Executive Summary

Xtrema is a family-owned ceramic cookware company that had grown to about $9.5 million annual revenue as of 2019, but was increasingly being overshadowed by newcomer competitors. This was resulting in a lack of brand awareness, invisibility in search results and, ultimately, impacting sales negatively.

Challenges

Xtrema engaged Bull Moose Progressive Marketing to help improve their organic search performance and e-commerce sales. To address this, Bull Moose started with their strategy development process (the Square Deal) to develop a clear plan and approach. The Square Deal strategy identified four key areas of focus that would have the most impact in achieving Xtrema’s goals.
STRATEGY 1

New blog content to drive search sales

We identified content based on what appealed to the customer persona. The focus was on phrases customer searches to grow awareness, traffic and sales by bringing the right people to the site.

The efforts resulted in search driven traffic and sales both increasing 200% year over year. The combination of new content which incorporated researched keywords along with cross-posting from influential guest bloggers increased overall organic visibility by 11%, estimated organic traffic by 26%, and Xtrema’s average overall ranking by 54% within a 6-month period.

STRATEGY 2

Existing content fixes

We created proper redirects for dead URLs, optimized content page by page so existing content ranked better and cleaned up pages lacking SEO meta data and keywords.

By conducting an on-site audit of Xtrema’s website we were able to identify specific issues that were hampering their ranking performance in search algorithms. We also discovered existing content that needed to be optimized and made the necessary corrections. Among the outcomes, nearly 100% of all pages were correctly configure with Schema markup and Open Graph protocols. This also improved the depth of clicks into site pages search engines were able to crawl and index.

STRATEGY 3

Link building that works

Old school link building is a highly ineffective spray and pray approach. We overhauled it with a hands-on, win-win approach. This started with a strategy of approaching sites that already ranked above the fold on Google for client targeted phrases – but mentioned competitors. We approached the link building by offering something useful to the site, such as a product sample or VIP affiliate commission that made it worth their time and effort.

A huge ranking factor for search engines is the quality of links to Xtrema’s website from other sites. To do this we identified and removed existing toxic links while also reaching out relevant sites in Xtrema’s industry category to request they add backlinks to their site. As a continual process over a nine-month period we reduced the number of toxic and potentially toxic links from 31 to 6, while increasing the number of good backlinks from 135 to 272.

STRATEGY 4

SEO agility and creation of COVID-19 Resource Hub

The world’s searches did something unprecedented in SEO industry: they turned to one subject. We created a informational, helpful content portal to continue to draw traffic.

We monitored unexpected and serendipitous search trends for opportunities that fit the brand. For example, we created content on science experiments for kids after that phrase spiked 2,500% when sheltering at home began.

Keyword research was a key component of the overall strategy. This research is an ongoing, monthly act ivi ty to monitor what consumers are searching for and creating content that is relevant to those search queries. This played a critical role in react ing to search patterns and behavior at the onset of COVID- 19 as consumers sheltered in place.

While search traffic increased it also became even more competitive across Xtrema’s industry category. Keyword research prompted the creation of a COVID content portal of information which resulted in a surge in organic search traffic and a corresponding spike in sales from organic search sources.

“Organic sales are crushing it!”

Patrick Bergstrom
Marketing Director, Xtrema