Effective SEO content marketing has the power to pull a business out of search obscurity and place it into the limelight of high page rankings. However, many businesses that try their hand at SEO-driven content find themselves disappointed by initial results and end up believing it doesn’t work.
These companies need to take a different approach that accounts for the most important factor in developing an effective SEO content strategy: time. On average, it takes six to nine months to see results from content — a much longer timeline than many organizations invest.
Good content creates a ripple effect. As your arsenal of content grows, so does the number of pages that Google can index. And over time, high-quality sites can take notice of your content and link back to it. Then, as more links are created, more traffic is brought to your site through direct referrals. More importantly, these links improve a domain’s authority, pushing the site higher in search results.
This ripple effect is what we helped Innovative Employee Solutions (IES) see results from its SEO content marketing strategy.
In Q2 2020, the content Influence & Co. and IES created together was responsible for 8,000, or 27%, of the 30,000 total entrances to the IES website.
During the same quarter, our content accounted for 63 of the 324 total keywords ranking on the first page — or 19% of Page 1 coverage.
IES is a shining example of the benefits of a long-term SEO content strategy. In this case study, we’ll dig deeper into the specifics of IES' success and highlight the SEO wins we’ve seen throughout our partnership.
Innovative Employee Solutions (IES) is a leading provider of contingent workforce solutions, specializing in global employer of record services. The staff at IES has more than 50 years of experience in payrolling and independent contractor compliance in the tech, pharmaceutical, government, and engineering sectors. IES’ goal is to help companies save the time, costs, risks, and everyday challenges that come with engaging the contingent workforce.
Before we were brought on board to help craft an SEO content strategy, IES was already hard at work trying to build its visibility online. IES’ strategy included:
While IES saw some success with these tactics, it wanted to do more. So in January 2017, IES partnered with Influence & Co. These are the goals IES had in mind:
As Kara Hertzog, president of IES, explains: "SEO has evolved, and in recent years, it has proven to be a key business performance driver. When we saw a shift in how SEO was being utilized, we invested more time and budget in content-driven SEO in order to maximize the effectiveness of organic content to drive traffic and generate leads."
When IES started to experience dips in paid SEO efforts in 2020, the team strategized to reinvest some of its SEO budget into more content marketing efforts. IES then partnered with Influence & Co. to perform keyword research, technical website audits, and reporting in 2020 — in addition to continuing with content development. This was when things began to really take off.
IES has been thrilled with the results of this partnership and, more specifically, with the shift to place a bigger focus on SEO-driven content. “Content is so important for business development efforts and in presenting the company as a thought leader in a niche industry,” says Sara Jensen, vice president of business development at IES. “Influence & Co. has done an amazing job of positioning IES as a subject matter expert in our field and helping us not only publish great content, but also help educate our industry!”
Out of 30,000 entrances to the IES website in Q2 2020, about 27% were driven by content created during our partnership. During that same quarter, we also accounted for about 20% of the 324 total keywords ranking on the first page. And in Q3 2020, the content we had created together ranked on Page 1 for 92 keywords and showed up for more than 950 keywords in all.
The important thing to remember? None of this happened overnight. In fact, three of the top pages for IES are blog posts from 2016, 2017, and 2019, none of which gained much traction in search results until 2020.
To illustrate that, let’s dive into the performance of three of our top posts as of Q3 2020:
By investing in a long-term content strategy, IES has built a foundation of articles that have not only maintained relevance years after they were written, but have also continued to perform better as time goes on.
The time it’s taken for specific pieces of IES’ content to gain organic traction has ranged from one to three years. But the wait has been worth it. According to Danielle Itani, strategic marketing analyst at IES: "Influence & Co.'s partnership with content and SEO has helped us increase organic traffic and unique visitors to our website. We’ve experienced increased page views of our content pieces with a significant increase to average time on page. Additionally, many of our keyword rankings are now in positions 1 through 3."
With the right partner and a willingness to be in it for the long haul, any company, regardless of size, can improve SEO through a long-term content marketing strategy.
I'm the director of digital marketing at Intero Digital's Content & PR Division. I enjoy sports, traveling, the Lake of the Ozarks, spending time with family and friends, and whatever else life throws my way.