In this seo study we look at how we took Sarah Pye's environmental speaker site, Sarahrpye.com, and switched it from a one-size-fits-all website into a focused, targeted and ultimately more effective promotional machine.
Applying Laser Focused SEO
"You wouldn't think two platforms could be so different"
The domain authority moved from 7 to 14 in less than 6 months, a 100% increase.
TOP 5 KEYWORDS
The Challenge: Improving SEO and Visual Appeal Simultaneously.
Sarah Pye is simply a dynamo on two legs. She holds a Masters in Communication and is a Doctor of Creative Arts. She owns her own publishing company and is the accredited author of the book, Saving Sun Bears and the Wildife Wong series of children's books.
Sarah's life is a non-stop whirlwind of promoting her devotion to the environment, sun bears, and most importantly, children's education. To say that she is passionate is an understatement.
But there was a problem. Her efforts to bring the wonders of the world to us ordinary folk were stymied by two main things: she was involved in too many things, and her website was a scattered mish-mash of competing topics and pages.
So a decision had to be made. Create greater focus on the things that matter most and rebuild the site to reflect that.
Her very first site was built on Wix (only promoting sun bears) but her second site was built on Groove and while this was OK, it was cumbersome to update and didn't have a good visual appeal.
The biggest threat was not hitting the right target audience.
The Solution: Intense Planning, Correct SEO and Site Redesign
The main problem was narrowing down the focus (education) without losing the importance of the environment, her books or Sarah's role as a speaker.
This was never going to easy, so a decision was made to rebuild the site from scratch using Thrive Themes. It was felt that Groove didn't give the flexibility for what Sarah needed.
Thrive offered a far better platform for creativity and site construction due to its modern themes and blocks approach. This also reflected Sarah's desire to have a visually appealing and effective site.
A long time was spent on creating the best site map with approriate seo related keywords and initial content structure. This paid off in the end as it made the entire site build a lot more effective.
This was a very interesting exercise in matching keywords that related to environmental education with those relating to childrens books and wildife.
It took a while to formulate the best approach and it was a great example of collaboration between seo best practices and site owner desires.
These can sometimes not come together due to either misconceptions or plain stubborness (on both parties), but for Sarah's site, it was time and effort well-spent.
Link structure, both internally and externally, became important not only for seo, but for site navigation and message delivery. We didn't want any part of the site to become less or more important than any other.
In a nutshell, all content on the site was completely revamped and simply made more appealing and useful. We had some issues with event management plugins for Sarah's online meetings but otherwise the content creation was simply a "time" exercise.
That is, designing the look, feel and actual content of each section of each page so that it did what it was supposed to.
Thanks to Thrive's fantastic design and build aspects, this didn't take as long as we thought and the site started to come together quickly once the bones had been laid down.
Sarah's site has two main conversion requirements: Getting people to buy her books and getting her booked for speaking and workshop engagements.
This produced our first conundrum regarding site focus. It was decided that the site would concentrate on the books and children's education first, and then have the speaking aspect set up as a separate page altogether. It seems to be working.
As a result of this focus, Sarah's promotional efforts have been honed down to book creation, promotion and educating children through the Wildlife Wong series, while her "non-school" related activities are taken care of through the speakers page.
The number of people joining her newsletter list is a clear indication that the two conversion points are not conflicting, which is a great testimony to the effort put in during the seo planning stages and site build process.
Before COVID, Sarah also conducted tours to Borneo to visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. This is something we will add back after a period of time.
I always knew my website wasn't "quite right". Now, it totally reflects what I'm about and what I do best. I'm so happy that it's attracting the type of audience I truly want.
DR SARAH PYE
SEO Case Study Results: Traffic and Conversions
The best result an seo can hope for is to see a webpage that was previously languishing on page 3 or 4, to now hold the top position on page one.
This is what we acheived for the keyword "saving sun bears" and Sarah's sun bear page now even beats her own book page on Amazon and Booktopia. A huge acheivement in any terms and much better than her previous sites.
It took some time before the site started to get some traction but it is now getting traffic on a consistent basis. There's still a lot that can be done to improve this initial move though.
As you can see from the semrush.com data below, there was literally no traffic when the site was on the previous platforms. It's now starting to move.
Even more comforting is the keyword spread. Again, from an almost zero point to a growing base of keyword rankings and that wonderful number 1 ranking. With more of those to come in the future.
I have found that every time I use Thrive Themes for a site build, I have a better ranking response than I do with other platforms. I can only put it down to the combination of built-in speed aspects, clean html and good design aspects.
In another 6 months I am going to run this site through my seo analyser and I am pretty sure that it's not going to find any major problems.
Again, this fact comes down to the preparation and planning put into the site to begin with, and building it on a pltform that lends itself to good search engine optimisation practices.
SEO Study Conclusion
I'm really excited for this website because in a way, it's brand new, even though it's been a round for a while, and that means it has huge potential for growth.
This SEO Case Study has two main takeaways that can be applied to almost any audit/rebuild process:
1. Take the time to properly plan out a site, not only from the design aspects but with seo firmly engrained in the structure. It saves both time and money in the long run.
2. The way to website success is through focused content and targeted traffic approaches. Anything else is just a time-watsing exercise.
What did you think of this case study?
Is there anything you'd like to know that you don't think was covered?
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