In our latest success story from Search Logistics, I’ll show you how we:
- Increased organic traffic from 5,033 per month to 17,129
- Increased sales revenue from $17,122 per month to $92,119
This was for our clients site in the health supplements niche whilst overcoming Google’s recent link spam update (backlink blacklist) and page experience updates.
Keep reading to learn the exact strategies we used to achieve those results.
What Will I Learn?
- A Closer Look At The Case Study Site
- The Biggest Challenges We Had to Overcome
- Creating The Plan Of Attack
- The Results Are In
A Closer Look At The Case Study Site
This eCommerce website sells a range of health supplements mostly targetting a US based client list.
Apart from selling supplements, they also had a blog that looked to target additional long term keywords about men’s and women’s health in general, but it was rarely updated.
Operating within a YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) niche meant that we had to pay extra attention to:
- Building authority
- Establishing trust
…both for visitors and for Google by providing niche leading content to accompany the products being sold.
- Establish SEO as an additional traffic source with the goal of higher revenue
- Achieve profitable SEO engagement within 6 months
- Improve content & link quality to establish authority and outrank competitors
The Biggest Challenges We Had to Overcome
Having joined Search Logistics after leaving another SEO agency, it’s safe to say that the client’s site had several challenges that needed to be addressed in order to get it on track to dominating the search engine results pages.
We also had to be creative with how we approached the strategy for this campaign as we knew we were competing with authoritative websites like:
The biggest and most pressing challenges we had to overcome though were:
- Optimising the on-page elements (page titles, headings, meta descriptions, image alt texts etc) of core landing pages.
- Fixing keyword cannibalisation between several core landing pages for important commercial and product focused keywords.
- Creating new long-form pillar content for the client’s blog so as to increase keyword visibility and establish E-A-T (Expertise-Authority-Trust).
- Creating and implementing an internal linking strategy throughout the site, using optimized anchor texts and smart, contextual links.
- Building authority by securing backlinks from more relevant domains.
As a result of the above issues, the client’s site was being held back from ranking for many important transactional keywords related to the products that they were selling.
The lack of blog content also meant that the site struggled to rank for any new long-tail keywords or build topical authority in Google’s eyes.
In order to be able to compete with those monster sites mentioned above, we needed to create a plan of attack, and that’s exactly what we did!
Creating The Plan Of Attack
The site had drawbacks across all three major components of SEO:
- Off-page SEO
And you must overcome the specific problems that are faced in each of those areas in order to grow search traffic.
Here’s a breakdown of how we overcame the challenges:
Step #1 – On Page SEO Optimisation
As much as more complicated factors like improving site speed or securing high-quality links can help move the needle the most, it’s still important to make sure that you’re getting the basics optimised correctly.
You can use my on page SEO checklist to fix your most important problems.
But in this case, our client was suffering from these specific on page SEO issues:
1. Missing H1 Headings – if you have pages with missing H1 headings, you’re missing out on providing Google with insightful information about your web page which helps the search engine determine what keywords you should rank for.
When writing your H1 headings, it’s good practice to:
- Describe what the user (and Google) can find on the page.
- Include the core keyword(s) you want to rank for.
- Make the heading as engaging as possible so as to grab the user’s attention.
2. Missing Alt Image Alt Text – not including alt text for your images is another missed opportunity of providing Google with information about what your page is about.
It also provides an opportunity for you to include the core keyword you want to target whilst having the added benefit of improving the user experience for visually impaired users.
When writing image alt text it’s good practice to:
- Describe what the image depicts as clearly as possible.
- Include any relevant keywords that you want to rank for (but don’t keyword stuff).
Here’s an example of a good alt text for the following image:
3. Duplicate Page Titles – Page titles are also used by Google and searchers to understand what your page contains.
Having duplicate page titles makes it more difficult for Google to determine which page should rank for a particular keyword. Each page title on your website should:
- Be unique.
- Include your core keyword(s) that you want to rank for.
- Be engaging, but not click-baity.
- Descriptive, but not too long (aim for around 35-65 characters) as otherwise, Google will truncate it like this:
Google often move the goal posts on the length of page titles they display so keep an eye on this one!
Step #2 – Fixing Keyword Cannibalisation
If you have several pages on your site that cover similar topics, it’s likely they are cannibalised and competing against each other in the search results.
