Quality Over Quantity: When Rankings Data Matters Most

The Challenge

Not all client goals are the same Datical came to Apogee Results with declining overall traffic. And while we were able to reverse that trend and keep traffic steady, we did not significantly increase it. Instead, we focused on the quality of traffic based on industry-specific terms the client needed to rank for. Because Datical is in such a niche area of database software, traffic quality is much more valuable than traffic quantity. That said, these terms are highly competitive in this software niche and this was no easy challenge. Given the client limitations and resources our efforts rose beyond the client’s expectations.

The Objective

Objective: #1: Increase rankings and get at least 30 of 34 high priority keywords ranking on the first page.

Objective #2: Increase PDF Downloads by at least 50% by the fourth quarter of 2018.

Objective 3: Improve engagement metrics, such as bounce rate, time on site, and pages per visit by 5% year over year.

Winner - Best SEO Campaign of 2019

Target Audience

Database Developers and Administrators, particularly those involved in the application release process. This is an extremely niche space, with a very limited audience for this type of service.

Strategy

Typically, clients want to see increase in traffic year over year as one main indicator for strong Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work. However, Datical is in a unique situation: being in a highly-niched market traffic is not the number one goal. SEO efforts could have easily boosted traffic by going after a broad set of queries; however, Datical’s goal was to rank on the first page for as many of their 34 high priority queries as possible. These queries werevery specific to Datical’s extremely-niched space.. In this situation, traffic growth was not the number one goal; instead, boosting qualified traffic, defined as traffic that engages more and fills out forms to download content, was the number 1 goal.

The strategy for 2018 was to more deeply understand and optimize the content on the website in order to better rank for specific qualifying queries. Following this, the team focused on optimizing existing pages in an effort to boost the high-priority queries based on customer behavior and client market research. Some technical tasks were completed at the outset to help Google better understand the website. Additionally, the team focused at the end of the year on building links to internal pages on the website to boost keyword rankings out-of-the-gate in 2019.

Page One Keywords

#1 Ranked Keywords

%

Increase in PDF Downloads

%

Decrease in Bounce Rate

Implementation

Technical Remediation Included:

  • Significant Schema Markup was created and added to the site
  • Site Speed recommendations
    • Fully loaded time improved from 6.8 to 3.6 seconds
    • Time to first byte improved from 444ms to 301ms
  • Implementation of missing canonical tags on 37 pages
  • Internal 3XX & 4XX link remediation
    • 37 internal 3XX redirects fixed
    • 8 internal 4XX errors fixed

Content Restructuring and Subfolder Optimization:

  • The client had a vast amount of content that wasn’t earning much traffic or desired rankings. Datical also had a large amount of highly technical content that needed to be retooled for SEO purposes.
  • The Apogee Results SEO team took the route of revamping content and organizing it into optimized folders to target more “general” or short tail queries because these queries often have large amounts of user “uncertainty”. E.g. database dev-ops vs. database dev-ops automation software.
  • In order to rank well for generic queries which could lead to many places in terms of other questions a user may need answering, Apogee Results restructured related content under short tail keyword buckets and then redirected the new optimized content to subfolders that only contained highly relevant content.
  • From there Apogee Results implemented optimized internal linking from these guide/resource sections that were made from previously underperforming content.

Off-Page:

  • 10 articles were written and pitched on topics around database release cycles and automation.
  • This yielded 7 links to client targeted queries in the goal list by using anchor text and contextual linking.
  • The average domain authority (DA) for the earned links was 40.3. While DA is not a ranking factor, it is a decent identifier to determine how trustworthy a site could be.

The Results Were Amazing

Results

  • Objective 1: Get at least 30 of the high priority keywords to rank on the first page of Google.
    • Apogee Results was able to get 32 out of 34 keywords ranking on the first page by the end of 2018. By March of 2019, all 34 keywords were ranking on the first page.
    • When the campaign started, only one search term was ranked number 1- by the end of 2018, 8 terms were ranked number 1. By March of 2019, 11 key terms ranked number 1.

  • Examples of individual keywords ranking #1:
    • Database Continuous Integration Tools: We were able to gain a position 0 featured snippet for this content. We also earned a knowledge graph spot as well. (see above screenshots)
    • Database Release Automation Tools
    • Database Continuous Deployment
    • Database Continuous Integration
    • Database Change Management Tools
    • Database Change Control Tools

 

  • Objective 2: Increase PDF Downloads by at least 50% for Q4 2018.PDF Downloads increased 69.9% YoY- 124 vs 74
  • Objective 3: Improve engagement metrics, such as bounce rate, time on site, and pages per visit by 5% year over year.
    • We decreased the bounce rate by 9.52% for Organic Traffic
    • We increased the pages per session by 18.21% for Organic Traffic
    • We increased the average session duration by 36.56% for Organic Traffic