How This Site Beat The May 2022 Core Update

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Google makes significant changes to its search algorithm several times per year.

That means it’s absolutely critical that you stay up to date with the latest changes whether that be FAQ Schema or Image Exif data.

In todays case study, I’ll show you the precise SEO strategy that:

  • Increased search traffic by 111%
  • Increased transactions by 34%
  • Increased revenue by 51% per month

case study results

Keep reading to find out how you can achieve similar results by following our recommendations below.

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A Closer Look At The Case Study Site

Vector Image Case StudyThis site offers a package forwarding service.

So, let’s say you live in Australia but want to purchase a product online that cannot be shipped outside the US.

What you can do is use a parcel forwarding service like this to deliver your package to a US-based address first before being forwarded to your home address.

Pretty helpful, right?

The client had joined Search Logistics after seeing mediocre results from their previous SEO agency.

Their primary goal was to bridge the gap between their site and the competition by improving rankings for existing search queries whilst expanding their visibility for new keywords so as to drive more organic traffic.

The Biggest Challenges We Had to Overcome

The biggest challenge of the campaign was to improve the keyword visibility for both:

  • Existing terms
  • New search terms

This meant that the main focus for this campaign was on making sure that the content on the website was optimised for the keywords that we wanted to target.

Here are the three main challenges that we tackled for the client:

  1. Finding relevant long-tail keywords to create new website content
  2. Optimising and updating existing articles on the blog to maintain content freshness
  3. Optimising the content on core landing pages (homepage and service pages) for target keywords

This is how we broke that down into simple steps…

search logistics cta

Create A Plan Of Attack

Here’s a breakdown of the three-step algorithm-friendly content strategy that we employed for this client:

Step #1 – Finding Long-tail Keyword Opportunities

One of the first steps of any SEO campaign is keyword research i.e. identifying which keywords you want to rank for, but importantly, which keywords are worth targeting.

Why? Because some keywords are “easier” to rank for than others.

Whilst there are many types of keywords, in their simplest forms, search queries can be classified into:

1. Broad Keywords

These keywords (also known as short-tail keywords) are usually one or two words long, have higher search volumes and are more competitive.

As a result, they’ll allow you to reach a much larger audience but are significantly more difficult to rank for as they have “mixed intent”.

For example, when a user searches for “chocolate” are they looking to:

  • Buy chocolate?
  • Make chocolate?
  • Learn more about the chocolate-making process?

Broad keyword example

This is reflected in the top search results, where Google displays a range of informational and eCommerce pages.

chocolate search results

2. Long-tail Keywords

These keywords tend to:

  • Be four or more words long
  • Have lower search volumes
  • Be less competitive

This is because they have a much more specific search intent.

For example, “what is the difference between white chocolate and milk chocolate” has a monthly search volume of 150 in the U,S.

longtail keywords example

And importantly, Google displays the same kind of informational pages in the top results, making it much easier to compete for.

chocolate longtail keywords search results

With this in mind, it’s good practice to identify long-tail keywords to target so that you can build keyword visibility for these less competitive keywords before moving on to the broader search terms.

How To Find Long-Tail Keywords With Ahrefs
Here’s how you can find long-tail keywords within your niche using Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer tool:

First, type in a broad search term related to your niche or topic into the tool and click on “Matching Terms”.

Ahrefs Keywords Explorer: Matching Terms

Then, filter the results by “search volume” (and/or word count) to find thousands of long-tail keywords.

Marching terms filter by volume

You can filter this list even further by switching to the “Parent topics” selection and then selecting a specific sub-topic.

Matching terms filter by parent topics

Top tip #1:

If you have a brand new website that doesn’t have a lot of domain authority or ranking power, you can also use the Keyword Difficulty filter to further sort these results so that you can see all of the keywords that are the least competitive.

Matching terms filter by keywords difficulty

Top tip #2:

If you have a page that is already ranking for some broader search terms and you want to improve visibility, you can find long-tail keywords by switching the results from “All” to “Questions”.

This is a great way of finding relevant long-tail terms to target that are phrased as questions.

Finding longtail keywords with Ahrefs

You now have a list of topically related long-tail keywords that you can target by creating new content.

This is exactly what we did to help expand our client’s blog section.

