Villsy.com

Case study – 6 months results

I would like to start this case study with a Google Search Console screenshot.

If we compare the results with the same period last year, the results are more than 100% growth in organic impressions and clicks. You have to consider the Coronavirus thing that didn’t make it any easier…

There are 3 main steps that we did to get these results:

  • On-site SEO for pages with the biggest potential
  • Consistently adding a fresh content
  • Guest post outreach

Combining these 3 SEO activities pushed us up in 9 different countries as well:

Our primary target was Germany but since I don’t speak German, I was doing everything on English including content writing that was later translated to German and French.

When we started doing SEO

When we first started, the site wasn’t optimized at all. So we first did a Technical SEO and on-site SEO analysis and implemented solutions for the problems we found. I wanted some quick wins for quick results and that included analyzing Google Search Console.

On-site SEO for pages with the biggest potential

A simple process to find pages worth optimizing

Open the GSC organic search report and check pages that are getting lots of impressions but only a few clicks. These are the pages Google really wants to rank for something but they are in most cases very badly optimized so they are stuck on mid-low second (position 12-16) or third page (position 21-30) of the SERP.

The pages I found were location pages from where the user can choose a villa he wants and proceed to the checkout form. They had 10k+ impressions in the last 3 months but only dozens of clicks. Pages such as this one:

So I worked on an internal linking strategy and on-site optimization. I changed all paragraph titles from regular bolded text to H2 tags, added 1000 words of content, created internal links and it boomed.

Video is important and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune

Since these are the most important pages, we’ll keep optimizing them and the next step is to add a video we’ll create from photos of villas for a given destination. Nothing fancy but useful, decent and in the budget. 

Video searches are an important part of the SEO and it’s clear that Google gives an advantage to pages with video content. It also keeps the user engaged and spend more time on the page which is another ranking factor. It’s all about being relevant for queries (keywords) that user got on your site in the first place.

It’s simple:

  1. You are NOT doing a good job – The user enters the page and leaves within seconds
  2. You are doing a good job – The user enters and stays because he is engaged with the content

You can check that data in Google Analytics reports by looking at “Time on page”, “Bounce rate” and “Number of sessions” indicators.

Another thing we did with a video is we embedded one video we didn’t own in some articles and here is the result:

Clicks in 3 months jumped from 172 to 645 only from video search.

Impressions jumped from 8.2k to 50k – awesome!

Consistently adding a fresh content

Since we started working together in November 2019, we’ve been adding fresh content on a weekly basis. All the content was translated on German and French. There were approximately 12 000 words of content added to the site each month. 

Without any other SEO activity involved, this would have given some results. But we don’t want to target informational keywords only, we are focusing on keywords with commercial intent such as “Villas in [location]”. So we decided to analyze 5 location pages each month and add a 400 words paragraph containing keywords such as:

  • holiday villas in croatia with private pool
  • villas for rent croatia
  • villa with pool
  • villas to rent in croatia with private pool
  • croatia villa holidays
  • luxury villas croatia
  • large villas in croatia

After a few months, we managed to push keywords up in the SERP even more and won some #1 positions for commercial keywords that boosted conversion rates.

Guest post outreach

Once we had everything in place it was time to start with the outreach. Each month we create a filtered list of websites we can outreach to. Outreach is a pretty simple process that goes something like this:

  1. Get a list of sites
  2. Use hunter.io to get email 
  3. Copy-paste from template
  4. Send

Easy peasy.

Response rate depends on the email title and body. We got a pretty good response rate and we are doing outreach for the German market right now. (We don’t speak German but we are using a Google translate and it works very well)

Each month we create 2-4 guest posts and add some links from blog comments, forums, local directories etc.

Conclusion

SEO doesn’t have to be complicated at all. There are some basic activities anyone can do – Add content, optimize it, create backlinks, rank. Start now and calculate the ROI later.

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