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Case Study: How InsideTheMagic.net Grew Pageviews 74x in 4 years

5 min read

InsideTheMagic.net grew by 4.14x after Kurt Schmidt purchased it. But he knew the opportunity was bigger. He wanted to diversify traffic sources since Facebook brought 90% of the traffic. He needed to create more high-quality content.

So he partnered with MarketMuse to raise the bar on quality and create a process for all writers to follow. Every article is evaluated in MarketMuse’s Optimize application to ensure comprehensiveness, resulting in more page views and ranking for more topics.

As a result they achieved 74x increase in traffic, 40k-60k page views per article and 1k articles published per month. Plus they reduce their reliance on Facebook, from 90% to 30%, getting more traffic from search.

The Company

InsideTheMagic.net publishes content around the Walt Disney Company’s theme parks. Many enjoy visiting Disney’s parks, and there is a cult-like following of people who love the in-person experience of the widely successful Disney franchises.

Kurt Schmidt saw an opportunity in the market and purchased insidethemagic.net. The site aims to connect these Disney theme park lovers with content, from the drama surrounding Disney employees to reviews of new attractions. Because of the popularity of the parks, there is a clear opportunity to connect these communities year-round.

The Challenge

After purchasing the site in 2018, Kurt discovered the majority of traffic came from Facebook News Feed. He didn’t want to rely on social media traffic, but he identified a gap in his SEO process. This led to the decision to change the content process.

He made initial improvements to the site, growing it 4.15x in 19 months and saw healthy growth thereafter. But he knew there was more opportunity.

He needed to improve the quality of the content so his readers would go farther down the page to create a more loyal audience and more value for advertisers.

The “Disney Fandom” can be quite a complex topic, and requires writers who can anticipate future conversations or popular characters to expand upon. While there were writers with that knowledge, they were not necessarily expertly trained SEO specialists.

They needed to increase organic search-related traffic while also maintaining their brand. The owner, Kurt “Needed it to work”.

The Solution: Increase Content That Ranks

Kurt looked for solutions to help him make content decisions and ultimately turned to his peers who had seen success. They recommended MarketMuse to help improve their content quality and efficiency.

Inside The Magic trained the team on MarketMuse, starting with Content Briefs and the Optimize application and the platform quickly became a requirement. The policy is that anyone who doesn’t use the tool will be let go.

Our writers are required to use MarketMuse, says Kurt Schmidt, owner of InsideTheMagic.net

There are strict requirements because of the nature of the business, which is also why Kurt has a coaching and training program to support writers and get them up to speed quickly on how to produce quality content.

The team at Inside The Magic became dedicated to using MarketMuse. Using the applications helped them to think less about ranking and more about writing for the fans. MarketMuse helped close the gap of leveraging expertise and meeting search needs.

Over 30 writers contribute to the site and all are compensated based on results. They realized quickly that if they used the recommendations from MarketMuse, they ended up with better content and more engagement – and thus, more money.

Partnering with MarketMuse was one of our best business decisions. Together we took something that was already going in the right direction and we added that rocket fuel, says Kurt Schmidt, Owner, Insidethemagic.net

The platform identified related topics that would add more value and context to the article, they wouldn’t waste time with fluff just to make the page longer, and would write about topics that drove more traffic in the long run. The recommendations from MarketMuse meant that even though sometimes the content was news-based, they would continue to rank because of the thorough coverage in the article.

MarketMuse Optimize Application showing text editor, topic model consisting of topics and suggested numbers of mentions along with their actual usage in the editor.
MarketMuse Optimize Application

The Results

They now cover more topics comprehensively, driving dramatic results. Before using MarketMuse, the average article got 4-5K pageviews. With MarketMuse in place, they get 40-60K per article. The website got 700K pageviews per month prior to being purchased, hit 3.2 million when MarketMuse was brought in (Sept 2019) and now gets 59 million+ pageviews. That’s an 18X improvement since implementing MarketMuse and 74X improvement overall.

Not only did Inside The Magic increase their organic pageviews, they increased the amount of content their team published each month. They now publish around 1K articles per month. Before using MarketMuse it was closer to 300 per month.

Those results were driven by growth numbers across multiple channels. Facebook now drives 30% of traffic and Google Discover and Google Search drive a much larger percentage than before.

“When I look back, I’m amazed at how far we’ve come these past few years.” Kurt Schmidt, Owner, InsideTheMagic.
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