“It's literally the number one tool we use. SEMrush is our go-to source for establishing the value of keywords. Be it for our blog or for the product taxonomy SEMrush lets us see what the organic search vendor is actually looking for around that product topic idea and a quantifiable result.”
About Thrive Market:
Thrive Market is an American e-commerce membership-based retailer offering natural and organic food products at reduced costs. The company’s mission is to make healthy living easy and affordable for every American family. By 2016 they had raised $141 million across three rounds of funding following their launch in November 2014. For every paid Thrive Market membership, a free membership is donated to a family in need in the United States. Described as “Costco meets Whole Foods”, Thrive Market’s business model is designed to simplify the supply chain by eliminating the markup typically applied by brick-and-mortar grocery stores. This results in an average savings of $30 on every member order.
Thrive Market’s company mission is “to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone.” It aspires to be the platform for healthy living, and working towards that goal requires great tools.
When Jeff joined Thrive Market — a retailer offering natural and organic food, supplements, and home products at reduced prices — in 2015, he described it as a walled garden. All traffic paths led visitors to an email capture wall, without the option to browse. The only exception was PLA traffic.
The business really needed to see the value that SEO and organic traffic could bring to the table, but first, the site had to become more open. Jeff knew there was an opportunity in letting people browse — and search engines crawl — the site’s full offerings.
As the Director of SEO, Jeff knows the highest objective is to drive conversions, as well as increase organic sessions. After embracing an open approach, the next step was to align content with searchers’ needs. This required going beyond the blog to include product, category, and even brand pages, and as a result, would impact various teams across the organization including editorial, merchandise, and e-commerce operations.
To ensure success across all parts of the business, Thrive Market needed a window into the mind of search visitors to research their intent, and help them reach their goals.
Keyword Research and Content production:
Per Jeff’s guidance, Thrive Market began updating the blog and general content on the website. The company chose the SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool to identify the best keywords and related phrases. As he says, “SEMrush is our go-to source for establishing the value of keywords. We always look at root keywords and then additional phrases that cluster around that topic. Whether it’s for our blog, or for the product taxonomy, SEMrush lets us see what users are actually looking for, along with related ideas and concepts, all ranked by volume.”
Armed with this data, Jeff and the team were able to start creating content that reflected users’ actual interests.
“Search data doesn’t lie, and has no personal bias. It shows what truly is the most popular and of interest to the consumer. That’s a huge win for writers because now every word they write, every post they make, stands a better chance of pulling in qualified traffic with verified volume,” comments Jeff.
He encourages people to let the data be their guide. His advice is to first generate the idea, but then test it against the data available. For example, are consumers just generally searching for coconut oil or something more specific, such as ‘coconut oil benefits’ or ‘coconut oil uses’?
SEMrush helps Thrive Market’s teams find exactly which words to use, and also helps identify other ideas that might be hiding nearby. For example, when Thrive Market launches new product lines like Wine, Meat & Seafood etc., Jeff conducts heavy research with SEMrush. “It's literally the number one tool we use,” says Jeff. “I keep all root keywords and associated phrases in a color-coded spreadsheet, sort of like a map or a keyword reserve. Then, whether it’s for a blog post title, or a category title tag, I already know where we’ve got content, and where we need it still. The value of that can last years. It’s a huge timesaver.”
As a result, Thrive Market now ranks for more than 124,000 keywords.
Having a top-notch website allowed Thrive Market to really harness its power and dramatically grow the number of organic sessions. As Jeff highlights: “Every SEO knows organic traffic tends to convert much better than paid traffic. People are tired of push advertising. Instead, pull them in by explaining the benefits, nutrition facts, uses, etc. — and you have a winning formula for organic.” In a couple of years, the number of organic sessions has grown 3-5x!
CPA and investor benefits:
An indirect benefit of strong organic performance is that your total cost of acquisition costs go down. “If you have success with organic traffic, your ‘all-in’ acquisition costs look much better for investors because you’re not burning as much money by leveraging your content resources,” comments Jeff.
Thrive Market recently hit a real milestone as a business. It dropped costs down by about 50% and roughly doubled conversions thanks to data-based decision making.
- Optimized website and blog generating 3-5x increase in organic sessions
- With the help of Keyword Magic tool, Thrive Market makes the right decisions based on verified search volume and searcher intent.
- Clear keyword database enables effective writing at Thrive Market resulting in 124k keywords ranking in Google
- Writers have clear guidance as to what blog posts need to be produced and what exact phrases they still need to hit.
- CPA goes down by 50% while conversions increase 2x
- As organic, i.e. ‘free’ sessions grow, cost per newly acquired member inevitably decreases.