SEO Content Strategy Delivers: Close.com Organic Traffic Up Over 50% in 5 Months
Content is King, and Close knows it. Their thousands of published blogs have a history of success in converting leads into customers. But when organic traffic started dropping, it was time for a content strategy overhaul.
Increase in Organic Sessions
26% increase in organic sessions per page
New KW Top 3 SERP Positions
122,152 Combined MSV
Increase in Free Trial Conversions
22% Increase in organic conversion rate
Close, a sales CRM software for startups and small businesses, was already a content-publishing machine. When we started working with them, they had over 1,300 published blogs and counting.
The Close team had a knack for producing highly relevant, well-written, content for their primary audience—sales teams at B2B SaaS companies. However, organic traffic began a steady year-long decline starting in March 2021. After a year of struggling to grow traffic, they turned to Five Tool to help reverse course.
Here’s how we helped build and execute on a content strategy that increased traffic 50% in just 5 months.
Content Strategy, SEO Blueprints, SEO Content, Backlink Acquisition
Research & Strategy
Close already had reporting and attribution in place that showed a direct correlation between blog traffic and qualified leads. With that in mind the hypothesis was “If we can get more people to the blog, we should see Close’s MQLs rise at the same rate”.
With an organic traffic goal in mind, we built out a three-pronged approach:
Refresh stagnant content. Focus on optimizing/rewriting content that was ranking for the right terms, but the ranking had flat-lined outside the top 10.
New content opportunities. Identify and prioritize new, related content topics and provide a blueprint to get the topics into a top 5 ranking position.
Backlinks. Initiate a backlink campaign to boost the ranking of content that was stuck in positions 5-10 on the SERP.
To execute on the above approach, we began with a content audit – logging all blog URLs, their SERP positions, and the key terms they were ranking for.
Next, we conducted in-depth keyword research to identify the total universe of keywords and topics relevant to Close’s audience.
With this data, we prioritized content efforts, focusing first on where competitors were beating Close in SERP placements. This materialized in the form of a fully baked content strategy and calendar containing 30+ high-priority topics.
Simultaneously, we began pursuing backlinks, securing 15 links per month from unique, contextually relevant, domains – each with a minimum Domain Rating (DR) of 60.
Five Tool does a lot of strategic work for us to help boost our capacity, give us some guidance, gut check us, and make sure that we’re not doing something crazy. They have been a huge help in delivering a high volume of really strong SEO briefs and SEO-optimized content.
Ryan Robinson, Head of Content, Close
So what did this process actually look like?
Over the next five months, each article received the full attention of our SEO team to make sure it was targeting the correct key term (making the machine happy), and that the article delivered real value to the audience searchers were looking for (making the human happy).
In some cases, we’d provide an SEO blueprint (aka SEO-focused content brief on steroids) for a topic, and a writer at Close would take it from there. These highly prescriptive SEO blueprints provide a ‘paint by numbers approach’ on how to structure the article to maximize ranking opportunities.
The writing was super engaging and funny, while still being informative. Really fantastic work from the Five Tool team!
Amy Copadis, Content Strategist, Close
Over five months, Five Tool provided 55 content deliverables (a combination of blueprints and articles). The Close team published another 31 pieces of content on top of that, targeting existing blogs that weren’t already being tackled by our team.
Meanwhile, our monthly backlink efforts resulted in 75 new backlinks, with an average DR of 72. Here’s a sample of some names you might know and the DR of the sites: monday.com (88), appypie.com (81), hive.com (75), and envato.com (91).
Success & Future Plans
We can’t take all the credit. The Close team was (and continues to be) an excellent partner with team resources to churn out a high velocity of content while maintaining quality. Our recommendations may be good as gold, but they don’t mean anything if they’re not implemented.
Over a 5 month period, this strong partnership delivered the following results:
Close.com saw a 50% increase in organic website visitors.
Close articles achieved top 3 SERP placements for 626 new keywords.
Pages that were targeted for backlinks experienced between a 75% and 90% increase in traffic.
More than 2,200 new backlinks were earned organically.
Close.com’s traffic value increased by 43% to $371,000.
All of these results were achieved by optimizing existing content, adding new strategic content, and securing a selection of high-authority backlinks to a handful of key pages.
But the work doesn’t stop here. Our next steps?
Use recent performance to double down on high-performing content targets
Leverage testing to improve on-page conversion
Reorganize content to create a better user experience—structuring the gold mine of information available on Close.com in a way that allows users and web crawlers alike to find what they need fast and progress from there.
Looking for Results Like These?
Content strategy and execution are just a couple of tools in our belt. We’d be honored to help bring your vision to market and help guide lead gen efforts and fill pipeline. Want to talk? Let’s have a conversation.
We have the Five Tool team to thank for a lot of our ability to scale our content processes, see such massive results in 6 months, and help us refine our own process into a well-oiled machine over here. We definitely consider Five Tool our first stop on scaling production efforts.