SEO Success Story: How we grew our organic traffic by 1,500% within 18 months

immanuel vinikas headshot
Immanuel Vinikas
Updated September 4 2022
Kaltura SEO Success Story
immanuel vinikas headshot
Immanuel Vinikas
Updated September 4 2022

SEO isn’t our usual subject. We write articles about how to grow your business using video. But dammit, our blog is experiencing tremendous success, and we earned ourselves the right to brag. Don’t worry, though, we’ll do it the Kaltura way. From our core value of openness, we’ll share some of that secret sauce that makes the Kaltura Blog an SEO success story, and maybe it will help you grow your organic traffic by 1,500% too!

 

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The Kaltura Blog: a success story since January 2021

Video is a booming and complex industry, and the need for expert information on all things video solutions shot through the roof at the onset of the COVID pandemic. Towards the end of 2020, the Kaltura Marketing team decided to put more eggs in their SEO basket with an emphasis on the company blog in a bid to answer the audience’s need for information.

 

 

 

SEO success story

 

The value of a blog

A blog is the single most effective way to add content to your website. You only have one homepage, and there are only so many product pages you can publish. But there’s no limit to the number of blog posts you can put out. Of course, your posts must be relevant to and consistently about your niche or industry. Initially, it may take a little creativity and thought to find the right angle that will enable a continuous flow of valuable on-topic articles.

 

Why is it important to consistently add relevant content to your website? Because the Google algorithm looks at the quality and ‘freshness’ of your content as one of its main ranking criteria. Over time, as your content keeps ranking well and more third-party websites link to it for reference, your website’s ‘domain authority will increase. High domain authority is like the express checkout in the supermarket. Google knows you’re good for it so every new blog post you publish will start at a higher ranking.

 

But of course, it’s not all about numbers and rankings. Your business blog should serve your audience. Ultimately, you want your blog to become their go-to resource for quality industry news and information, thus further establishing your authority and expertise within your industry.

 

However, to set you up for Google success, you first need to break a catch-22. Google will rank your content higher if they see that users find your content valuable. But for that to happen, users first need to find your content… on Google! That’s where SEO writing comes in.

 

Our organic presence on Google. This graph shows the growing number of keywords for which we rank in the top 3 results on Google:

 

Kaltura SEO success story

 

What is SEO writing?

SEO writing means fulfilling user intent and creating content according to Search Engine Optimization principles to increase the chances of that content ranking on the first Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

 

There used to be a time when it sufficed to stuff your web page with your main keyword to rank at the top of the Google results, regardless of the quality of your content. Luckily, those days are long gone. Nowadays, the search giant continuously fine-tunes its hyper-complex algorithm to deliver the best results for the user’s query, out of the millions of pages that are created daily.

 

Google keeps mum about the workings of its algorithm or what exactly changes with each update. The job of SEO analysts is to figure it out and keep their content optimized accordingly. They do so by sharing findings and best practices in SEO communities, analyzing the performance of their websites and pages, and “AB testing” different options to see what generates the most traffic to a given page.

 

In general, though, you can assume that every Google update is in the best interest of the end-users and aims to serve them better. That’s why the core principle in SEO writing is to create content that is valuable to the user. Write for the user –it’s the one statement John Mueller, Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst, keeps releasing with each major Google algorithm update. It’s a cryptic message that gives many an SEO professional the heebie-jeebies. Because to be valuable to the user, your content first needs to be discoverable by search engines. So, really, you need to write for the user first, and Google second.

 

Bitmoji Classroom

 

How to write for the user first

Before we started applying any SEO principles to our Kaltura blog posts, our MO was simply to think of a video-related topic, preferably connected to one of our products, write a few hundred words of content around it, and call it a day. Did anyone read those blog posts? No idea, we didn’t analyze traffic or blog post performance at the time.

 

All that was going to change at the end of 2020. Instead of writing haphazardly, we first researched the users’ information. Using Google Keyword Planner, we analyzed what the user was looking for and what queries they entered into the Google Search Bar. We also looked at the SERP itself. The “People also ask” section and “Related searches” are great sources to help you understand what kind of information your audience is looking for.

 

We created a list of priority keywords for which we wanted to rank high and started looking at the competitors for each of these keywords. Not necessarily actual competitors in the video market, per se, but rather top-ranking pages for a particular keyword. We looked at their articles and tried to understand what about their content makes them rank high, and then we tried to emulate those basics in our blog posts with our own added value that would make our content better than what Google returns today.

 

Based on this information, we would create an outline (title and subtitles) for the blog post and a list of keywords to include and send that to our in-house video industry experts to research and turn into a first draft, ready to be edited by a writer and optimized by an SEO expert.

