The challenge: making 100,000+ product pages visible
Courtney Kwiatkowski, Director of Digital Marketing and Operations at digital education company Gale, a Cengage company, has one goal for her work: to connect learners to the resources they need.
That’s easier said than done, though. Gale has hundreds of thousands of products they deliver to three key markets (K-12 schools, public libraries, and academic institutions). And five years ago, those hundreds of thousands of website pages weren’t getting the visibility they needed to actually help those learners.
Gale’s marketing team hired an SEO vendor who helped by identifying technical shortcomings and backend opportunities to improve discoverability, but after a year of working together, they knew they needed something more.
“We were starting to feel like the site was more or less an online product brochure,” explains Courtney. “We had a ton of product-related content, but the gap was in tying key subjects and themes that our customers were actually searching for to the products that they care about and that will solve their problems.”
Courtney’s team needed to find a partner who could manage the technical elements but could also create a sophisticated, enterprise-level SEO strategy to maximize organic visibility, grow market share, and drive product usage.
The solution: partnering with Climb for a custom enterprise SEO solution
When Courtney started working with Climb, she was surprised by how deep they dove into Gale’s key markets. “From the get-go, I thought Climb was really knowledgeable. It was interesting to see their findings, and I was impressed with the quality of their research and work,” she says.
That research was the first step in a multi-stage process in which Climb:
- Conducted competitive research across Gale’s three key markets
- Developed an enterprise SEO and content strategy to support Gale’s wide array of products
- Identified multifaceted content silos, including a “subject taxonomy” approach that mapped Gale’s products to subject matter that learners were searching for
- Outlined and optimized hundreds of information-rich pages primed for maximum visibility
- Improved Gale’s technical foundation across several content management systems
“That’s been the biggest positive from working with Climb—they think big, and will give you the big recommendation, but they’ll also help you figure out how to realistically get there,” says Courtney.
And as Climb has come in to restructure Gale’s approach to digital content, Courtney has been evolving the way her team does work, with help from the Climb team members that are now embedded in Gale’s marketing department. “Some of the recommendations from Climb have fundamentally changed how we work, like our process for creating new webpages,” she explains. “They make really smart, knowledgeable recommendations.”
The results: sustainable growth in traffic and leads
Courtney says she will “never forget” what it felt like when she sat down with Climb for a check-in and saw that their SEO efforts had surpassed the aggressive goals they had set for Gale’s visibility.
“It’s nothing but positive. That share of visibility [doesn’t represent] just growth itself, but also gaining a competitive edge over some of our competitors, including those that are much larger companies,” she says. Visibility was Gale’s main goal, and Courtney is thrilled with Climb’s results, but she’s also excited about how Climb’s SEO approach has made an impact on sales. “Before, it was rare to ever get a lead from anything other than outbound activity. Now, we’re driving inbound organic conversions,” she says.
As Courtney’s marketing goals expand, so has her partnership with Climb. “They’re very responsive, they make really strong suggestions, and I appreciate that they’re willing to work with us on smaller steps to get us to the bigger picture we want,” she says. “As I get further into this position and a lot more familiar with the website, my opinion has only grown that they are a good fit for what we need.”
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