HomeResourcesBlogHow a Training Software Increased Top-3 Keyword Rankings 57% (and Doubled Organic Traffic)

How a Training Software Increased Top-3 Keyword Rankings 57% (and Doubled Organic Traffic)

Keywords are what users search for to find businesses, and targeting the wrong ones means that a business risks not being found. 

The following is a case study that illustrates a classic case of a client having a great product, but a sub-optimal marketing strategy that was underperforming expectations. 

By working with Shortlist to realign their keyword priorities and invest in quality content and backlinking they achieved a 57% increase in the number of keywords that were ranking in the top 3, as well as doubled organic traffic. 

Client Overview

Our client offers one of the most popular employee training software. 

This client joined us in January 2023 and the case study summarizes results achieved up to March 2024, after which we began a second phase with updated goals. 

Here is the benchmark organic position when we took over the project

The Strategy

We began our project with keyword researching, only to find that the client was not prioritizing a number of keywords that indicated:

  • Buyer intent
  • Relatively low keyword difficulty
  • High search volume

No wonder, before partnering with Shortlist, the client faced difficulties increasing their organic visibility for high-potential industry keywords. 

We started by researching and compiling a list of industry-specific keywords, identifying high-potential keywords relevant to their services and products. Additionally, we incorporated competitor research to broaden our results. 

Next, we categorized these keywords by tiers based on metrics like keyword difficulty and search volume. This helped both us and the client understand the value of the keywords and the difficulty of ranking for them.

Finally, we narrowed our list to the top picks that were worth targeting and grouped them into topical clusters. 

From here, our SEO strategy consisted of:

  •  Acquiring high-quality backlinks through guest posting, targeting exact match + long tail variations of the identified keywords 
  • Content Audit and Optimization of the existing landing pages + blog posts to help them rank better
  • Content Strategy & Production – prioritizing which articles to write, the keywords to go after, and the SEO-optimized content to convert visitors into customers.

Backlinks and Referring Domains:

With a proper understanding of our target keywords, we were able to acquire high-quality links consistently, thereby strengthening the site’s authority and link profile.


At the beginning of our collaboration, the client had around 225 keywords ranking in the top 3. 15 months later, by March 2024, they had 353 (a 57% increase). While the total number of keywords on Page 1 has more than doubled in the same timespan.

With a significant increase in the number of keywords ranking on Page 1, particularly in the Top 3 where most traffic is delegated, our client has nearly doubled their organic traffic by the end of phase one (end of March)!

Now we have entered the second phase of our project and are able to incorporate more challenging, high-volume keywords (on account of the strengthened domain and improved content). 

As a result, we are already seeing a significant uptick in organic keywords in just the last few months alone, and we do expect the trend to continue as we move into the second half of the year!  

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