COMPANY

Animal Behavior College

PROJECT

SEO, UX/UI Design

SKILLS

Information Architecture, Content Strategy, SEO, UX/UI Design, Conversion Rate Optimization, Copyediting

Context

I was hired to do SEO, and I made my first project the blog. Company blogs have the power to generate organic traffic, spread brand awareness, and establish thought leadership, but the company wasn’t taking advantage of that.

Before creating new content and a team of writers, I researched any existing content they might have had on their main website. To my luck, I found a Tips of the Month section that wasn’t receiving much organic traffic.

This Tips of the Month section contained dozens of blog-like content, and they were written for the purpose of having pet owners copy and paste the RSS feed onto their own websites. Since they were used as a point of reference, the layout of the tips resembled that of a directory.

I proposed to move the tips over to the blog for increased discoverability and search engine visibility. During the migration process, I’d optimize them and include features that would engage users to stay on the website.

Results

The blog has seen a massive growth in organic traffic. In the first year since I started working on the blog, new users increased by 670.17%. The following year saw a 102.13% increase.

Several blog posts have even appeared in Google’s featured snippets (aka answer box).

Google Featured Snippets

In addition, the blog is generating a regular number of leads as a result of the contact form and ads.


Process

Information architecture

The first step was to decide on the structure of the blog. Their current navigation included:

  • Home
  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Pet Words
  • Animal Careers
  • Student of the Month
  • Media

I reviewed their Tips of the Month content and uncovered categories. One of my goals for the blog was to set the company as an authority in the pet industry, so I kept that in mind when creating the new blog sitemap.

Blog Sitemap

On-page SEO

Many of the tips were already well written and contained valuable information, so I simply proofread them and added keywords where necessary and appropriate. I wrote meta data, added internal links, and added high quality images to accompany the blog posts.

Blog redesign

I worked with the graphic designer to redesign the blog. Upon landing, each blog post was displayed in its entirety on the blog homepage. This created many indexing and duplicates content issues, which were severely impacting the blog’s ability to rank in search engines. Plus, it made for a less-than-ideal user experience due to the amount of information displayed at once.

The new blog design is mobile responsive, clean, and much more visual. Aside from the layout, I added several features to increase engagement, including:

  • Related Posts: Thumbnails and titles of four related blog posts appeared at the end of each post to encourage further reading and time on site.


  • RELATED, NEXT UP, You may also like: Similar to the Related Posts feature, these individual snippets appear in between paragraphs or at the end of the post with a title and link to another blog post.


  • Social media buttons: I added social media buttons to encourage users to share the blog post with their audience. This helped spread brand awareness to those who may have never heard of the company.

Conversions

One of the major reasons the blog wasn’t a priority was due to the fear of losing conversions. It was believed that once users entered the blog, they wouldn’t return to the main website (where their money pages were) and leave the website entirely. To address this fear, I added a contact form on the blog as well as company promotional banners.

Check out my other work

Rachel Ann Custodio

Rachel Ann Custodio is a freelance SEO Strategist and UX/UI Designer based in Los Angeles. Let's work together. Contact me.