How to utilise the potential of old content and achieve a session increase of 120% with SEO?
Is there a way to increase the number of organic sessions by 120% in the content section of a giant enterprise? Design an impeccable CM strategy and subject your content to recycling! Through the consistent implementation of our carefully planned actions, we succeeded in increasing the number of organic sessions. We also extended the duration of the session by 19%, reduced the rejection rate by 3% and increased the visibility of the content section in relation to keywords in Top 3, Top 10 and Top 100 by as much as several hundred per cent.
increase in the number of organic sessions for recycled content
increase in the average session duration
reduction in the rejection rate
increase in the visibility in relation to keywords in Top 3
increase in the visibility in relation to keywords in Top 10
increase in the visibility in relation to keywords in Top 100
Castorama needs no introduction. In November 2018, we implemented a new Content Marketing Strategy for our partner. The strategy comprised innovative modifications of the “Tips and Inspirations” section, which has been in existence for years. At the start of cooperation with Harbingers, the website hosted in excess of 7,000 articles. Therefore, we asked ourselves if we could use this material to enhance the organic search results.
To find an answer to our question, we carried out a content audit and run analyses of target groups and the competition, both of which are components of any Content Marketing Strategy. It was a bit like buying a car. It looked good from the outside, but it was necessary to look under the bonnet to see how much it was worth and how much work you had to put in to achieve the best performance possible.
So, what did we find? The challenge was that within this extensive collection of several thousand entries, a lot of topics overlapped with each other, which posed a risk of keyword cannibalisation within the website (articles competed with each other, weakening each other’s positioning). What was our solution to increase organic traffic in the “Tips and Inspirations” section?
We prepared a strategy tailored to the individual needs of Castorama. One of its crucial aspects was the recycling of old content, i.e. text expansion as well as SEO and webwriting optimisation. The results achieved exceeded all of our expectations. The question is to what extent you can improve a leader. It turns out that this scope is quite broad. We know that the status quo should never be left unchallenged.
The result? More than 120% increase in the number of sessions year-on-year for recycled content. Find out what we did to achieve this result.
Phase 1: Designing success
We consider a comprehensive strategy to be a core element of Content Marketing. Harbingers always develops such a strategy based on concrete data, as we believe that this approach is a prerequisite for spectacular results. We are also able to draw conclusions without unnecessary delay.
Our team believes that first we need to maximise what is at our disposal to achieve quick wins – we employ the so-called quick win strategy – therefore, we tend to start with an audit of what we already have. Our strategic guidelines defined how much content would be recycled each month – i.e. improved, expanded, or optimised – and how much of it would be created from scratch.
As part of the strategy, we created recognisable content cycles. Each cycle has its defined thematic focus, persona, unique design, scenario, designated objectives, KPIs, and defined stages of the purchase process. The old content had to be remodelled so that it was possible to assign it to new cycles.
Phase 2: The clean-up operation
The first step was the creation of a matrix which allowed us to segregate articles and assign them to new cycles.
To prevent cannibalisation, i.e. copying of the same keywords in various texts, which leads to the weakening of the articles’ positioning in the search engine, we paired or grouped articles that were describing the same aspect, building visibility in organic search results in relation to the same keywords, and then combined them into one whole. The primary entry was the one which worked best in organic search results, and the remaining entries from the group were then directed to that particular entry.
Phase 3: The magic of SEO
However, we were not done with recycling just yet. Once the topics were assigned to groups, as many as 9 different tools were employed for a series of in-depth analyses:
At the start, we checked which keywords were linked to the positioning of the articles we had selected. On some occasions, an article was displayed based on keywords which were non-compliant with the user’s intention. In some cases, an encyclopaedic article displayed guidance keywords. This meant that a user who wanted to find out how to install floor panels was presented with an article on their features. As a consequence, readers were often rejecting the content displayed, as it did not answer their requirements. Our task was to identify such instances, remove inappropriate keywords from the texts and add ones which ideally matched the topic of the particular article – and, therefore, complied with the user’s intention.
Where an article failed to position using the keywords or where the keywords were unrelated to the topic of the article, we provided the text with a new direction by creating a new set of keywords.
Phase 4: The power of webwriting
The last stage was the recycling proper. For this stage, we used our analyses and engaged in the transcreation of the content, which meant adding the adequate number of characters so as to exhaust the topic and surpass the competition. Moreover, we carried out SEO optimisation, performed the segmentation process compliant with the principles of webwriting, added new elements to make it easier to navigate entries (internal links, tables of contents) and make the visuals more attractive (graphics, photos, video).
The last stage was the recycling proper. For this stage, we used our analyses and engaged in the transcreation of the content, which meant adding the adequate number of characters so as to exhaust the topic and surpass the competition.
Total increase in the number of organic sessions year-on-year – in excess of 120%
Increase in the number of organic sessions within a month – by as much as 662%
The record-breaking increase in the number of sessions for articles within one month, from one schedule, was as much as 662% (results linked to the articles corrected in November and in June 2019).
Increase in the visibility in relation to keywords in TOP 3 – on average by 400%
Increase in the visibility in relation to keywords in TOP 10 – on average by 320%
Increase in the visibility in relation to keywords in TOP 100 – on average by 530%
Considerable improvement in session quality
Thanks to longer content and correct segmentation of the text, aimed at grabbing the attention of the reader, we extended the duration of the session for recycled articles by 19% on average. The rejection rate decreased by 3%. How did we achieve this? We did this by creating content in compliance with webwriting principles and the adaptation of the article titles and keywords to the intentions of the reader.
“The actions of the Harbingers team translate into tangible results. The Content Marketing Strategy, which they prepared in relation to content recycling in the inspirational section of the Castorama website, brought in a real increase in the number of organic sessions for optimised entries. This is a good example of to what extent marketing needs SEO and how well the combination of SEO-CM works together.”
Service WWW Development Manager
By implementing CM activities for many years without a clear strategy, we generate a risk of content cannibalisation. This risk, however, can be identified by means of a CM audit.
Even if your articles generate quite substantial organic traffic, the results can always be bettered. It turns out that the visibility of such a leader as Castorama can be further improved by as much as 418%.
Therefore, if your database numbers hundreds or thousands of articles which do not bring satisfactory results, you do not need to write them off. Decide on an effective Content Marketing Strategy based on concrete data and dare to perform a well-thought-out recycling process on your content.
Content recycling improves the quality of the session – it extends the duration of the visit on a given page and reduces the rejection rate.
We always have justification for all the actions we undertake in our projects. If we do not invite you to one of the stages of the recruitment process, there will also be specific reasons for this decision. We want to make sure that we work with people who understand the essence of Harbingers and who share our core values.
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