Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Case Study: AARP Tax Tips

AARP Tax Tips
Helping seniors with their taxes is very important to AARP. They offer free tax advice through their Tax-Aide program.

I arrived at AARP in the fall of 2010 and we almost immediately started planning for the upcoming tax season.

I had previously led the tax coverage for AOL Personal Finance. There was already a lot of legacy tax content in the Money channel, and we had more coming, both in the form of free content from the IRS and premium content from Kiplinger.

How could we get all of this great content to the as many people as possible?

- I created subject pages around tax tips and the most popular federal and state tax forms as additional landing pages for promotional and search traffic.
- I conducted an audit of the existing content, adding internal links to focus promotional and SEO traffic on the most important articles and subject pages and paginating where appropriate.
- We came up with a list of 90 individual 'tips of the day', each of which had a relevant article with more information. We promoted the Tip of the Day on the Money channel and also had the social media team send the tips to Twitter and Facebook from January 15-April 18 (Tax Day 2011.) We ended up repeating some of the tips and not using all of them, but we knew that we had more than we would need.
- This area was promoted multiple times across the home page, email newsletters, social media and SEM.

Key Metrics (January 15-Tax Day):
- Traffic to the Taxes subchannel page, as the main hub for the daily tips etc, was up 100x from 2010 to 2011.
- The AARP hosted version of Most Overlooked Deductions article got more than 400K page views alone.
- The three subject matter pages got more than 200K page views over this period, primarily from SEO.

Summary: 90-day content campaign doubled traffic to Tax area year over year, primarily leveraging existing content partners and existing tools, but integrating social media, SEO/SEM and promotional platforms.

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