Case Study

Client Overview

BioClarity is a clean, green skincare company that focuses on providing healthy alternatives to traditional skincare products. They use plant-based solutions to help improve your skin, and offer acne products, moisturizers, sunscreens, and more. 

Client: Bioclarity

Website: bioclarity.com

Business Type: E-Commerce

Services:

Content Marketing Link Building Full Service Orchestrated SEO

The Situation

BioClarity started in early 2016 and we were in discussions with them on partnering even before they had a website. This is one of our favorite ways to start working with a company, as it really does provide us the opportunity to set the site up for success long-term and be involved in the initial build.

As a huge piece of being successful in the organic channel requires site changes, we normally find the biggest roadblock to success comes from the inability to make these changes. There are various reasons this can happen, but the most common are a lack of development resources or de-prioritization of SEO initiatives. It’s also true that at larger companies (enterprise size, for example) making site changes takes more negotiation and communication. As BioClarity had a small team and a desire to grow quickly, their startup mentality meshed well with ours and we hit the ground running.

What Happened

The first project in the engagement was a large competitive analysis and “Site Wish List.” The competitive analysis dictates many of the items in the “Site Wish List”. Our goal with this analysis is to uncover who is winning in the space. For BioClarity at the time, they were 100% focused on winning the acne space with their healthy approach to an acne regimen.

Our initial analysis dove into the current acne keyword universe and the competition, uncovering numerous pages of recommendations and target keywords that we wanted to dominate for. As there was no site yet, our recommendations were implemented during the actual site build which kicked off shortly after our research was completed. We worked with the development team closely to ensure everything our documentation had produced actually made it to the finished development site, and then ran final QA procedures on the production site as soon as it went live.

While the site was being built, we were still working, but we were focused on building out the large base of content we needed to target the massive set of keywords we wanted to rank for. The following is a list of rankings we were able to achieve at the site’s peak:

Keyword Position Search Volume
how to get rid of acne 1 74000
how to get rid of pimples 1 4950
how to get rid of acne scars 1 4950
whiteheads 1 33100
red spots on skin 1 27100
red dots on skin 1 18100
how to get rid of back acne 1 18100
clear skin 1 8100
tiny red spots on skin 1 6600
acne pills 1 6600
cystic acne 8 90500
small red dots on skin 1 5400
what are blackheads 2 18100
how to get rid of bacne 1 4400
how to clear acne 1 4400
how to get clear skin 2 14800
benzoyl peroxide 8 60500
back acne causes 1 3600
what are whiteheads 1 3600
white head pimple 1 2900
pimples on cheeks 1 2900
ice on pimple 1 2900
what causes acne 3 14800

Our research helps us understand what the right approach for every client, and BioClarity is no different. As it was a brand-new domain with 0 authority, we knew from experience we needed to create stellar content to be competitive in the first year or two of the engagement.

In some ways we look at content and authority as being inversely related. You’ll see a lot of authoritative sites with average content ranking well, but you’ll never see a site with very little authority ranking an average piece of content. For low-authority sites, the content really does need to be 10x. Due to this, we created deeply informative, medically focused content.

Strategy 01

Long-form Content /
Topical Authority

These 3,000+ word articles took hours and hours of research and were written in a highly educational tone. Think of them as Encyclopedias, and we had the entire set for acne.

The reality is Google loves niche sites. Knowing this and seeing it across dozens of industries, we wanted to convince the search engine that we were the ultimate answer for everything acne related. So, we did just that and created 100+ articles backed by medical research.

By year two of the engagement, the majority of indexed pages were editorial content pieces created to help answer a user’s query. We started seeing very positive results as traffic ramped up, but that’s not because we just wrote content and posted it. There’s much more to having a piece of content rank than simply posting it and leaving it.

Strategy 02

Content Success
Management

We hear it all the time- “I’ve created content but it’s not ranking.” There is always a reason why content isn’t ranking, and as SEOs, it’s usually pretty easy to figure that out after diving in.

One issue we see often is that people post content and forget about it. Creating a piece of content, posting it, and then never re-visiting it again is the complete opposite of how we approach making sure a piece we write is performing how we want.

We utilize a “Content Success Management” framework that forces us to constantly revisit and reoptimize our content that has been posted. This framework includes:

Page authority and actions
If we’re in position 7, we analyze our page authority against the other ranking pages and attempt to impact this through authority services
Internal linking recommendations
We analyze what pages link to this piece of content and what pieces it links to, then go and create new links from old content to our blog post
Content refresh recommendations
If we find that a keyword utilizes query deserves freshness (QDF ->
www.searchenginejournal.com/google-algorithm-history/freshness-update/), we are constantly adjusting and adding to the piece to ensure our content is more updated than competitors
Keyword optimizations
We re-write and test title tags, H1 tags, H2 tags, and even the article’s content. We find that content starts to rank for closely related keywords that weren’t even on our radar, and we can go back and add a section of new content that targets this new set of keywords
Featured snippet optimizations
Although our content process does take into consideration optimizations for featured snippets far in advance of actually earning them, we do find it’s still valuable to devote time to re-optimizing for featured snippets

These strategies and iterative process were a key point of success on the BioClarity account. After approximately 2 years of working together, the relationship between bioClarity and Inseev ended for reasons not related to the specific engagement. This occurred about 2 months before a series of Google core updates that changed a multitude of industries in SEO forever.

The Medic update (www.seroundtable.com/google-medic-update-26177.html) was the first of many updates focused on expertise, authoritativeness, and trust-worthiness (EAT). These algorithm updates changed the industry as a whole and forced companies to pivot completely with their content and on-page strategy.

Unfortunately, bioClarity falls into a Your Money, Your Life (www.searchengineland.com/quality-raters-handbook-your-money-or-your-life-177663) category. The rankings we had earned with a strategy that worked very well at the time were now being held to different standards, and with no SEO resources in place to start correcting for it, most of the traffic was lost.

Noticing the impacts on the business and reconsidering strategic initiatives about a year later, the team contacted us again and wanted to refocus on SEO. We knew the first step was performing a deep E-A-T audit that produced itemized actions that will help get the site in line with newly formed (and unforeseen) best practices.

Strategy 03

E-A-T Audit

An E-A-T audit contains numerous checks, all focused on improving signals around trustworthiness. A few of these are:

Contact us page

Does the contact us page have a real address and way for users to get in contact with the business?

Does the site even have a contact us page?

Authors
Is the content written or reviewed by an expert, or is it potentially making medical claims that are not verified as truth?
About us page
Does the business have real information about their founders, the company’s mission, etc.?
Content freshness
Has content been updated to reflect new industry news, or is it stale and written years before?
The E-A-T audit gave us a plan to get things going back in the right direction. We refreshed numerous posts, added authorship, and increased overall trust signals. After months of working through E-A-T improvements, we saw an immediately lift when the next core algorithm update came out.

Results

Key KPIs (Aug 2018):
  • +$500k

    Nearly $500k in estimated traffic value

  • +300k

    Estimated 300k+ visitors per month

Key KPIs (Current):
  • +50%

    Nearly 50% recovery of traffic at its peak

  • +$135k

    +$135k estimated traffic value

  • +146k

    +146k estimated traffic

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