We have increased search and referral traffic as well as online awareness of Ratatype. Promotion with the help of outbound marketing.
Ratatype is an educational startup that is aimed at teaching people to type faster and master the keyboard using the 10-finger method.
Turning to Livepage to help us with the Ratatype.com project was the right choice. We are glad to have such a great partner. We expected to see a significant increase in traffic at the very beginning of our cooperation. However, we did not expect that such a steady growth would continue for a long period of time.
Ratatype is an educational startup for people who want to learn touch typing. For over 40 months we were helping Ratatype increase search, referral traffic as well as brand awareness.
In this case you will learn about «white hat» SEO strategies for startup.
What we got initially
An absolutely new website, domain without history. Initial traffic — up to 50 daily from search engines.
Challenges the team faced
Using our SEO strategies, we managed to grow search traffic from 0 to 7000 daily excluding brand search traffic.
The number of the brand mentions in search engines increased from 0 to 850 monthly.
Total traffic reaches 11 000 visitors daily and more than 250 000 monthly.
Our main principle here was the slogan of Work.ua team «Do it well or do not do it at all.” That’s why we were using only those strategies which could give positive results even after 3 years of work. We succeeded.
Disclaimer: all the strategies described below will work if your product or service is valuable for the target audience. It is still possible to promote a poorly developed product using these strategies but it will take much more efforts.
In 2013 all keywords were collected with the use of Google Keyword Planner, now I recommend using Semrush.
The strategy of gathering keywords for the website:
With the help of such strategy we determine both the main keywords and additional ones (so called «long tail»).
«Long tails» are very important for expanding semantics of a phrase and getting better results than those of competitors, especially at the initial stage. This is because it is much easier to get into the top 10 for long tail keywords. For this purpose they often should be used in the page content.
By doing competitor search analysis, we gathered keywords with the highest visibility in the USA.
Recommended: Case of promoting IT company.
In this case landing page optimization is a challenge for SEO specialist due to strict criteria:
Having a big list of search phrases, including synonyms of the main phrase, we have managed to use them neither in text nor in titles.
As a result, we had to rank such keywords only through external factors, using required link anchors.
Therefore even after 3 years of working there are keywords having a high potential to grow.
This is the most important step to look into how the niche leaders were created and developed.
Here you should study 3–4 competitors and analyze their:
I described this in SEO case-study for content website (3 million search traffic monthly).
When we just started, it was clear that «links» is a point where we’ll have to compete with competitors.
The unique thing about this niche is that there are websites of early 2000’s with awful interface and weak content but huge amount of organic links they received during this time.
For example, competitors had 40–90.edu linking domains alone.
The total number of referring domains was 2000–3500.
Conclusions for early 2015:
What we decided to do:
So we decided to focus on the quality of links, not their quantity. And this strategy brought results. At the moment, having over 750 referring domains, we are still lagging behind our competitors but have almost caught up with them by search traffic.
The main search keyword with 1 000 000 traffic (according to Ahrefs) in the world ranks 5–6.
Going further you will learn about the strategies and SEO tips for startups, what we used to get links.
There are many articles about guest blogging and I will not describe it in details. I’ll tell only about some of our working principles:
As a result, you get not only links but also referral traffic.
Tactic is very similar to guest blogging, the distinction is that you should collect a list of sites where you will land your own column 1–2 articles monthly.
With high-quality sites in your portfolio, you will be able to get not only links and ranking but also referral traffic.
As I wrote above, we are targeting at school websites, universities and other educational institutions to get links.
For the most efficient search for such sites, we built a complex search query.
An example: typing +inurl:useful-links | resources.k12.AL.us -ratatype
This query shows that we are looking for pages containing the word «typing», while domains are websites of schools in Alaska. Also there are no mentions of Ratatype on these pages to exclude the websites we are already working with.
After collecting the list of websites automatically and finding contact data, we turn to communication with teachers.
As the contact base received is highly relevant, the email open rate is over 40%, and the response rate — 4–6%.
I would like to note that the title and text have a strong effect on the email open and response rates. The topic is so broad that it should be described in a separate article.
As a result we got links, for example this one http://itcnealy.weebly.com/
Just over a day we had more than 170 visits.
Do you know that according to the experiment, image links have highest impact on rankings?
Infographics is a great strategy to automatically attract links. The aim is to create such content and graphics that would be naturally cited.
Example of the created infographics — http://www.ratatype.com/learn/average-typing-speed/
Why infographics brought result?
All these efforts allowed to get links from 100 domains:
Crowd marketing is an excellent strategy to raise the brand awareness in a new market. Such links are a great source of referral traffic.
We divided crowd marketing activities into:
The aim is to find all threads where competitors were discussed and offer an alternative.
To find the threads on forums, we used complex search queries. It is important to find only latest topics — 3–6 months.
Example of a query: “typing.com” + inurl:forum|viewtopic.php
This query is searching for mentions of a competitor website URL on pages whose URL contains «forum» or «viewtopic.php».
Then we sign up and try to show an alternative benefit of the product.
Comments are not much dependent on how old is the article. Here it’s much more important that the commented article has the highest visibility in search engines. Otherwise, nobody will click through to your website by links in comments.
Example of a query: “typing test” + intext:1 comment|comments
The query is looking for articles telling about typing speed test and having at least 1 comment (or containing a comment form).
Like in the case with forums, this is only one of possible strategies: choose an appropriate one for your project and turn it into a search query.
You can get good referral traffic and visibility from social networks like Reddit, Quora, StackOverflow, Dzone.
Here is a screenshot of traffic from Reddit which we got for Ratatype.
One of the main factors of successful SEO for startups is consistency in work and getting links every month.
The pace of work was so that every month we would get enough links of various types. This is what allowed the project to grow organically without any quality complaints from search engines.
We can continue to work for a number of queries and get more search traffic. One of the main problems is that it’s impossible to insert some keywords into the text because of strict standards of the landing page layout.
Search traffic results
On a monthly basis it is more than 250 000 visitors.
This step is aimed at getting back visitors that started to learn and gave it up at some point.
Furthermore, those users who have completed learning more often share links to their results in social networks and on forums. And this is a positive signal for search engines and the brand recognition.
For the website which doesn’t add pages, every new page should be superior quality. This will raise the chances of getting editorial links to the project.
For more detail read the case of Backlinko here.
For the project to grow further, you should create the website versions in other popular languages, such as Portuguese, Spanish, German, French.
Since queries are not location-based, creating separate domains in domain areas of certain countries will not give a desired effect.
In this case it is reasonable to create language versions in subfolders like /pt/, /es/ etc. An advantage of this strategy is that domain ranking factors of the already «established» English website will have a positive influence on new language versions.