SEO Case Study Increase Traffic


Darlene Cross: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Business Industry Category: Mental Health

Client Since: April 2014. Darlene came to us looking for a web design company to rely on for maintenance and website marketing and design advice.

Current Project: In May of 2015 Darlene inquired about Ad Words, which spawned the SEO project.

The Goal: Increase organic traffic to during the slow season starting in May to mid-September.

The Main Problem:

  • The current state of the website is not mobile responsive, which will have a significant impact in search engine. There are more users online using mobile devices now than ever, if the website is not mobile responsive, users will not browse the site causing high bounce rates, low traffic due to responsiveness and functionality on various size devices and low content consumption.
  • The current website does not have any previous organic SEO elements (on-site & off-site). This includes but not limited to: Title tags with key phrases, meta descriptions, and the site meta description (on-site elements). Social profiles, internal link building and external link building (off-site SEO). Not having these elements make ranking in search nearly impossible to even begin gaining traffic.
  • We have no previous analytic data to compare for the previous years. Without the previous year's data, we cannot see any trends in data to conclude May to Mid-September is a slow season Darlene's mental health industry.

Overview of The Solution:

  • Build a mobile responsive website. A mobile responsive website is easily browsed by users, giving your website a positive impact in search.
  • Implement on-site and off-site SEO elements, including focused keywords, meta & title description tags, images & image ALT tags, and content recommendations to improve organic search.
  • Set up social profiles and then train Darlene in blogging on social platforms and other mental health blogs and forums to engage users on these various platforms for directing traffic to the website through means of blogging and developing strong and natural linking profiles.

Overview of Key Results:

  • Mobile responsive design gave positive impact to Darlenes Google rank moving it from a 0/10 to 1/10, 1 meaning the site is now searchable and indexed by Google and other search engines. Being searchable helps traffic because now clients are able to find Darlene when focused keywords are entered.
  • Implementing onsite & offsite SEO elements resulted in improved local search and organic search focused using key words.
  • Creating natural linking profiles and posting blogs on social media and other mental health forums resulted in an increase in traffic from other sources.
The Context & The Challenge

Timeline: May 2015 to Mid-Sept. 2016

Budget Constraints: $ Low budget for a $$ medium budget project.

Overarching Purpose of the Project: We were tasked to increase traffic to the site during Darlene's slow season, with no prior analytics data to compare, no prior organic SEO elements implemented (on & off site) and starting with a non-mobile responsive website. We must created a plan of action in order to achieve the goal while keeping in mind we are on a small budget for a project that requires a medium to high budget.

In May of 2015 we reached out to Darlene Cross, a client of ours since April of 2014 to discuss changes she wanted to make to her website to get ready for the peak summer season in her mental health business. Originally Darlene was thinking of trying an Ad Words campaign to increase traffic to her website from May until mid-September.

The problem with Darlene increasing traffic was at the time, Darlene's website was not mobile responsive; which gives the website a negative impact in search. Also, the current website had no previous SEO elements implemented, this includes on-site SEO elements and off-site SEO. Darlene's website was missing key elements a website needs for the site to be indexed and searchable when key phrases are entered in search engines.

The challenge for KMJ Web Design would be to rebuild Darlene's website so that it is mobile responsive and implement industry best practice SEO elements that would improve upon the organic search results; and make recommendations in areas where traffic could be directed to the website through social interaction and blogging.

Tangible Goals & Objectives:

Objective 1: Build a mobile responsive site.

Goal 1: Make a mobile responsive and user friendly site so Darlene can have a positive impact when crawled by google and decrease the chances of high bounce rates.

Objective 2: Implement industry best practice SEO elements on and offsite. Use focused keywords, more content, engaging images, and building strong link profiles.

Goal 2: Improve organic search traffic

Objective 3: Train Darlene on social media etiquette and blogging on other platforms.

Goal 3: Increase referral traffic through means of blog posting on Social media and other mental health forums.

Objective 4: Set up Google Analytics filters and goals.

Goal 4: Gain data insight we did not previously have, that will show us if in fact May to Mid-September is truly the slow season for Darlene. We will be able to make future SEO and Ad Words recommendations.

The Process
  • Being that Darlene is already a client of ours we know the current condition of the website design. This gives us knowledge to start increasing traffic by designing a mobile responsive version of the current site.
  • While our design team handled the redesign of the website our SEO team conducted an SEO audit of the current website in order to make professional recommendations that would help achieve the primary goal of increasing traffic.
  • After we completed the audit we provided a list of recommendations for Darlene to approve and us to implement that would help us achieve the primary goal of increasing traffic.

Audit Focus Areas:

  • Industry Research: Analyzing the Mental Health industry helped us to determine what type of content and how much content Darlene's website should have and what elements we could use to increase traffic. We found during our research it is common for therapists and counselors to blog and post in forums, in turn increasing referral traffic from other sources.
  • Keyword research: Helped us to determine what focused keywords would benefit Darlene for organic search relevancy, helping us increase organic search traffic - Marriage and Family Therapist, Henderson, Las Vegas, No Insurance, Marriage Therapist, Family Therapist, Counseling Services, Grief and Loss, Communications, Relationship Issues, Trauma Recovery, Self Esteem, Confidence, Life Stage Adjustments.
  • Content: After analyzing the current website content we were able to make recommendations to add fresh relevant content, and to include focused keywords multiple times to help organic search relevance.
  • Link building & Interlinking: Given our knowledge of industry best practices for SEO, we were able to make recommendations for interlinking relevant content from page to page which we hypothesized would increase content consumption and external link building would help gain referral traffic from other reputable mental health websites.

The audit focus areas allowed us to make professional recommendations in regards to the SEO elements we put into place to achieve the primary goal of increasing traffic.

The Solution

Part 1: The Redesign To A Mobile Responsive Website.

The redesign of the was for the sole purpose of making it mobile responsive which makes it user friendly for Darlene's client's. Having a website that was not mobile responsive makes it difficult to reach the established goal of increasing traffic to In April of 2015, Google expanded their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, making it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for user devices.

Part 2: Industry best practice implementations

During the redesign we recommended Darlene add more content to each page and images. More content will increase page views per session, adding interlinks to each service page also improves page views per session.

Adding content focused keywords will help darlene rank in local search, ranking in local search will help increase organic traffic to the website.

Part 3: Blogging and Social Strategies

We recommended Darlene blog more frequently and post to social platforms as well as other mental health forums so that we can gain referral traffic.

The Results

Qualitative & Quantitative Successes

Success 1: Redesigning the website to be mobile responsive resulted in increased mobile traffic.

Success 2: Adding industry best practices for SEO on and off-site, adding focused keywords to each page of the website and submitting it to Google resulted in establishing local search rank in Google search from 0 (little to no possibility to rank) to 1 (website is searchable and ranking in Google, can use work to retain different results.) and Google local Business Maps. These implementations also helped to increase organic traffic to the website as we initially hypothesized.

Success 3: Training Darlene on how to use social media when blogging and her submitting blogs to us for posting on her Facebook, Twitter and other Marriage, Family Therapist &/or Mental Health forum resulted in an increase in referral traffic from "social" and "other" sources.

Testimonials From Darlene Cross

"The data I was presented with showed I had an increase in traffic and I also received an increase in phone calls for new client bookings & frequently asked questions.."

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