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US agency helps a wine e-tailer grow non-branded organic traffic by 600%, tripling its annual revenue

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“We wouldn’t have been able to architect this incredible campaign if we went into content creation blindly. So, for us, Semrush is a one-stop-shop for keeping our marketing efforts neat and in order while leveraging the suite’s extensive automatic reporting capabilities.”
Brandon Amoroso, Founder, electrIQ marketing

 

About electrIQ marketing:

Founded in March 2018, electrIQ marketing is a Gen-Z, digitally native marketing agency that helps e-commerce brands and B2B businesses scale with lifecycle strategies and their team of in-house specialists. With a client-oriented growth mindset at the heart of its values, the agency’s campaigns are centered around expanding its clients’ digital footprint and triggering all-encompassing business growth. From SEO and content marketing to paid media, email, and SMS, electrIQ specializes in crafting high-impact marketing campaigns for DTC and B2B brands.

Business challenge: trigger organic growth through tackling non-branded search

Wine Insiders, a US-based direct-to-consumer online wine shop, approached electrIQ marketing back in September 2019. The company had fairly strong brand recognition, with many marketing efforts already placed on current customer engagement and retention. However, Wine Insiders had virtually zero non-branded organic traffic.

The challenge was pretty straightforward - to trigger business growth and new audience acquisition through organic channels. After a few brainstorming sessions with the client, electrIQ marketing drafted the key campaign focus - to tackle non-branded search traffic, emphasizing content as the key driver for organic customer growth.

ElectrIQ predicted the campaign would gain initial traction in just four months - from September 2019 to January 2020. In this period, Wine Insiders’ non-branded search traffic spiked by 150%, and the client continued working with the agency to maintain and accelerate its growth rate.
 

Solution: Competitor Research, Detailed Keyword Research, and Strategy Drafting, On-Target Content Creation, and Progress Monitoring

Gathering competitive insights

The campaign started with a thorough analysis of Wine Insiders’ competitive landscape - and with the help of multiple Semrush tools, electrIQ marketing managed to find actionable insights they later used throughout the campaign. 

1. Organic Research tool

To make sure they were looking at the most relevant competition, the agency used Semrush’s Organic Research tool to discover competitors based on keywords they were already ranking for and explore how those sites tackled the keywords Wine Insiders wanted to target

2. Traffic Analytics tool
Then, electrIQ marketing went deeper into each key competitor with the help of Traffic Analytics
Since the campaign emphasis was on content strategy, the tool was mainly used for benchmarking metrics like average bounce rate and blog engagement
On a higher level, the agency used the tool’s comparison feature to stack its client’s site up against the competitors to check the level of audience overlap and take a sneak-peek into their top pages (landing pages that drive the highest traffic numbers).
2. Backlink Analytics
While Wine Insiders already had a well-established backlink portfolio, electrIQ marketing leveraged Semrush’s Backlink Analytics tool to identify the key traffic-driving referral sites for the brand’s rivals. Cross-referencing metrics like Authority Score (a site’s quality score custom-calculated by Semrush), the agency hand-picked domains they wanted to reach out to in search of new high-quality backlinks. 
As a result of these efforts, Wine Insiders got anywhere from 15 to 20 new backlinks a month throughout the campaign.
4. Keyword Gap tool
ElectrIQ marketing took a unique approach to the Keyword Gap tool. The agency benchmarked the client’s and competitors’ paid and organic keyword profiles but didn’t limit the exploration to direct competitors only. 
In the course of competitor research, they discovered that Wine Insiders had a lot of indirect competition - media and educational sites that aren’t selling wine, yet show on top of Google's SERP for a lot of important keywords the brand needed to target. 
Thus, they identified sites they could take away some organic non-branded traffic from as their site visitors are potential customers for Wine Insiders. The only way to go about this was to create content that would “steal” traffic from lower site authority sites that were only outranking Wine Insiders simply because they had content around those keywords. 
The idea of Wine 101 - a hub for educational pillar content about wine - was a byproduct of this research.
 

In-depth keyword research and strategy

The next big task in line was to conduct thorough keyword research to create a robust, efficient, and data-driven keyword strategy the agency could later implement at the content creation stage.

