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CASE STUDY

A Challenger Approach to SEO and Content Marketing to Boost an Executive Recruitment Firm’s Traffic and Leads

Before approaching Content Hacker, Curran Daly & Associates had zero (like nada) visibility on search engines.

They were blogging, but they did not rank nor got any traffic or leads from their website. Our experienced SEO team diagnosed the problem and devised an SEO and content strategy to put them at the top of Google Search.

Today, they’re enjoying Page 1 rankings, thousands of organic visitors, and hundreds of leads.

Long story short …

 

Curran Daly and Associates is an executive recruitment firm based in Manila, Philippines, with affiliate offices in Sydney, Australia, and Hong Kong. As an executive search firm, they headhunt top talents on behalf of their clients from across the region. 

Initially, the company reached out to us seeking to augment their blogging efforts. After doing our content and general website audit, however, we found that none of their pages nor posts are indexed on search engines. 

The website was structurally compromised and was blocking search engines from crawling the website. No wonder there wasn’t any organic traffic coming in. 

The user experience was not ideal as well; the website had deprecated sections and inaccessible pages hence the very high bounce rate. 

Needless to say, no leads ever came through the website.  And continuing blogging without fixing these underlying issues would only be a waste of time and resources. 

Upon our recommendation, we revamped the website following best practices in user experience design and technical SEO. Immediately after, we implemented a moderate SEO and content marketing campaign. 

Today, Curran Daly + Associates enjoys an increasing monthly organic traffic and around 40 to 50 marketing qualified leads per month. 

CDA’s average conversion rate is 2.5% which is typical for a B2B service-oriented website.

Content Hacker has done an outstanding job getting the SEO house in order at Curran Daly & Associates. Since we started working with Slye and his team we have seen a noticeable increase in traffic and inquiries through our website, gaining us valuable exposure and new clients from all over the globe.

 

The SEO journey continues for us and we are delighted to have a partner like Content Hacker guiding and supporting our efforts.

Geoff Daly, Managing Director — Curran Daly + Associates

The Problem: Bad website design, blocked search engines, and content without a strategy. 

 

Content Hacker was initially retained to produce blog posts for Curran Daly & Associates. It’s an executive headhunter in the Philippines with offices in Hong Kong and Australia. 

We begin our content marketing campaigns with an overall content audit and website audit. So we did an audit of their website. 

After all, content can only go as far as its medium allows it — in this case, the website. If the website does not rank, so will the content.

After our sitewide audit, we uncovered several critical issues.  

Website Woes

1. Outdated design with deprecated sections

A heuristic analysis of their pages would tell anyone that the design was outdated. On some pages, texts would bleed out of the viewport and some links didn’t work. 

From a UX perspective, there were several exit points across different web pages, which isn’t ideal if we want users to stay on the page and consume content.

Exit points are the critical points at which you lose valued users. In user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, these are design elements that encourage to leave a page without a clear way of getting back. A classic example is the placement of social media buttons on the primary navigation bar that when clicked redirects users out of the website.

 

2. Poor loading speed; horrible user experience

 Their entire website loads in over 10 seconds. That’s a long time to wait for a web page to load. 

 The ideal website load speed time is around 2 to 5 seconds. 

 However, each second beyond 2 seconds results in greater bounce rates. In fact, 40% of polled internet users report abandoning a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. 

Moreover, 47% of users expect desktop sites to load in 2 seconds or less.

 

3. Blocks search engines

 The company understands the value of creating content to drum up traffic. They were doing exactly that — publishing a handful of blog posts per month. 

 The problem: Nobody from search engines visits their website or their blog posts. 

Turns out none of their posts are indexed by Google! The site was blocking search engines crawler bots from accessing the content. 

 No wonder why they’re not getting any traffic. 

 

Content Woes

 Here we look at two types of content: the website’s copy and the content they publish on their blog page. 

 1. Vague messaging

 If you look at a company’s website hero section and after a minute you still don’t get what they do, that only means one thing: their messaging is vague, or simply not there

 This is precisely the case with CDA’s old website. 

 Their headline went like this: “You don’t have to go through hoops.” 

 Then a sub-heading that read like: “Be yourself. Show your worth. Tell your story.”

 The sentiment is nice. But it didn’t give its visitor any clue as to what the website or the company is all about. For sure, Google would agree. 

 

2. Blog post topics were random and lacked substance

 After compiling all of the titles on their blog page, we noticed that aside from the general theme of the blog page — human resources — the blog posts weren’t categorized into any topic or sub-topic clusters. 

