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How we increased our traffic by 87.47% in 6 months

Dino S.

2021-03-25

10min

Marketing

A comparison of 6 months before any organized marketing and 6 months of organized marketing to see the impact of digital marketing on your web traffic.

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Introduction

Every software company heavily focuses on development, finding new leads and hiring new people. But marketing often falls behind throughout this process. In the early stages of the company there is simultaneous work necessary on various fronts, which unfortunately places your marketing in the lower part of the priority list. The usual pattern is:

  • Various social networks profile creation with random posts

  • Google Analytics connection

  • Google and social media platforms ad creation.

Unfortunately, money is too easily spent with very slim traffic improvement. This is the point at which most companies recognise their need for organised and structured marketing with a clear goal and strategy. Upon my arrival at Cinnamon Agency on August 10th 2020 the situation was this:

Our Instagram on August 10th:

Our Facebook on August 10th:

Our LinkedIn on August 10th:

These aforementioned are our main social media accounts with a lack of followers and almost no engagement. However, our website did have traffic of 10 365 users from February 1st to August 9th.

SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis is a brainstorming technique designed to help us understand what might differentiate us from our competition and what resources we have on our disposal to help us grab that opportunity. SWOT framework helped us understand in which direction had to be taken by carefully considering 4 essential parameters:

  • Strengths

    • Starting traffic of 10 365 visitors

    • Fully optimized on-page SEO

    • Well written in-house blogs

  • Weaknesses

    • Publishing more content on a strict schedule

    • No off-page SEO

    • No employer branding through Digital Marketing

  • Opportunities

    • Non-engagement between the competition and the audience

    • Strong employer brand creation through social media platforms

    • Social media investment

  • Threats

    • Bogging and paid advertising by the competition

    • Competition outranking through domain authority

After a detailed and meticulous analysis we were ready to create our Digital Marketing Strategy.

Digital Marketing Strategy

The decision was to form 2 directions for our digital marketing:

  • Social media emphasis for employer branding

  • Website traffic increase using off-page SEO

The universal goal was to grow the overall social media platform and website traffic.

Social Media

In order to fully utilize our LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram accounts the following questions had to be answered:

  • What is the communication strategy?

  • What to post?

  • When to post and how to schedule?

  • Which hashtags do we need to use?

  • Should we use paid ads?

1. What is the communication strategy?

We wanted to show both our clients and future employees that we are professionals helping them grow their company or their career with Cinnamon Agency. It was crucial to find the right blend of warmth and professionalism due to both client and prospect communication. A big win for us was engagement with our audience and with audiences from profiles similar to ours. We engaged with them through their own content by liking, commenting and opening interesting debates, while inviting them to visit our social media platforms, on which they were greeted by posts about our employees, work and accomplishments.

2. What to post?

Branding ourselves for our future employees required us to present our office culture in the best possible way through pictures, stories and video content on our social media platforms. We started by showcasing our current employees through portraits and professional life questionnaires where we talk about their personalities and work lives with custom copy created for every single employee and a photograph seen on our social media platforms. This is their unique story shared with others as a form of inspiration, which is the reason why the copy can be a decisive factor between quality content and poor content. The second type of content posting are stories shaped in posts. This gives an insight into our company culture and daily life to any visitor.

3. When to post and how to schedule?

To figure this out we needed to create a 12-hour time range. Since we are targeting both US and Croatian audiences in completely different time zones we needed to test 12 different times for posting. To dive even more into detail we posted every day, but postponing posting time for 1 hour every other day. For instance, on Monday we posted at 3 a.m., on Tuesday at 4 a.m., on Wednesday at 5 a.m. and so on, until we figured what time brings us the most engagement. After that we started testing the times that were the best for us on every single day of the week, until we figured out what are the best days to post. Finally, we created a schedule focusing on the best days and hours, which significantly simplified content preparation. Upon completion of the posting process using different days and hours, these parameters should not be changed by any means for at least another 6 months. Otherwise, the algorithm interruption will only create setbacks.

4. Which hashtags do we need to use?

Hashtags are still important due to branding and visibility, which are their most effective uses on every social media platform. We utilized hashtags to expand our audience and increase brand awareness. When users search for a brand, they will see the relevant hashtags they are using or our branded posts in the results when using specific hashtags. This usually brings new followers and potential customers. Relevant hashtags that have large amounts of posts under them are not the best ones to use due to heavy competition. Therefore, a mixture of big, medium and small hashtags and rotating them every other week are the most suitable option.

5. Should we use paid ads?

Paid ads can be used to grow your platform or as an extension to promote your content. We used paid ads only as an extension of promoting our content, since growing an account on any platform with paid ads does not mean the audience that is coming will actively engage with your content like the one you are bringing organically through your own engagement. The beauty of paid ads is that they allow us to target a specific audience. We used paid ads only to help our HR to reach out to as many candidates as possible for our various position openings. We heavily experimented with the visuals of our ads a lot, but came to the conclusion that minimalist ads with simple copy and faces are the best fit for our employer branding and target audience response.

