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SEO + Content Case Study
Content marketing earns high-authority media, 
drives client to Page 1 for nine keywords
How one data-driven content campaign earned placements in The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, NBC News, CNBC, and 20 other major media outlets.

Results:
137+
media placements
35%
increase in organic traffic, YOY
450%
increase in Page 1 keyword rankings
Digital Third Coast & 
Waterstone Management Group
Waterstone Management Group  (now West Monroe Partners) is an advisory firm for private equity firms and Fortune 500 companies, serving on boards and management teams of more than 100 technology businesses. 
Digital Third Coast is an award-winning digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, paid media and digital PR. Alongside a comprehensive approach to digital marketing, we earn our clients mentions in big-name publications, in order to strengthen their authority in organic search.
Objective
Improve monthly organic traffic and website visibility for highly competitive keywords in the financial sector.
Strategy
Create a content campaign featuring a newsworthy study of Americans' awareness of monthly spending habits related to tech-based subscription services. By earning widespread media attention and high-authority links to Waterstone's website, we aim to improve Waterstone's performance in organic search rankings and increase their organic traffic.
Results
From July 2018 to June 2019, "America's Relationship with Subscription Services" earned a total of 137 media placements and 129 backlinks to Waterstone's website, with highlights including The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, NBC News, Forbes and Business Insider. Alongside digitally published articles, Waterstone and their study were also featured in three TV segments, two radio broadcasts, and on the front page of the Money section in a nationally syndicated print edition of USA Today.  

This enviable press translated to highly-value SEO outcomes. At the beginning of the campaign, Waterstone ranked on Page 1 for two core keywords. By the end, Waterstone ranked for 11 core keywords, and compared with their foremost competitor—an entrenched industry leader dozens of times larger—Waterstone ended up with a higher average ranking for all keywords targeted and tracked by the two firms.
SEO Success
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Organic Web Traffic
Comparing organic traffic to Waterstone's website between May 2017- April 2018 and  May 2018 - April 2019.
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Google Keyword Rankings
Tracking the number of keywords Waterstone ranked on Page 1 of Google for, over the course of the campaign
Analysis:
  • Over the course of 12 months of on-site SEO work and this digital PR link building campaign, the client's website experienced an average of 9% month-over-month growth in organic traffic and a 35% increase in organic traffic year-over-year.  

  • By the end of the campaign, Waterstone bested its primary competitor in terms of average rank for all keywords targeted and tracked. 

  • Between September 2018 and March 2019, Waterstone increased the number of core keywords it ranks for on Page 1 of Google search results, from two to 11. 
Media Coverage
129
backlinks to client website
34%
high authority placements (DA 70+)
21,800+
social shares
49
national media
placements
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Content appealed to national business and financial publications, earning widespread coverage and syndication
How our study worked:
We surveyed 2,000 Americans to gauge their awareness of monthly spending habits related to subscription services. Each respondent was asked to quickly estimate how much they spend each month on things like cable television, mobile phone service, media streaming services, subscription boxes, etc. We then took each participant through a detailed inventory of their subscription-based expenditures, to assess the accuracy of people's estimates.

The study earned widespread interest from journalists covering business, finance and technology, and was featured in some of the most respected publications in the world. In some cases it was covered multiple times by the same publication, over several months (e.g. CNBC and MarketWatch).
Media Success & Placement Analysis
The 137 total placements included mentions in Business Insider, The Atlantic, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Yahoo! Finance, among others. Most journalists focused on the fact that a majority of consumers are paying more per month than they realize: “Consumers are significantly underestimating what they spend on subscriptions, according to a study from Waterstone Management Group.” (NBC News).

A total of 129 links were earned from various media websites to the landing page containing the originally published study (the study was also featured on TV, radio and in print, most notably on the front page of the Money section in USA Today). The distribution of link types was consistent with what we see from other high-performing campaigns. Our work began by amassing a core of "Direct" links, meaning those we could trace to specific media pitches originating from our team. Then we watched coverage amplify through syndication and "Organic" links, which are links generated from instances where a journalist finds our study and chooses to write about it without getting a direct pitch from us.
Backlink Profile Distribution
 
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Domain Authority of Publications & Placements

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                                                 What it's like working with us...
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"The engagement led to higher SEO rankings and more inbound leads. Digital Third Coast Internet Marketing’s collaborative nature complemented their professional management style. Responsive and client-centric, the team provided actionable insights and proactive solutions."
                                  - Dhaval Moogimane, Partner, Waterstone Management Group