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How a Gift-Giving Website Grew Traffic by 289% in 6 Months

https://www.oliveandcocoa.com/
SEO case study of Olive and Cocoa.

Stats

56.3K to 219.1K Monthly Visits

Industry

eCommerce

Niche

Gifts

Reporting Date

February 2024

With the global gift market set to hit $68.45 billion by the end of 2024, eCommerce businesses are buzzing with opportunity.

One such company that has taken the lead is Olive & Cocoa.

They’ve been in the gift-giving scene since 2009 but recently unlocked nearly a quarter-million monthly visits.

Join us as we reveal the SEO strategies behind their success and share how to replicate their wins on your website.

About Olive & Cocoa

Olive & Cocoa is a luxury gift-giving website and catalog.

It was founded in 2009 by husband and wife Greg and Lisa Berglund.

Olive & Cocoa specializes in creative gift packages and floral arrangements. They cater to corporate clientele and individual customers seeking the perfect gift.

Olive and Cocoa homepage, a luxury gifting website.

Historical Performance

Semrush historical data goes back to January 2012, so this is where we’ll begin our analysis.

Olive and Cocoa 12 year organic traffic.

During the first few years, organic traffic averaged 2.9K visits per month.

Then, Olive & Cocoa experienced growth between 2016 and 2020, averaging 20.7K monthly visits.

But growth didn’t stop there.

Traffic tripled in the following years, averaging 64.5K monthly visits from 2021–2023.

Now, as we’re at the beginning of 2024, Olive & Cocoa has surpassed some of its previous traffic milestones, catapulting the site to new heights.

February has been the site’s most remarkable traffic spike to date, generating 217K organic visits in a single month.

The chart below recaps these traffic metrics, illustrating just how impressive February’s performance was compared to previous years.

Period2012–20142016–20202021–2023February 2024
Average Monthly Visits2,91520,67464,510197,711

So, what did Olive & Cocoa do to get these results?

And will their strategies work on your website?

Let’s find out.

The Catalyst: How Olive & Cocoa Reached 219K Monthly Visits

Oliveandcocoa.com grew its organic traffic by performing the following:

  1. Mastering seasonality and search intent with on-page SEO
  2. Optimizing images for maximum visibility
  3. Navigating algorithm updates for improved rankings

We’ll explore each strategy in detail to understand how it contributed to Olive & Cocoa’s recent success.

1. Mastering Seasonality and Search Intent With On-Page SEO

In the gift-giving realm, timing is everything.

Holidays and seasonal trends shape consumer behavior, and businesses in this sector must synchronize their content to succeed.

Olive & Cocoa demonstrates an understanding of seasonality and search intent by adapting to evolving user demand.

They take a two-sided approach:

  1. A dynamic homepage that changes monthly to align with the nearest holiday or seasonal trend.
  2. Year-round landing pages that target the most relevant holiday search queries.

Let’s look at how the on-page SEO differs on these pages to align its content with seasonality.

For the homepage, keyword optimizations stay consistent throughout the year.

This page is optimized for branded keywords (keywords that include variations of “olive and cocoa”) and their target keywords like “unique gift baskets” and “floral arrangements.” These optimizations do not change according to the holiday.

However, they change the look of the homepage to mirror the holiday and consumer purchasing patterns for that month.

For example, take a look at February’s homepage for Valentine’s Day.

Olive and Cocoa's February homepage has hearts, sweets, and a lot of pink.

This version is adorned with heart motifs and sweets to align with purchasing behaviors for the season. It also directs customers to the Valentine’s Day landing page, which is optimized for “valentines day” search queries.

Let’s look at this page next.

Here’s the Valentine’s Day landing page:

Valentine's day landing page has pink and red gift baskets and heart ballons banner.

And here are some of its on-page optimizations:

On-page SEO optimizations for the valentine's day page shows holiday-related keywords.

This information tells us that Olive & Cocoa optimizes this page for “valentines day gifts” and similar search queries.

Why this matters:

Olive & Cocoa stays relevant by creating a holistic user experience aligned to the nearest holiday.

Their dual approach allows for smart keyword optimizations throughout the year while maximizing holiday traffic with dedicated landing pages.

This strategy allows them to capture the attention of consumers during key seasonal moments, boosting sales and solidifying their position as a leader in the gift-giving eCommerce space.

How to do on-page SEO on your site:

Optimizing your site to rank in search results is referred to as on-page SEO. Finding the right keywords to target is integral to the process.

There’s a lot that goes into it, but we’ve got you covered with this beginner-friendly on-page SEO checklist for WordPress. This guide will walk you through each step of optimizing your site for the keywords you want to rank for.

Tools for on-page SEO:

All in One SEO (AIOSEO) is the leading WordPress plugin for SEO.

It comes with a suite of tools, but TruSEO Analysis is one of the most effective for on-page SEO.

TruSEO analyzes your content optimizations to help you maximize its reach and ranking potential. It uses a series of SEO checks to generate helpful checklists that make it easy to improve your content.

