, and analytics tools to understand audience behavior and match content topics with audiences’ intent. Then we categorized the content for the client’s site into themes and optimized pages based on their relevant themes to motivate visitors to convert. We also offered the client a set of over 100 keywords they could use in future content development.
Our client asked for our help improving their most important segment of traffic: organic search. They also requested help with identifying keywords that were relevant to their high-value audiences. Additionally, they wanted to edit their website’s metadata and content to improve their organic search rankings. We knew there were specific goals that their audiences had in mind when looking for similar content. So, we attempted to understand audience behavior to help the client match content topics with audiences’ intent.
An example of a topic the client wanted to promote was education reform. By discussing education reform, they also hoped to connect with decision-makers in the education industry through their website. It was important that the client connected with this audience to accomplish their organizational goal of establishing relationships with influencers, pundits, and leaders in this space. We knew it was going to be difficult to identify these website visitors from the education industry, but we were excited to take on the challenge.
Our client’s key challenges were:
- Understanding their audiences’ search intent
- Connecting different audiences to appropriate content
- Leveraging organic search to generate sustained traffic
- Confirming that their traffic was from their intended audiences
We first started with research and interviews to understand the various audiences coming to the client’s website. Their analytics suggested that about 10% of their total traffic to their website was their target audiences, which helped us determine the types of pages that were more likely to attract these audiences. But to understand more about these audiences, we knew we’d have to investigate third-party tools to get more data than what was available in Google Analytics.
After identifying the audiences that were important to the client, we then began categorizing content into themes such as Education, Health, and Finance. Performing keyword research allowed us to identify what terms our client wanted to rank for. We then worked on optimizing these pages for the terms that matched the intent of these site sections. One example of enhancing an existing page geared towards improving global education systems, was optimizing it around phrases such as “national education foundations”, “global education grants,” and “educational philanthropic organizations.”
To convert users, we identified content on the website that matched the intent of a searcher to the website content that helped motivate visitors to sign up for the newsletter. After recommending educational and philanthropic-based keywords for these existing pages to give them more contextual authority for audiences who want to contribute to educational reform, we set the pages up to rank stronger for relevant searches.
Velir’s approach included:
- Interviewing stakeholders to better understand behavior of searchers
- Crafting a comprehensive list of keywords that were relevant for each theme
- Discovering new technologies and tools to help the client identify their valuable audiences
- Offering recommendations for specific page changes that were technical and/or content-related
Our SEO strategy included a series of technical and content recommendations. Executing on these suggestions helped position our client to drive better performance in organic search. This allowed them greater visibility in top positions for the keywords that matter to their organization, while targeting specific audiences with content on their site.
Some of the on-page SEO methods we used to optimize content included:
- Page titles and descriptions that captured searches to help improve click-through-rate
- Body copy that included additional keywords related to the main topic
- Image attributes which helped both accessibility and image optimization
- Internal hyperlinks that improved visitor pathing and pages per visit
- Header tags gave both users and search engines page structure when traversing a page
- Structured data that improved the listing experience in search engines by providing content for searchers
Content optimization and education
Through this journey, we were able to effectively demonstrate content level organic optimization to the client’s team, helping educate them on how to be more effective with their organic search strategy. We also influenced search rankings over time to match more of the keywords they wanted to be known for, not just what Google implicitly assigned them. We saw an 18% increase in the total number of page 1 keywords referring visitors to the site.
- Strengthened mission-driven keywords and on-site content for organic search, their #1 traffic source
- Helped the client better understand the behavior of searchers, and how they interact with the client’s website
- Provided a working set of over 100 keywords to focus on with future content development and marketing efforts