A common SEO misconception is that the only challenging part is getting started. And don’t get us wrong— starting from scratch isn’t easy because SEO strategies take time, effort, and momentum to build. But even once you’re past the “getting started” stage, the hard work isn’t done, even once you’ve started winning awards and making a name for your brand.

Hightouch is a great example of that. When they first came to uSERP, they had been in business for several years, had a solid starting DR, and had even won awards and boasted some big-name clients. Despite all of this, they were struggling to rank well for certain high-value keywords and to increase overall search visibility. 

In this case study, we’ll show you how we helped this industry-disrupting brand boost their DR, expand their backlink portfolio, rank for over 10k new keywords, and start ranking in the top three positions for high-value phrases. 

The client 

Hightouch is the leading Composable CDP that empowers companies to activate their data warehouse to power personalized marketing and business operations. Trusted by leading organizations like PetSmart, Warner Music Group, Calendly, Spotify, and GameStop, Hightouch enables anyone to deliver personalized customer experiences, optimize performance marketing, and move faster by leveraging data across their organization.

The company was founded in 2019 and is currently a series B startup backed by some big-name investors like Bain Capital Ventures, ICONIQ Capital, Amplify Partners, Hubspot Ventures, and Databricks Ventures. 

The challenge 

Hightouch has been in business for several years and quickly gained steam with an industry-disrupting CDP solution. They had a solid starting Domain Rating of 66, but they were still struggling to maximize their search visibility despite all their initial momentum. 

They had great content already. It’s why they had initial momentum and such a solid starting DR. They were technical experts who had been working hard to develop strong content for a while, but they just weren’t getting the results they wanted— and they suspected backlinking played a critical role. 

They knew they wanted to grow their organic search visibility to increase traffic to their site, and they needed to improve the position of high-value and competitive keywords they were ranking for but not successfully driving traffic to. The goal was to break into the top 3 positions for these keywords, and they kept hitting a wall.

As a result, they came to us at uSERP, looking to improve the number of keywords they were ranking for and the ranking of the high-value keywords they were already targeting through dedicated backlink strategies. 

The solution  

We conducted a thorough audit and analysis of Hightouch’s website, backlinks, content, and internal linking policy. We found a few key areas where new strategies and optimizations would be most impactful, and worked closely with the content team to execute and provide support for their SEO strategy.

Here’s what we did… 

1. Identified pages to improve SERP ranking 

We worked closely with Hightouch to determine which website pages were essential for driving top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) keywords on topics that they wanted to rank well for. 

These were the pages that we’d focus significant effort to improve SERP ranking. These pages were already ranking for keywords in the SERPs, but they weren’t ranking well, and none of them were ranking in the top three positions in the results pages. 

2. Developed an anchor strategy and backlink plan 

uSERP knew that to get Hightouch’s key pages to rank well, we needed to put an anchor strategy and backlink plan in place.

An anchor and backlink strategy creates a systemized approach for how businesses get external links. It’s important to leverage anchor text (which is what users click to take them to a site) to offer valuable context clues to Google. 

Combining high-value backlinks with concise anchor text would make it possible for Hightouch to gain top positions in the SERPs for multiple page-level keywords. This means that they wouldn’t just rank well for their primary target keyword, but could also increase search visibility for secondary long-tail keywords (which could help put them in front of additional relevant audience members). 

Part of the backlink strategy involved earning high-quality backlinks on a variety of relevant sites. These backlinks would use relevant anchor text featuring primary and secondary keywords, creating powerful signals for Google. 

3. Created an optimized internal link strategy 

Earning backlinks from respected, high-authority third party websites are a crucial part of what we do here at uSERP. Backlinks play a vital role in Domain Rating and URL Rating and can significantly increase your ranking potential.

But backlinks aren’t the only type of links that matter. 

uSERP helped Hightouch develop an optimized internal linking strategy that would work alongside the external backlink strategy. This linking strategy would increase the number of internal links prioritizing the high-value pages in question, implementing the same anchor text strategy we had already developed. 

Strategically linking between important resources can not only keep your site traffic moving from page to page on your site, but also help Google find, index, and better understand the context of your key site pages. 

The results 

We started working with Hightouch in November 2022. In the 18 months of working together, we’ve helped them achieve these notable results:

  • Their Domain Rating has increased 8 points, rising from a DR of 66 to 74. 
  • They now rank for 13,215 new keywords since we’ve started working together. 
  • A total of 278 keywords rose to the top three positions in the SERP, increasing traffic as a result. 

In addition to the general results that boosted organic website traffic and new keywords to Hightouch’s URL, individual target pages saw significant results, both in terms of keyword growth and traffic. 

In this first example, the target page started ranking for under 40 keywords in total. After working with uSERP, the page now ranks for over a hundred individual keywords, and the percentage of keywords ranking for the first page of search results increased significantly. 

Let’s look at another example. Before we got started, this target page wasn’t ranking for organic keywords at all; it’s now ranking for over around 50 diverse keywords, with a chunk appearing on the first page of the SERPs in the top ten positions. 

And one more example to consider: This target page saw growth both in total number of keywords and high-ranking placements in around a nine-month timespan. 

Let’s take a closer look at how we were able to increase the ranking of the target pages in question. 

Throughout our engagement for this particular target page, we gained page 1 Google placements for priority keywords, successfully moving it from non-ranking into top #10 and #5 positions:  

And another example. During our engagement for this target page, we gained top #3 placements for priority keywords, moving from non-ranking into primary traffic driving positions:

Final thoughts 

Search engine optimization is complex, and often requires a multi-layered approach that includes on-site optimization, internal and external linking strategies, and an intensive and dedicated approach to earning quality backlinks. 

Great content is the first— and always essential— step. If the content isn’t good, it doesn’t really matter what else you do. But it isn’t the whole equation. Hightouch is proof of that, with a library of exceptional, expertly-created content, but it needed the boost of backlinks to strike gold in the SERPs. 

Google has gone on record to say that they’re focused on prioritizing quality content in the SERPs, so make sure they can find your content and that all the pieces are in place to signal relevance, quality, and trustworthiness. 

This typically requires a dedicated effort and a customized strategy to consider where you’re at and what you need to get you to the next level. uSERP can help with that with authority link building and expert SEO strategies that are developed to meet your immediate and long-term needs. 

Ready to rank higher, and more often? Book an intro call with uSERP to learn how we can help. 

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