The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a shift in language learning, forcing students to seek digital alternatives to in-person classes.
Coupled with the surge in AI, online language learning platforms have become a convenient solution to a global need. The market is projected to reach a staggering USD 38.7 billion by 2030, with self-learning apps leading the way.
But with big names already dominating the industry, like Duolingo, Babbel, and Busuu, do small businesses stand a chance?
In this SEO case study, we’ll unveil the story of a newcomer entering the market and achieving a remarkable growth of 1,797% year-over-year (YoY).
Join us to discover their strategies and actionable steps to apply on your website.
In This Article
- About LanGeek
- Historical Performance
- The Catalyst: How LanGeek Achieved 1,797% Growth YoY
- Standout SEO Wins
- Steal Our SEO Winning Strategy: A Checklist for Your Website
- Get More Rich Results & Grow Your Traffic With AIOSEO
LanGeek is an AI-powered English learning platform based in Tehran, Iran. It was founded in 2020 and first appeared online in January 2021.
The website offers an extensive catalog of English-learning resources, including:
- Vocabulary lessons
- Grammar lessons
- English proficiency test preparation
- And more
In addition to its website, LanGeek has a mobile app for Android and iOS, which is free to download.
Overall, LanGeek proudly emphasizes its utilization of AI in the self-learning app domain. It highlights the strength of AI-based language learning for its ability to adapt to an individual’s level and progress.
LanGeek’s first year online was lackluster. It received a total of 7,451 worldwide visits in 2021.
In 2022, this metric grew to 783,185.
And now, as we report in August 2023, LanGeek has skyrocketed to 3.6 million visits.
They also still have 4 months left in the year to explode that number even higher.
So, what exactly happened in 2023 to propel such dramatic growth?
We’ll look into that next.
The Catalyst: How LanGeek Achieved 1,797% Growth YoY
Langeek.co grew organic traffic by performing the following:
- Diversifying its content profile
- Earning rich results on the SERP
- Acquiring more backlinks
Let’s look at these items in detail to understand their significance and how they catapulted LanGeek’s success.
1. Diversifying Its Content Portfolio
To uncover why 2023 is generating so much more organic traffic than previous years, we decided to compare the state of the website at the end of 2022 to what it looks like today.
Here’s what we found:
- From January – August 2023, LanGeek added 14,685 new pages to the site.
- Of these 14.6K pages, 93.3% were dictionary entries.
- Despite adding these new pages, 91.9% of U.S. traffic came from existing pages in 2022.
Okay, so what does this actually mean?
Our first hypothesis was to contribute the YoY growth to prolific content creation. 14K new pages is a lot, and it’s not uncommon to see a spike in traffic after adding so much new content.
However, this explanation proved insufficient, given that nearly 92% of the traffic came from the pages published in the previous year.
We discovered that LanGeek’s top 30 pages are grammar courses.
These pages drive 36% of the U.S. August traffic, LanGeek’s leading country of traffic.
This is curious because, if we remember from earlier, LanGeek added 14.6K new pages in 2023, and 93% of them were NOT grammar-related. Instead, they were definition entries.
Why wouldn’t they continue adding to a category that works so well?
As it turns out, sometimes too much of a good thing isn’t the answer.
Relying on a single type of content is risky.
And at the end of 2022, that’s exactly what LanGeek was doing.
Our December 2022 traffic analysis revealed that 97.6% of U.S. traffic came from grammar courses alone.
When you rely on a single traffic source, it leaves you vulnerable. And should that single source falter, it could have far-reaching consequences for your website.
LanGeek may have noticed this vulnerability, which sparked a pivot in its content strategy.
In 2023, we see a push to diversify its content offering.
They already had dictionary entries, but they more than doubled them during these first 8 months of 2023. They jumped from 9.2K to 21.8K pages of unique definitions.
Why this matters:
Diversifying your content is a powerful way to reach all your audience. This approach aligns with the marketing funnel and meets potential customers at every stage of their buying journey. In LanGeek’s case, dictionary entries cater to top-of-funnel (ToFu) customers and help build brand awareness.
Content diversification can also positively influence your keyword rankings.
As you publish more content, you create more opportunities to rank for new keywords and drive more traffic.
How to use keyword research to diversify your content:
Keyword research is the first step to building out your content. This process will help you understand what your audience is looking for and identify new content ideas.
