Do colleges and training programs need to worry about SEO as much as e-commerce or repair service companies? The answer is yes.
You may not think so because they’re established organizations with hundreds of students and thousands of other prospects looking to apply each year. But, the truth is schools need to worry about SEO just as much as other businesses.
In this case study, you’ll learn how we helped a beauty salon institute in Florida to increase its organic traffic by nearly 5X and keyword totals by nearly 7.5X in 15 months!
It was all done by optimizing the institute’s website and setting them up to be an authority in the beauty industry.
Keep scrolling below to find out exactly how we did it.
A premier salon institute in Florida contacted us in February 2020 for assistance with growing their keywords, web content, and organic traffic. They operate a large physical facility with a student salon clinic area featuring dozens of stations for hairstyling, manicures, pedicures, and more.
As an accredited college, the institute’s goal is to help students obtain gainful employment in the beauty industry by providing high-quality education in cosmetology.
The first thing we noticed was that their website didn’t have a blog, which was a missed opportunity for boosting SEO and establishing themselves as an authority. We also noticed they weren’t ranking for many keywords or getting as much traffic as they wanted.
The SEO Audit
Once we spoke with the client about their concerns and goals, the next step was to initiate our SEO audit. This is something we do with all new clients: a comprehensive review of traffic, keywords, positions, traffic value, and more.
We discovered that their website was launched in June 2017 and until they reached out to us in February 2020 they couldn’t seem to break through a ceiling of 250 organic monthly visitors.
The institute’s keywords had increased gradually over the first year of using their new website but those numbers remained below 500 until they started working with us.
And, finally, we learned they were having some success with obtaining backlinks from websites or articles, but we knew many more would be needed to give them the boost they were looking for.
Taking “Easy Wins” Like Fish in a Barrel
Anyone who has worked in SEO before understands it could take three months or more to see any significant results. The problem is new clients like to see the needle move when they start working with us.
For this reason, our second step after the SEO audit is to find “easy win” keywords. These are keywords that a client’s website is already ranking for in positions 4-30. All we have to do is make a few adjustments to their web copy and start capitalizing on the gains.
We found that the institute had 324 “easy win” keywords. Of these keywords, we looked for ones that had a high search volume and low keyword difficulty level. “Hair levels” for example had a search volume of 3,800 but a difficulty of 6 out of 100.
Competitive Gap Analysis
In marketing and advertising, you can learn a lot from what your competition is doing.
Our research indicated that this institute’s top competitors included other technical colleges and cosmetology programs throughout the United States. One of their Top 10 competitors, for example, ranked for 3,200 keywords that our client had not been ranking for.
Our campaign managers were able to search through these keywords and find new ones that could be added to our client’s SEO strategy. Not every keyword would work for them, but it was a good place to start generating new ideas.
Overall, this client was competing against 44 unique domains, a few of which were vying for similar students in Florida.
The SEO Campaign
Next came the exciting part. After all of our audits and research, we were able to craft an SEO strategy and implement it for this client. This strategy would need to address their lack of keywords and low website traffic.
In order to deliver the results our client wanted, we needed a long-term strategy with access to multiple products. We didn’t know whether other SEO products would be needed to accomplish our objectives.
The best way to do this was to register the client for our comprehensive managed SEO service. This provided our campaign managers with the flexibility to get the job done right and take day-to-day management out of the client’s hands. They could use this new free time to focus on their mission.
One of the first things we noticed during our consultation with this client was how they had no blog.
We helped the institute to launch its blog and started writing SEO-optimized content. Our goal was to establish them as an authority in the beauty industry and use high-ranking keywords in the copy.
The client was uncertain about how our services were going to work for their website and it took them some time to develop a schedule for uploading new blog content, but once the materials were uploaded to their site, web traffic started to soar.
The campaign we started in February 2020 lasted for a total of 15 months. There was a lag from when the client started uploading the new content we provided, but you can see the spike in organic traffic in the third month.
It is important to note that most SEO campaigns can take months to take any effect, even if new content was uploaded immediately.
The client’s site was getting a little over 100 visits when they started the campaign. Today, they’re getting over 500 monthly visitors.
The same went for their ranking keywords. When the campaign started they ranked for about 200 keywords, which had been pretty steady for years. Below you can see how their keywords increased to over 1,500 in April 2021.
In the end, we increased their organic traffic by nearly 5X and keyword totals by nearly 7.5X.
Our campaign managers used a variety of SEO products to benefit the client: blogs, guest posts, video, syndication, and link building.
How do we know that our content worked? A simple search of the institute’s site indicated that the top three most popular web pages were blogs written by us. One blog on skincare even ranks in the No. 1 position for its keyword.
If there’s one thing we want you to take away from this case study, it’s that content is still king. Well-written blogs or web copy optimized for SEO can drive up your rankings and bring you more organic traffic.
This salon institute learned how valuable a new blog was to connect with prospective students. Everyone uses Google to research schools or training programs these days so it was imperative the client appeared in searches and stuck out from the crowd.
Would you like to learn more about how blogs or keyword strategies can help grow your business?
Reach out to us now and let’s chat about your business and goals for the future.