Case study: Food and Agriculture Organization 2018-04-16T13:45:51+00:00

CASE STUDY

A 3,000% increase in organic traffic for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

Results

Users
All Users
1,633.61%
Organic Traffic
3,181.65%
New Users
All Users
1,449.70%
Organic Traffic
3,731.69%
Sessions
All Users
1,884.13%
Organic Traffic
3,248.65%
Number Of Sessions per User
All Users
14.45%
Organic Traffic
2.04%
Page Views
All Users
1,638.88%
Organic Traffic
1,821.91%

World Banana Forum 2016-17

Introduction

The World Banana Forum (WBF) is a vital arm of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). They are tasked with forming a permanent space of assembly where banana industry stakeholders, at all levels, can collaborate and work towards the formation of best practices for sustainable trade and production, as well as the rights of vulnerable workers and a more equitable supply chain. Bananas are the world’s most exported fresh fruit, and the WBF is the most important body influencing the future of this enormous industry.

However traffic to the WBF’s site between 2014 and 2015 had seen a decline, as we can see here:

In late 2016 Blink SEO won a competitive bidding process for an initial six month SEO and content project, which was later extended. The initial aims of the project were set out as follows:

  • Increase the website traffic and visibility, and in doing so promote dissemination of knowledge within the global banana sector.
  • Define and implement a content strategy and approach for a library of banana-industry related content, mapping target audiences and aiding with the creation of an exceptional resource for banana industry stakeholders.
  • Track, optimize and measure website performance, gaining insights into how content, strategy and processes might be improved.

These aims are of course broadly connected, with the content strategy being the key aspect in increasing website traffic, as well as dictating the project’s scope, complexity, and ultimate success.

Early stages

As is usually the case, the early stages of the project involved information gathering, benchmarking and strategy planning. As well as this, we performed:

  • Keyword benchmarking research
  • Content-oriented keyword research, in both French and English
  • A technical SEO audit, crawling the WBF pages to flag any potential technical issues
  • A content plan of banana-related articles, with titles based on our content-oriented research
  • A user experience audit of the site
  • A detailed content strategy proposal based on our research and a large number of resources shared with us by WBF staff members.

The potential success of the project was suggested somewhat by our initial research. Keyword volumes for relevant terms were high and with the domain authority and link profile of http://www.fao.org/ working to our advantage, it was clear that a comprehensive plan of content and outreach had huge potential when it came to gaining traffic.

After the initial research phase of the we moved on to main body of the project, an integrated strategy of content production, technical SEO, and outreach.

Project elements

Technical SEO

Throughout the project we were on hand to consult with technical SEO issues, using a combination of analytics and crawl data to make suggestions for improvements.

Content – The WBF Good Practices Portal

Working very closely with the WBF Secretariat, including regular Skype sessions and daily instant messaging updates, we coordinated the production of a large number or PDF documents and web pages, covering Environmental Practices, Standards and Certifications, and Social Practices, with each document produced in English, Spanish, and French. This involved:

In 2017, the /good-practices/ portal contributed 50% of the WBF’s overall organic traffic, demonstrating its importance to the success of the project.

Outreach

Throughout the project we used our PR connections and a comprehensive database of journalist in order to release press releases about the development of the good practices portal, bringing in both direct traffic and backlinks strengthening overall ranking authority.

Results

As we can see, the influence our work in conjunction with the WBF secretariat on the visibility of the site, and therefore the organisation, has been considerable:

For SEO work, organic traffic is the strongest measure of success, and between 2016 and 2017 organic traffic increased by over 3,000%. The good practices portal has become a key driver of traffic, and important resource within the industry in its own right.

Other key observations

  • An essential goal throughout the project was that the content produced should be aimed at banana industry stakeholders. This map gives some indication that this aim was achieved:

The nation with the highest overall number of visits to the site was Peru, even higher than the United States where we’d expect the majority of search traffic to come from. This page was the second most popular organic landing page after the home page:

http://www.fao.org/world-banana-forum/projects/good-practices/organic-production-peru/es/

Suggesting that not only was the good practice portal a success in meeting our own KPIs, it also aligned with one the key purpose of the WBF, which is to disseminate knowledge of positive industry practices to important banana-producing populations.

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