This keyword research guide shows you how to do it using popular SEO tools.
We also recommend reading this article on topic clusters.
Topic clusters help you collect and organize all your keywords into a content strategy. It’s simple to learn how to do them, and they’re extremely effective.
Tools for keyword research:
Did you know you can do keyword research directly in WordPress?
All in One SEO (AIOSEO) makes this possible with Semrush Keyphrase Suggestions.
After setting the focus keyphrase for your page or post, click Get Additional Keyphrases in the WordPress editor.
AIOSEO will fetch relevant terms from Semrush, which you can add in 1 click. Alternatively, you could add these terms to your keyword research list and save them for future content.
Here’s an example:
TruSEO, our on-page analysis tool, will then check your optimizations for the new keyword. It’s easy to use and makes keyword research faster than ever.
Next, let’s look at how rich results are driving more traffic to LanGeek.
2. Earning Rich Results on the SERP
In 2023, LanGeek started to receive more rich results on the search engine results page (SERP).
Rich results, or rich snippets, are enhanced results that display extra information. They stand out in search results and are proven to increase clickthrough rate (CTR) and boost traffic.
Here’s an example of one on the SERP:
Typically, website owners implement schema markup to get rich results.
Schema markup lives within the HTML code of your website and helps search engines understand the content of your page. It also improves the likelihood of receiving a rich result.
Now, in LanGeek’s case, they’re actually not doing a great job of implementing schema markup.
We could only find one schema type when analyzing the website: breadcrumb.
This is important because they’ve started getting more SERP features (rich results and featured snippets) this year without really optimizing for them.
Note: Semrush started tracking SERP Features in April 2023, which is why there are no results before this date.
Why this matters:
This situation underscores Google’s capability to identify and serve the most relevant content on the SERP. And in LanGeek’s case, Google has determined that its content aligns with search intent despite the lack of schema markup.
With that said, we’d be curious to see many more rich results the site could get if it did implement schema markup. There are only benefits from properly using structured data on your site.
How to get rich results for your site:
Although LanGeek took a risk by not using schema markup, we highly recommend incorporating it into your own website to secure rich results.
Schema markup plays a vital role for search engines to understand your content. Rich results can then drive significantly more traffic to your site.
This article shows three ways of adding schema markup to your WordPress site.
Each method involves a few steps to obtain and copy code snippets into the appropriate fields.
Tools for getting rich results:
AIOSEO’s rich snippet schema can implement schema markup for you. No coding required. Just pick the schema type you want from our Schema Generator, and we’ll format it for search engines.
Here are the schema types available in AIOSEO:
Now, we’ll look at the final contributing factor to LanGeek’s explosive growth: backlinks.
3. Acquiring More Backlinks
In 2023, LanGeek has achieved remarkable growth in its backlink profile.
Backlinks were scarce in 2022. However, starting in March 2023, we witnessed a surge that marked the beginning of this expansion.
As of August 2023, LanGeek boasts an impressive 332K backlinks.
Why this matters:
Backlinks act like votes of confidence for your website, signaling to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy. They’re also considered among the top two Google ranking factors.
And while we can’t say exactly how they acquired these backlinks, it underscores the importance of link building in a robust SEO strategy.
How to do link building for your site:
This backlinking guide explains how to identify good backlinks and acquire them. It uses a quality-over-quantity approach and emphasizes the importance of relevancy.
It’s also important to note that an effective linking strategy doesn’t end at backlinks.
You should also optimize for the following links:
- Internal links (from one page on your site to another page on your site)
- Outbound links (from your site to another external site)
This link-building guide has everything you need to know to optimize for each.
Tools for link building:
Link Assistant can help you find internal linking opportunities in no time. With linking suggestions that populate directly in the WordPress editor, it’s as simple as clicking Add Link.
Standout SEO Wins
Before we conclude, there are two additional SEO techniques worth highlighting at langeek.co:
1. They optimize images for search engines.
Since search engines can’t “see” images, certain elements help them understand what the image actually is. Optimizing these elements and the image files themselves is image SEO.
Here are a few ways LanGeek uses image SEO:
- Images have descriptive alt text. LanGeek uses alt text to describe images and help search engines understand them. This includes using keywords within the alt text.
