Me and my awesome cousin Jarno had a late night SEO nostalgia which felt worth of sharing - enjoy 5 nostalgic SEO cases from the last decade.
1. One year of systematic SEO wins Christmas sales
Learning: SEO is long-term work.
In this case a combination of technical, content and reputation SEO activities brought +700% more traffic and +200% more sales for Christmas after a year of SEO grinding.
SEO is always long-term work which you need to continue systematically at least months, usually years. Luckily gains are also long-term - this store has been winning the Christmas sales since 2011.
2. One keyword brings +300-700 monthly transactions
Learning: every keyword matters.
In this case I lifted one keyword ("Coloured Contact Lenses" in Finnish) to TOP3 search results by generating a mass of tactical backlinks from a local affiliate network. Taking over a tactical position brought a massive improvement on monthly sales immediately. A decade later, the client still holds the same position.
3. Website revamp ruins months of SEO
Learning: Always hire a SEO consultant when you do major changes on the website... and follow the advice.
A major local healthcare industry player didn't follow instructions while revamping the website which caused losing the months' of SEO gains permanently.
In this particular case the cause was a change in the URL structure which caused a search engine to assume that the optimized landing pages were deleted.
4. From 3000 to 25 000 monthly sessions with zero budget
Learning: SEO doesn't have to be expensive.
It took 1.5 years to take this minor healthcare media to major leagues without any budget - by choosing keywords wisely.
Monthly process was choosing 2-3 low competition keywords from Keyword Planner and the client produced content about the chosen topics.
We achieved multiple TOP1 positions every month and by slowly increasing the overall volume of the domain, we were eventually able to move higher on the keyword competition ladder as well.
Low hanging fruit in this case was identifying the prospecting keywords of healthcare industry: major players (high competition) focused on diagnostics like "flu" or "migraine" but average users (low competition, high traffic) search for symptoms like "head hurts."
5. Growth hackers guide to SEO
Story from Jarno Silander.
Context: Children’s goods ecommerce that had grown to its current size by simply being one of the first eComs on the market sector. Extremely strong domain authority.
I listed which product categories brought the most revenue with highest margins, how far were they from top 3 on SERP and how the actual SERP looked like among other results. Using this I prioritized them.
I also checked what was the most popular exact search term for any given category (e.g. Lasten sänky, lastensänky, lastensängyt, lasten sängyt) and figured out Google perceived these as completely concepts based on search console and if Google bolded the words in the SERP if you searched one of these words.
I proceeded editing the meta titles and descriptions to align with what was the most popular word (it was always the grammatically wrong way of writing the word) as well as what could be an attractive title and description. Adding the current year number onto the title did wonders for CTR%. I guess people loved to have the latest and greatest even though we are talking about children's goods. Another hypothesis was that it made other results look unattractive as they didn’t reassure the user that they had the latest and greatest.
Our competitors’ pride prevented them from using grammatically wrong words. I also optimised landing pages’ texts and images for SEO and CRO. I left specific landing pages untouched to have a control group to compare data against.
This thing that took me 8 hours in total to do increased MoM by ~12% immediately and ~20% once I replicated the same treatment to other categories.
The domain was so strong that this experiment made us outrank IKEA.fi for children's beds.