This case study is a about a company that supplies metal, in all sorts and sizes, but best of all in small quantities too, the latter point being their USP.
They came to Serendipity Marketing via one of the many Web Design agencies that we work for, as they needed help in getting more traffic to their site. Sometimes the agencies we work for want to use our services in a ‘White Label’ manner, and in these instances we act for them, as them. This customer falls into that category, so we cannot reveal their name (or that of the Agency), but we can tell the story of how we changed things around for them.
As with all customers (however they come to us) we always carry out a free SEO check on where the site is on ‘it’s journey to better rankings’, this telling us what is wrong with the site and thus what needs (or sometimes does not need) to be fixed / improved.
The Free initial SEO survey
Our research showed that site was not using enough words on the page to impress Google (Note: there is no set minimum limit, but word on the street is that 1,000 plus is best), and that the Titles and Descriptions for the pages were not being used correctly. There was also the issue with the use of the Header tags (the H1 – H6), these not being used to highlight important keywords. Note: there is some discussion at the moment in that Google no longer just checks the Header tags, but also looks at the size of the text (by looking at the CSS style) on the page, taking anything that is big as important. We are not certain of this, but we like to report on the changes we come across.
Besides the format of the pages, the content was also very ‘thin’ in that it did not ‘say’ very much, something that Google is known to dislike. The bad news continued with the fact that the linking structure was poor both in numbers and power, none of the linking sites being very strong.
The anchor text used was also not the best, concentrating too much on the domain / brand name. Note, this is better than having lots of anchor text phrases consisting of ‘money keywords’ (the things a site wants to be found for) as this is another thing that is known to displease Google.
What SEO work was done?
First some detailed research into the words being by people searching for the customers products as well as that being used by the competition was carried out, this including checking on the ‘real level’ of competition for some phrases. Note: sites can only be said to be targeting phrases if they are included in the URL, Title and Header tags.
Example of a ‘True Competition’ test
Once the target phrases were chosen the site was optimised and more importantly the content was improved. No longer was it thin, now it was full of interesting information and thus by default lots of interesting related phrases, which in turn boosted the sites ability to be found for the important long tail keyword phrases that are always being searched for.
The linking structure was also worked on, this being a much more difficult project and one that could not be done overnight. Note, creating too many links at once is yet another way of annoying Google.
How to Measure The Results
The real measure of any SEO works is the level of increased sales or leads, however in many cases, it is not possible to truly measure such improvement. However, there are several ways that the results can be measured, these being
- The rise in the number of clicks to the site
- The rise in the number of times a website is included in Google’s Search Results
- The number of different phrases (Queries) the site is associated with
- The improvements in the rankings for the selected keywords
Most of this data is obtained is supplied by Google Analytics and Google’s Search Console (the new name for WebMasterTools) , whilst the rankings are also monitored via separate systems. Note: any ranking report checking system cannot give a truly accurate rank report as everyone’s search results are slightly different, as they are skewed by their geographic position and if logged on, also their previous search history and what they and their friends are known to be interested in.
What Improvements Were Seen?
Similarly, the number of time the site was included in Google’s results rose from 13,702 to 34,097 in June, the number of phrases associated with the site rising from 551 to 1,282.
Google Search Console – March Data
Google Search Console – June Data
Why Did it work?
The answer to this is simple, the way to ‘do SEO’ is to ensure that the content of the site is well written (no $5 dollar copy writers being used), and that it is laid out in the manner that Google wants (that is logically with everything being the right place for Google’s spiders to find).
The site also needs an excellent linking structure, both externally and internally. Note: external links are important as they are considered ‘votes’ for the site, whilst links from the site also assist by making Google believe that a site is a part of a ‘community’.
Internal links are also important as they are seen to help improve the user experience of visitors as they help people navigate the site once they have arrived.
All of the above operations have one goal, that of ensuring that the meaning of the site is known and understood by Google. This is known as ‘Semantic SEO’ and is a vital component of any SEO undertaking.
This is just one case study of the works SOM has carried out, more will be following over the next few weeks.