 

Event Sponsorship

 

7 ways to optimize content for Google

Once you have a first draft for your blog post, you should have it reviewed by an SEO expert. They will optimize its content for Google, meaning they will further tweak the blog post to up its chances of ranking higher in the SERP. Typically, these tweaks will include any or all of the following SEO techniques:

 

1. Make sure your content is better than the current top results

We already mentioned this in the previous section. Enter your main keyword in Google and review the top 3-5 results. How long are the articles? What subtitles do they use? What questions do they answer? Your blog post needs to offer either a different value or a better value. What can you add from your expertise that will make your article better than the competition?

 

 

2. Choose the right keyword

Keyword research is a skill. You need to understand the value of a given keyword for your business and the intent with which users enter that keyword into the Google search bar. “free online video platforms”, for example, might generate a lot of traffic, but it wouldn’t target the right audience since Kaltura being a paid platform.

 

We also don’t try to rank for general keywords like “video”. They’re too general, competitive and attract users we don’t target with a different intent, such as people looking for the history of video or people looking to purchase video recording gear.

 

Choose a healthy mix of keywords that yield high AMS (Average Monthly Searches, also called Search Volume) and keywords that have lower AMS but are also less competitive (quick wins). Longtail keywords fall under this category and usually have a higher conversion value.

 

At Kaltura we target a handful of high-volume keywords like “virtual classroom” (50,000 AMS), for which we rank in the top results. The bulk of our keywords get a few hundred to a few thousand AMS. At the time of writing, we ranked #1 for dozens of keywords, such as “transcode” (14,800 AMS), “virtual training” (8,100 AMS), “event report” (2,900 AMS), and “virtual event examples” (1,600 AMS).

 

 

3. Place your main keyword strategically throughout your post

Of course, your main keyword should appear more than once in your blog post. Avoid overoptimization or keyword stuffing. Instead, keep your main keyword in mind as you write and let it occur naturally throughout the blog post. SEO best practices stipulate that your main keyword should appear in your URL, in your H1 (headline), in some of your H2s (section titles), in your first paragraph, in your meta tags, and evenly throughout your copy.

 

 

4. Add meta tags to your post

Meta tags have an important SEO value so make sure to add meta tags to each web page and blog post. The meta title should be up to 60 characters and contain your main keyword. Your meta description can be 150-160 characters long. The role of your meta description is to give the reader extra info and an incentive to click.

 

SEO professionals invest a lot of time in perfecting their meta titles. The meta title is your page’s storefront. It is the user’s first selection criterion; whether to click on it or move on to the next search result. A good meta title:

    • Is up to 60 characters long (to avoid truncating)
    • Contains the main keyword
    • Meets the user intent
    • Is written in a way that piques curiosity and compels the reader to click

 

You can make your meta title more compelling by including a number, addressing the reader, starting the title with ‘How to’, or turning it into a question.

 

 

5. Add media such as images, infographics and videos to your post

Users click away when they land on an article with no layout or multimedia. The web is becoming a visual medium. Make your article more attractive with relevant imagery and multimedia material. Google loves video. Watching a video also keeps the user longer on your page. And Time on Page is one of the metrics Google uses to evaluate the quality and value of your blog post, so make sure to include a video in your post, if you can.

 

 

6. Add internal + external links to your post

There are two kinds of links you can add to your blog post. Inner links will point to another page on your website and indicate to Google that that page is important and relevant to the topic and main keyword of your blog post. The more links to a given page, the more important that page will seem to Google. So, this is a great way to give your home page or product pages a boost.

 

You can also link to pages of third-party websites, so-called outbound links. Outbound links to websites with high authority (think established companies or organizations in the industry, or government websites) give your statements and data in your blog post more credibility.

 

As with anything in SEO, it’s important not to overdo it. 2-3 inbound links and 2-3 outbound links will be more than enough.

 

 

7. Promote your post

You can also give your blog post a head start with a little promotion. Share it on your social channels, place banners on your website, include it in your next newsletter, link to it from a guest post, and/or maybe put some money into it with a paid campaign on social or Google Display.

 

Virtual Event Report

 

The value of analytics

There’s an eighth practice that is essential to SEO, and that is to analyze your post’s performance. Understanding traffic data will help you optimize your blog post and improve its performance and ultimately tweak your overall strategy.

 

You can avail of an endless array of top-notch paid SEO platforms to monitor your blog and website performance, such as SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Rankranger. But the best place to start is Google itself. The search giant developed invaluable analytics tools for us digital marketers.

 

Google Search Console collects data about keyword positions and how people get to your website (which queries they used and which page they landed on), among other functionalities. Once users landed on your website, Google Analytics takes over and collects data about who they are and how they interact with your website. You’ll learn about your audience demographics, interests, location, and technology so you can better adapt your content to their needs. You’ll also see the number of page views, average time on page, and bounce rate for each of your web pages.

