The site had been operating for over 5 years, turning a good profit through paid search. The client wanted to invest in SEO as a long term strategy for lead generation through search marketing, as the cost-per-click for keywords in this niche is costly. The client’s link profile had a couple of good links, but there was little done in terms of on-site optimisation. The home buying niche is very competitive from an SEO perspective, as it is a popular lead selling niche for professional SEOs allowing them to make a lot of passive income. As a result, many of the sites occupying first page positions for the most profitable SERPs are very well optimised, with powerful, manipulated off-site metrics. Their main priorities were to:
Push core keywords into top positions. The core keywords the client wanted to rank were all on the 3rd page or below.
Increase search visibility for longer tail, conversion focused keywords. Long tail terms relevant to the site were not ranking well, despite being relatively uncompetitive. This was due to a mixture of poor on-site optimisation and a lack of inbound links.
Expand location specific pages & increase their rankings. The site had a number of location pages targeting specific UK cities and regions. These pages were poorly optimized, with very little content.
Ensure correct on-site optimisation. The site had very little rich, unique content and had a number of technical issues with URL duplication and keyword cannibalisation holding it back.
Address on-site weaknesses resulting from a lack of content, as well as duplication issues and keyword cannibalisation.
Build the overall domain authority using a targeted link building campaign.
Build the authority of key internal pages through the use of targeted links.
On Site Optimisation
The site came to us with very little content across all key pages. Although pages did exist targeting highly relevant secondary keywords and location-specific keywords, they consisted of little more than a contact form and a couple of lines of text. We worked with the client to populate all of these pages with rich, unique content, highly optimised to rank for location specific and long tail search queries. Key SEO landing pages were all populated with at least 1,000 words of well written, keyword focused content. Through the liberal use of CTA boxes and text expanders, the pages were still well optimised from a conversion-rate perspective.
Due to a large number of incorrect links, many of the pages on the site were duplicated due to mixed case URLs as well as trailing dash inconsistencies. To stop this duplication, we set up an automatic 301 to redirect all trailing dash variations to the trailing dash version. We also set up hard-coded canonical tags on all pages across the site. Then, to remove the duplicates from the index, we submitted an up-to-date sitemap for crawling and indexing, then manually removed the few remaining wanted duplicates from the index.
A number of keywords were being targeted by two or more separate pages. Where possible we consolidated the pages into one definitive version and 301’d the other page over to it. Other times, all pages served a purpose for user experience and conversions. In these cases, we added NOINDEX,FOLLOW meta tags to the unneeded pages, so that they were still accessible to users, but only one page would be indexed by search engines.
We needed to build a lot of link equity to the site if it were to rank on the first page for the target terms. So it was decided to focus on building the most powerful types of links we could. We concentrated on finding high metric relevant domains so we could build the authority of the site with fewer links so that the link velocity appeared natural. Once a good foundation of links with “safe” anchor text was established, we began targeting the central keywords and internal pages with more targeted anchor text, while being careful throughout the process to maintain a safe anchor text distribution.
With the recommendations from the audit actioned in late October and links being pointed at the key internal pages, traffic continuously grew month-on-month. By mid-July, organic traffic was up 93.91% compared to November 2015, with July receiving 1,146 compared to 591 in November. Similarly, the number of new users had increased by over 85.43%, with 853 new visits in July compared to 460 in December.
Return On Investment
The number of leads generated by organic traffic increased by 191.6% between November and July, with the site receiving 210 leads in July compared to 72 in November. The conversion rate improved by 50.41%, despite the site not being redesigned and no conversion rate optimisation taking place. This increase shows that the traffic our actions were bringing to the site were highly targeted and relevant to the site. Each fully converted lead landed the client £1000s. Assuming each conversion netted exactly £3000, with a conversion rate from online leads of roughly 0.5%, this meant that organic went from making £1080 per month to £3150. Extrapolated across the year, this is an increase of £24,840 per year through SEO, with a total of £37,800 brought in through organic SEO.
February 2016 and July 2016, the number of keywords ranking in Google.co.uk increased significantly.
Keywords in the top 3 places increased from 9 to 21 – an increase of 133.3%
Keywords in the top 10 places increased from 24 to 40 – an increase of 66.6%
Keywords in the top 20 places increased from 57 to 146 – an increase of 156.1%
Tracked Keyword Improvements
Across the 33 core keywords that we track in-house, there was an overall increase of 546 places. A number of high volume keywords entered the first page, and a number of highly competitive terms entered the index and continue to rapidly ascend the SERPs. If you want to increase your search traffic or recover from a penalty, please get in touch with us.
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We have case studies from various verticals that all faced unique problems from penalties to duplicate content. Browse through them all to get a feel for the client experience and how we increase search traffic-
This client had a manual action penalty which we removed delivering 114x number 1 positions.