 The blog section was disorganized. While human readers could easily navigate the blog, search engines did have a difficult time crawling it.

The Solution: Rolling out a better website with a proper SEO and content strategy

 

We recommended revamping the website and implementing a holistic SEO and content marketing strategy. 

 

  1. New, modern, better-equipped website

 

To address the UX/UI and technical problems of the website, we rolled out a redesigned site with a modernist design language, better copywriting, better content hierarchy, and sound technical build. 

First Iteration. We revamped their old website. Replaced it with a more modern website equipped with an applicant tracking system. 

Second Iteration. We did another round of redesign recently for CDA. The CDA leadership team opted for a more mature design language for the website. 

Its DNS is now managed on an enterprise-grade DNS server. The host is a top-level cloud hosting service. Images are optimized for performance. 

Overall, the website is performing greater than ever before. 

  1. Content to boost goodwill and thought leadership

We implemented a simple content strategy for CDA — adopt a hub-and-spoke strategy, with the hubs targeting valuable keywords and topic clusters — also called content silos, topic clusters, or topic maps. 

We started with a conservative cadence of two premium, SEO-centric articles per month, then four articles per month. Later on, we introduced a variety of content formats such as infographics, micrographics, ebooks, and editorial pieces. 

Part of our ongoing efforts is refreshing older content or updating content that already ranks but needs a boost. We find a lot of value and ‘quick wins’ in updating content that has been published years ago but is still relevant today. 

  1. Ranking on search engines 

Our next step was to make sure the new website gets the eyeballs it deserves. Given resource limitations, we implemented a moderate SEO campaign, with moderate scope and goals. 

Since technical SEO is a significant component of organic search performance, we continued our routine maintenance of the technical SEO elements — on-page SEO, usability, and performance. 

To rank on Google, however, technical SEO simply isn’t enough. 

With well-established competitor firms dominating the search results pages and a moderate resource allocation, we were faced with a unique challenge — how do we outrank these big-wigs with the resources that we have? 

Our approach was simple — leverage the synergistic effect of doing a streamlined SEO and content marketing strategy. 

Using the content audit from earlier, we identified low-hanging fruits and devised a keyword strategy to boost rankings around topic clusters CDA will most likely rank. 

The keyword strategy also aligned search terms to landing pages and prioritized actions based on search volume, search intent, and business performance. We created content hubs out of existing content that we spruced up and built new content to support the hubs. 

And of course, links links links. 

We adopted a simple backlinking strategy. We reached out to high-authority websites and acquired backlinks to the Curran Daly website.

The Result: From 0% visibility to dominating Google Page One; and a whole lot of leads every month. 

 

Today, Curran Daly + Associates enjoys an increasing monthly organic traffic and around 40 to 50 marketing qualified leads per month. 

CDA’s conversion rate is 2% to 2.5% which is typical for a B2B service-oriented website. 

 

Ultimately, Curran Daly + Associates ranked for branded and non-branded search terms. This translated to a  steady increase in organic traffic for the company.

FROM 0 to 29% VISIBILITY.  Notice how their visibility increased by 27.50% to reach a 28.82% visibility share versus its Top 20 competitors.

Curran Daly + Associates domain rating (DR)  also continues to increase. A DR, or domain authority (DA), is an overall authority score assigned to a page to measure its overall authority and credibility. The DR score is determined by many factors including the domain’s age, backlinks, content, and citations. 

INCREASING AUTHORITY. With a tight resource allocation, we managed to place CDA next to its most visible competitor.

 

Content that ranks well on search engines

 

CDA’s articles also rank well on search engines with some getting listed as featured snippet results for competitive keywords. 

Content played a crucial role in generating traffic to the CDA website. We use content to outrank other players in the industry by optimizing each content piece. 

Take this example below. 

This was written a couple of years ago. We saw the article climb to Page 1 but it was in the 5th or 6th position. We wanted it to rank higher than that.

So, in 2021 (last year), we updated the article. Added new information. Mixed it with a different content format (micrographics).

And voila, it’s now a featured snippet and outranks all the rest.

Content that converts

As content marketers, we always encounter the question, “How do you know content works? Will it help us convert traffic to clients?” 

As a matter of fact, we do know and yes, it surely will! 

Take this for example. 

A billion-dollar company from Singapore found one of CDA’s cornerstone contents and right there and then sent an inquiry. 

CDA closed the deal and is currently fulfilling the contract.  

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