Take inspiration from these successful SEO case studies to rise through the ranks.

Here, you’ll find: 

  • What exactly an SEO case study entails
  • A handpicked roster of stellar case studies to inspire
  • Unique SEO tactics that led to big results
  • How case studies can benefit your biz

Constant keyword research, consistent content writing, user-friendly web design, backlinking… so much goes into a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

What’s more, you might invest a ton of efforts into all these tactics but still struggle to get anywhere near the top of search results.

Two pieces of good news: You’re not alone, and there are ways to get your rankings where they ought to be.

Reading over a good SEO case study can help inspire new strategies and show you what’s possible with the right plan in place.

To give you a head start, we’ll cover dynamic SEO success stories from HawkSEM as well as other agencies. We’ll share the best tactics, common challenges to overcome, and results to support your marketing efforts. 

Get ready to ramp up your SEO. First, let’s get back to basics.

What is an SEO case study?

An SEO case study highlights how a consultant or agency partnered with a specific client to drive significant, notable SEO results.

When brands want to beef up their SEO strategy, they often partner with an SEO agency or professional to help them achieve desired outcomes.

A case study helps paint a clear picture of how a brand went from point A to B on the search engine results page, or SERP — with “B” being results like skyrocketed organic traffic, greater conversion rates, and high keyword rankings. 

But SEO isn’t the same for every brand. Sure, there are overarching categories like content and keywords. But different niches, budgets, and goals distinguish SEO tactics and results across the board. 

Reviewing an SEO case study helps you identify success markers and the strategies used to achieve that success.

With these insights, you can glean tips and tactics to apply to your brand’s SEO strategy. 

14 SEO case studies for top-ranking inspiration

Thousands of monthly traffic hits, 2X conversion boosts, and pumped-up keyword rankings are just a few of the incredible results our clients have experienced with the right SEO services. 

But you’ll notice each brand comes with a unique challenge that informs the right SEO strategy for them. 

  1. businesswoman at a wealth management firm

     Moneta Group catches local leads with triple-boosted keyword portfolio

    Moneta Group has over two decades of experience in the wealth management space. Still, competition increased over time, so we needed to study those competitors and their keywords closely. 

    While Moneta wanted to improve national keyword rankings overall, their top priority was to stand out in four local markets. If you’re also looking to boost visibility in your area, then check out the strategies used in this local SEO case study

    Strategies:

    • Local SEO – We built geo-specific web content to capture potential wealth management clients in the four areas Moneta Group was interested in. On top of that, our beefed-up citation profiles for each office helped solidify independent local ranking signals. 
    • Competitive analysis to fill keyword gaps – Moneta still wanted nationwide keyword rankings, so we had to review their competitors to see what was missing. We identified keywords with the lowest competitive metrics and organized them into a brimming content calendar to rank for each one. 
    • Content optimization – Moneta had a ton of great content on its website, but it needed a revamp for Google and new audiences. We conducted ongoing, on-page optimization, including backlinking and keyword development. 

    Results: 

    • 326% increase in net organic keyword portfolio
    • 164% increase in organic keywords in positions 1-3
    • Over 23% increase in Google Analytics goal completions
  2.  Escape the Room makes a real impression — 4 million, to be exact

    With locations across 18 cities and 10 years of industry expertise, Escape the Room is a leader in the live game and entertainment industry. With all those locations to manage, their marketing initiatives fell behind. 

    They had a substantial base but needed strategic input to maintain a strong digital footprint. 

    Strategies: 

    • Metadata revamp – Escape the Room had 16 different locations, and not every website contained optimized metadata. But crawlers dive into these details, so they deserve some attention. That’s why we added new SEO elements like title tags and meta descriptions to keep Google happy. 
    • Speedy load time Slow site speed can send your audience packing after just a few seconds. We dove into each website’s assets to remove anything clunky and decrease load time. This also improved mobile responsiveness. 
    • Quality content creation From team-building ideas for company staff to escape room tips and tricks, there was no shortage of relevant content to create for Escape the Room. We paired new pieces of content with fresh, snazzy website designs to attract information-seeking readers, planting the seeds for conversion later on. 

    Results:

    • Achieved an account-wide peak of 62% impression share
    • Hit a record number 4 million monthly impressions
    • Reached an all-time-high account-wide ad position of 1.1 for the brand
  3.  DesktopReady waves hello from the top of the SERPs

    A new website launch caused DesktopReady to experience a traffic slump, despite being a leader in their industry with over 1 million users on their desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) solution. How could they maintain their leading position in this space with endless competition and minimal organic traffic?

