How YMYL Website Sleep.me Increased Organic Traffic by 2,959% and Organic Keywords by 11,162% in Just 12 Months
Sleep.Me Turned Their Website into a Central Hub of Education Resources—and Saw Their Organic Traffic Go Through the Roof
Sleep.me was founded 16 years ago by scientist and physicist Tara Youngblood in the United States. Originally called ChiliSleep, the company offers patented active cooling and warming sleep systems for improved sleep.
In 2022, when ChiliSleep.com transitioned to sleep.me, the team faced a big challenge.
First, they not only had to redirect traffic from ChiliSleep to a new domain, sleep.me. Second, they had ambitious goals for increasing organic traffic.
By following a detailed, step-by-step process, they achieved stunning results:
- The organic traffic on the website increased by 2,959%, from 630 monthly organic visits in February 2022 to 19,274 visits in February 2023
The number of keywords they rank for in the top 10 increased by 18,233%; 2,200 keywords in the top 10 in February 2023 compared to just 12 one year earlier
The total number of keywords the website is ranking for increased by 11,162%, from 214 keywords in February 2022 to 24,100 keywords in February 2023
Let’s look at the sleep.me team’s content strategy to see how they achieved this impressive transformation.
We’ll also analyze their process for updating and improving content by looking at one of their blog posts providing information on why some people get hot when sleeping. Rewriting this article helped generate impressive results:
- 72% increase in clicks from search (according to Google Search Console)
- 12% increase in impressions
- 62% increase in organic search CTR
- 77% increase in organic traffic
How sleep.me Managed a Successful Website Transition and Built a Strategy for Boosting Organic Traffic1. Identify Top-Performing Content
1. Identify Top-Performing Content
Before the migration, the team looked at the pages that had the most organic traffic and engagement and chose content that would move over to the new website.
Then, they analyzed each of those pages and came up with a plan to update and improve them, hoping to achieve better organic results.
To do that, sleep.me’s team conducted search intent analysis for every keyword, making sure their content was relevant and also superior to that of their competitors.
They also used the SEO Writing Assistant tool to check every piece of content for SEO, readability, tone of voice, and originality.
For instance, they found that the blog post mentioned above was one of their top performers, and decided to enhance it.
With the help of SEO Writing Assistant, the team set a goal of achieving an optimization score of 8 or higher on each piece of content.2. 301 Redirect
2. 301 Redirect
“Organic traffic started to improve and get more ranking for Sleep.Me. So that was the primary goal: pull over content and transition to Sleep.Me. We had maybe 15 pieces on there leading up to migration, and then once the migration happened, all of our traffic increased.”
“The organic traffic for sleep.me began to show noticeable improvement, and with it, the site's ranking also began to climb. This was our main objective - to migrate the content and transition to sleep.me. To achieve this, we pulled over around 15 pieces of content to sleep.me's blog. Following the successful migration, the traffic on the site increased.”
— Kevin Druckenbrod, Senior SEO Lead at sleep.me
The strategy was to start driving traffic to the new website even before the migration was complete, without creating duplicate content. So, all pages moved to the new website were rewritten and improved.3. Content Gap Analysis and Topic Research
3. Content Gap Analysis and Topic Research
The team started looking at keywords and content gaps on the website. It helped them see exactly what kind of information their audience was interested in.
They did this by:
- Running keyword research using tools like the Keyword Magic tool
- Analyzing their competition (e.g., using tools like Organic Research). For instance, competitor research was important when updating old blog posts. Their analysis made sure the updates were on track with keywords, content, and users’ intent. This would mean the article could answer users’ search queries as accurately as possible.
- Identifying topics that they referenced a lot within their content, but didn’t have specific pages for (e.g., “sleep stages”)
- Expanding the list of keywords for every content piece. For example, when working on the blog about sleeping hot, they used Semrush Bulk Keyword Analysis to find the top phrases related to this topic.
“We were looking at the keyword gap, to help us determine which terms we were missing out on. This was not only just for keywords, but for content, too. We looked for long-form keywords linked to educational articles and informative blogs so that we could rank for those keywords and those content pieces because we have a product that can help with specific problems.”
—Kevin Druckenbrod, Senior SEO Lead at sleep.me
Talking to the customer service team to come up with real-life topics, such as sleep schedules
Setting up Google Alerts with key topics and keywords. This is useful to stay on top of news and trends and update content accordingly.
