Client Overview

  • Domain was around 2 years old when we took on the client
  • Shopify platform and the vertical was Growing Kits (Cannabis) and Grow kit supplies
  • US based company

Initial Problems

Client was concerned with their potential late entry into the market, ultimately leading them to have a hard time gaining traction and pushing their products online. You can do a quick search and find 100’s of Cannabis Grow Kit eCommerce sites online that have been around for 5+ years. We knew we weren’t going to be able to compete immediately with high volume keywords against the big guys, so we took a different approach to start. Below were some concerns we had before starting the campaign as well.

  • Very low referring domain count compared to competitors
  • Ranked for 4,000 organic keywords, keywords mostly on 2nd and 3rd page
  • No link building implemented (most links were from affiliate sites or forum links)
  • On-Page mistakes that were hurting the sites ability to truly rank well.

Our Strategy

  • Initial On-Page Optimization
  • Keyword Research
  • Outreach & Link Building

On Page Optimization

Initial On-Site optimization was on the forefront of our to-do list when the client first started their campaign.We noticed a plethora of on-page mistakes that were limiting the clients success . Below is an example of some of the strategies we used

  • Ensuring proper URL structure i.e. (removing unneeded category tags or product tags to shorten the URL)
  • Optimizing Title Tags to include proper product names and including keywords from our keyword research which I will get into later in this case study.
  • ALT tag and image compression. Alt tags were fairly easy, we like to use LSI keywords for these. Image compression was somewhat of a pain, as with Shopify they have many plugins, but they don’t work as well as manually compressing and re-uploading. Site speed is very important for bounce rate and ranking with eCommerce.
  • Internal Link Strategy: Utilizing internal links is a practice most SEO’s overlook, which is quite unfortunate as it can be a very powerful tool. Much like backlinks, an internal link from a high authority can serve the same purpose. But unlike backlinks, there is no penalty for exact anchor text, as long as it’s done in a natural way.
  • Implementing FAQ’s is a great hack to increase CTR and potentially intercept traffic from voice searches. In fact we saw some of our top landing pages jump in sessions after implementing (put pic beside)

It’s an easy process and can be done with this simple 3 step process

  1. Find relevant questions from google’s “people also Ask” as well as search auto suggest.
  2. Task writers to craft unique answers for each question, typically these will be answered in 100 words or less
  3. Add FAQ to the appropriate page while Implementing FAQ Schema Markup to the pages HTML (below is an example of the final outcome)

Keyword Research

Keyword research can be daunting, but it can also be fairly easy depending on the niche and what you are looking to accomplish. Here are some of the tactics we employed:

  • Medium volume keywords with low competition using SEM Rush & Ahrefs
  • Low volume keywords with low competition for quick wins “Spying” on competition to see their keyword strategy

A lot of the keyword research involved with the content strategy was simply looking at the “big dogs” and emulating a strategy they are doing, because it’s obviously working. You want to see what the top ranked sites are doing because Google is putting them in the top 3 for a reason.

One of the main issues the client was struggling with was finding the right topics that would bring targeted traffic to their site, while funneling leads to their products. After all, it’s a site that sells growing kits, not much glamour in that!

As we mentioned above, spying on their competitors gave us an idea of what pages were bringing in the most traffic, letting us tailor detailed content strategies for their in house writers.

Exploiting Low hanging Keywords

As mentioned before, one of the clients biggest issues was that they ranked mostly on the second and third page. Which is why we were adamant about using this approach.

So what exactly are low hanging keywords? Low hanging fruit is a term you’ll hear SEO’s use frequently, and to us is one of our favorite strategies to implement!

Low hanging keywords are just in grasp of being in the top 5 positions, typically in the 8-15 range give or take. These keywords are easy wins, and with a little TLC can bump up to the positions that matter.

So what are some things we did to get them to budge

  • On page factors – First we like to do as much as we can on-page before doing any offpage strategy this may include
  • Adjust keyword Density – As the saying goes , numbers don’t lie, and that’s exactly what approach we took.
  • Update Meta Titles/Descriptions – Adding a keyword into either the meta title or descripcion can be all it takes to bump a keyword up in the rankings
  • Utilize Spoke Pages – Most often a page can benefit from the support of another, by connecting similar-themed content and interlinking them We call these “Spoke Pages” , and typically all it takes is 1-3 relevant pages to support your “hub” page and give it the boost it needs.

Outreach & Link Building

For this niche we wanted to target these verticals for outreach:

  •   Health – Drug Medication Sites
  •   Cannabis Related websites
  • Vape/Tobacco Related Sites
  • People & Society > Drug laws & Policy

Once we had our seed list and search operators we wanted to go after we compiled an outreach sheet and used MailShake for outreach and follow ups. It’s a really fantastic program if used properly.

We were able to add 30+ Referring domains since the start of the campaign. All real sites with traffic, niche related, and each domain undergoing a rigorous toxicity process before outreach.Branded and

  • generic keywords to homepage
  • LSI and exact match to products and category pages
  • LSI and Title Tag to blog posts

The Results

Sales

When the client started with us in January, they did almost $18,000 in sales, as you can see from the chart above sales were somewhat stagnant throughout the month, with a few peaks.

Update: In March, just 3 months of being with us, the client did nearly $35,000 in sales in March, nearly doubling their sales from when they initially began their campaign!

Traffic Performance

Update: Online Store sessions saw an increase of 78% in Q1 2020, compared to that of Q4 of 2019

Update: Organic search specifically saw an increase of 43%!

Keywords

 

When our client began their campaign in January they initially ranked for Almost 4,000 organic keywords. After just 23 months they rank for nearly 17,000 keywords with over 2,000 ranking on the first page!