The fourth week of April to June is back to school season in the Philippines, and one of my clients wanted to maximize search traffic going to their e-commerce store selling school supplies. We were tasked to create a back-to-school campaign using SEO, blog marketing, and outreach.
Back to School Campaign Goals
The primary objective, of course, is to drive e-commerce sales of their school supplies items. Apart from this, we aimed to further solidify their brand’s reputation as the #1 source of school supplies in the Philippines (hint hint: This is the Philippines’ most-loved bookstore!). Additionally, we wanted to establish that they are the trusted brand of moms when it comes to back to school shopping. This year, we introduced online back to school shopping as a great option for moms and students because of convenience, free delivery of items, and same prices with the physical stores.
Here’s a step-by-step methodology of how we did it.
1. LANDING PAGES. We planned for 2 major back to school sections/landing pages:
- Ultimate Back to School Checklist Landing Page – this houses the ultimate back to school checklists per grade level (preschool to college) and includes a list of helpful articles related to back to school season; and;
- Infographic Landing Page – an infographic page detailing statistics and data out of a survey by moms — this is what we used for outreach
2. BLOG TOPICS. We came up with a list of blog topics relevant for back to school season.
- The topics focused on different personas – from moms of preschoolers to senior high school/college students who are the usual customers of the brand. We even included a checklist for teachers, as well.
- Then we did our round of keyword research, grouped them, and assigned to each blog topic.
- We also identified which blog posts should interlink to one another.
- We took a look at our existing blog articles and added related links pointing to the upcoming back to school blog posts.
3. MOM SURVEY. We drafted a questionnaire for the survey. It’s not only supposed to create an article/infographic off of it, but we thought it was a good way to gain further market insight. Primarily, we asked for their ultimate back to school mommy hacks. Then we also asked information about their shopping budgets, preferred shopping date/time, trusted school supply brands, etc.
- One key takeaway we learned from the survey is that moms (always one step ahead!) actually start back to school shopping in the second week of April, not May! And that they actually prefer online back to school shopping (who doesn’t?).
- A note on micro-moments – another agency formulated an ad campaign to cater to mobile micro-moments. Results of their campaign are not included here.
4. TOP MOMMY BLOGGERS. Next we identified top mommy bloggers. We were quite careful on this one because we didn’t want just those with celebrity status. We wanted the moms who have school kids – ideally we wanted a good mix of moms with preschool, grade school, high school kids. This way, our readers can easily relate to them.
- As part of due diligence, we based the mom blogger selection on important criteria like domain authority, social media clout, and how often their blogs are updated.
5. EMAIL SURVEY. I sent an email to the top 10 mom bloggers asking them to fill up the short survey form. This came with an incentive – an online gift certificate that they can use for school supplies shopping
6. SOCIAL MEDIA SURVEY. Then we shared the link of the survey form to the mommy bloggers community in the Philippines. The Facebook post asked for their participation in the survey. This was just an experiment, trying to test if moms will be responsive. We told them the goal is to help first-time moms with kids about to enter school, to get much-needed advice about back to school season. Lo and behold, we got 58 mommies answering the survey! That’s a nice source of market data!
- The survey form collected names, email addresses, and blog URLs. That way, we had some sort of a database to be used for outreach.
7. DATA COLLECTION & ANALYSIS. Survey data collection, analysis, infographic, and landing pages creation
- We selected insightful tips from the top mommy bloggers (featuring their profiles and blogs), and we used these in both the ultimate checklist landing page + infographic landing page.
- Landing pages and blog posts were then optimized
8. CONTENT PUBLISHING. By this time, all our content materials have been published. The ultimate back to school checklist page links to the per grade level checklists, blog articles, and of course to the infographic page. The blog posts also link to the 2 main landing pages to funnel blog readers to our back to school sections.
9. TOP MOMMY BLOGGERS OUTREACH. I sent out an email to the top mommy bloggers asking them to share/link the 2 main back to school pages/section; and they got their e-gift certificates. The mommies informed me where they have shared the links.
10. THE BIG MOM-COMMUNITY OUTREACH. For the 58 mommy bloggers (Step 6), I exported the survey information in CSV (thank you Google forms!). And shortened the list based on the following criteria:
- Those with mommy blogs (others did not share their URLs)
- KEY STEP: I identified those who have written a relevant back to school blog post. This way, I knew which bloggers will be more accommodating for a link back to my 2 pages. Instead of asking them to write a full post about my topic, I just asked them to include these in a blog post they have previously written. And they actually loved it! First, they appreciated that I took the time to visit and read their blog. Second, they found the checklists and survey data really helpful for moms. There was no problem linking back to my pages!
- How did I do this? I just sent them an email (taken from the survey database) thanking them for participating in the survey, then asked for the link backs based on their written blog post. Never imagined it’s gonna be that smooth!
- The only challenge I faced here is that some of the moms have partnerships with competing stores. So that was a sign for me that they may not accept my request.
- Another step we can add here (but we haven’t finished yet), is to also send an email outreach to those mommies with no blogs — where you can ask them to share the landing pages to their social communities. But most importantly, you need to thank them for participating in the survey. In this case, I still cannot present conclusive data on our social share numbers.
The Results of the Outreach
- Out of the top 10 mommy bloggers, 7 shared our links in social media, and 2 linked back to our landing pages.
- Out of 58 moms, there were 13 with relevant back to school blog posts (22%)
- Out of these 13 mom bloggers we emailed for links, 4 gave us a link (30%)
So you might say, YOU ONLY GOT 6 LINKS?? Yes, it may be that few, but remember link quality and relevance are highly important in the Google search algorithm. The pages we set up are also fairly new, so we expect link increase can happen through time — as these are long-form, resource-information-rich content pieces.
- We wanted to own “back to school checklist and price list” keyword permutations. “Back to school” was our root keyword for this seasonal campaign. We wanted to capture even the early searchers – those in the canvassing stage. These are people researching for school supplies price list this year. The intent is very clear:
Also, “back to school shopping online philippines”. We found “online shopping” related keywords as highly competitive. So there’s still room for improvement in our rankings:
NOTE: Sorry if data graphs from Google Analytics are not posted here. We have NDA.
Traffic Results (E-commerce site):
- School-related searches were up by 36% versus the previous month (they didn’t have the online store yet the past year in May).
Blog Traffic Results:
- Organic traffic was up by 79% in May after launch of all back-to-school articles
- Engagement Goal increased by 55% — publishing in-season content engages readers!
Ecommerce Results (Online Orders):
- 48.28% Increase in Completed Orders – and this is just for the school supplies!
- 4.80% Increase in Conversion Rate
I had fun doing this outreach primarily because I’m a mom and I am part of the back to school shopper demographic. But one thing I learned is that people or bloggers will be willing to help you and link back to you as long as you offer something that is helpful to their community.
You know what they tell us about link building: that you need to build a relationship first. To be honest, I do not have initial relationship with these mom bloggers in the beginning. But I think what I found was some sort of a hack: I shared something of value to them and their readers; plus the fact that they were the cornerstone of the data we wrote about based on the mom survey they took.
Hope you learned something new today.
Happy link building!
If you need a SEO consultant for your business or brand, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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