Website traffic

SEO analysis

In order to grow any website you need to start with the fundamentals. And that is an SEO analysis. An SEO analysis is the process of closely examining your website to gain a better understanding of how well the site has been optimized and what can be done to help improve the site. Our website was fully optimized meaning that our on-page SEO had the biggest properly defined factors crucial for indexing our website, which helps with Google ranking of the latter. The biggest on-page factors that affect search engine rankings are:

  • Page content

  • Title tags

  • Working URLs

  • Image alt texts

  • Keywords

An ideal web page should do all of the following:

  • Be hyper-relevant to a specific topic

    • Include a subject in title tag

    • Include a subject in the URL

    • Include a subject in the image alt text

    • Specify the subject several times throughout the text content

  • Provide unique content about a given subject

  • Link back to its category page

  • Link back to its subcategory page

  • Link back to its homepage

Keyword researchAfter the completion of the SEO analysis we moved on to keyword research. Keyword research is the process of popular search engine terms. When various sets of keywords were created we included them strategically in our content, so that the latter appears higher within the search engine results page. This is extremely important for your organic traffic, but it includes a lot of testing to find out which keywords work well and which are underpowered. Once you have this figured out you are ready to start with your blog.BlogBeing a Software Development company, we agreed that the best direction to take would be by creating high quality, in-house blogs on various subjects in UX/UI Design, Software Development, Marketing, Project Management, and so on. Our employees are professionals and experts in their fields, so their blogs can bring a lot of knowledge to anyone reading them, but can also attract possible clients. We also reward writers financially to make sure we have a steady stream of quality content. We included the keywords we found to perform best in every blog. When this was done we started posting on a strict two-week schedule. With only two blogs per month we managed to create a lot of time for our employees to write high-quality blogs in a stressless environment. The last step was to 'push' our blogs with off-page SEO:

Off-page SEO refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages.Building backlinks is at the heart of off-page SEO. Search engines use backlinks as indicators of the content's quality. In other words, a site with many high-value backlinks will usually rank better than an otherwise equal site with fewer backlinks.

There are three main types of links defined by earning type: natural links, manually-built links, or self-created links.

  • Natural links are editorially given without any action on the part of the page owner. For instance, a travel blogger adding a link to a post that points towards their favorite hotel is a natural link.

  • Manually-built links are acquired through deliberate link-building activities. This includes getting customers to link to your website or asking influencers to share your content.

  • Self-created links are created by practices such as adding a backlink in an online directory, forum, blog comment signature or a press release with optimized anchor text.

We have heavily focused on all types. Our own employees were the key to building natural links through posting our content on their own social media channels, thus creating an organic audience. Manually-built links were established through connecting to various specialized websites such as HARO, Medium, Pocket and many more. Self-created links were established by reaching out to specialised forums with our content for discussion purposes.Knowing how search engines work and the attributes they are looking for when ranking your content is crucial when trying to create content that ranks well. A lot of thought and work goes into increasing web traffic. Considering how much targeted traffic SEO and social media platforms can do, the time and effort to work on them are utterly justified.

Results

SEO analysisWith the Digital Marketing Strategy finished the tough part was to work on it every single day, moving consistently one step at a time. Ultimately, it paid off. We increased the overall traffic on our website by 87.47%, plus our following on every single social media platform and overall engagement. These are our results:

Our Instagram on March 15th:

Our Facebook on March 15th:

Our LinkedIn on March 15th:

These are the exact numbers that we tracked:Facebook Total reach: 641,389 641,389 users saw our content while being on Facebook. Reach is the number of people who saw any content from our Page. Total engagement: 13,882 13,882 have engaged with our content. Facebook engagement is any action someone takes on our Facebook Page or one of our posts and ads. Total followers: 1,009 We started with 647 followers and gained 362 new ones.Instagram Total reach: 187,582 187,582 users saw our content while being on Instagram. Reach is the number of people who saw any content from our Page or about our Page. Total engagement: 2,492 2,492 have engaged with our content. Instagram engagement is any action someone takes on our Instagram Page or one of our posts and ads. Total followers: 1,449 We started with 221 followers and gained 1,228 new ones.LinkedIn Total reach: 45,316 45,316 users saw our content while being on LinkedIn. Reach is the number of people who saw any content from our Page or about our Page. Total engagement: 1,040 1,040 have engaged with our content. LinkedIn engagement is any action someone takes on our LinkedIn Page or one of our posts. Total followers: 1,301 We started with 543 followers and gained 758 new ones.Statistic overview and comparison between the six months before and after having an organized Digital Marketing Strategy. We grew for 87.47% in total.

Conclusion

Digital Marketing Strategy is crucial for modern business growth. Brand exposure to a bigger audience is the path to expansion. Digital marketing may sound simple, but there are many steps to be taken every single day in order to succeed. We are happy that we achieved these amazing results in just six months. Last but not least, I would like to thank the whole Cinnamon team that took this marketing journey with me, from the design team preparing all of the visuals, every employee that has written a blog post and every person that has contributed in all of these small steps such as liking, sharing and promoting our company, so that we can achieve these amazing results as a collective! Now let’s go double that!

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