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Family-run furniture manufacturer achieves 250% revenue growth with SEO and image optimization

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Self-taught SEO skills have helped this small business achieve its target revenue for five years. 

KuchyneValent is a Slovakian kitchen and furniture manufacturing company run by two brothers and a group of childhood friends. With mainly offline sales channels, the company reached a maximum of $100k in annual revenue.

In 2017, they decided to take their digital presence seriously. The team’s frugal budget allowed them to build a new website but left little room for ads or hiring a marketing agency.

So they set a new direction for their marketing efforts: creating exceptional blog content and ensuring its widespread distribution. Search engine optimization (SEO) became one of the fundamental pillars of their strategy. 

Although they had no previous SEO experience, they made the crucial decision to handle everything in-house. Little did they know that this approach would become their primary source of leads for many years to come and SEO would profoundly transform their lives.

Read on to learn how Valent Kitchen Studio has achieved $400k+ annual revenue and sustained organic traffic as the primary driver of lead generation for 5 years and counting

Solution: Image-driven organic traffic (SEO for visual content creators)

At first, the team failed at various SEO techniques they tried, primarily due to their lack of data and understanding of off-page ranking. However, despite their inability to secure top search positions, they did manage to attract some traffic. Only after signing up with Semrush did they uncover the underlying reason: image optimization. 
 

Great visuals convert better than copy

Once the Valent team ran their first Semrush Site Audit, they realized that it was indeed optimized images, rather than copy, that had contributed to driving their poorly backlinked website upwards. Recognizing that most prominent local players had not optimized for image search, despite its popularity among people seeking inspiration, they decided to seize the opportunity.

Here are the steps:

1. Keyword analysis from Semrush

First, the team conducted keyword analysis and examined how their competitors were performing in terms of image optimization

To find the best keyword for image titles, they:

  1. Entered the company’s core keyword, like “custom kitchen cabinets”, into the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool
  2. Applied the image pack filter

Next, the team entered their top competitors into the Semrush Keyword Gap tool to find the terms the competitors were ranking well for but KuchyneValent wasn’t:

The tool gave them a list of competitors’ best-performing keywords that were filtered into weak, missing, or untapped terms.

Additionally, they found it beneficial to directly check the search engine results page (SERP) to see the image titles that popped up. 

Next, they utilized Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool to create a cluster of keywords related to the topic, serving as the foundation for their subcategories and related searches.

Example: keyword research results with subcategories shown In the left column

The team went after a combination of low keyword difficulty and a search volume of at least 500 to make the search terms worth pursuing. 

Once they had gathered an extensive keyword list, they began assigning them to category pages, product pages, blog posts, and image titles. 

Query example for custom-made TV furniture - a specialty of kuchynevalent.sk. Through organic suggested categories, they showcase furniture-making skills for the entire house.

2. Brand storytelling through image search

The team constructed their blog using standard practices but focused on incorporating visuals for improved search visibility. They used apartment spaces to guide their blog structure: each room became a content cluster. 

Then, they strategically distributed visuals across all categories and subcategories in the image search. The team made sure to manually check image snippets for each query to see how Google Images link to other content clusters.

Image search for the company’s largest revenue contributor: “White custom-made kitchen with wood”

Over time, this strategy has had a compiling effect:

July 2023: 3 months YoY comparison

3. Trend Spotting: Keyword analysis helped to pin down new trends

Based on Semrush data, the team was able to identify the growing keyword "wall lamellas" and developed a comprehensive product line around it. The blog scored on top of SERP for years, and this, along with its distribution across social channels and community groups on Facebook, positioned them as subject-matter experts in the field of this particular design. The approach proved to be immensely successful for many years and continues to be profitable.  

Compare “wall lamellas” search data in August 2023:

to the same keyword data in November 2020:

“At some point, we even considered taking the content down as we could not keep up with the orders for a long time. My brother, in all seriousness, kept asking me to somehow ‘hide’ the content from Google for 4 months,“ shares Michal Valent, Digital Marketing Manager at Valent Kitchen Studio.

A single blog post about wall lamellas generates over 5k niche visitors in a year—over $60,000 worth of leads annually.
 

Conclusion

Keyword research and image optimization have helped KuchyneValent achieve their targeted revenues and sustain organic traffic as the primary driver of lead generation for over 5 years.

Just in 2022, they decided to incorporate PPC advertising as a complementary channel, focusing on content remarketing and blog distribution. Semrush PPC insights combined with Google Transparency Center have been a great help to the team. 

Additionally, Michal Valent, one of the brothers, has undergone a significant career transition and now works as an SEO and content specialist at Dexfinity, an e-commerce accelerator with a team of 79+ online marketing and export specialists.

Key Takeaways

     1. Find your true competition in SERP

And be real. Don’t focus on the competitors that you want to have but on those you currently have. Among them, find the domains you have a good chance of beating in the next 2 years. Have realistic expectations and smaller but high-intent clusters in the plan. For KuchyneValent, it was the location, as they only deliver within a specific city. 

     2. Run the Semrush competition report on each of the competitors separately 

As you are starting with a blank slate, run a report on each separately and learn about their SEO, content, socials, and distribution. Join their newsletters, ask for quotations, and take notes on their interaction and brand. Scrutinize each website for best-performing assets and clusters using Semrush’s Domain Overview and Keyword Gap tools. Always keep in mind to go after low difficulty at first.

     3. Once you get your cluster and keywords, start googling

Research your core terms using Semrush Keyword Magic Tool. Search your keywords on Google, and see with your own eyes what type of content is there to replace with a better piece—yours. Especially when you see that the competing content is not tactically optimized for your keyword. 

     4. Start writing and optimizing

Create killer content that will focus on your high-intent keywords. Use Semrush’s content tool SEO Writing Assistant as a baseline for the article you want to write. 

     5. Plan distribution and off-page SEO

This is the part where you get creative. As a small business, you most likely lack resources and channels, but at the same time you have direct access to your customers. Make your content as authentic as possible, so you can distribute it to various communities on Facebook and other social media and offer it as case studies to large manufacturers (who completely lack this type of content). It also produces social signals and backlinks naturally. 
 

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