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How an AI High School Program Grew Traffic by 427% in 3 Months

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Discover the techniques that helped Inspiritai.com grow organic traffic by 427%
Inspirit-AI-SEO-Case-Study

The AI education market is forecasted to reach 32 billion USD by 2030.

And as the industry grows, the demand for skilled professionals continues to surge.

In this SEO case study, we’ll explore how one AI training program used strategic website optimizations to capture the traffic of eager students wanting to enter this domain.

We’ll share the strategies that sparked a 427% growth in just 3 months and put inspiritai.com at the top of the search engine results page (SERP.)

We’ll also give you tips and tools for implementing these winning strategies on your own site.

About Inspirit AI

Inspirit AI is an online AI training program for high school students. It was developed by alumni and graduate students from Stanford and MIT.

Their mission is to inspire the next generation to use AI as a tool for shaping a brighter future.

Inspirit AI offers two programs to equip students with the skill set and knowledge to enter this exciting domain:

  • AI Scholars – Exposes high school students to AI fundamentals
  • 1:1 Program – Promotes continued AI learning with an experienced mentor

Overall, Inspirit AI is committed to being at the forefront of AI education, encouraging young learners to become future industry leaders.

Historical Performance

Inspirit AI was founded in 2019, although traffic was minimal during its first year.

From there, it experienced steady growth until 2023, when organic visits skyrocketed.

Annual worldwide traffic at inspiritai.com from the years 2019 to September 2023.

2023 has catapulted Inspirit AI’s traffic to over a quarter million. And that’s only 9 months into the year.

The chart below illustrates this growth, highlighting the particularly impressive past 3 months.

Chart of inspiritai.com's organic traffic growth with a spike in September 2023.

So, what did Inspirit AI do to fuel this otherwise average traffic domain?

We’ll reveal their strategies next.

The Catalyst: How Inspirit AI Achieved 427% Growth in 3 Months

Inspiritai.com grew organic traffic by performing the following:

  1. Increasing content production
  2. Targeting long-tail keywords
  3. Optimizing for People Also Ask

Let’s look at each item in detail to understand its significance and contribution to Inspirit AI’s success.

1. Increasing Content Production

In 2023, Inspirit AI focused on publishing new content to its website.

Here, we see how many pages were live on the site per month and the organic traffic associated with each.

Data set of pages, worldwide traffic and US traffic at inspiritai.com from March to September 2023.

Let’s focus on May.

130 pages were added to the site this month. Of these pages, 32 were science fair blogs.

Fast forward to July, and 2 of these blogs bring in 46% of the site’s total US traffic.

The top two traffic-driving URLs at inspiritai.com and their traffic share.

As we analyze the website in September 2023, this remains true.

The above 2 URLs generate 45% of September traffic.

Another category that came onto the scene in 2023 was university blogs.

Between June and September, Inspirit AI published 12 blogs with the following format: What Is [University] Known For?

Here we see this category’s top 5 pages for September:

List of university blog URLs and their traffic at inspiritai.com.

While slightly less impressive than our previous science fair category, this handful of blogs accounts for 14% of site traffic.

Both categories speak to Inspirit AI’s target market, high school students and parents, and make sense within the website’s niche.

Why this matters:

Increasing content production has been pivotal in Inspirit AI’s newfound popularity. Particularly so with the addition of blogs on science fair topics and universities.

These new categories make up almost 60% of all site traffic in September.

This data reveals a compelling lesson for website owners: strategic content addition can be a game-changer for your site’s reach.

By embracing niche topics and producing content that resonates with your audience, you can boost organic traffic and capture a significant share of your target market.

How to use keyword research to find content opportunities:

Finding new content opportunities starts with keyword research.

Keyword research is the process of identifying words and phrases that users type in search engines like Google. It reveals topics that resonate with your target audience, allowing you to tailor content to their needs and interests.

For a tutorial, this keyword research guide shows you how to do it using popular SEO tools.

Once you’ve collected a list of target keywords, use them as the foundation for your content strategy. Topic clusters can help you with this process.

Topic clusters provide you with a structure for organizing your keywords. Learning how to do them is easy, and they’ll keep you on track as you build out your content.

Tools for keyword research:

Did you know you can do keyword research directly in WordPress?

All in One SEO (AIOSEO) makes this possible with Semrush Keyphrase Suggestions.

After setting the focus keyphrase for your page or post, click Get Additional Keyphrases in the WordPress editor.

AIOSEO helps you perform keyword research in the WordPress editor.

AIOSEO will fetch relevant terms from your Semrush account, which you can add in 1 click. Alternatively, add these terms to your keyword list and save them for future content.

Here’s an example:

Additional keyword suggestions in WordPress from the AIOSEO plug-in.

TruSEO, our on-page analysis tool, will then check your optimizations for the new keyword. You’ll get a checklist of important optimizations and tips for anything that needs improvement.

Next, let’s look at how long-tail keywords are driving more traffic to Inspirit AI.

2. Targeting Long-Tail Keywords

When we explore Inspirit AI’s top-ranking keywords for September 2023, it’s no surprise that many are related to science fair projects and universities.

However, one thing stands out: most ranking keywords are long-tail queries.

Long-tail queries are searches when people look for something specific. They’re typically a combination of three or more words.

