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As a busy small business owner, blogging on your site is easier said than done. When you have to choose between getting a head start on payroll and writing a blog, you might pick the former. Here at Wpromote, blogging is one of the integral parts of our on-site SEO strategy. Rather than bore you with industry statistics and facts about why we blogging is so important, we would like to tell you a story about a time when it helped our own client’s blog go from a mere 12 visits a month to over 17,000.

In 2014 we were looking for a good blog topic to kick off the very first blog entry on our then-new client’s blog. The client was an orthodontic practice, About Faces And Braces, located in Tennessee. Since we work with a large number of orthodontic clients and other small businesses here at Wpromote, we suggested a couple of topics based on our familiarity with the industry. We knew from experience that orthodontic patients often wanted to know what foods they should and shouldn’t eat with braces on. With that in mind, we suggested the blog topic of what to eat after you get your braces.

In the middle of July 2014, we published the blog post on “What To Eat After You Get Your Braces” on our client’s site. That first month the post had a total of 12 sessions (a session is a group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame). Considering this was our client’s first blog post ever published, this appeared to be a decent start. Little did we know that we had gotten their blog off to a bigger start than we had anticipated.


The Move Into The First Spot

In August, we started to pick up steam receiving a whopping 49 sessions on the blog post. However, we really started to take notice of a change in September when we had 583 sessions on the post in just one month. Why the sudden jump?

We soon discovered we were ranking in the first spot nationally for a variety of queries related to the very topic of our blog post – “What to Eat After You Get Your Braces.”


Our traffic jumped significantly from September to December, with the exception of a small drop-off around the holidays, as you can see in the overview of our traffic pulled from Google Analytics below. We went from around 1,500 overall sessions on the site in September, to over 7,000 in December alone. To put that in perspective, that’s approximately a 380% increase in sessions on the site and 400% increase in users on the site comparing September to December.



The Move Into The Quick Answers Box

It was February 2015 when Google pulled our blog into its Quick Answers box for the query “soft foods to eat with braces.” The Quick Answer box in Google is pictured below; it’s a box you have likely come across when Googling a common question. It’s a valuable placement because it sits right at the top of the page above all other organic listings.

Typically, Google will choose to pull content that comes from high-authority pages and has well-structured content that answers the specific questions in the query. It is not uncommon for the Quick Answers box to feature content from the first organic result, but it is also not required.

In the below screenshot you will see our client’s blog linked Quick Answers box, featuring answers to the question outlined in easy-to-read bullet points.


However, as the timeline below demonstrates, even if you are able to get into the Quick Answers box, you are not guaranteed to be featured there forever. We saw gains and losses in our overall presence in the Quick Answer box in every month:

  • March 2015: We started showing up in two different Quick Answers boxes for these queries:
    • “foods to eat with braces”
    • “soft foods to eat with braces”
  • April 2015: We were pulled into four different Quick Answers boxes for these queries:
    • “foods for braces”
    • “foods to eat with braces”
    • “soft foods to eat with braces”
    • “food you can eat with braces”
  • May 2015: We began to again only show for three different Quick Answers boxes:
    • “what to eat when you get braces”
    • “food you can eat with braces”
    • “foods for braces”
  • June 2015: We maintained our three different Quick Answers boxes for the same queries as May.
  • July 2015: Exactly one year after the blog was posted, we dropped down to only showing for one Quick Answers box:
    • “foods for braces”
  • August 2015: We were showing for one query in the Quick Answers box:
    • “soft foods to eat with braces”


The Impact On Our Client’s Traffic

Despite the varying number of Quick Answers boxes we were pulled into, we did notice a large increase in traffic as a result of our newfound visibility. Looking back, it appears that we first moved into the Quick Answers box in February 2015, at which time we had 10,732 monthly sessions on the blog post alone and 12,212 sessions on the site overall. In August 2015, we had 18,741 sessions on our client’s site, 17,325 of which were to the blog post. That’s not too bad for a blog post that started with just 12 sessions.

Below is a glimpse of our traffic with “All Sessions” depicted as the orange line and blog post-only sessions as the blue line. As you can see, the blog post’s growth in traffic is parallel to the overall site’s growth in traffic as well.



What About Our Rankings?

We saw a large influx of national traffic, but that was not necessarily our main objective for this local SEO campaign. Take a look at this image depicting where our blog post was most popular from August 2014 – August 2015. The darker the blue the higher the numbers of sessions were.


As you can see, our blog post was popular in a lot of places across the U.S. but not necessarily right where our client is located. In fact, we only had about 1,500 sessions that were in the state where our client’s office is actually located.

However, our success on the blog post was not completely useless to us: we noticed a large spike in rankings alongside the popularity of the blog post. Many of the keywords we were tracking (starting in September) began to move up to the first page – if not the very first spot. Below is a chart depicting this large growth in keyword rankings.
(Source: Brightedge)


While all the national traffic we were getting wasn’t necessarily in our target market, we were rewarded with better local rankings as Google began to recognize our site’s authority.


In Conclusion

Over the course of a year, after getting pulled into Google’s Quick Answers box, we were able to increase the traffic to our client’s site and the blog post substantially, going from 12 sessions to over 17,000 sessions on the blog post alone.

So, how can you make this happen for your site? There are a lot of great resources out there with guides on how to structure your content for a better shot at getting pulled into the Quick Answers box and an endless number of queries that your content can answer.

And the best part is, as we discovered, you do not have to be a large brand to get into the Quick Answers box! Even our client’s orthodontic practice was able to make it to the top of Google by publishing their very first blog post.



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