 

 

From all these metrics, you can deduce a wealth of information. For instance,

  • If your traffic is dropping, but your page still ranks high, this might indicate seasonal or economical market fluctuations
  • If your post gets a lot of page views but the time on page is low, and the bounce rate is high, it might indicate that your title doesn’t reflect the content of your blog post or you’re targeting the wrong keyword intent.
  • If your pageviews are low, you could try and revisit your keyword strategy and optimize your meta tags.
  • If time on page is low, you could try and increase it by adding a video towards the top of your page.
  • If the bounce rate is high, meaning users leave your page without taking further action on your website, you could include an eye-catching call-to-action (e.g., a banner leading to a purchase, download, or another page on your website) and add more inner links.

This is only the tip of the iceberg of what you can do with the data you pull from Google Analytics, Search Console, or other SEO software platforms. Page analytics will help you troubleshoot issues, calculate ROI, fulfill your reporting, tweak your marketing and content strategies, and more. Analytics are so important, that SEO professionals make it a daily task.

 

Kaltura SEO Success story

 

A few last words of advice

While SEO do’s and don’ts are well documented online, businesses still commit major SEO no-no’s that could get them into trouble. Of course, you should follow all the SEO best practices we mentioned in this article, but there are a few other concepts you should know about:

 

 

Stick to what you know best

In 2014, in a bid to further improve their search results for the user, Google added the concept of EAT to their Search Quality Guidelines. EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust, Google’s 3 main indicators of high-quality content. EAT means that, to rank high in SERPS, an article needs to be written and published by an expert, authority, and trustworthy source on the topic of that article.

 

A couple of years back, I was the SEO consultant for a major diaper brand. Because there’s only so much content you can write about diapers, the company decided to make their blog about pregnancy, birth, and baby health and well-being. Initially, this turned out to be a great idea. There was no shortage of topics to write about and the blog enjoyed an increasing flux of traffic.

 

But then Google came up with the concept of EAT, and, in the user’s best interest, decided that a diaper brand can’t be an authority or trustworthy source of medical information. The drop in rankings and subsequent loss of traffic were devastating. In a bid to counter the damage, we decided to have our content reviewed by medical experts, but our content still ranked below that of top medical institutions and true experts.

 

The moral of the story; write from your expertise, only. Kaltura is a leader in video solutions and therefore, +95% of our content is around that. We’re at the forefront of it and have many in-house experts contributing to our blog. That is a big part of our SEO success!

 

 

Your Money or Your Life

The EAT concept is religiously applied to the so-called YMYL websites. YMYL stands for Your Money or Your Life and pertains to websites and pages about particularly sensitive topics that could impact a user’s life in a significant way, such as medicine, law, or finances. The diaper brand’s blog mentioned earlier may have fallen under this category and was therefore hit particularly hard. If you run a YMYL blog, it’s important to be aware of this. You will need to demonstrate to Google and your users that your content is written by experts, you only use expert sources, and you thoroughly research your topics. Google will also be stricter about the ‘freshness’ of your YMYL articles, so it’s important to regularly revisit your articles and update them whenever necessary.

 

Kaltura SEO success story

 

Conclusion

Through diligent application of all known SEO best practices and careful consideration of our blog strategy, we were able to more than 10x our traffic. Our SEO operation has contributed to Kaltura’s strong brand awareness, authority, and online presence, and opened an additional source of marketing leads. And we keep picking the fruits of our hard labor as our domain authority keeps increasing. Many of our new blog posts enjoy a head start in Google, landing within the first few Search Engine Results Pages, only weeks after publication.

 

While we’re at it, let’s give some credit where credit’s due. Our current SEO performance is definitely a team effort. And it is a dream team!

 

Lisa Bennett – Our EVP Corporate Marketing and PR, whose vision and muscle keeps  Kaltura on the path to marketing success.

Roi Kaufman – Our Senior Director of Digital Marketing, who leads our SEO efforts with blind understanding of numbers and pure, unadulterated marketing genius

Ohad Gadassi – Our external SEO leader. He took the red pill a long time ago and now he sees the matrix. Google has no secrets for him.

Sam Thompson – Our Senior Director of Product Marketing and Kaltura’s unofficial Virtual Classroom and Virtual Events evangelist. His writing seems to get a “straight to #1” pass from Google, almost every time.

Phil Henken – Our freelance blog contributor and relentless blog post machine. Even the guys at Google see him as a video and virtual event expert, with all his posts shimmying their way to the top.

Immanuel Vinikas – yours truly and the last one to toot his own horn, but my posts have done more than alright. If you’re looking for me, you don’t have to go too far. I’m usually chilling in the top Google results 😉

 

We hope these tips and best practices will help you improve your blog’s rankings and increase its traffic. Meanwhile, check out the Kaltura blog to see our SEO efforts in action and of course to learn more about the video industry and our leading video solutions!

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