    We knew what we had to do. 

    Strategies: 

    • Technical SEO audit New website launches sometimes miss the mark with SEO. We conducted a full audit to catch all issues affecting the site’s appeal to SERPs
    • Content all around – We optimized old content with new targeted key terms and created new content to target more qualified leads and foster website traffic
    • SEO support for social media profiles and YouTube – Believe it or not, your social profiles matter, too. So, we optimized DesktopReady’s social media to complement its strong web content and backlink profile. 

    Results:

    • Increased users by 409%
    • Grew backlinks from 822 to 1,340
    • Jumped from 4 to 468 terms in SERP rankings

    Keyword revamps, backlink strategies, and content creation are not the simplest tasks to complete on a marketer’s endless to-do list. Luckily, an SEO agency can check all those boxes for you. 

  4.  Honda doubles traffic and reaches 30 million people

    Honda Motor Co. wanted to promote their new Civic hatchback and Accord models to South American audiences. The problem? They were competing for keywords with their dealership partners. 

    On top of that, Honda just wasn’t reaching their target demographic with their existing content. 

    Strategies: 

    • New and improved keyword targets We needed to get Honda and its dealers on the same page. So, we looked at the digital marketing goals for all parties and created new keyword targets for each to follow. 
    • Audience research – Honda had a target demographic, but SEO campaigns just weren’t reaching them. We sat down to discuss the brand’s unique selling points and linked them to their customers’ needs via tailored SEO content and keyword research

    Results: 

    • 30% decrease in CPC (cost per conversion) 
    • 40% increase in dealer inquiries
    • 200% increase in traffic
  5.  Zephyr sees massive gains in lead volume and market share

    When leading SaaS company Zephyr came to us, their digital marketing strategy was across the board and lacked cohesion. With campaigns and goals in place, they needed help reigning everything into a sharp message and aligned approach. 

    With so many team members and initiatives at play, everyone was hamster-wheeling and struggling to stay caught up. 

    This lapse in cohesion created a hodgepodge of mixed messaging, and, not surprisingly, they weren’t bringing in as many qualified leads as they desired. 

    Strategies: 

    • Big picture strategy: The first thing we did was get everyone on board about how to organize each and every initiative to work together cohesively. With an aligned, collaborative vision, we created a more unified strategy for all digital marketing campaigns.
    • Landing page redesign and optimization: We tackled creative from the get go and redesigned a landing page that was working against Zephyr by not engaging its visitors. Plus, the lead form was long and convoluted. With an engaging, dynamic new landing page design and a more efficient lead form, Zephyr saw immediate results–we’re talking double the lead volume than the original landing page. 

    Results: 

    • 100% increase in Zephyr’s lead volume with the new landing page
    • $250 decrease in CPA
    • 2.5% CTR

    career group header

  6.  Career Group Companies boosts job applications with keyword revamp

    Imagine you’re an employer with a ton of job listings, and you aren’t receiving any applications. Career Group Companies, a staffing agency, faced this problem. The culprit? Less-than-stellar SEO was hiding their listings from prospective candidates. 

    We got to work with tried-and-true SEO tactics to improve the brand’s connection with their audience, drive more traffic, and improve application volume.

    Strategies:

    • Keyword portfolio expansion – We needed to understand why people looking for certain jobs weren’t landing on Career Group Companies’ listings. The answer was a few adjustments to their keyword portfolio, including long-tail variations and keyword phrases that included specific job titles and industries. 
    • Data-driven strategy – Our proprietary tech, ConversionIQ™, helps us decrypt all the data to reveal the whole picture of your SEO and content marketing campaigns. We used our platform to gather sophisticated data across multiple channels and identify qualified and unqualified leads to inform a greater SEO strategy
    • New content assets Career Group Companies wanted to highlight diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts and channel company-wide goals in their content. Naturally, we created new content assets to accommodate these goals and optimized existing content as well. 

    Results:

    • 43% increase in job listing page views from organic traffic
    • 71% increase in entrances from organic searches directly to job listing pages
    • Significant growth in the candidate pipeline
  7.  Content, colors, and CTAs bring Happy Ears Hearing Center a nearly 4X traffic increase

    Happy Ears Hearing Center is a Phoenix-based audiology office that offers specialized ear healthcare services to clients. The company had two SEO goals: one, to capture the local audience that would best benefit from their services. And two? Establish their brand as a national industry expert on hearing issues. 

    We tackled a wider net of keywords and user experience improvements to garner more conversions. 

