Explore how Natalia and her team created a customer-centric SEO strategy that helped VistaPrint gain topical authority for Promotional Products, Apparel, and Gift products (PPAG).
Content is a crucial foundation of every marketing strategy to generate authority on a subject. But when content is backed up by data that can offer actionable insights to the user, the potential impact could be exponential.
When people search for information on a particular topic, Google and other search engines favor content backed by credible sources from websites that have built a reputation around these topics over time.
For example, VistaPrint appears high in the rankings for searches around business cards because the website creates a lot of valuable, actionable, and data-driven content around the subject.
The Organic Search team supporting Promotional Products, Apparel, and Gift (PPAG), recognized that the key to expanding our organic traffic and rankings lies in enhancing our authority around the topic of promotional items by providing valuable insights for our users that could generate buzz within the media.
The Foundation of Idea
With the recent integration of all promotional products onto VistaPrint, we concluded that PPAG is now better positioned than ever to be promoted in the market. However, we needed a well- defined strategy to improve our SEO authority around this topic.
Our objective was to build topical authority by producing high-quality, data-driven content for our potential customers. In addition, we wanted to provide valuable and actionable tips around marketing through promotional products based on research and expertise.
From an SEO perspective, our strategy was to get backlinks from relevant media publications and industry blogs, which would help boost the visibility of our content and increase awareness around our offering of promotional products.
The Utility of Topical Authority
Topical authority reflects a website’s expertise and trustworthiness in a specific field. It can be strengthened by providing informative and high-quality content that consumers can rely on to help them make better decisions about the consumption of particular products or services.
However, the main challenge was that informational content around promotional products was pretty limited on the VistaPrint website compared to competitors. To combat this, our team
brainstormed that the best way to claim topical authority would be to ask consumers what they thought about these products and why.
As a next step, we surveyed 2000 American consumers to uncover the latest trends in promotional products. The survey aimed to determine which products, features, and contexts appeal to consumers when receiving promotional items from brands. The study results were published on our I&A hub. And with the help of an agency, we prepared a press release and outreach strategy to pitch it as a media story.
Content that Helped Raise our Topical Authority for PPAG
The comprehensive study provided insights into the main pain points that our customers have when it comes to promotional products: what items are the most useful, where do people prefer to receive them, and what characteristics should these have to resonate with people? We provided the list of the 50 most popular items ranked in order of preference. Moreover, based on the research, we could rank the top 50 products that consumers preferred.
Ultimately, with the research and published content, we were able to provide guidance on marketing through promotional products, allowing us to advance closer to our north star at Vista: becoming the expert marketing and design partner for small businesses. The report helped open a line of insights for primarily four types of audiences:
Consumers: The customers could now look up and decide what options they have at their disposal while recommending them to their organizations as promotional gifts.
Businesses: Companies can now better understand and cater to what consumers are looking for. Insights into preferences regarding Gen Z can also help businesses that cater specifically to these audiences. From realizing what establishes Brand Loyalty to understanding how to create an identity that resonates, businesses are more informed now on what exactly makes a personalized experience and utility for their recipients.
Advertisers: The promoters can better understand their market audience so that their promotional products align with their visitors’ expectations.
These promoters can be spread across various events like job fairs, product launches, trade shows, college open days, venue inaugurations, flea markets, and charity events.
Content creators: Content creators within the promotional products industry long for fresh insights. When multiple websites that center around topics similar to ours mention a report in their content, it can increase the visibility and credibility of the original report. This also helped bring organic traffic to the website where the report was published.
People who come across the report through these sources may be interested in learning more and visiting the original source to read the full report. In addition, high-authority industry publications across various categories like lifestyle, marketing, and trade mentioned the report in their articles, which helped us bring more organic traffic to our website.
Additionally, media outlets like MSN, NY Post, and other giants covered the original story and cited our findings. This helped us acquire backlinks from relevant and trustworthy external websites that point to the original report housed under our website, which contributed to our topical authority while helping us raise the visibility of the report for specific searches.
Thanks to the report’s reach, we positioned ourselves in the top 5 search results for dozens of informational queries related to promotional products. In fact, Google eventually positioned the blog post as an Answer box for queries such as “most popular promotional products” and “best promotional products.”
In essence, the results indicated that the most effective way to drive traffic is to offer real value to customers through top-notch content that answers our audience’s main questions about the products we are promoting.
The Ripple Effect
The report undoubtedly created a ripple effect. Aside from the improvement in organic traffic, brand awareness, and reputation of VistaPrint around the topic of promotional products, we can also leverage the insights from the report to inform other content and decision-making.
Consequently, we’re targeting over 400 new informational search queries. Along the way, we’ve also learned that there is an actual demand for information about promotional products. Vista can be a trusted source for such information if we keep bringing data-driven insights that offer real value to our customers.
Looking to the future, we are confident we can expand on this approach and are keen to
implement it across the different product lines in the organizations.
We’re also exploring new data sources and ways to visualize data to make our content even more engaging and interactive to the readers. Overall, this project has been a real win for Organic Search and PPAG, and we’re excited to see what the future holds.