Client's Brief

Our client, a leading sports publisher in print and digital, launched a website within the popular sector of cycling. After 15 months, the site had grown to 89,000 unique users, but its growth curve had started to flatten off. The publisher asked us to help them develop a content strategy to enable the site to generate over 200,000 unique users per month, thus becoming the largest in its sector.

Our Approach

The cycling market is competitive - both on the bike and in the publishing space. The Editorial team were passionate and knowledgeable professionals, publishing exciting content.

We started by researching the existing site’s setup with a full technical and content audit. We looked at the site’s navigation structure, its leading content, and its link landscape. We then looked at the audience, what device they used to access the site, what they read, and when they read it.

We worked with the Editorial team to build up a solid picture of the day-to-day running of the site and its capacity for content production. We then carried out an extensive audit of the competition and the search landscape of the cycling sector.

We built a content strategy with the involvement of the Editorial team, so that they embraced it rather than rejecting it. The strategy was focused around growth from organic traffic through highly efficient, targeted keywords.

We refined the site’s navigation structure and taxonomy to work better with the popular keywords in the sector. We then built cornerstone content that surfaced and strengthened existing articles. We published fresh articles and guides that targeted niche but valuable keywords and we timed our content publication, using social media and newsletters to increase engagements.

We involved conversation-makers in the industry to help us shape our content and curate a larger audience. We set up Google Analytics Dashboards for the Editorial team, so they were just one-click away from the information that matters. We also tracked 250 keywords of various levels of KEI to give us further insights and prove we were getting traction.

Results

image - Copyimage (1) - CopyIn just 6 months, we beat all expectations. The site more than doubled its unique users and pageviews. We’re proud of the fact that to this day it continues to go from strength to strength, with over 350,000 users and over 2 million page impressions per month, further strengthening its market-leading position.

  • Growth up from 89,252 to 203,842 unique users in 6 months
  • Page views up from 345,265 to 740,048 in 6 months
  • 104 of the 250 tracked keywords ranked in top ten in Google UK search results

What We Learned

We knew the team had the knowledge of their subject to excel in this sector, but their content strategy limited them to highly competitive keywords. By listening to their aims and assessment of the sector and analysing their past performance, we could act quickly to deliver a content strategy that mixed solid SEO principles with great editorial ideas.

Despite the sector being crowded, we found a niche, or to be more accurate, a large set of niches that the competition had overlooked. We built a content strategy around these niches to allow us to get a foot in the door and target high-volume, more competitive keywords with a much higher rate of success than the team had previously managed.