    Strategies

    • User experience enhancement – Don’t you hate clicking on a web page only to be met with a long, boring block of text? We spiced things up on Happy Ears’ website with colors, digestible headers, and engaging calls to action (CTAs). This led to more local conversions and appointments. 
    • Expanded keyword targets – Happy Ears wants to be an online go-to for all things hearing. So, we had to research what its audience was plugging into Google and expand that across the whole country. 

    Results:

    • 245% increase in total organic keyword rankings 
    • 396% increase in organic traffic
    • 44% increase in local conversions
    • Significant growth in the candidate pipeline

    Happy Ears had its audiology services on-point. With added focus on the online user experience, readers benefited from their knowledge and expertise.

  8.  More visuals and updated keywords help Dilo recover lost rankings

    DILO is a gas-handling product and service provider with decades of experience, but even its longstanding SEO wasn’t immune to a website redesign in 2019. 

    We’ve seen it before: lost traffic and dropped keyword rankings from a new launch or migration. And in DILO’s case, those lost rankings were high-value keywords that it really needed to get back in order to re-establish its place in the industry. 

    Strategies:

    • On-page optimization We always conduct a technical SEO audit after a redesign. This time, we fixed a few speed and navigation issues. Next step? Content optimization with updated target keywords and meta tags.
    • Visual content – The gas industry isn’t the easiest to grasp, even with an organized, comprehensive article. We introduced more infographics and charts into DILO’s content to improve organic traffic and the user experience

    Results:

    • 36% increase in organic clicks within 6 months
    • 24% increase in Google clicks for high-value keywords within 3 months
    • 46% increase in Google impressions within 3 months
  9.  Easly hits the SEO ground running with 70 new pieces of optimized content

    Easly is a Canada-based platform that provides capital advances on SR&ED grants to innovative new brands. 

    The company was new to the digital marketing world and came to HawkSEM with a brand-new website. It was our job to get it off the SEO ground with relevant content and authority to appeal to their audiences. 

    Strategies: 

    • New content to the max – We had to start from scratch, and 70 new pieces of content did the trick. Of course, we had to ensure the information was flawless and accurate to capture niche audiences for this brand. And we wrote for every potential customer in the funnel, from curious onlookers to conversion-ripe audiences. 
    • Domain authority Easly was still fresh to Google’s eyes. They didn’t have enough external or internal links to channel credibility and thought leadership. We focused on creating linkable content that naturally brought backlinks from other reputable industry players. 
    • Technical tidbits – New websites always have a few snags. We enhanced site speed and adjusted some web elements to improve the mobile experience. 

    Results:

    • 2,500% increase in referring domains
    • 40+ featured snippet results on Google
    • 1,500% increase in the brand’s keyword portfolio

    People love reassurance, especially before making a purchase. A content library brimming with industry knowledge and helpful tips delivers that assurance to both readers and search engine crawlers. 

    Group of People in Mission Control Center Witness Successful Space Rocket Launch. Flight Control Employees Sit in Front Computer Displays and Monitor the Crewed Mission.

  10. Wind River triples CTR with PPC and SEO management

    Wind River is a global SaaS brand that helps companies with digital transformation for vital intelligence systems in the aerospace, medical, automotive, and defense spaces. 

    They originally came to us for PPC services, but every cohesive marketing strategy leverages SEO, too. 

    • Internal linking – We improved site navigation and organic rankings by finding relevant placements for internal links across Wind River’s content. 
    • Content research – Tech niches are abundant with potential content, but you really need to ensure audience relevance before you start writing. We conducted competitive analysis and keyword research to inform our content calendar. 
    • Technical and on-page SEO – We covered our technical bases by cleaning up metadata and title tags. On top of that, we ensured logical formatting for web content with H1s and H2s, as well as updated all pieces of content with relevant keyword targets. 

    Results:

    • 20% decrease in ad spend
    • 294% increase in clickthrough rate (CTR)
    • 39% increase in users
  11.  Samanage reaps organic traffic with a poppin’ content calendar

    Asset management and service-desk SaaS brand Samanage operates across 50 different countries. Despite their global presence, they still had trouble ranking in the SERPs

    A custom-coded WordPress template impeded them from making technical SEO changes to appeal to Google’s crawlers. Plus, their blog wasn’t aligned with a cohesive SEO strategy, so they enlisted marketing agency Tinuiti to help them get on track. 

    Strategies: 

    • Robust content strategy – Tinuiti published over 65 pieces of content for Samanage across various types. They started with keyword-targeted blog posts and expanded to whitepapers, landing pages, and more evergreen content to improve web visibility. 
    • Blog redesign – Brainstorming ways to improve conversion rate optimization? Take a page from Tinuiti’s playbook and optimize your blog’s design elements with overall website A/B testing. 

