SEO-success through customer orientation
Swissmilk.ch has been asserting itself as Switzerland’s most successful recipe platform for many years. In terms of search engine optimisation, hardly any topics are more competitive than recipes – and few areas rely on SEO as a traffic source more than recipes.
The Swiss Milk Producers (SMP) and Dept achieved a good positioning for swissmilk.ch despite the increasing competition. The optimisation of organic search results as the main traffic channel was the highest priority. Over the last few years, this project’s biggest success factor was the consistent alignment with the users’ needs.
SMP is the parent organisation of the Swiss Milk Producers, which is primarily working on the promotion of Swiss milk and associated milk products. In this context, SMP also runs Switzerland’s largest recipe database on swissmilk.ch. The content comprises of recipes containing milk products and tips and tricks around culinary art and nutrition.
Until summer 2016, a desktop and a separate mobile website were run simultaneously. SEO established itself as the most important traffic channel: more than half of the overall traffic between 2016 and 2017 was generated via organic search results. Because of this, it became more and more important to measure the incoming SEO traffic also based on qualitative criteria, meaning the quality of the content interaction. Especially when it comes to recipes, search engines increasingly operate with particularly highlighted illustrations such as the Rich Results comprising of the Rich Snippets, Featured Snippets and Knowledge Graph integration in search results.
Switzerland’s largest recipe platform
Swissmilk.ch is operating in a highly competitive market environment with numerous competitors such as Chefkoch.de, Betty Bossi and Annemarie Wildeisen. In 2017, the competition expanded by the recipe platforms belonging to the two leading retailers in Switzerland – Migros with “Migusto” and Coop with “Fooby”.
The share of mobile search queries has risen dramatically over the past few years when it comes to recipes. Many people experience “micro-moments” and automatically turn towards their phone when they have the urge to act, learn, try or discover something new. At the same time, search engines have tightened the demands for the mobile user-friendliness of websites. The necessity for Rich Snippets, Featured Snippets etc. is further shaping the requirements for content creation.
Another point to consider is the decrease in milk consumption in Switzerland due to the trend of alternative nutrition forms, such as low fat or vegan alternatives, and the increase in food sensitivities such as lactose intolerance.
By focusing on these micro-moments, targeting was narrowed down, the content was reviewed and the KPIs were refined. SEO efforts were not primarily aimed at increasing traffic, but at the optimisation of the usage intensity of content (e.g. session duration, scroll intensity, download, print), as well as the increase in high-quality traffic. The SEO efforts were built around the idea of usability principles and the improvement of content interaction.
An analysis of current food trends revealed which content bears the biggest potential for traffic. Based on this, the recipe texts were reviewed and edited as needed. Furthermore, the library of recipes was expanded based on a targeted data-driven approach.
In order to differentiate between the target groups, the blog, Chochdoch, was established to target a younger audience than Swissmilk.ch. It posts recipes and videos as well as kitchen and culinary life hacks. In summer 2016, the switch to a responsive website with ongoing page speed optimisation, server caching, image compression and deferred loading was implemented.
- 36% traffic increase due to organic search results within two years.
- Extension of visibility in organic search results despite the market entry of fooby.ch and migusto.ch.
- Prominent positioning through Rich Snippets and Featured Snippets in organic Google search results.
- Google Page Speed Insights Score Mobile of recipe pages with 94/100 points and a Google mobile speed rated as “Good”.
- Differentiated KPI set with a focus on usability and strategic objectives: organic quality traffic for recipe content: > 25% compared to last year.