CASE STUDY

From Zero to Turnover!

"It's impressive how quickly we've achieved visibility, traffic and revenue in just one year with Ryte, in a highly competitive environment."

- Stefanie Senn, Senior SEO Manager, Chefkoch

With over 20 million unique users monthly and 6 million registered users, Chefkoch is one of the most popular websites on the topic of cooking and baking, making it Europe's largest platform in this sector. In addition to over 357,000 recipes provided by the platform's users, Chefkoch has been offering matching product comparisons for various kitchen utensils since the beginning of 2021, from kitchen appliances and accessories to kitchen inspiration. Despite the high relevance of recipe pages, which account for 60 % of the total traffic, the page area for product comparisons should quickly convince with good performance. In order to quickly gain insights and find out how a new content area can fulfil this, the Ryte module of "segments" in Search Engine Optimization is used. Do optimizations bring an uplift, which internal links are necessary to improve the rankings and increase the traffic accordingly?

The Chefkoch comparison portal - a success story?

In order to find out in a timely manner whether a significant turnover can be achieved with product comparison articles and whether a new page range can convince with good performance in terms of rankings in the shortest possible time, various assumptions were developed beforehand and hypotheses were set up that are tested with the help of the Ryte "segments" feature.

Do optimizations bring an uplift?

Firstly, we wanted to find out whether on-page optimization (changes to meta information, alt tags, etc.) and content optimization (headlines, expert content) lead to an increase in the relevance of the product articles. For this purpose, two groups were created on a URL basis: Group A contains ten articles that have been specifically adapted in terms of content and structure. On the other hand, the ten articles in group B did not receive any targeted optimization.

(Abb. 1. Search Engine Optimization, Segments (Pages), Ryte)

Both groups were transferred into segments and observed over a defined period of time. With the help of the data in Ryte's Search Engine Optimization module, both segments could be compared with each other using real Google Search Console data, and thus changes to the performance values clicks, impressions, CTR and position could be tracked. 

Prior to optimizing the articles in group A, the URL group of the "Not Optimized Product Articles" (B) performed much better based on the KPIs (see Fig.1.). After the end of the article optimization period in group A (end of July 2021), the performance values increased in both groups. From mid-September, however, the group of "Optimized Product Articles (A)" gradually caught up - and overtook with better performance in terms of average position, impressions, clicks and CTR. Thus, we were able to raise the average position of group A in the Optimized Product Articles segment to the level of segment B, which is also growing, and clearly say that content and structural optimizations have improved rankings and therefore increased impressions and clicks. It is interesting to look at the development over time: the first trends can be seen one and a half months after the optimization measures were completed. A clear trend is evident from mid-October, i.e. it takes at least two to three months for changes or improvements to a document to have a full impact on the rating of the URL and therefore become significant (see Fig. 2). 

(Abb. 2. Search Engine Optimization, Segments (Pages), Ryte)

Interestingly, the CTR of the group of optimized product articles already increased with the start of the optimization measures, although the segment was previously significantly below the level of the "Not Optimized Product Articles" (see Fig. 3.). This may be due to the fact that the measures taken have a direct positive effect on the click rate. However, rating changes due to the June Core Update, which was rolled out at the same time as the optimizations in this so-called Google Update Summer 2021, are also possible. 

(Abb. 3. Search Engine Optimization, Segments (Keywords), Ryte)

In summary, the test and the results carried out with the help of the segments are considered successful and both content and structural optimizations of existing product articles bring an uplift. 

Which linking methods make sense?

Another test was to provide insights into what kind of linking for product articles increases performance. Groups were also created for this purpose: Group A contains no internal links. Group B only receives internal links from the most important page area for Chefkoch, the recipe detail pages. Group C contains internal links from various page areas of Chefkoch, for example from the magazine area and the recipe detail pages. In addition, external links from various videos on the Chefkoch YouTube channel have also been placed in this group. Group D only contains links from the magazine section of Chefkoch. The number of links to product articles within a segment varies in each case, as it was not always possible to find thematically suitable content. These segments were also observed over a period of several months.

The results confirm the assumption that external and internal linking improves the performance of the product articles. Group C, which contains both internal links to product articles and external links from the YouTube channel, performs best. This segment shows the strongest growth in terms of click numbers and number of impressions. Group B with links from topic-relevant recipes, such as the recipe "Belgian waffles" to the comparative article "Waffle iron test: The best waffle irons in comparison", shows the second-best performance within the segments. (see Fig.4.). 

(Abb. 4. Search Engine Optimization Segments, Ryte)

The fact that the group without internal links performs better than the group with internal links from the magazine section may be due to the fact that this segment contains more product article URLs than the "Backlinks - Magazine" segment (see Fig.5.). Thus, these two groups are negligible in their consideration and not meaningful enough. 

(Abb. 5. Search Engine Optimization Segments, Ryte)

Conclusion:

From the results of both tests, it can be seen that the hypotheses made could largely be verified, and the assumptions are correct. Both tests nevertheless have their "pitfalls", since, for example, it was not determined which recipes are particularly suitable for internal linking, i.e. have a high relevance in Google. Here, the editors tended to stick to suitable topic-relevant recipes that make sense for the user, rather than recipes that rank particularly well on Google. The same applies to linking from suitable magazine articles. The arbitrary selection of product articles with and without optimization measures is also prone to error, since it cannot be ruled out that among them there are already more relevant or non-relevant terms (also related to seasonality) in a particular group or segment. Despite the possible influencing factors mentioned, we can determine in the comparisons with the help of the segments that both a mix of internal and external linking generates an uplift, that additional potential can be raised through the optimization of existing articles and that a traffic uplift is possible.

Key Facts:

  • Google needs up to 3 months for content and structural optimizations to have a positive effect on relevant performance values

  • Topic-relevant links bring an uplift with regard to the performance values of a URL

  • A mix of internal and external linking generates faster growth and relevance for your content

  • Visibility of 51 product articles increased within 12 months to 1.8 points

  • 5 million Google impressions generated (source: GSC) and 23.4% ranking keywords in the Google Top 10 within one year