Identifying over 15.6 million new search opportunities for Great British Chefs

Great British Chefs is a go-to website for foodies, delivering recipes, guides, features, and videos from some of the world’s finest chefs.

Our SEO agency team were proud to consult with GBC’s fantastic internal team, to identify new opportunities to increase traffic and conversions.


Our consultation focused around the following key areas of interest for the internal team at Great British Chefs:

  • Suggested improvements to the current page structure
  • Content gap analysis vs competitors
  • How to optimise GBC’s link build strategy
  • Key performance monitoring and technology stacks
  • Diagnosing lost rankings
  • How to validate SEO work


We arranged a workshop with Great British Chefs with a set agenda. As part of our process we ask for the top challenges faced.

From here, our team allocates research time to investigate each challenge, looking for signs of cause and effect. Our client benefits from specialists with a deep knowledge of their field and industry-leading tools, processes, and systems, to diagnose core issues.

We compiled the raw data and summarised our findings into a report that we then delivered to Great British Chefs at a workshop. This gives the time for us to not only present, but to discuss real solutions, maximising the value delivered in the meeting time available.


Traffic acquisition

Our SEO team set to work on answering each of the points on the agenda – some of which we’ll reveal in this case study. The first step was to begin some in-depth keyword research, looking across GBC’s current keyword profile to:

  1. Find out what they are already ranking for
  2. Find out what opportunities they’re missing out on

The first point is standard practice, and we were able to pull a tonne of data on GBC’s current ranking profile. Using this data, we could look at their heavy hitting keywords, but also discount the keywords that we don’t need to focus on, because they’re already killing it.

The second key action is more interesting. We specifically isolated keywords that were ranking in two brackets; positions 5-10, and 11-20. These keywords are showing enough potential to do better, but they’re not quite hitting those traffic spots.

As a rule of thumb, these keywords often provide the easiest opportunity to drive traffic growth.

Analysing a group of four keyword sets, we identified that Great British Chefs were ranking 5-10 for keywords with a combined traffic search volume of over 4.5 million searches per month. For keywords ranking in positions 11-20, this search volume grew to over 8.7 million searches per month.

Our SEO experts then cross-referenced the above keywords with competitor rankings. Specifically, we wanted to know what keywords GBC’s competitors rank for, whereby GBC do not rank in the top 100 positions.

Our research delivered thousands of keyword opportunities, which we reduced down to a list of 1,000. We singled out some topics of interest to begin focusing on a strategy to help GBC to rank better across their keyword profile.

We clustered the keywords by topic and search intent, using common primers such as ‘how to make’, or ‘easy’, and trailing words such as ‘recipe’ or ‘sauce’.

This secondary exercise generated a total opportunity of over 2.2 million searches per month that Great British Chefs were not receiving any traffic for, representing a huge opportunity to capture some additional traffic share from their competitors.

In total, 15.6 million searches per month were not being optimised for, representing a huge opportunity to capture additional traffic share. With a business model built largely on advertising, capturing a chunk of this traffic would grow passive revenue for GBC through a CPM (cost per mille (thousand)) model.

Lost keyword rankings


The second part of this case study is focused on lost rankings. The team at Great British Chefs wanted to better understand why some rankings had been lost suddenly.

Site speed

Often our first place to look when rankings are lost is site speed. This is the time it takes for a web page to load for the user and, increasingly, it’s become a more significant ranking factor. Search engines do not want to leave their users hangin’, and rightly so. Google recommends approximately 3 seconds as a benchmark to aim for.


For GBC, there were some obvious issues that could be addressed and improved. Their homepage reported an overall load time of over 8 seconds, and took 2.8 seconds for anything to show.


Further to this, some internal pages were reporting anywhere from 7.5 seconds through to over 30 seconds on a 3G mobile connection.

Page speed can be a quiet assassin, often building up through layers of additional imagery, scripts such as chatbots or tracking software, and many other contributors. The good news is that it can be fixed, and often we see drastic improvements to page loading times through the following improvements:

  • Changing CDN service
  • Optimising image and video compression
  • Leveraging browser caching
  • Deferring the parsing of JavaScript (JS)
  • Combining CSS and JS scripts


Structured data

We found that GBC were failing to add structured data correctly (or at all) to their pages. This meant that their competitors were showing up in a more useful and visually appealing way.

The likely result of this is that Click Through Rate (CTR) % would be higher for their competitor’s listing versus their own. And a higher CTR can lead to overall ranking boosts.

By fixing structured data site-wide, rankings would almost certainly see a boost and traffic growth could be easily validated over time. This is one of those fix once, benefit forever more improvements.

3xx redirects

There were over 750 internal pages with a 301 (permanent) or 302 (temporary) status code. This can add unnecessary loss of page speed and/or authority too. Our suggestion here was to link directly using a status 200 (OK) code to all pages that had successfully been reindexed.


Our consultation workshop with the Great British Chefs was a fantastic example of two teams combining to create a focused growth plan that will benefit them long into the future.

We were able to identify and diagnose the issues holding back, and the opportunities available to, GBC. We created a playbook to drive new traffic growth and future revenue for their business, opening up over 15.6 million search opportunities within easy reach for this fantastic business.

If you’re looking to add deep knowledge to your marketing to save money and time, strike up a conversation with our new partnerships team today.


new search opportunities


new keywords identified


of errors addressed

“Working with Zest has given us insight into what our analytics data is telling us right now, and confidence in the results we can achieve in future. They’re incredibly thorough, and we now have a clear plan for growing our traffic volume, share of market, and ultimately revenue. If you have reached a plateau, Zest will help you to break through it. Highly recommended.”

Milan Krizalkovic, Head of Technology for Great British Chefs


new search opportunities


new keywords identified


of errors addressed

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