- Organic search drives 70% of Offbeat Wed’s total site traffic, even with a large, unoptimized content archive
- When the pandemic hit, her traffic nosedived as people stopped planning weddings
- Ariel needed a new way of approaching SEO with methods she could trust
- She used AdThrive’s SEO solution and saw results. After optimizing a post about wedding dress codes, pageviews increased by 41%, impressions by 119%, and clicks by 42%
Ariel Meadow Stallings, Offbeat Wed
Ariel Meadow Stallings founded Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride) in 2007. Since then it has helped an incredible 60 million readers with alternative wedding planning. What started as a book steadily grew into a thriving publication with over 7,000 posts about creating authentic weddings not represented by traditional wedding media.
Ariel Meadow Stallings had always taken a do-it-yourself approach to SEO. She focused on building the Offbeat Wed brand, relying on her intuition to create unique content rather than developing technical SEO knowledge. And it was working — her readership grew rapidly.
Then the pandemic hit.
As weddings came to a screeching halt, so did Ariel’s site traffic. She managed to keep her business afloat until social gatherings began to return to pre-pandemic levels, but was then faced with the challenge of rebuilding in a new creator landscape.
With organic search driving 70% of total traffic, the key was optimizing her mounting pile of aging evergreen content. Ariel knew she didn’t need to rewrite her existing content — she needed to make it easier for readers to find.
But as any creator knows, content maintenance is tedious, especially when you’re figuring it out as you go. And hiring an SEO expert is easier said than done, especially when you’re not sure who you can trust.
As an AdThrive creator, Ariel has access to an exclusive Content Optimization solution, which uses AI-powered technology to help creators write or update comprehensive pieces of content optimized for search.
“Content Optimization gave me a new way to get excited about some of my editorial maintenance work, which is the bread and butter of any longtime creator. It’s easy for me to discern the motivation behind the SEO guidance from AdThrive’s Content Optimization solution because I know we’re on the same team.Ariel Meadow Stallings
Ariel used the WordPress plugin to access Content Optimization’s Content Grader feature directly in WordPress. For each post she wanted to update, the Grader suggested related keywords she should cover within the post. Suggestions come from phrases readers use and questions they ask when searching for the main topic.
“Knowing the words and phrases people are actually using related to my content helped me write my headers,” Ariel said. “A lot of posts took on the shape of frequently asked questions my readers have.”
The Content Grader also scans each post and issues a letter grade based on how comprehensively she covered the main keyword.
“It’s like a real-time report card that allows you to optimize both new and old posts from within your WordPress editing page.”
Content Optimization gave Ariel structure, helping her streamline her SEO approach and refresh her content to give it contemporary language based on what people are actually looking for.
She also found an unexpected benefit: Content Optimization helped Ariel evolve her brand. She incorporated more mainstream topics based on the Content Grader’s suggestions, ones that were still related to her main keyword but weren’t previously covered in her posts.
“Brand perception has changed,” Ariel said. “Content optimization helped me reach a wider audience and learn to have more mainstream keywords not just for SEO but for inclusivity. It’s good for my brand, evolving it to adapt to changing times.”
When updating her post 5 clever ways to tell guests your wedding dress code, Ariel combined popular mainstream keywords like ‘black tie’ with brand-related keywords like ‘costume wedding’ to generate impressive results.
Content Optimization is now an integral part of Ariel’s editorial process, thanks to its ease of use and high success rate.
“I’ve had to learn how to run this business lean and mean. Building traffic back organically, especially in the wedding industry after the pandemic, is challenging,” Ariel said. “Having tools that are built-in, help me simplify processes, and are trustworthy is hugely important. Content Optimization has been a strong part of my rebuilding process that actually works.”
AdThrive’s Content Optimization solution uses AI technology to analyze search results and offer suggestions on making your content more competitive. Get the data insights you need to drive search traffic, from keyword analysis to powerful audience development features and performance metrics, all from your AdThrive dashboard.