For instance, in the blog about sleeping hot, the updated version included expanded sections related to the topic. This was done to improve scroll depth (how far people scroll on average through the content.
This can be seen from the data on the month before and the month after the update. The average scroll depth went from 44.5% to 62.7%, meaning that people were more engaged and more likely to stay longer.
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4. Creating Target Persona Pages and Hubs
Creating personalized content addressing your customers’ real-life issues is one of the most powerful strategies out there.
Sleep.Me’s team took it a step further by creating target persona pages on their new website. First, the team identified specific customer profiles based on their pain points.
Then, they created topical hubs consisting of landing pages dedicated to those specific pain points and educational content linking back to those landing pages.
When selecting topics, they combined their knowledge of customers’ needs with search volume analysis and looked for areas related to their products and value proposition.
One great example is their page dedicated to sleeping difficulties taking place due to menopause.
The page highlights product features that are deeply rooted in the needs of the buyer personas (e.g., sleeping with a partner that has different night sweat patterns), provides customer reviews, and includes FAQs and tips for coping with hot flashes.
They also integrated studies on menopause that share data-driven, educational content while also pushing sales through a pain point.
This means that users can find a lot of useful blog content related to the main topic, which is also linked from the main landing page. This strategy can help you establish topical authority and prevent users from leaving your website.5. Including Citations, Research Studies, and Customer Reviews in Content
5. Including Citations, Research Studies, and Customer Reviews in Content
Sleep.Me features a lot of YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) content, which covers topics that can potentially impact readers’ health, financial stability, safety, or well-being (examples include topics related to finance, health care, legal advice, etc.). Hence, it’s treated with higher scrutiny when it comes to ranking.
Showcasing your content’s credibility is one of the key strategies for websites in this category.
To address this, sleep.me’s team started adding expert citations and statistics, as well as referencing resources and studies in each content piece.
“To enhance the blog,” explains Kevin, “we wanted to make sure that we were specifying citations and being credible. So, when users read our blog, they had an understanding that our content was backed by resources. It’s not just internet content that was thrown out there.”
They also started adding real-life customer reviews in content mentioning their products to further boost trust with readers.6. Removing Unnecessary, Low-Quality Content
6. Removing Unnecessary, Low-Quality Content
Getting rid of low-quality, questionable content is another way to give your YMYL website a boost.
So, to boost their future traffic, the team went for an “all killer, no filler” approach and removed the content that wasn’t performing well and wasn’t useful or credible enough.7. Running Content Optimization Experiments
7. Running Content Optimization Experiments
Optimizing various parts of your content can help you boost engagement and generate better results.
The sleep.me team looked at different ways of creating a better reader experience with their content. For example, they experimented with adding FAQs to popular pages, including new content sections, and updating CTAs.
To illustrate, updating the sleeping hot blog post helped to more than double the average engagement time.
It was also useful in improving organic search performance, leading to a 72% increase in clicks from search and a 62% increase in CTR.8. Continuous Content Audits
8. Continuous Content Audits
By looking at rankings, traffic, and on-page engagement such as scroll depth and engagement time, the team was able to create mid-month and end-of-month KPI reports.
This helps them to measure content performance dynamically so they can see what’s working well, see what’s not working, and be responsive in their content creation process.
Analyzing the performance of enhanced blogs from before and after the update, the team was also able to see if their revisions had been effective.
“I'm always looking at our site,” Kevin says, “always looking at traffic, always looking at keywords, always looking at overall site performance for organic traffic.”Final Thoughts
Analyzing and improving content proved to be a highly effective strategy for boosting traffic to sleep.me’s’s new website.
Creating new personalized content addressing their customers’ pain points was another crucial part of this success.
By using tools like SEO Writing Assistant and Semrush Keyword research tools, sleep.me could provide more relevant and useful information on sleep to their audience, achieving their goal of building a hub of expert resources.
With the insights they gained from the content audit, and by implementing a rigorous workflow, they were able to create enhanced, high-quality content.
This led to an increase in organic traffic, higher engagement rates, and ultimately greater visibility for sleep.me’s online presence.
All this helped them to achieve long-term growth and ultimately surpass chilisleep.com’s organic traffic in FY23.
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