Step #2 – Improving Content Freshness

If, like our client, you’ve already published lots of articles on your blog, but for whatever reason, they just aren’t climbing the search results, it’s likely that you’re actually sitting on a gold mine of juicy potential traffic.

This is because many webmasters miss out one key step in their SEO content strategies – re-optimising or updating old content.

Why should you keep your content up to date?

Think about it this way, Google’s mission is to provide the most relevant and useful content to users’ search queries.

This means that the content on your website needs to maintain its freshness so that you always have the best chances of ranking.

This is especially important for keywords where what the user’s looking for may change over time.

For example, if you’re searching the keywords “olympics” or “football world cup”, it’s more likely that you want to learn more about the next olympics or world cup as opposed to previous tournaments.

Keep your content up to date

Google released an algorithm in 2011 that focuses on this, it’s called Query Deserves Freshness and you can find out more about it here.

With all of this in mind, it’s important to make sure that your website content; especially old blog posts that you may have written years ago and forgotten about; continues to provide useful and relevant information over time.

What kind of keywords requires freshness?

  1. Recent events or hot topics: These are any trending topics like celebrity news, natural disasters and general news items where users want to find the most recent information.
  2. Regularly recurring events: These are events that occur on a regular basis like annual conferences or sporting events like the Olympics.
  3. Frequent updates: These are searches where the most recent information may be required for example product reviews, list based articles etc.

SEO HACK: Use Our 28 Day SEO Process To Boost Traffic To Any Page

How To Improve The Freshness Of Your Content
Here are some tips on how to make sure that your content is:

  • Up to date
  • Relevant

Tip #1 – Don’t just change the publication date

Changing the publication date so as to “trick” Google into thinking that your content is fresh isn’t enough.

Here’s an example of an article originally published in 2015 that is still ranking in the first page for the keyword “seo guide”.

SEO guide - Google search results

SEO is an industry that is constantly evolving, so you’d think that an article from 2015 wouldn’t be of any value.

Tip #2 – Make quality edits to the content

The quality of the changes that you’ve made to your existing content is arguably the most powerful freshness factor.

This is the reason why the 2015 SEO guide is still able to compete with more recent pages, as Google feels that the content on the page is still relevant today.

In order to ensure that you’re adding the right content, you should look at the top competing pages for the core keywords that you’re trying to rank for.

Identify any gaps between your page and the competition.

Tip #3 – Make updates on a regular basis

Make it a habit to review your existing content and change it accordingly on a regular basis. This is because the frequency at which your content is updated is also a freshness factor.

Tip #4 -Make it clear which parts of the content have been updated and when

Following on from point 3, if you’ve made regular changes to your article, instead of updating the publication date, you should change the last modified date.

This is exactly what the SEO guide from 2015 has done:

Example of updated content

BONUS:

If you want to go the extra mile, you can also add an “Update History” section at the top or bottom of your article where you keep track of when significant changes were made and, importantly, a note on what was added.

Here’s an example of an article from Gizmodo:

Gizmodo article

The key point to remember when updating your old content is to make sure that the new additions that you make are aligned with what Google is rewarding in the search results for your target keywords.

Step #3 – Optimising Content on Core Landing Pages

The final piece of our content strategy for the client was to optimise the content on the client’s core landing pages by primarily focusing on the homepage and service pages.

If you don’t have service pages, you can apply the steps outlined below to any important page on your website (i.e. a page that is on your website’s main navigation).

Here’s a checklist on what to look at when optimising these core pages:

1. Identify The Main Keyword

Select one primary keyword that the page should rank for – this is the one that you will optimise the rest of the content for and should define what the page is about.

2. Identify The Search Intent Of The Target Keyword

Search intent is the reason behind the keyword i.e. what the searcher is trying to achieve with their query.

There are four main types of search intent:

  • Informational – are they trying to learn something?
  • Navigational – are they trying to find a specific website?
  • Transactional – are they trying to purchase something?
  • Commercial Investigation – are they researching something with the intention of buying in the future?

PRO TIP: This Is The Easiest Way To Optimise Existing Content

3. Optimise The Page Title

Ensure that the page title:

  • Is engaging to the reader and catches their attention
  • Includes the target keyword that you want to rank for
  • Is around 60 characters long so that Google doesn’t truncate it in the search results

Example of optimised page title

4. Optimise The H1 Heading

Your H1 heading should:

  • Be unique
  • Include the target keyword that you want to rank for
  • Describe what the user can find on the page concisely

example of optimised headings

Disclaimer: you’ll see further below that the H1 tag on this page is actually “Custom stickers: Most popular”.

