● Closely-held private company
● $20mm annual revenue
● B2B Ecommerce: branded promotional items
The client had suffered a severe downturn in organic traffic despite the site’s domain authority and huge array of quality inbound links. The existing SEO team (outsourced to the Philippines) had no strategy for recovery.
I started by determining whether the client’s website was under a Google penalty. Due to sloppy off-page optimization, the site did indeed have an abnormal link profile. By working with the Google Disavow tool, I manually cleaned up the site’s link profile while preserving high-quality links (from sites like Forbes.com, Bloomberg.com, Wired.com, FastCompany.com, etc. — basically, a list of IBLs a lot of people would climb mountains for).
With access to the client’s Google Analytics account, I determined that the site had an astonishing number of 404 errors. Turned out the client had updated the website’s architecture without any thought toward preserving indexed content. (When I figured out what happened, I facepalmed so hard half-a-dozen people in the workspace came over and asked whether I was okay…)
I set up an extensive set of 301 redirects to preserve indexing and improve visitor experience by vastly reducing the number of 404s.
An on-page analysis revealed further red flags, including:
● Extremely slow page load time (via both Google Pagespeed Insights and Pingdom’s site speed tool)
● Duplicate H1s on many pages (due to incredibly sloppy CSS)
● Sitewide duplication of meta description tags (due I assume to simple carelessnes)
In order to address these issues, I:
● Deployed a CDN service
● Edited H1s sitewide for unique, page-relevant content
● Revised meta description tags sitewide for unique, page-relevant content
During this on-page phase, I paid special attention to the site’s top organic landing pages. I manually reviewed and edited the top 10% landing page meta tags and sales copy with an eye toward conversion optimization as well as SEO.
This project demonstrated visible results within the first 30 days. By focusing on high-impact efforts with a relatively short turnaround time we were able to compress the typical timeframe of SEO results.*
Within 1 month, organic website visits rose 64%. Organic sales rose 45%. The investment in our SEO efforts was repaid threefold in the first month of work
*”the typical timeframe of SEO results”— any honest SEO guru will tell you it’s a slow, laborious process, and to commit to a minimum of 6 months before assessing the effort. Listen: that’s true. This is an exceptional case where the client’s website was right in the sweet spot: a very well-established, old, trusted domain with an incredible IBL profile and a ton of unique content. Frankly, I got pretty lucky.