In this case study, we describe how we helped a machine-learning SaaS company more than double their organic traffic and dominate search rankings by capturing 4 positions for a target keyword in Google’s top 10 search results.
Read on to find out:
- how we captured 4 of the top 10 Google results for a single critical keyword;
- how we improved blog posts to receive more organic leads;
- how we achieved all of this by focusing on only 5 pieces of content.
What is Zebrium?
Zebrium, a startup recently acquired by ScienceLogic, delivers a Root Cause as a Service (RCaaS) solution that uses unsupervised machine learning to automatically catch software issues and show their root cause directly on monitoring dashboards. The technology works by finding hotspots of abnormally correlated anomalies across software and infrastructure logs.
This service is for DevOps, SREs and developers that struggle with searching through logs to troubleshoot problems. Zebrium can be used standalone or with monitoring tools like Datadog, New Relic, AppDynamcies, Dynatrace, Elastic and others. Check out their website or watch this explainer video.
- Receive more leads through organic Google Search.
- Grow product awareness among target audiences.
- The majority of the most relevant keywords had low or no search volume.
- Some keywords included names of competitor brands.
- The client was competing with highly authoritative domain names.
- We worked with the client to help uncover technical keywords and terms particular to their market segment.
Zebrium was delivering truly revolutionary AI/ML technology, but they still faced the SEO issues common to all startups:
- Their content wasn't ranking highly enough.
- They weren’t sure which keywords to prioritize.
- Some of their chosen keywords had low or no volume.
- Important keywords were impossible to rank due to the competition.
We learned that Zebrium had already worked with one SEO agency, so we were especially keen to deliver results fast, to prove our credentials and begin to build the foundations for a long-term partnership.
After a brief analysis and discussion, we agreed with the client on the following plan.
- We researched which keyword competitors rank for, types of content they use, and their link-building strategies.
- We found potential clusters of low-hanging fruit keywords.
- We saw what content worked well for Zebrium and what could be improved easily.
- Technical SEO audit.
- Content audit in terms of search engine optimization performance.
- Content audit in terms of conversions.
- We found high-authority external platforms with the target audience so that we could receive backlinks together with relevant traffic.
- We identified content distribution opportunities.
- Beyond-SEO promotional activities that are not directly connected with SEO but drive value to customers.
- Other smaller activities such as analytics, heatmaps, etc.
How We Delivered
We improved existing content
In the process of research and analysis, we saw an opportunity in improving existing content:
- We exported all keywords from Google Search Console.
- We grouped keywords by topical clusters.
- We took the 10 most prominent clusters.
- We reviewed existing clusters and added more keywords using various keyword research tools.
- We estimated potential search volume, difficulty, and relevance for the client.
- We shortlisted our list to 5 clusters and prioritized them from 1 to 5.
- We reviewed existing content pieces and picked the ones that should be improved to rank for the topic. This led to 3 possible results: improve existing content, combine new content from 2 existing pieces, or create a new piece.
- Because the content was very technical, we prepared drafts of the new content, and used experts on the customer side to help edit and polish it. Every draft included:
- improved structure and subtopics that should be covered in this article;
- improved title;
- improved meta-description;
- improved H2-H4 headings;
- keyword density recommendations based on existing Google SERP;
- references on how to match user intent;
- alt and title tags for images;
- instructions for rich snippets (e.g. FAQ rich snippet).
- After the client revised the content, we reviewed it once more to ensure all our recommendations were applied.
- We provided specific internal linking recommendations for each post.
- We distributed and promoted the post on other platforms and social media to provide an initial boost.
- We added some external backlinks to push the article to the top.
We Got More Leads from Content
Through research and analysis of the existing content and a heatmap review, we found that users were indeed spending an average of 3 minutes reading each page, although many of them took no follow-up action.
We also noticed pages missing appropriate CTAs, so we recommended that our client add a visible topic personalized CTA element for each specific page, and it worked. It wasn’t exactly a game-changer, but we saw a whole lot of new leads from the simple addition of these CTAs.
We Captured 4 Different Positions in Google Top 10 Results
Occupying any of the top 10 positions in Google search results for a highly relevant keyword is good, but achieving position number 1 is better. We managed to go even further, accomplishing the rare achievement of holding both number 1 and three more of the top 10 positions.
The number-one spot was held by one of the articles we reworked. Position number 2 was a listicle belonging to one of the client’s indirect competitors, reviewing tools in our client’s niche, one of which was Zebrium.
Beneath the top two results is the video section, in which the first item was from the Zebrium YouTube channel, one of the content pieces we optimized.
Lower down the page, usually between positions 7 and 9, would be another article, this one written by us from scratch, regarding the highly relevant keyword. It was published as a guest post on an authoritative industry website.
Check out the screenshot from Google SERP below. As it’s a personalized SERP, we’ve provided a screenshot from Ahrefs as well.
So, if someone googles any of the keywords, there’s a very high chance he will find Zebrium. They will also find our customer's brand name in several other places, thus giving the impression that they are a leader in their field.
We Got Published in Technical Publications on Medium
On the Medium platform are hundreds of topical publications (similar to channels) that have tens of thousands of readers each, along with a high domain rank.
Publishing on a domain authority like Medium is good for SEO (as Google values backlinks from such platforms) and for business (thousands of visitors will read your product).
We collected a list of relevant Medium publications, asked Zebrium for feedback on which should be prioritized, then published our articles. Here is a list of publications and associated stats.
The Big Picture
- 240% growth in search traffic
- Success after improving just 5 content items
- 4 positions for a target keyword in the top 10 search results
Want more 'free' traffic?