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building links using quality content for an SME site

How we increased our giftware client’s blog traffic from organic search by 2,034%, improved domain authority by 127%, Followed linking domains by 7,897% and delivered a 121% increase in revenue in 3 years.

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increase in blog traffic from organic search in 3 years


increase in followed linking domains in 3 years


increase in domain authority in 3 years


increase in ecommerce revenue from organic search in 3 years

One of the biggest challenges in any SEO campaign is demonstrating the authority and trust of the website, building links to it and improving the domain authority and page authority of your target pages, particularly when you are up against established players with more resources.

This is a challenge for most SEO campaigns for small to medium sized businesses when they are competing with larger organisations with higher profiles, naturally more links and stronger resulting link profiles. Furthermore, the size of the organisation means that there are not the resources for many of link building approaches that are typically used in larger SEO campaigns.

Google, from its inception, has always stressed the need for high quality content and advises “provide high-quality content on your pages, especially your homepage. This is the single most important thing to do. If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site.” Unfortunately, this is easier said than done and the sheer volume of content out there often makes this advice to seem difficult to pull off.

This case study illustrates how Zelst developed and implemented a strategy to build links entirely naturally and deliver a massive improvement in domain authority and search visibility for a company in the giftware industry.


Our client with an online giftware business, competed with both specific niche and larger more general sites. Through a recommendation from another client, he approached Zelst to develop an SEO and paid search campaign for the business. With limited resources available, Zelst developed a highly targeted and extremely effective campaign, which propelled the business forward and delivered strong growth for the company.

To maintain and build upon this growth, however, the business would need to compete with much stronger, better resourced and larger websites and the comparative lack of strength of his domain authority and link profile, would disadvantage his site across the range of larger volume, more competitive terms that the company was now targeting.


Zelst took the time to understand our company and business goals. They helped us to accelerate our business growth through their expert management of our account. They are always on hand for advice and they are reactive to any short term marketing strategies that need to be turned around quickly and successfully.

Zelst continually produce fresh engaging content which represents our brand and its values and they have created a social media presence which provides useful and entertaining information about our products and market. I recommend them to anyone who is looking to grow their online business in a structured and managed way.

Managing Director

the strategy

Our client met with Zelst and outlined their aspirations for the business and detailed the resources that were available for the next stage of its development.  Recognising that, in their business, every penny counted and that a strong return on investment and a quick payback was imperative, Zelst developed an SEO, content, social and biddable media campaign that would ensure that the business continued to grow in the short term, whilst pursuing more ambitious targets in the longer term.

The strategy entailed ongoing SEO for the website, a highly targeted biddable media campaign focused on delivering sales with a high Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) at scalable level, an ongoing targeted content campaign backed up by a strong organic social campaign.

Initially, our client was sceptical of investing in producing free content without a direct sales message and using social media to engage with a target rather than sell to customers, especially as it was unlikely to produce any payback for quite some time.

They were also unsure how developing content and widening the sites focus from purely ecommerce to becoming more informational and non-commercial could really help them and worried that it might even hinder the business. Zelst, however, were clear in their plan and detailed the short, medium and long-term objectives of the campaign, whilst outlining clear timescales and KPI’s to measure progress.

the result

Today, three years into this strategy, the site is achieving record numbers. Domain Authority (DA) has improved by 127% and the site’s DA is now on a par with its biggest competitor and far and away ahead of the specialist sites DA’s that it was previously vying with. The page authority of the key content pages, together with all of its key ecommerce pages is now near stellar. Search visibility has rocketed as has the range of keywords that the site is now found for. Although traffic to much of the content (blog) pages is now greater than it is to some of the ecommerce pages, traffic to the ecommerce site via organic traffic is now 102% greater.

Moreover, the ecommerce site is now attracting a whole new audience with more than double the number of new users acquired via ecommerce and the doubling of organic traffic to the site has increased revenue by more than 121%. The business now has a huge social following, many of which are strong brand advocates and the site has more external domains linking to it than any of its competitors. Sales are at record levels and the business is targeting even greater future growth.


increase in search visibility in 3 years


increase in organic content traffic in 3 years


increase in followed linking domains in 3 years


increase in revenue from organic search in 3 years

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