Here are some examples of Inspirit AI’s top long-tail keywords:

  • science fair project ideas
  • science fair ideas
  • science project ideas
  • computer science internships
  • what is yale known for

Why this matters:

Long-tail keywords are extremely valuable. While they have less search volume, they also have less competition and higher conversion rates.

This means they’re easier to rank for.

For new domains or low-authority sites, targeting long-tail keywords is one of the best ways to grow your site’s online visibility. And even though they have lower search volumes, these numbers add up, significantly impacting your site’s reach and traffic.

How to find long-tail keywords for your site:

This guide explains three methods for finding long-tail keywords manually.

One quick, free, and easy way is by performing a Google search. Start typing your keyword (don’t hit enter) and see what Google populates for search suggestions.

Here’s an example of long-tail keywords generated from the search “birthday ideas”:

Google search suggestions for birthday ideas shows how you can use Google for long-tail keyword research.

Tools for finding long-tail keywords:

You can also find these high-converting keywords directly in WordPress.

You’ll follow the steps we discussed earlier when using AIOSEO to perform keyword research.

Here’s an example of the results from a blog with the same focus keyphrase as our above Google search, “birthday ideas”:

AIOSEO generates keyword ideas from Semrush and serves them to you in the WordPress editor.

The AIOSEO Keyphrase Generator often produces long-tail results. Once you see one you want to use, click Add Keyphrase and make your optimizations. Our TruSEO analysis tool will then check your content for this new keyword.

And that’s it!

Next, we’ll look at the final contributing factor to Inspirit AI’s growth: People Also Ask (PAA) optimizations.

3. Optimizing for People Also Ask

In the last 3 months, Inspirit AI has received a remarkable increase in SERP features.

SERP features are rich results (enhanced search listings) and featured snippets (the top result on the SERP). Most of these have been for People Also Ask, as demonstrated below.

Column chart demonstrating how Inspirit AI acquire more SERP features in July-September 2023, especially for people also ask.

The PAA section is highly covetable real estate on the SERP. It appears near the top of the page and gives you a more prominent listing than non-enhanced results.

Here is an example of a PAA result for Inspirit AI:

Rich result for the query "science fair projects" that lists several ideas.

Why this matters:

A listing in the PAA section can grow your site’s visibility and boost clickthrough rates (CTR). These search results have attention-grabbing effects and help increase your brand awareness. They’re also a great way of establishing authority in your niche since users often trust these results.

How to optimize for PAA on your site:

Inspirit AI is doing several things right to win these PAA results. We’ll review their strategies here:

  1. They’re using question-based subheaders. They formulate subheadings with who/what/why/how.
  2. They answer the question directly below the header. There’s no fluffy introduction or making users wait. It’s direct and concise.
  3. Content follows a people-first approach. While these optimizations work well for search engines, they’re more importantly made for humans. Inspirit AI crafts high-quality content that fulfills search intent and makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for.

Let’s tie these optimizations together with an example.

Here we see a question-based subheading from Inspirit AI’s MIT blog:

MIT question subheading with answer is a good demonstration of how to optimize for people also answer rich results.

And this is the PAA result on the SERP:

Google search for "mit" shows a rich result on the SERP explaining how hard it is to get into MIT.

For more tips on how to win these search results on your site, here’s a comprehensive PAA optimization guide.

Tools for optimizing for PAA:

A WordPress SEO plugin makes optimizing and winning PAA search results easy. AIOSEO helps you do this by checking content readability and implementing FAQ schema.

Let’s look at the tools for both.

Checking content readability: TruSEO Analysis checks your on-page optimizations and formatting for an optimal user experience. This tool produces a checklist of items that show you what you’re doing well and areas for improvement.

Below is a screenshot of TruSEO’s Readability checklist.

TruSEO readability suggestions from AIOSEO in WordPress.

Implementing FAQ schema: Our Schema Generator has a catalog of schema types, including FAQ. Schema markup is a powerful way to communicate with search engines and help them understand your content. FAQ schema, in particular, lets them know you’re answering a question, a vital component of winning a PAA result.

Schema Catalog has a variety of schema types for your website, including FAQ.

Standout SEO Wins

Before we wrap up, there’s an additional SEO technique we’d like to highlight at inspiritai.com:

1. They’re using canonical tags.

Inspirit AI does an excellent job implementing canonical tags on its website.

Canonical tags point search engines in the right direction when multiple URLs point to the same page. They help avoid duplicate content issues and ensure search engines know which page to serve in search results.

In Inspirit AI’s case, they’re using canonical URLs in the following ways:

  • Pointing cross-domain tracking URLs to the main page. Some Inspirit AI URLs have tracking codes that generate unique URLs. Canonical tags are used on these pages to direct search engines to the main URL.
  • Directing paginated blog URLs to the main blog page. Instead of trying to rank page 2, 3, etc. of blog results, Inspirit AI uses a canonical tag to point search engines to page 1 of the blog.

Tool: AIOSEO can help you set canonical URLs in just a few clicks. You can set a unique canonical URL for every page or leave them as self-referencing.

Customize canonical URLs with AIOSEO advanced settings.

Takeaways

In our analysis of Inspirit AI’s organic growth, we’ve uncovered the strategies that led to its success.

Now, let’s review which ones to apply to your website and which ones to reconsider.

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