- Image file names are optimized. They also optimize image file names to include their keywords, as well.
- File sizes are small for fast loading. Image files should be under 100 kB so they don’t slow down your site.
This image SEO beginner’s guide explains additional elements to optimize.
Tool: AIOSEO can automate many image optimizations for you, like titles, alt tags, and captions. Use the Image SEO tool to set smart tags and enjoy optimizations on autopilot.
Here’s an example of how you can use smart tags to generate image titles:
2. They optimize for content readability.
Content readability measures how easily users can read and understand your content. It assesses your content using factors like word choice, sentence length, and syllable count.
LanGeek does the following to improve readability:
- They use simple language. A fitting choice for an English language learning platform, but it also contributes to a general, positive user experience that’s easy to understand.
- There’s a good use of white space. LanGeek doesn’t overwhelm its audience with text.
- Multimedia engages the user. Flashcards, images, and audio enrich the content and help to break up text.
Tool: TruSEO Analysis checks your content’s readability for you. You’ll get a score that tells you which factors are performing well and actionable items for those needing a boost.
In our analysis of langeek.co, we’ve discovered the main factors contributing to its YoY growth.
Now, let’s recap which strategies to use on your site and which to reconsider.
Top 3 Strategies to Emulate
- Diversify your content to not rely on a single traffic source. Diversifying your content allows you to attract a larger audience and tap into new keyword opportunities. It also helps to create a holistic traffic strategy that doesn’t depend on a single content type alone.
- Optimize for rich results on the SERP. LanGeek’s content meets user intent, winning them rich results on the SERP. We encourage you to take this one step further and implement schema markup, a proven way to win more rich results and drive more traffic.
- Build more backlinks to your site. LanGeek focused its efforts in 2023 on acquiring more backlinks, a strategic approach for a newcomer trying to infiltrate a competitive industry. To enhance your website’s visibility and authority, focus on building a diverse range of high-quality links, not limited to backlinks alone.
Bottom 3 Strategies to Reconsider
- Overoptimizing internal link anchor text. LanGeek uses a lot of exact match anchor text. This can look unnatural to users and suspicious to search engines. It’s best to keep your internal linking strategy natural but strategic. Link Assistant shows you how many internal links you have in a post or page and shows you their anchor text.
- Neglecting schema markup. Even though LanGeek is already getting rich results, schema markup could elevate its online visibility even more. It’s also very easy to implement with a schema generator.
- Underutilizing social media platforms. LanGeek has social media accounts, but it’s not using them to their full potential. Considering they offer and promote a mobile app, it’s wise to meet customers where they are—their smartphones. AIOSEO makes it easy to notify your audience when you post new content with our social media integration.
Steal Our SEO Winning Strategy: A Checklist for Your Website
Looking to make your mark in a competitive industry?
This 50-item checklist gives you a step-by-step plan for growing your website’s traffic so you, too, can experience explosive growth.
Download A Free SEO Checklist
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Enter your name and email to download a free SEO checklist.
Get More Rich Results & Grow Your Traffic With AIOSEO
Short on time and need a fast track to SEO success?
We’ve got you covered with AIOSEO, the best SEO plugin for WordPress.
Trusted by over 3 million website owners and savvy marketers, AIOSEO provides a powerful suite of tools to optimize your site and help you improve rankings. We simplify SEO so you can focus on what matters most: growing your business.
Some of our favorite features include:
- Semrush Keyphrase Suggestions: Perform keyword research without ever having to leave WordPress. AIOSEO connects with your Semrush account to pull keyword ideas from its database and serve them to you in the WordPress editor.
- TruSEO On-Page Analysis: Get an in-depth but easy-to-understand analysis of your optimizations. We’ll let you know where you’re hitting it in the ballpark and give you actionable items to make your content a home run.
- Rich Snippets Schema: AIOSEO offers various schema markup options to help you claim more rich results on the SERP. It’s as simple as choosing the schema you want; then, we’ll format the structured data for Google.
- Link Assistant: Get link suggestions, edit anchor text, and add internal links to your content in just 1 click. Link Assistant makes your internal linking strategy more effective than ever.
- Image SEO: Save time on manual optimizations with the help of automatic image alt text and title attributes.
- Social Media Integration: Seamlessly connect your social media platforms and share content with your audience. Available integrations include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and more.