How a Website Relaunch Grew Email Subscriptions by 30% in One Month

4 Strategies to Ensure a Killer Site Launch
Over the past six months the digital team at PadillaCRT has been working hard on a website refresh for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. Starting with a fresh IA, UX, UI and content we knew that this was a site that the world needed to see. Maybe “the world” was a little lofty, but if you were remotely interested in blueberries, we wanted you on the Council’s website. With the site launched on July 1st (during peak Blueberry season) the team timed a handful of strategies and tactics that would drive traffic and awareness of our newly launched website and content.

All in all the results have been stunning and we’ve seen a 290% increase in site visits compared to July 2013 and a 557% increase compared to June 2014. Not only have we been impressed with those visitor stats, but those visits have led to a 30% increase in our email subscriber database in one short month. Here’s some insight into what we did:

Google AdWords

adwordsWhy Paid Search: I’ve discussed a few reasons why AdWords should be explored, and those reasons still apply for a site relaunch. It is pay-to-play, but AdWords are really easy to ramp up and, if you’ve done your SEO homework, keyword targeting should be a breeze. Plus if you piggy back off of your organic SEO research you should start seeing some nice traffic gains within a few days.

Strategy: This isn’t the first time that AdWords has been utilized for Blueberries, but our approach this year was slightly different than in years past. We decided to take a more targeted approach to our ad groups and nearly tripled how many ad groups were used this year compared to last year. This took some more planning up front, but knowing that we wanted to cast a wide net around blueberry searches we really wanted to get away from broad search traffic to more specific traffic with very relevant landing pages.

Results: Our AdWords results were a big surprise as 38% of July’s traffic came from Google AdWords. With the new site up and our ads dialed in we saw about a 700% increase in AdWords traffic compared to last summer’s PPC campaign. Not bad when you’re only paying $0.11 per click

Pinterest Promotions

pinWhy Pinterest? Our target audience is very active and engaged on Pinterest and we wanted to make sure that our content was visible to them. Plus, as Pinterest has evolved as a social network we wanted to expand our presence and reach.

Strategy: A big goal in the redesign of the site was to make it “Pinterest friendly.” The Blueberry site has a ton of recipes and content that align perfectly with the DIY audience that Pinterest attracts. “Pin it” buttons are abundant across the site, and we worked with a handful of top influencers to get the ball rolling on some new recipes. We wanted them to drive traffic back to our site in hopes of increasing recipe exploration, as well as pins directly from the site (not through Pinterest).

Results: The viral nature of our influencers’ pins seem to have exploded as we’ve seen about 27,000 visits from Pinterest in one month. That’s about a 3,000% increase in Pinterest traffic compared to last July and a steady uplift from previous months this year.

Organic Search

og-searchWhy Organic Search: Consumers are constantly seeking information and it’s imperative that our site was visible to anyone that was seeking relevant information about blueberries.

Strategy: With content and a new site structure being a part of the relaunch we wanted to make sure that everything was in alignment from the ground up. We crafted new content and went through the site from top to bottom with SEO in mind to ensure everything we put forth would keep both users and Google happy.

Results: Organic Search has typically been this site’s largest traffic driver, but with the launch of these two other campaigns organic search took third place. Performance was still exceptional as we’ve seen organic search traffic increase by 234% compared to July of last year and increase by 85% compared to June of this year. Even though it took a few weeks for Google to index the new site, by the end of July we had about 40 pages on the site that saw positive ranking results in Google. Our biggest mover was our Blueberry Whoopie Pie Recipe as it increased 85 spots in Google’s search results.


Why Outreach: With a new site, what better time to tell the industry (and bloggers) about our new functionality and content?

Strategy: The sites and messages we used to target bloggers and the industry as a whole are in alignment with our overall communication approach. Knowing that this tactic may not be a huge traffic driver, we still needed to network our site and content to help raise awareness.

Results: Two highly influential websites featured the new Blueberry website. Both the USDA and Cornell University have linked to our new site. As noted above, traffic from these sites isn’t overly abundant, but from an authority standpoint we struck gold. When considering SEO and link profiles, receiving followed links from .gov (97 domain authority) and .edu (96 domain authority) sites is a huge win. This not only improves the site’s authority in Google but reiterates our commitment to quality content that’s accurate and relevant to blueberries.
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