Got a rumbling in the stomach or a desire to head off on an adventure? Founded in 1977, the Australian Good Food Guide was Australia’s first national restaurant, accommodation, and travel guide. Designed as an essential navigational and rating accomplice, AGFG has long been acknowledged as Australia’s most comprehensive restaurant, accommodation, and travel authority. StudioHawk loves a good meal, knowing great locations to unwind, or multitasking both, so it was only natural that our assistance to make the website delectable satisfied our palate. (As in, our good taste in clients).
The ‘main course’ we had in mind was to assist the website in becoming the dominant leader in restaurant directories, comparisons, and reviews in Australia. We noticed big competitors such as TheFork, Tripadvisor, and Open Table had relatively higher domain authorities and were ranking in the top SERP positions for higher search volume location and cuisine-related keywords.
AGFG’s SEO campaign going forward primarily consisted of content development and optimisation, with a specific focus on leveraging keywords related to ‘Cuisines’ and Australian States. These efforts are backed by an ongoing internal linking strategy to establish page authority and increase the chances of ranking these pages in SERPs.
- Grow AGFG’s overall AU keyword diversity by 50% YoY (excluding branded terms)
- Grow the number of AU keywords semantically associated with the following keywords: ‘sydney’, ‘melbourne’, ‘brisbane’, ‘japanese’, ‘korean’, ‘thai’, ‘french’, and ‘greek’.
- Rank in the top 10 positions of SERPs for more than 50,000 keywords YoY (excluding branded terms)
With our napkins across our laps, we audited our competitor sites to identify any gaps and opportunities that we’d collectively be able to work on. We immediately found that the website lacked ‘Cuisine’ and ‘State (location)’ pages. Any existing pages that were even closely related to catering to these search intents were not only being orphaned but were also not optimised to incorporate relevant keywords within content or heading structures.
To overcome this issue, we prioritised building out these pages and provided the client with the best practices around indexing to allow Google to crawl them. Prior to actioning this initiative, we conducted another competitor analysis. From this analysis, a recurring factor that we noticed would help differentiate AGFG from its competitors would be these pages that we had built out, as no other leading website in the industry currently provides a great level of targeted detail in their main navigation or filter functions.
For the State (location) pages, individual landing pages were created and incorporated into the filter function for each category; Restaurants, Bars, Wineries, and Accommodation. This allowed the website to effectively rank for corresponding location-related keywords and permitted each page to generate authority – as opposed to the pages being created with different URL parameters with every filtered search. When creating these pages, ‘Breadcrumb Navigation’ was also factored in and implemented to make it easier for search engines and users to navigate their way across the site. Mmm, breadcrumbs…
To help strengthen the authority of these pages, we also found that the website lacked a good internal linking structure, significantly placing the website at a disadvantage amongst its competitors. To overcome this, we prioritised including internal links from the homepage and individual Restaurant, Bar, and Winery listings to related AGFG’s Location Pages.
In August 2021, we found that the AGFG website managed to attain great position rankings in Google as a result of our efforts. We successfully grew the website’s AU keyword base by 76.48% (excluding branded terms) from August 2020 to August 2021, and grew the number of AU keywords semantically associated with the following keywords from August 2020 to August 2021:
- ‘sydney’ – 89.11% – 4,322 (August 2020) vs 4,850 (August 2021):
- ‘melbourne’ – 90.79% – 5,457 (August 2020) vs 6,010 (August 2021)
- ‘brisbane’ – 86.04% – 2,812 (August 2020) vs 3,268 (August 2021)
- ‘japanese’ 66% – 1,353 (August 2020) vs 2,050 (August 2021)
- ‘korean’ 71.11% – 756 (August 2020) vs 1,063 (August 2021)
- ‘thai’ 82.92% – 4,244 (August 2020) vs 5,118 (August 2021)
- ‘french’ 80.50% – 417 (August 2020) vs 518 (August 2021)
- ‘greek’ 80.69% – 698 (August 2020) vs 865 (August 2021)
See the following examples on the rise of organic traffic for Melbourne & Sydney respectively:
And as the (rather large) cherry on top of the SEO dessert: We improved the number of AU keywords ranking (excluding branded terms) in the top 10 positions of SERPs by 70.90% (40,637 vs 57,311) from August 2020 to August 2021! Dessert wine, please!
Keywords are super important, and more than just ‘flavour’ or ‘spice’ for SEO. Australian Good Food & Travel Guide has you covered, because they saw a need to tackle that coverage and establish their authority. The results are more than savoury, and undeniably sweet. Check them out the next time you want to explore an area to cater for your sensory needs. Om nom nom!
“It was amazing to see, after a short period of time, how we were closing the gap on our giant competitors.”
Shea Irwin - AGFG