These efforts were split into two main areas:

  • Highly competitive search terms like “white wine” and “red wine” were an obvious must. Although ranking for these keywords was clearly a challenge, Wine Insiders needed to have a set of pillar content that every other asset (mini-pillar content as they called it) would be linked back to. 
  • Then, they targeted the low-hanging fruits - keywords that had a reasonably high volume yet lower competition rate. 

The logic was pretty straightforward: to build up content around high-volume competitive keywords (results came in much later throughout the campaign), then narrow down each broad topic into mid-/low-volume keyword-related content where wins came pretty quickly. 

For example, they created a big red wine guide that linked to individual smaller content assets about wine varietals (Montepulciano, Chianti, etc.).

5. Domain Overview

To narrow down the scope of keyword research, electrIQ marketing employed Semrush’s Domain Overview to look at Wine Insiders’ rivals’ traffic estimates coming from various keywords. 

If the brand’s competitors were running Google ads targeting specific search terms, the agency also took them into account, showing how much value and cost-efficiency the client would see if they managed to organically rank for these keywords. 

6. Keyword Magic Tool

Once the initial set of keywords was identified (thanks to competitor research and Domain Overview data), electrIQ marketing moved onto the Keyword Magic Tool (KMT) to start building up the list of keywords they would be targeting for maximum impact.

Taking KMT’s search volume, keyword difficulty (aka competition level) and CPC metrics into the equation, they pinpointed long-tail keywords they needed to target future content pieces around. For example, what are people searching for about Cabernet that would be important to include in an article?

“Keyword Magic Tool took guessing out of our job - because there’d be no other way to truly know what people are searching for when it comes to a specific wine topic,” says Brandon Amoroso, Founder of electrIQ marketing.
The option to choose question-form keywords was particularly helpful when understanding what potential customers were really curious about when it came to wine and specific varietals. Without the need to go digging anywhere else, electrIQ marketing simply used the very same Keyword Magic Tool to discover the top questions around a particular wine-related keyword.
Once all the keyword choices were made, all that was left to do was to start creating on-target SEO-friendly content that’d meet both search engines’ and users’ needs. More likely than not, Wine Insiders would surpass competing sites and start seeing quick results from any on-target content efforts - after all, they had a good backlink profile, excellent brand recognition, and domain authority. 
 

Creating content that drives traffic

7. Topic Research

To pinpoint each content piece’s precise topic, electrIQ marketing used Semrush’s Topic Research tool to automatically gather precise angles for writing content on a specific subject. The tool gave the agency search volume estimates for each subtopic, and, based on that, they were able to make data-driven decisions about prioritizing content efforts. 

“Topic Research tool’s Mind Map gave us a quick glance at user preferences: from things you could potentially talk about in your content piece to particular questions (FAQ-like sections) we should center around,” shares Brandon.
8. SEO Writing Assistant
The agency was also extensively using Semrush’s SEO Writing Assistant (SWA) Google Doc extension to ensure all the newly created content complied with search engines’ needs. 
With the aim to keep the SWA score (calculated based on SEO, readability, originality, and tone of voice) around 9 out of 10, the tool was mainly used after the content piece was already written - to leave more room for creativity yet keep the SEO-friendliness intact. 

Progress tracking and reporting

ElectrIQ marketing was also partially responsible for maintaining site health, so they kept a close eye on the Site Audit tool, revisiting Wine Insiders’ ratio of site errors and warnings. 

To save time, the agency set up weekly reports for internal monitoring and used Semrush’s My Reports tool to send out monthly progress reports to the client to show what went wrong as well as what troubleshooting measures were performed in response. 

Since the campaign’s key goal was to tackle non-branded search, they built a custom report within My Reports to share progress on how many non-branded keywords with a monthly search volume exceeding 500 they managed to rank for. 

The agency also keeps tabs on keywords the site already ranks for - once they spot that the numbers are declining, they are able to respond and make fixes quickly (e.g. create more content around the underperforming keyword). 
 

Results:

In a little over 15 months, electrIQ marketing managed to produce a campaign that brought tangible business results to Wine Insiders:

Throughout 2020, the brand’s YoY organic  search traffic increased by a whopping 172.75%.

In terms of non-branded traffic, Wine Insiders saw a 6X surge in site visits.
The total number of non-branded keywords the brand’s site ranks for more than tripled.
Comparing YoY Q4’19 vs. Q4’20 numbers, Wine Insiders’ revenue coming from organic traffic grew by 329.47%.
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