The team at Forks Over Knives realized they were facing a steep decline in organic search traffic to their site once people were quarantined at home due to coronavirus. The actual volume of searches for their target keywords was dropping off. They worked with Wpromote to leverage Google Trends data from when Italy’s stay-at-home orders were put into place to forecast high-opportunity recipe keywords and deploy relevant content, quickly recovering from WoW traffic losses (and then surpassing those benchmarks).
Forks Over Knives began in 2011 as a documentary film that examined the profound claim that most chronic diseases can be controlled or even reversed by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. Since 2011, Forks Over Knives has evolved into a lifestyle/wellness brand dedicated empowering people to live healthier lives by changing the way the world understands nutrition. Brand offerings include several best-selling cookbooks, a recipe-driven website, a meal-planner service, a recipe app, a quarterly print magazine, an online cooking course, and consumer packaged food products.
“Our Wpromote team members really are part of our team, and we are always looking to push the envelope. We challenge each other to go one step further, and because we bring a lot of editorial experience to the table, we can combine that with new data and insights Wpromote brings to the table to make sure we’re doing everything we can.”
Forks Over Knives had invested in organic search and paid close attention to weekly analytics reports. As stay-at-home orders started to roll out across the United States, the team noticed that organic search sessions generated by forksoverknives.com had dropped by 23.8%. Smart marketers know that SEO is a detective game, and the Forks Over Knives team worked with Wpromote’s experts to identify the problem: the search frequency of some of their top targeted, high volume search terms for vegan recipes and plant-based diets were declining. They were still ranking #1, but the traffic potential of the keywords had gone down.
Forks Over Knives needed to move quickly to turn the traffic tide, so Wpromote looked to Google Trends data to get a better real-time understanding of how search behavior was changing– and how Forks Over Knives could help connect people with the information they needed.
Knowing that Italy’s quarantine was about 10 days ahead of the United States, they compared Google Trend searches related to “ricette vegane” in Italy and “vegan recipes” in the U.S. over a 15-day period. That information revealed some opportunities to adjust their content strategy to prioritize creating, repurposing, or reoptimizing the right recipes that people were likely to be searching for.
One of the key findings was around bananas: “banana recipes,” a query that typically has 19,000 MSV, was likely to grow according to the Google Trends data from Italy. People appeared to stock up on too many bananas while panic buying for the quarantine and then faced a surplus of ripe bananas they needed to use fast. One of the key pieces of net-new content the team created was a banana recipes listicle.
Within 4 days of posting, the banana recipes listicle was ranking in position 0 for the recipe carousel and #1 on the SERP for “banana recipes– and because of the real-time increase in search potential, it’s getting much more traffic than the 19,000 MSV would indicate: in the first two weeks of going live, the post saw more than 75,000 organic sessions. Just a month and a half after publishing, it was standing at more than 275,000 organic sessions.
The team also leveraged the post on organic social and email– the relevance and timeliness of the post, as forecasted by the Google Trend data, also meant it saw cross-channel success.