Amount Invested, Traffic Increase & Timeline
Screenshot of Ahrefs Domain Overview
Screenshot of Google Search Console
Keywords We Rank #1 or #2 For
How We Did It
Carbon Collective is an SEC registered investment advisor focused on helping solve climate change. Specifically, they are a “robo advisor” that divests from fossil fuel companies and invests those funds in companies solving climate change.
For that reason, they wanted to rank for “sustainable investing” and terms related to it.
We created a “Sustainable Investing Dictionary” with ~500 articles on topics relating to climate change and finance.
The topics were chosen on the basis of their relevance to Carbon Collective’s mission, as well as each topic’s search volume.
Each article was ~1,000+ words in length with helpful graphics, fast page speeds, and schema markup to make our listings in the search results more clickable.
Here’s what FAQ schema markup looks like:
We created most of these articles in Q1 and Q2 of the year so that they would have enough time to climb the search results through the year.
Now, many of the articles rank on page 1 for their targeted keyword.
Our backlink strategy was two-pronged: getting executives interviewed on podcasts and traditional backlink outreach.
Podcast interviews were helpful for overall visibility since the listeners to these podcasts also made perfect clients for Carbon Collective.
Throughout the year, we pitched just under 1,500 podcasts and scheduled over 100 of them.
For our traditional outreach, creating so much high quality content allowed us to pitch helpful content and win links organically.
Specifically, we built lots of links to Carbon Collective’s Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Investing with the hope of ranking for the keyword “sustainable investing.”
A part of our strategy was buying a finance site with ~40k visitors / mo. and a strong backlink profile.
This was integral to us overshooting our goals for the year – you can clearly see where we merged the site and how it affected organic traffic thereafter:
The studyfinance.com website used to receive mid-week highs of ~1,400 clicks / day, but by merging it into the carboncollective.co domain, it immediately doubled in traffic.
Here’s a screenshot of studyfinance.com prior to the migration:
The client didn’t even ask for this – we just bought the site, lent it to them for free, then offered them to buy it long term if they liked the SEO boost.
Goals vs Where We Landed
At the outset of the year, we had a goal of 100,000 visitors through SEO. We finished the year with over 600,000 users from organic search.
3 months later, we now have over 150,000 organic visitors per month, and the value of that traffic recently surpassed $100,000 / mo if you were to buy it with pay-per-click ads.
We had a goal of having a domain rating of 40 by the end of the year. We finished the year at a 48 domain rating.
Here’s a screenshot from Ahrefs:
Goals We Didn’t Meet
We had a goal of passing Core Web Vitals on all pages and devices. While we passed Core Web Vitals on Desktop, we did not for Mobile devices.
We are confident we did everything possible to improve page speeds like we have for other clients, receiving a score of 100 on Google’s Pagespeed Insights tool, however the website runs on Hubspot’s content management system which has limitations on ways to reduce Time to First Byte (read our blog post on Reducing Time to First Byte).
Additionally, we had a goal of ranking #1 for “sustainable investing” by the end of the year.
While we rank #1 for several other competitive keywords, we have still been unable to rank for this specific keyword.
This was surprising since we focused much of our backlink efforts on the “sustainable investing” page. It may rank well in the future, but we have been unable to win on that keyword thus far.
Finally, we were hopeful that the organic traffic we received would convert better than it did. While this was outside the scope of our work, management made assumptions that if we could simply hit our targets on website traffic, we would hit our target for new clients.
In summary, we converted $650,000 into 150,000 organic visitors per month (and growing).
The three umbrellas for our SEO strategy were:
- Content (Sustainable Finance Dictionary)
- Backlinks (Podcasts and Traditional Outreach)
- Technical SEO (Mostly Page Speeds and Schema Markup)
With plays like acquiring and merging studyfinance.com, we pride ourselves on thinking outside the box when hitting our goals for clients – this was one of several major ways we over delivered on our agreed-upon deliverables.
Carbon Collective was flexible and generous with us by paying us in advance for work to be completed, so we responded with being flexible and generous on our end.
If you’d like to confirm the results of this case study with someone at Carbon Collective before working with us, feel free to contact their VP of Marketing & Strategy Breene Murphy on LinkedIn.
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