For example, the Focus Keyphrase Checklist lets you know when you’ve forgotten your focus keyword in critical areas.

Focus keyphrase checklist shows that we forgot our keyword in the introduction.

Next, let’s look at how Olive & Cocoa uses another type of SEO to optimize its website.

2. Optimizing Images for Maximum Visibility

When much of Olive & Cocoa’s appeal comes from its beautiful designs, image SEO becomes paramount for engaging its visual audience.

Image SEO is the practice of optimizing your images for search engines. Since search engines can’t “see” images like you and me, image SEO allows them to understand images and their content.

These optimizations can help you win image rich results, like the example below, and rank in Google Images.

Search results for the query monogram baby blanket shows a listing with a picture of the blanket with the letter A.

Olive & Cocoa uses image SEO to benefit users and search engines. Here are some of their most frequent image optimizations:

  • File name: The file name refers to the name of the image file stored on the website’s server. It should be descriptive and contain relevant keywords while staying concise.
  • Alt text: Alt text, short for alternative text, is a brief description of an image that appears when the image cannot be displayed. It’s important for accessibility and helps search engines understand the image’s content.
  • Title tags: Title tags appear when users click or hover over an image. They provide additional context about an image and should include relevant keywords to improve both the user experience and SEO.
  • Schema markup: Schema markup is code within the backend of your website. It helps search engines understand your web page and its content more accurately. Olive & Cocoa uses product schema to assign image attributes.

These optimizations proved fruitful, generating 22.2K rich results with images in February.

Growth chart of image rich results for Olive and Cocoa.

Why this matters:

According to SEO statistics, rich snippets get 58% of all clicks.

This is significantly higher than non-rich results, which have a clickthrough rate (CTR) of 41%.

In addition to traditional search results, Google Images gets 1 billion searches every day.

By optimizing your images for both text and image searches, you’ll increase your reach and likelihood of ranking.

How to do image SEO on your site:

In addition to the optimizations mentioned above, there are several ways of implementing image SEO on your website.

This article shows you 18 tips for image SEO, but here are just a few:

  • Choose the right image format.
  • Create an image sitemap.
  • Lazy load your images.
  • Compress images to reduce file size.

Tools for image SEO:

You can streamline image optimizations with the help of AIOSEO’s image SEO tool.

This time-saving feature lets you automate image titles and alt attributes with smart tags. These customizable variables generate important image SEO elements without you having to hand-write each one.

Settings for automating image title tags in AIOSEO.

You can also use the Schema Generator to add product schema markup with images. Simply select Product from the Schema Catalog, upload your image, and we’ll format the structured data.

Upload an image in the product schema settings.

Now, let’s look at an element out of Olive & Cocoa’s control—algorithm updates.

3. Navigating Algorithm Updates for Improved Rankings

2023 Google algorithm updates were particularly volatile, causing a stir among SEOs and disrupting the search landscape.

But for Olive & Cocoa, these updates were the boost they needed to win more visibility.

We’ll use the chart below to demonstrate how these updates impacted Olive & Cocoa’s keyword rankings.

Olive and Cocoa 1 year keyword rankings.

When we look at the chart, total keyword rankings have stayed relatively consistent over the past 6 months. On average, Olive & Cocoa had 37.7K rankings per month.

But starting in November, we begin to see a significant change in the position distribution of keyword rankings.

Most notably, keywords ranking in the top 3 positions (marked by yellow) began to grow.

Here’s a breakdown of this growth:

MonthAug 23Sep 23Oct 23Nov 23Dec 23Jan 24Feb 24
Keywords in Top 35535816318161,5522,3702,639

This distribution change means that even though Olive & Cocoa wasn’t winning new keyword rankings, it was ranking higher for existing ones.

Semrush also hints that Google had something to do with it, thanks to the G marker, which signals activity from algorithm updates.

And while it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly which updates sparked the change in position distribution, the higher rankings reflect an overall positive impact.

Why this matters:

Did you know that the top 3 organic search results get 68.7% of all clicks?

By consistently appearing at the top of search results, you:

  • Maximize your visibility
  • Boost brand awareness
  • Drive more traffic to your site

It’s also important to note that staying on top of your site’s performance can help you catch wins and pitfalls following algorithm updates. Our next section will explain how to monitor these effects.

How to monitor performance after algorithm updates:

One of the easiest ways to monitor the impact of Google algorithm updates is by using an SEO plugin. The linked tutorial shows exactly how to stay on top of your rankings, but here’s a brief overview of the process:

  1. Install All in One SEO.
  2. Open Search Statistics.
  3. Navigate to the SEO Statistics tab.
  4. Compare changes in performance around algorithm updates.

Tools for monitoring SEO performance:

Search Statistics makes staying in the loop of your site’s SEO performance easy.

You’ll get a timeline view that shows your site’s impressions and clicks. You’ll also see Google algorithm markers that allow you to pinpoint when an update could have affected your site.

