Case Study: How Just One Cookbook reclaimed its top-ranking position and increased pageviews 

Lauren Lauren Fitzpatrick


  • Leading Japanese recipe site started losing traffic to competition during the pandemic
  • Needed to optimize old content and develop new higher-ranking content
  • Used Raptive’s AI-powered Content Optimization solution to understand how readers searched for Japanese recipes in English
  • Pageviews on optimized posts increased by an average of 15%

Featured creator

Namiko Hirasawa Chen,

Just One Cookbook

Namiko Hirasawa Chen (Nami) is the home cook, recipe developer, and world traveler behind Just One Cookbook. After receiving numerous recipe requests from friends, she created the site in 2011 to share her family recipes in one place. Nami’s simple, accessible recipes quickly propelled Just One Cookbook to the most popular English-language site for Japanese recipes. 


Nami historically approached content creation by using Google to research, then choosing keywords based on what seemed likely to do best. Her method was working —until the pandemic hit.

Competition for her target keywords increased drastically, causing her posts to lose ranking on search results pages. 

Nami’s goal was to reclaim her top-ranking position by adopting a consistent, data-backed SEO process that addressed reader search behavior and Google’s search engine without compromising the authentic recipes and cultural context her readers loved.


As a Raptive creator, Nami has access to Raptive’s AI-powered Content Optimization solution. Creators use it to generate data-informed briefs with suggestions for optimizing new and existing posts based on a target keyword. The briefs have two sections: Content Research and Content Grader.

Section 1: Content Research

Content Research instantly pulls all of the relevant data together in one place. Nami didn’t have to dig into Google to do research for each post because it was already in the Research tab.

Content Research FeatureFeature Description
Competitive AnalysisList of top-ranking posts from Google for the target keyword, with additional metrics like Domain Authority and content grade.
Questions to AnswerCommonly searched questions on the topic from People Also Ask, Google Suggest, and Quora.
Topics to CoverThe subtopics your readers expect to learn more about are sorted by frequency.
Outline GeneratorGPT-3 suggests titles, descriptions, and outlines based on data, and creators can build an outline to pass off to writers.

For example, the Content Research section showed Nami that people searching for miso soup recipes often wanted to know if the soup was vegetarian. Nami incorporated details like this into her content, making her posts easier to find in search results and giving her a competitive edge.

Section 2: Content Grader

The Content Grader uses AI to identify patterns across top-ranking content for similar topics to help creators understand what readers want. It then lists related keywords in order of popularity and issues a grade based on how comprehensively your post covers the main topic. The Grader uses GPT-3 to group semantically related topics and questions, making it easier to see how to improve your content to match search intent.


Once Nami updated her existing posts, she used built-in performance insights to measure the impact—pageviews on optimized posts increased by an average of 15%.

Based on these results, Nami made Content Optimization a standard part of her SEO process for updating existing content and planning new content. Her writers use the briefs to get a stronger sense of what people want to see, which enables them to prioritize what content they should create. 

“Ever since we started using Content Optimization, we’ve seen a steady climb. We’re checking the traffic every day and it’s going up, especially posts that went down. It’s pretty simple and straightforward.” 

Namiko Hirasawa Chen

Content Optimization

Raptive’s Content Optimization solution uses AI technology to analyze search results and offer suggestions on making your content more competitive. Get the data insights you need to drive search traffic, from keyword analysis to powerful audience development features and performance metrics, all from your Raptive dashboard.