Vegan SEO for National Vegan Food Company

When this health centric international frozen foods brand approached us with hopes to grow their online presence, we here at Elite Strategies were elated with the opportunity and the challenge.

This outstanding food brand, though known and loved by many, needed a fresh take on their SEO strategy to capitalize on the growing trend of health conscious eaters in the U.S. and abroad. Though demand for healthy at-home-meals have grown exponentially in recent years (especially among young adults and teens), we noticed immediately that they were not maximizing their brand potential. Offering consumers vegan, vegetarian and gluten free frozen foods, we here at Elite Strategies could see the incredible opportunity to grow this brand and share their products with a whole new group of consumers.

The Audit

Elite Strategies began work in late 2019, starting with a full 24 Point to ensure the site was in absolute optimal condition and ready to hit the ground running for the new SEO campaign. The Elite Strategies 24 Point audit is an Audit & Repair of 24 critical areas that are important for every successful website, you can learn more about them here. The 24 point audit resulted in the detection and repair of all issues, as well as optimizing the site speed for better user experience.

One of the most fundamental and important aspects of the 24 point audit is the initial keyword research. In this case the initial list consisted of 15 keywords that ranged from low to high keyword difficulty, and low to high monthly search volume.

NOTE: It is important when beginning a SEO campaign to set goals or KPIs (key progress indicators) for both the SEOer and the client. When it comes to the monthly search volume of targeted keywords, sometimes more specific and long tail keywords can yield more qualified traffic. Whereas an open ended seed keyword may carry tenfold more search volume but result in users less inclined to convert to sales. This can result in higher bounce rates. Having a healthy mix of both is a great way to start a campaign for an international client such as this.

After implementing these keywords and standardizing the 408 pages and posts with title tags and meta descriptions following MOZ’s Best Practices, the site was verified with Google Search Console and the sitemap was submitted.

At the beginning of the SEO process the client’s website was ranking for primarily branded keywords, which had fairly poor search volumes. These keywords were not going to expandX its consumer base. The people searching for these already know the client company and their products… It was time to spread the word to the non-consumers!

On-Page Content Optimization

You may have heard SEers say “content is king”, but what the average person often fails to understand is that good content won’t go very far without optimization. Google and other search engines want to rank content that fits their prerequisites for ranking. Now when you’re dealing with 400+ pages of content ensuring the pages meet the requirements for ranking is the name of the game.

For the next 4 months heavy emphasis was placed by Elite Strategies on ensuring all 408 pages were optimized for rankability.

This included:

  • Text content expansion
  • Improving Internal linking
  • Ensuring all pages had a 1.5-2% focus keyword density in the copy (despite word count)
  • Methodically increasing the copy for pages with subpar word count
  • Optimizing content structure with proper formatting, using proper H1s, H2s, H3 and on.
  • Alt text with focus keyword assigned to on page images
  • Ensuring all pages contained outbound anchor text to relevant but non-competitive sites
  • Rewrites for unsalvageable text content
  • Reinforcing the site, pages, posts and products with proper structured data

The client has expressed to us early before our work together began that they had intentions to grow the site and enter new international markets with new products. We knew that the site had to be in optimal condition and ranking before anything new began to be added so in 4 months this stagnant site was hit with the proverbial SEO defibrillator and nourished with new content and optimization.

The early results can be seen as soon as the 4 Months:

  • 32.85% increase in Users
  • 34.58% Increase in New Users
  • 28.69% Increase in Sessions
  • 25.11% Increase in Page Views

We saw a 6.70% increase in Organic Search bringing the organic users from 54,797 in the prior 4 months to 58,466 by March 1 2019.

We can see here the website’s growth from January 2020 (first month of SEO post audit) to March 2020

Showing the average keyword position dropping from 31.8 to 28.6 and Average CTR improving 0.8% and rendering +7.2K clicks and impressions increasing by 17,000.

The client’s website also began to see non-branded keywords begin to rank on page 1.

However the work was far from over. With the client intending to release dozens of new products within the next 8-10 months the focus had to now include growing authority and expanding content.

Content Building & Link Building

When a client falls in the consumer at-home products you can almost always bet that the site (if not brand new) will possess some pre-existing backlinks. However in the case of our client they had 10K+

It was also rare that the URL Rating (homepage) and domain as a whole were evenly matched.

With 10.5K backlinks and 1.17 referring domains we could see that the site received a fair amount of attention from other sites however the troubling issues were the types of links and quality.

With 2,623 of the links marked a Nofollow, roughly 25% of the backlinks did not attribute much to the clients website.

With the planned upcoming release of several new products, we began to build quality niche relevant links to the client’s site while crafting new and engaging content relevant to trends.

Tackling topics like macro nutritions, superfoods, plant based diets, pure plant protein and others we created various informative pages and blogs to capitalize on trends in the vegan, vegetarian and healthy eating communities. With a strict set of guidelines, 700 minimum word count, and writing the articles around preliminary topical keyword research we successfully created dozens of articles over the first year.

With the release of new products in the 3rd & 4th Qt of 2020 product pages were reinforced with structured data, specifically product schema markup in JSONld, and new and existing blogs received article schema markups. These efforts resulted in +47K organic users over the next 9 months, making organic the top traffic channel, accounting for +60% of overall site traffic.

The result of the SEO efforts resulted in over 100 new non-branded page 1 keywords as well. When compared to the previous year of 2019, in the year 2020 the client’s site saw an increase of 106,934 more users, 106,811 more new users, 102,746 more sessions, 121,177 more Pageviews.

2021 & Beyond

Though the year 2021 is only half way through, the client has continued to see consistent improvements with traffic consistently in the green since the beginning of our SEO partnership. The site has received many new pages, posts and features with 32 new blogs published by our content writers to the site. New Recipe pages developed by our team and reinforced with schema markup, as well as a whole new section developed geared towards the food service industry.

As of June 2021 the client has seen organic become the dominant traffic source accounting for 62% of all site traffic. Our team’s careful and methodical acquisition of backlinks for the client has increased referral traffic over 45%, bringing in 20,070 users since we began our partnership. The client’s URL Rating and Domain Rating has also improved, with over 600 new backlinks and 630 new referring domains. The client also ranks for 270 page 1 keywords, with a gross average monthly search volume of +32,500.

Our client has been incredibly pleased with our results needless to say. We have also helped them rank internationally over the past 18 months in new countries they have begun to distribute their products to. As we are always improving and building upon the clients website and web presence there is no end to this growth in sight; thus there is no end to our SEO partnership in sight either.

Check back in with us in early 2022 to learn more about this evolution of this client and what has changed since.

To be continued.