About

Website: ssir.org

The Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) is an award-winning magazine and website written by and for social change leaders from around the world. SSIR’s mission is to advance, educate, and inspire the field of social innovation by cultivating and sharing the best in research- and practice-based knowledge.

The Challenge

Despite a wealth of content, SSIR was experiencing little growth in organic search traffic. To reach new audiences, SSIR needed help evaluating the SEO structure of SSIR.org, implementing technical recommendations, and refining their content strategy around high-value search keywords.

What we did

Beginning in February 2018, Whole Whale worked closely with the SSIR team to position their site for organic growth and to help their seasoned editorial staff augment their writing expertise with an understanding of how some simple structural tweaks and content suggestions can increase the reach of their work without compromising their institutional voice.

Content marketing

We worked in tandem with the SSIR editorial team to refine their content strategy and organization, assisting on keyword research to find opportunities for capturing new users on their level, often through existing content that could rank higher in search engines with some simple tweaks. We codified this theory in an editorial guide which supplemented SSIR’s own internal style guide. With a sizable archive, we also helped the SSIR team to consider their information architecture, especially around site navigation and formatting intentional user journeys. Like most of our projects, we transferred our skills to the SSIR team through extensive content marketing trainings. In the end, our work resonated with professional writers and drove a 20% year-over-year increase in organic search traffic.

Technical SEO

SSIR had a previous technical SEO audit that we reviewed, augmenting with a separate audit of our own to develop a technical seo action plan that they could take action on in order to position the site for organic search success. We trained SSIR interns and worked alongside their development team to identify and redirect thousands of critical search errors and to generate metadata to increase click-through rates in search. As a bonus, we audited SSIR’s site speed and provided recommendations for improving site performance —  a key component of search engine optimization.

Capacity Building

In addition to technical seo and content marketing trainings, we positioned SSIR for ongoing success by creating custom SEO dashboards to monitor organic traffic growth, assist with identifying new opportunities for growth, and flag SEO critical SEO errors in the early stages. We also customized a link-building action plan for the SSIR team, identifying opportunities for timely and high-performing backlinks on SSIR.org. Regular Google Analytics insight reports set internal benchmarks for measuring growth.

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