Search statistics dashboard shows your organic performance.

Each marker also has a read more option to learn about the update.

Google update on the search statistics graph shows the helpful content update.

Standout SEO Wins

Before we conclude, there’s an additional traffic technique we’d like to highlight at Olive & Cocoa.

1. They leverage social media to extend their reach.

Olive & Cocoa is active on various social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

They use these venues as an outlet to share recent product releases, new catalogs, unboxing experiences, and more.

Ultimately, social media is a creative way to connect with your audience and drive traffic to your website.

For example, Olive & Cocoa includes links in bios to guide customers to shop on their site.

Olive and cocoa instagram account has a bio link to their website.

Tool: AIOSEO’s Social Media Integration connects with your favorite platforms to share your content seamlessly. Choose from 11+ social media platforms and preview your posts right in the WordPress editor.

Available social media integrations in AIOSEO.

Takeaways

In our analysis of Olive & Cocoa, we’ve discovered how a multi-faceted SEO strategy improved their rankings in the face of algorithm updates.

Now, let’s see how to use these strategies on your site and which ones to reconsider.

Top 3 Strategies to Emulate

  1. Understand your audience and align on-page SEO with search intent. Digital success requires a deep understanding of your target audience and their search behavior. You’ll need to determine the search intent of your keyword targets so you can tailor your content accordingly. Keyword research and on-page SEO will help you achieve and execute an SEO content strategy that resonates.
  2. Use image SEO to win rich snippets and rank in Google Images. Images are a powerful way to boost user engagement and attract more clicks on the SERP. Rich results, which include text results with images, have a higher CTR than text-only results. In addition to standing out from the competition, image SEO can help you rank in Google Images search, where there are 1 billion searches every day.
  3. Monitor SEO performance to assess the impact of algorithm updates. With search engine algorithms constantly evolving, keeping track of your site’s performance is essential. Algorithm updates can lead to fluctuations in key metrics like keyword rankings and impressions. This can ultimately affect your clickthrough rates and organic traffic. By staying vigilant and analyzing performance trends, you can adjust your SEO strategy accordingly to remain competitive in search results.

Bottom 3 Strategies to Reconsider

  1. Blog posts do not showcase author bios. Olive & Cocoa’s blog lacks author bios, which can detract from the credibility of their content and reduce user engagement. Author bios are a great way to send Google E-E-A-T signals by showcasing the author’s experience and expertise. This can win authority and trust in the eyes of users and search engines, potentially boosting rankings. You can create and showcase author bios easily in WordPress with the Author SEO tool.
  2. URLs contain mixed case and underscores. URLs should follow Google’s guidelines, which favor hyphens over underscores for improved readability. While uppercase and lowercase text are treated equally, using one case is recommended by Google. In general, lowercase is preferred. Additionally, including your primary keyword in the URL can enhance its SEO-friendliness. TruSEO Analysis checks for your keyword in critical areas, like the URL, and lets you know when you’ve overlooked its inclusion.
  3. Metadata exceeds character limits. Some of Olive & Cocoa’s metadata extends beyond character limits, risking truncation on the SERP. Maintaining concise and well-optimized metadata is crucial for maximizing clicks. An AI Title/Description Generator can assist in writing metadata for you. You can also check this information in a SERP snippet tool to preview before publishing.

Steal Our Winning SEO Strategy: A Checklist for Your Website

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Win Higher Rankings and More Organic Traffic With AIOSEO

You don’t have to take on the SERP alone.

All in One SEO is your trusted ally for navigating the search landscape and maximizing your visibility.

All in One SEO homepage, the best WordPress SEO plugin.

AIOSEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin, trusted by over 3 million website owners to enhance the performance of their content. You’ll get a suite of tools and easy-to-follow optimizations that make SEO easy.

Here are a few of our favorite features:

  • TruSEO Score: Get a snapshot view, or go into detail, of your content’s on-page SEO with this innovative tool. TruSEO analyzes your content and gives you actionable insights to maximize its reach.
  • Image SEO: Turn on automatic image alt text and title attributes with a single click. You’ll save time from manual entries while helping users and search engines understand your images.
  • Rich Snippets Schema: AIOSEO offers various schema markups 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.
  • Search Statistics: Keep an eye on your website’s organic performance with comprehensive and easy-to-understand reports. Search statistics include content decay tracking, so you know exactly when a page starts to slip, allowing you to fix it.
  • Social Media Integration: Seamlessly connect your favorite social media platforms to your site and share content with your audience. Available integrations include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and more.
  • Author SEO: Create engaging author bios that showcase your experience and expertise. This addon aligns your content with Google E-E-A-T guidelines and helps establish trust with readers.
author avatar
Gabriela Jhean SEO Specialist
Gabriela is a creative and results-driven SEO specialist dedicated to helping small businesses stand out online. She contributes in-depth SEO case studies at AIOSEO Trends to reveal the winning strategies of top-ranking websites. In her downtime, Gabriela enjoys treasure hunting for antique jewelry.