But the better optimised H1 heading would be: “Find your perfect custom stickers”, as it’s more engaging yet is still optimised for the primary keyword.

5. Optimise The Meta Description

Your meta description should:

  • Be unique
  • Entice the user to click through to your page without being click-baity
  • Summarise what the user can find on the page as an extension of the page title.

example of optimised meta description

6. Identify And Bridge Content Gaps

To do so, look at the top ranking pages for your target keyword and analyse what they’re talking about. More importantly, see if there are any topics or points that are missing from your page.

A quick way to find these gaps is to compare the heading structures between your page and the competitors.

Top Tip: Install the SEO META in 1 Click Chrome extension to quickly extract meta information (such as page titles, headings, meta descriptions etc) from any page with just a single click.

Here’s an example of what it’ll look like:

Meta information extraction

And how it’ll show you the heading structure of the page:

example heading structure

Once you’ve identified what’s missing, it’s time to bridge the gaps by adding this new content on your page.

7. Optimise Internal Linking

Internal linking (aka internal link building) is all about adding hyperlinks from one page on your website to other relevant pages on your website.

This is a great SEO tactic that has benefits for both:

  • Users
  • Search engines

You can guide users to other pages on your site that they may find useful (hence keeping them on your site for longer).

Whereas search engines like Google use internal links to find new pages on your site as well as understand the relationships between them.

When adding internal links, remember to:

  • Insert these internal links naturally so that they make sense in the context of what you’re talking about
  • Link to relevant, related pages that will be useful to the user
  • Use anchor texts as naturally as possible

Here’s an example of internal linking in action:

example of internal links

Following the above checklist will help you to align the content on your core landing pages with that of your top competitors.

The Results Are In

The most important result is the fact that monthly revenue increased by 51% from £11,823 to £17,874 with organic traffic growing by 111%:

google search console results

  • The number of users increased from 4,720 to 9,989
  • The number of orders increased from 220 per month to 296
  • Revenue from organic traffic increased from £11,823 per month to £17,874

Case study results

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Wrapping It Up

This content focused strategy has shown how important it is to make sure you’re following the latest trends when it comes to content intent and freshness.

It really is as simple as:

  • Finding topically relevant long-tail keywords that you can target on your blog
  • Leveraging your old content that may not be performing so well and improving it builds content freshness
  • Optimising your core landing pages by aligning the content with the top ranking competitors so as to satisfy the user’s search intent for your primary keyword(s).

One of the easiest way to do that is with our 28 day SEO process that shows you how to update content to make it relevant and fresh easily.

But:

If you would prefer to have my team increase your sites organic search traffic you can submit an enquiry here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?

11 Responses

  1. How much would it’s cost me to pay SEO agency to build links that will increase my search traffic

  2. I agree with you. Finding topically relevant long-tail keywords is really a great strategy to get targeted traffic faster. At the same time, I always update my old contents – it gives me a boost in ranking.

  3. I too have my site got hit by May Core Update. The changes I made is upated the old content, remove spammy backlinks, Improved the overall page speed score to 90+ via Page Speed Insights. Also, one thing that was missing from my money or service page was E.A.T. This is the most important thing that needs to be implemented if your site to get ranked on competitive pages.

  4. That’s amazing! I’ve been working on one of my sites that got hit by Google May 2022 Core Update. One of the things I noticed is that the most hit pages were the oldest and outdated. I’m updating everything and optimizing everything and the rankings are already coming back. Also, one of the things I didn’t see anyone talking about is that backlinks were also hit by the May core update, mainly PBNs and guest posts. Creating new quality backlinks is also essential to reverse the loss.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Marcello! Updating your content and getting rid of your spammy links should definitely help your site recover. Good luck!

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How This Site Beat The May 2022 Core Update

Campaign Challenges:

  • Finding keywords that attract buyers rather than traffic
  • Publishing new content to capture those buyers
  • Optimising existing content on core landing pages for target keywords
Campaign Results:
+111.63%

Organic Traffic

+51.18%

Organic Revenue

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