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Walgreens StayWell Blog: Strategy & SEO (8/13–1/15)

How I took the pharmacy chain’s WordPress-built blog from 6,173 average monthly views (first three months) to 50,991 (last three) using an “all of the above” optimization strategy.

Opportunity

Business: Drive traffic from health content to services, build Walgreens reputation as a trusted provider of health & fitness advice
SEO: Improve engagement metrics, optimize page content & media, build authority, identify content “gaps” in strategic areas based on keyword research
UX: Boost interactivity and look & feel with minimal design resources and easy-to-implement WordPress plugins

The Way Forward

In August 2013, I was handed the reins to revive Walgreens’ infrequently trafficked Stay Well blog. The path to success was clear: with A) a more targeted content strategy, and by B) improving look & feel using WordPress, we could boost page views, create higher-quality article content, and grow the Stay Well audience.

There was the business factor, too. With an “all of the above” approach, I could drive more-engaged traffic back to Walgreens.com with article tie-ins to Walgreens products and services.

August 2013: Working with Walgreens’ e-newsletter team, I began planning and managing content (headlines, CMS posting, images, captions) and coordinating with blog contributors.

September–March 2014: Juggling Stay Well management with other e-commerce projects, I started to improve blog usability and look & feel using its easy-to-modify WordPress CMS (including a caching plug-in to address traffic spikes when the Walgreens e-newsletter came out each month).

Throughout, SEO factored into everything from on-page improvements like titles & links to content gap analyses using keyword research.

March 2014: For a realistic solve that didn’t involve migrating content, I added a clean-looking mobile version for users with, again, another WordPress plugin, as well as enabling author bios (last slide) in articles for audience engagement.

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