YoY increase in organic traffic as of May 2022
The average page experience score across desktop and mobile
YoY improvement in CTR as of May 2022
Boss Hunting is one of Australia’s leading men’s publications. Targeting the male demographic in the 18-40 age bracket, the publication offers a mixture of news, careers advice and lifestyle content.
Boss Hunting started life in 2021 as pages on Facebook and Tumblr, before launching its first website in 2015. The publication’s focus on quality content saw its readership expand to 5 million as of 2020.
After enjoying a particularly successful end to 2020, however, Boss Hunting began to experience some readership challenges in early 2021.
Boss Hunting’s organic traffic dropped 50% in early 2021.
Site architecture lacked specific categories providing relevant content.
Lack of ongoing SEO and content management.
Boss Hunting had enjoyed a spike in traffic throughout 2020, owing to both the COVID pandemic as well as a series of well-received seasonal content in the final quarter of the year. But the post-holiday wake of early 2021 saw organic traffic dip by 50%.
Among the issues driving the downturn were legacy site architecture challenges – navigation just wasn’t as smooth as it should’ve been — as well as outdated content and broken links.
State of Digital Publishing (SODP) worked closely with the Boss Hunting team to help turn things around.
There were two key pillars to SODP’s approach. The first involved restructuring Boss Hunting’s website architecture, while the second focused on reviewing the site’s content.
The publication only had a few general categories, while some of these category names weren’t suitable. There were also a significant number of duplicate tags that had been an outstanding issue for a long time.
We suggested a number of category changes for the current site, helped the Boss Hunting team update posts affected by these changes and ensured 301 redirects were in place. Then we helped update the menus, footers and internal links that still needed to be cleaned up.
In terms of content, we used Google Trends to find stories that would resonate most with the publisher’s target audience, then developed a content cluster strategy to help improve expertise, authoritativeness and expertise (E-A-T) within the space and maximize Boss Hunting’s chance of appearing within Google News’ Top Stories.
Because the Boss Hunting site lacked a coherent structure, we worked with the publication’s team to overhaul it.
We started the process with a content audit in order to reveal the best performing content and categories. This step showed us what was and what wasn’t working for the site.
The SODP and Boss Hunting teams not only workshopped new content ideas, but also developed ways to re-optimize existing articles. This led to the development of new categories and subcategories that were a better fit for the brand. We also helped them define the categories they wanted to expand into — such as travel — as well as the associated site taxonomy.
Boss Hunting ended up consolidating their content around six key areas – or pillars – of entertainment, sports, style, lifestyle, travel and hustle.
These steps flowed naturally into general website housekeeping, which included removing duplicated tags both for content and categories, updating site menus and fixing broken links.
SODP created a templated approach for the Boss Hunting team to optimize their tag, category and subcategory metadata.
By working closely with the publisher on these issues, Boss Hunting achieved an average page experience score of 90% across both desktop and mobile.
While Boss Hunting’s content was still relevant to its target demographic, the fact that much of it was out-of-date meant that it failed Google’s “freshness” test and wasn’t ranking well.
Moreover, the publisher’s “siloed” approach to story reporting — writing one article on a subject before moving on to the next topic — meant the site as a whole struggled to build much topical authority and missed out on appearing in Top Stories.
To tackle these problems, we introduced the team to a more systematic approach to reporting, based around Google Trends and a content pillar/cluster strategy.
This approach involved using Google Trends to create stories that resonated with Boss Hunting’s audiences, before then building content clusters around news stories to build E-A-T. This approach quickly helped Boss Hunting become the leading publication for the 18+ male demographic in Australia in July 2021, according to Nielsen.
Our efforts also included developing strategies to make the site’s content more engaging, while minimizing the resources needed to achieve this. We advised on standardizing workflow with regards to optimizing existing content — stories like “The best Netflix shows in June” could simply be updated for the next month rather than be rewritten from scratch.
Boss Hunting’s use of evergreen content allowed it to avoid creating and publishing similar material, maximizing its resources in the process.
With this remodeled body of content, the publication saw its organic traffic climb by 107% year on year as of May 2022.
Our approach here focused on helping the Boss Hunting team identify and maintain certain SEO basics — such as technical housekeeping — so they could continue creating great content without distractions.
We conducted monthly checks across Boss Hunting’s many pages, fixing broken affiliate links as they were discovered. Because of evolving affiliate partnerships or expiring product lines, the number of broken links could number in the hundreds each month.
Having a multitude of broken links on Boss Hunting’s site was sending negative signals to search engines, impacting its SERP performance as a result. As such, we focused on resolving existing issues as quickly as possible, while ensuring similar issues were addressed quickly.
The SODP team also used tools such as Ahrefs to monitor article performance for drops in traffic. This allowed the publication greater insight and ownership over content performance.
We also routinely optimized schema and metadata, contributing to a 34% uptick year on year in click-through rate (CTR) as of May 2022.
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