In this case study, we share how we helped a small DevOps SaaS startup that was on the market for six years to grow 1,330% with organic traffic acquisition (SEO).
Read on to find out:
- how we increased organic traffic by 1,330%;
- how we researched competitors and their top-performing content;
- how we found quick win opportunities.
What is StatusGator?
Operating since 2015, StatusGator is a startup that, despite still being run by just two people, aggregates terabytes of outage data from thousands of services for customers such as Amazon, Accel Ventures, Toyota, and Stack Overflow.
The platform provides status aggregation dashboards, now known as status pages, which bring all the client’s dependencies together in one place, to share with colleagues or users.
StatusGator helps firms increase the visibility of outages and stay on top of downtime. Each time a service goes down, the client is notified via Slack, SMS, email, MS Teams, or other means.
A demo version of status pages by StatusGator
When we started discussing SEO opportunities, StatusGator had been on the market for six years, enjoying slow but stable growth that came mostly from SEO and referrals.
They couldn’t increase their referrals, so they decided to focus on SEO and content marketing. To this end, the goal we identified was to increase relevant organic traffic coming from SEO.
StatusGator had strong competition from the likes of Downdetector, and for some keywords, they were competing with Amazon, Atlassian, Microsoft, and even Google.
It looked like a fight between David and Goliath, but we like a challenge.
While StatusGator had been experiencing modest but steady traffic, its competitors were enjoying a more rapid increase in users and popularity.
Our decision to opt for improving SEO and content marketing turned out to be the right solution:
- We researched StatusGator's main competitors, what they offered and how their performance had developed over time.
- We created ideal customer profiles and buyer personas.
- We analyzed what keywords competitors ranked for, and what keywords drove the most traffic to StatusGator and its competitors, identifying opportunities for ranking.
- On-page and technical SEO included uncovering critical issues with the website that were having a serious impact on its performance.
- We identified low-hanging fruit such as improving existing content, strengthening meta-tags, and adding keywords that could help with ranking.
- Our outreach strategy included finding platforms with relevant audiences and contacting publishers to get mentioned in articles– all to get backlinks.
How We Delivered
We start every project with SEO research, and this project was no different.
The research included analyzing direct and indirect competition, looking up keywords they ranked for, and finding out how crowd marketing influenced the popularity of competitors.
The next stage of our research included finding relevant keywords for StatusGator content to improve the positions in the search results.
A list of StatusGator’s competitors
With the help of SEO tools, we established what searches they ranked for, referrals, backlinks, keywords, and what content brought users to their websites.
Since the specifics of the service is that the website has a page dedicated to the status of cloud services, we took a popular status page, Cloudflare, and compared its performance on StatusGator and its competitor, Downdetector.
The comparison led to identifying what was missing from status pages, apart from simply a list of keywords we should add.
At the same time, we learned more about our client's audience through the communication and content strategy of competitors. Thus, we created the ideal customer profile with several personas. Based on these, we created separate landing pages and future content for three separate hypothetical B2B customers.
Ideal Customer Profiles for StatusGator
We selected 1,000 keywords that matched the search intent of potential customers for StatusGator. The list included numerous metrics, such as difficulty, volume, traffic potential, and CPC.
We also mapped out the future content pages where we would use the selected keywords. After several refinements, a final keyword list was delivered to our client, but ultimately it was a guide for us to suggest relevant content with a ranking potential.
The initial analysis of the keywords
The final document delivered to the client
The founders of StatusGator, Nimble Industries, have their own business-card website as well as the StatusGator product website. They were posting content on the business-card website instead of the product website and trying to rank it there.
Since the traffic to - and authority of - the product website was many times greater, we moved all StatusGator content away from the Nimble Industries website to the StatusGator website. Now, the content is ranking much better, more visitors see it, and it converts better, as there isn’t the friction of having to go to a different website.
On-page and Technical SEO
We started with an SEO audit of the two websites, with a greater focus on StatusGator of course, to see where technical and on-page SEO was lacking.
Because StatusGator was a bootstrapped startup, we agreed to fix only critical issues: we generally recommend fixing all issues, but we can be flexible.
We checked both websites against our 14-point checklist and made the client aware of multiple issues, of which three were critical.
The results of a technical SEO audit for StatusGator
Headings to be fixed
Issues with the Title Tag
Traffic was lost as pages did not appear in the search, even when they matched the search query.
Missing Meta Description Parameter
This reduced the number of clicks and could potentially reduce all-round KPIs.
This caused Google to track duplicates. The absence of canonical tags was also negatively affecting the results on top of all the issues uncovered.
We set out a plan to fix these technical issues and explained the reasoning behind it to the client, in clear terms.
The final list with critical issues that needed to be fixed
After analyzing the content with marketing tools and comparing it to the performance of StatusGator's competitors, we prioritized the low-hanging fruit, i.e. the improvements that were most likely to improve the site's SEO ranking straight away.
We prepared a keyword gap and started adding those keywords to the content and meta-tags. Based on our findings, we created a list of recommended content improvements. It included 23 major issues, 19 of which StatusGator fixed at once.
For most of our clients, our SEO strategies have been successful when they've included a combination of tech, content, and link improvements. StatusGator was no different.
Competing for difficult searches was hard, especially without link building. We convinced the client that this was necessary and so received a limited budget for the link-building campaign.
We Identified Websites with the Most Traffic from Our Target Audience
A list of platforms to target for publishing
We Tapped Up Niche Writers and Publishers
A list of journalists to outreach
We Requested Reciprocal Backlinks
A list of companies to outreach
We Found Articles Listing Tools Similar to Our Client's
We Wrote Our Own Listicle
The article we published to DZone
The article we published to StatusGator’s blog
The Big Picture
This David and Goliath battle ended well for us as marketers. Before partnering with us in May 2020, StatusGator had seen five years of stable but slow growth. Code200 helped the startup boost relevant traffic by 1,330%.
We can’t disclose the revenue and customer base growth numbers, but we can say that an increase in MRR was also observed, and the client agreed to an ongoing relationship with Code200.
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It’s hard to argue with the results.
After 5 years of slow and stable growth.
In May 2020 when we started working with StatusGator, visible growth in traffic could be observed.
- 1,330% increase in traffic
- revenue growth for the client.
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