    Results: 

    • 42.14% increase in organic traffic YoY
    • High rankings for non-branded keywords
  12. Mommy’s Bliss builds trust with new audiences via link building

    When you’re a mom-and-pop shop, marketing might be as easy as a Facebook ad or physical sign. But when you start expanding, things get more hectic. 

    Mommy’s Bliss sells high-quality baby products, and experienced immense growth that spurred an entire website redesign. Those two events can seriously throw your SEO strategy off-course.

    Luckily, help from HawkSEM made all the difference, as showcased in this ecommerce SEO case study.

    Strategies:

    • Backlinking for credibility – Mommy’s Bliss expanded its audience, so new visitors might not have been aware of the company’s strong values and credentials. That’s why we needed to launch a backlinking strategy to establish E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness). Think about it: parents need to feel 100% confident in a brand before purchasing a product for their kids. 
    • Daily SEO management HawkSEM offers all clients a dedicated manager to oversee progress, strategize improvements, and catch any snags before they develop into bigger problems. We handled all the SEO oversight so Mommy’s Bliss could focus on creating new products for its booming audience. 

    Results: 

    • Over 65% increase in organic sessions year over year
    • 79% increase in total keyword rankings
    • Doubled goal completions
  13. Forks Over Knives leverages search data to recover lost traffic during COVID

    The pandemic kept people at home and away from Forks Over Knives’ website. The health lifestyle brand noticed a slump in organic search traffic, along with a decrease in search volume for their target keywords

    But the problem wasn’t their rankings. They still held top spots for their target keywords, people just weren’t typing them into Google anymore. Search intent had changed, and marketing agency Wpromote knew the keywords needed to change, too. 

    Strategies: 

    • Trend research – Wpromote used Google Trends data to understand how people were shifting their search queries and which keywords were replacing the old ones. 
    • Content strategy shift When life gives you new keywords, you make new recipes (at least, that’s what Forks Over Knives did during the pandemic). Everyone was looking for recipes, so Wpromote used trend data to predict the most highly searched recipes to create content for. 

    Results: 

    • 278,000 organic sessions for their “banana recipes” pages
    • 41% increase in total organic sessions month over month (MoM)
    • #1 trafficked all-channel landing page since publishing

    People adapt with the times, and your SEO strategy should, too.

  14. Vimeo

    Even enterprise-level SaaS businesses like Vimeo need to stay sharp on their SEO. With over 260 million users uploading hundreds of thousands of videos on the daily, it’s not surprising that indexing and structure data issues arose.

    Customers struggled to conduct basic SEO tasks to optimize their videos, like indexing APIs, adding structured data to their sites, submitting sitemaps, and beyond. Meaning? They weren’t getting as many eyes on their video content.

    The solution? Vimeo got on board with Google’s SEO best practices to improve visibility and searchability for their active customers.

    Strategies: 

    • Allowing customers to index videos at scale – Vimeo streamlined the indexing process to allow embedded videos to show up on Google’s SERPs. By using iframe embeds and noindex in tandem, embedded Vimeo videos from customer websites’ could be indexed and thus, provide more visibility to their own web page without the mess of adding individual markups for each video.
    • Making Key Moments searchableEver searched for how to boil an egg and had to skip past the first three minutes to get to the instructions? Annoying, right? Fortunately, you won’t have this problem anymore because time-stamped segments of Vimeo’s video content now show up in Google Search. By adding Clip markup to all video pages and rolling out Seek markup (auto-generated Chapters that Google identifies as Key Moments), Vimeo customers can now attract more organic traffic to specific segments within each video.  

    When it comes to visibility and video content, Google and Vimeo go together like PB&J.

The takeaway

Whether you’re running a small business or a giant ecommerce operation, SEO success is vital for a modern online marketing strategy. 

Each of these SEO case studies shows key takeaways and tactics you can apply to create the most effective strategy for your business goals.

And if you still need a hand? HawkSEM’s SEO experts have over a  decade of experience helping clients like you improve conversion rates, boost traffic, and smash any other SEO goals on your roster. 

Our clients enjoy an average of 4.5x ROI after working with us. So, let’s turn your SEO into one of our success stories. Book a call today

 

Christina Lyon

Christina Lyon

Christina Lyon is an entrepreneur and writer from sunny SoCal. She leads Lyon Content, a tight-knit team of bold creatives, and crafts engaging written content that helps brands sparkle and scale.