SEO Case Study: Charleston Crafted

Charleston Crafted website profile picture

Something we say all the time at Mediavine is that yes, ads and SEO can coexist.

To further back that up, we have a whole blog post dedicated to that exact topic: How Mediavine optimizes ads and SEO together.

Why? We run our technology on our own sites, all of which have search engines as their #1 traffic source. We’d never want to compromise speed or SEO for ad income, so everything we do at Mediavine is with both of these as a top priority.

We created our SEO Case Study series so you can see real examples of how publishers leverage Mediavine’s SEO resources, pagespeed tools and ad settings to try to rank higher in search engines, boost traffic and earn even more with their ads.

With our next installment in the series, we are excited to introduce you to Morgan McBride of the home decor and DIY site Charleston Crafted.

Morgan is sharing about the importance of SEO and the resources she uses, how video has positively impacted her site, her love for Mediavine’s award-winning customer service, how she has increased her desktop pagespeed and more!

Welcome to the blog, Morgan!

Charleston Crafted creators profile picture

How long have you been blogging? When did you join Mediavine?

I have been blogging since 2012, and I joined Mediavine after the Haven Conference in July of 2018.

What is your current ad density setting in the dashboard for desktop and mobile? Why did you choose this setting?

My current ad density is set at 30% because I’m trying to make that money! But really, I just increase them for Q4, and then I may or may not decrease them after — I haven’t gotten any complaints.

What are you currently averaging in pagespeed per Google PageSpeed Insights?

My current pagespeed average is 68 on mobile and 98 on desktop. My average was something like 12 when I first started.

When did you start focusing on SEO and/or site speed? How has working with Mediavine impacted your SEO, site speed and site overall?

I started focusing on these things after joining the Mediavine Facebook group and learning what SEO was. I honestly had no clue before and would skip those classes at conferences.

Mediavine taught me what SEO was and the importance of writing content with intention. The Facebook group also drew my attention to site speed and simple ideas for improving it by eliminating excess.

Mediavine has also pushed me to create more video, which is great for my readers, social media and of course ad money.

What steps have you taken to improve your SEO and/or site speed? What resources/tools have you used?

The number one change has been writing with intention. It doesn’t apply to all of my posts, but I really try to find keywords that people are actually searching for. Then I pull up supporting keywords and questions to include in my post as well.

I try to be thorough and link internally really well. I use SEMrush, Keywords Everywhere and Google Search Console. I also do everything that the Theory of Content podcast tells me to do. 🙂

Screenshot of the website Charleston Crafted

Did you find any Mediavine resources useful as you optimized your site speed or SEO?

The post about font sizes was helpful, the Summer of Live was HUGE and also comment threads in the Facebook group.

I recently audited my plugins (again) and actually searched each one in the FB group to see if anyone had commented on it or made recommendations for a more efficient plugin that accomplished the same thing.

Have you ever been with another company for full service ad management?

No, and I can’t imagine any company with better customer service than Mediavine!

Are you using Mediavine’s most valuable content plugin, Create, on any of your posts? What do you like about it?

Yes I am. I love it! I love the way that Create cards look in my posts.

Kitchen makeover before and after

Please link us to your favorite posts using a Create card.

Describe your video strategy. What platform do you use to create video? How many videos do you have uploaded through the Mediavine Video Player? How has the use of Mediavine’s Video Player impacted your revenue?

I have 7 pages of video and it looks like there are 9 to a page so… 63-ish. I currently create videos rather sporadically, since some projects really lend well to them. In an ideal world I would do a video for each project, but so much of our work is done at night in dark conditions, which I use as an excuse to not film the process.

I edit horizontal videos for YouTube and Mediavine, then I schedule them to Facebook. Next, I crop them to vertical (in Adobe Premiere) and use that for Pinterest and IGTV.

I have a goal this year of creating more short videos, little clips to tease and entice clicks from social media. I created an overall blog trailer for our featured video (using a cheesy trailer template in iMovie) and also created mini videos for our “best projects” for Christmas and Halloween.

I hope to create more short 30-60 second videos to optimize for ads, and I want to use them for the Up Next playlist feature, which I have not tried out yet.

If I am doing my math correctly, video is about 17% of our ad income in the last 30 days.

Charleston Crafted logo

Where do you learn about SEO news and updates? How do you keep track of changes?

Facebook groups and podcasts.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to increase their organic search traffic?

Write with intention. Study your analytics and the analytics of your competitors. Focus on writing good content that people are searching for and want to read.

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