With Google algorithms becoming increasingly restrictive comes the demand for a rich, relevant backlink profile that can withstand change after change. The days of merely dropping a link into an online directory are all but over, and it’s now becoming more about showing expertise in the client’s niche for Google recognition, as we will show you in this case study of one of our clients.
Super Event Sussex – Catering Specialists
For our client Super Event Sussex, we began our SEO process with analysing the backlinks of catering competitors by using SEO tools such as Majestic. Through our research we discovered many of our client’s competitors were linked using free directories, a few ad placements, and little else. Such backlink profiles are easily beaten in the SEO arena by constructing an even more diverse backlink profile for the client using enriched backlink sources, many from social communities online, and niche aggregate sites.
And we did it by focusing on what catering is truly about: the food.
The Rise of Food Blogging
If you’ve spent even a few moments browsing through popular social media sites like Pinterest, you know that there is a huge web niche for food. And we are talking everything about food: appreciation, recipes, photography, reviews, link ups, and blogs, just to name a few. So we at Sussex SEO asked Super Event Sussex to provide us with some recipes for the dishes they regularly serve to clients for fancy events, and we weren’t disappointed. Though the client was able to provide a few high end photographs of their own dishes, we ended up pulling many well-shot placeholders from stock photography sites in order to fill that visual gap until we could garner more images from the client. After we created a new post for every recipe (complete with image and video tutorial) on the client’s blog, we then set to work getting the content out there on the web.
Aggregate sites for food blogging are interested only in the photography of the food in question, and submitting a link to these types of sites generally just require an image, link back to your blog or website (or in this case, the client’s), and a brief description. After appearing on the main page among hundreds of thousands of other food photography images, a click on the image takes the user directly to the client’s blog post. The most renowned site of this type in the food blogging niche is Foodgawker. While some of the smaller aggregate sites will allow for auto-posting or posting after a short vetting process, images submitted to Foodgawker (and other big sites such as Tastespotting) undergo a strict approval process whereby the image quality, composition, lighting, and subject matter are all thoroughly considered as to whether or not the image is of a high enough standard to be posted to their site (and no, you cannot submit stock imagery). Yet if the client can provide the high quality photography revered on sites such as these, the benefit is worth it both in terms of the FOLLOW links and organic traffic.
As mentioned, there are also aggregate sites that allow for auto-publishing, such as Whole Yum. Much like Foodgawker, all which is required to post to these sites is a high quality image, link, and brief description. After appearing on the main page, these FOLLOW links go directly back to the client’s website. With a little bit of research, you can see that the list of sites such as these is virtually endless, with other big names being Food Epix, Tasteologie, and Foodie Portal, just to name a few.
While sites like Foodgawker are comprised entirely of image links back to foodie blogs, community sites such as Epicurious are looking for a bit more from their contributors in exchange for links back to your client’s website. Luckily, many sites like Epicurious can pull in your RSS feed once you’ve set up an account, after which you can begin submitting those blog posts as recipes to their site, with each recipe page linking back to your client’s blog. With community driven sites there is the opportunity to trade in unique content and community interaction for the link juice that follows.
On the other side of the community aspect is Pinterest. While many would be quick to point out that Pinterest only contains NOFOLLOW links, the power of its one hundred million monthly active user base can still be leveraged for traffic, and even conversions, for clients. For a catering company like Super Event Sussex Pinterest is definitely not one to pass up, as millions of users are using the social media platform for wedding planning, events, recipes, and aesthetically pleasing food photography, all of which are applicable to our client. By making relevant boards containing pins which link back to the Super Event Sussex website, users will begin to save those pins as possible wedding day caterers, a great recipe for a dinner party, and more… all of which drives relevant traffic back to the client’s website.
Here are a few examples of just the beginning motions to our social campaign:
In just two weeks we’ve already seen a clear improvement for wedding and catering related keywords, including “Sussex catering” and “wedding catering Sussex,” which have climbed anywhere from three to fifteen places and many moved Super Events Sussex to the first page of Google. Another keyword, “West Sussex Caterers,” climbed thirty places. And this is just the beginning: moving into month two we expect to see continued gains as our backlink profile begins to mature and the social proof within the sites we’ve used gain traction.
Looking ahead to month two our strategy will be much of the same only now focusing on wedding catering related keywords, using the same methodology applied in month one. By targeting the niches in which our client operates, we will continue to build a diverse backlink profile and expect to see our client start ranking on the first page of Google for all targeted keywords in the next few months.