Here’s an example of what keyword cannibalisation looks like as pages compete against each other for the same keyword:
Google’s getting better and better at knowing which web page is the most relevant for which keyword, but there’s no harm in making absolutely sure that you eliminate the chance of your pages being cannibalised.
Below is a quick overview of the most common and effective ways to fix keyword cannibalization:
1. Canonical Tag – Adding a canonical tag essentially allows you to tell Google which page you want it to treat as the master page.
Add the following line of code to the page(s) that you don’t want Google to rank:
This is easy to do with an SEO plugin like RankMath.
2. Merging Similar Pages – if the competing pages have content that overlaps, you can merge the content into a single page (keeping the URL that is already ranking for the most keywords/bringing in the most traffic).
After merging, implement a 301 redirect from the old URLs to the new master URL so that you are still passing any PageRank (authority).
3. De-optimise Undesired Page(s) – if one page is clearly outranking the other(s), a simple solution is to de-optimise the lower ranking pages by removing any instances of the keyword from the page titles, heading(s), main content and any internal links.
4. Delete Undesired Page(s) – if the competing pages that are preventing the main page from ranking don’t offer much value to the user, you want to consider deleting them completely.
Just remember to implement a 301 redirect and ensure any internal links pointing towards it are replaced with links to the master page.
5. Noindex the Undesired Page(s) – Add a noindex tag to the undesired page(s) if they are still useful for users, but not as important for ranking:
Each case of cannibalisation may require a different “fix”, but the best way to fix cannibalisation, is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
The easiest way to do that is to make sure each piece of content is targeting a unique core keyword.
You can use this keyword research template to help you with that!
Step #3 – Targeting Long Tail Keywords
The client’s site was lacking additional content that set it apart as an authoritative voice within its industry.
In order to combat this, we utilised the existing blog and devised a content strategy that focused on targeting long tail keywords.
Instead of churning out regular 500 word blog posts, we focused our attention on building more topical authority by picking article topics that allowed us to go more in depth.
If you have a store that sells pet care products for parrots, you want to add additional information and content on your site about parrots in your blog.
2. Scroll down to the Keyword Ideas section. Here you will find a range of keyword opportunities that you can rank for that are relevant to your original search.
- Terms Match – keywords that include your original search term.
- Questions – search queries that are phrased as a question.
- Also rank for – other keywords that the top 10 pages are ranking for in addition to the original phrase.
- Also talk about – other topics/keywords that the top 10 pages for the original query regularly mention.
3. Clicking on each report will provide a list of keywords that you can target.
For example, the Questions report provides some great long-tail keyword ideas.
On the left-hand side, there’s a list of common terms that appear within the keyword list. This is really useful for picking out keywords that are related to each other.
For example, if you click on “eat”, you can see below that Ahrefs returns all keywords that contain this term:
Taking a closer look yields some great potential keywords that you can target on several different blog posts in detail.
Clicking on the “parent topic” column also provides even more keyword opportunities that you can target.
For example, you could have a blog post that targets “what do parrots eat” (or the parent topic “parrot diet”) in general.
Then, you could create additional supporting content to target more specific keywords that focus on “african grey parrots” or “wild parrots” etc.
4. Once you’ve selected your keywords, you can go ahead and plan the long-form content to target them. The best way to do this is to see what the competition is doing!
Click on your chosen keyword(s) on Ahrefs and scroll all the way down to the “Serp Overview” section which lists the current top-ranking pages.
You can then open each URL and make note of:
- Headings – headings offer an insight into what kind of information users are looking for when searching for your chosen keyword.
- Content length – this provides an indication of the level of detail you should aim for when creating your content.
- Rich Media – identify whether you may need to create additional content such as infographics or perhaps even videos.
- User Intent – is the content purely informational or does it serve another purpose?
5. Get writing!
The idea with this initiative is to build clusters of topically relevant content to help build your site’s overall “authority”.
This will also help you increase your site’s keyword visibility and in turn, organic traffic and conversions!
Step #4 – Improving Internal Linking
Creating great content is the first step. Making it accessible to Google and your audience is the next. One of the easiest ways to do this is with internal linking.
An internal link is where you place a link from one page on your website to another page on your own website.
Adding internal links on your content makes it easier for Google to understand the relationships between your web pages.
But you can also use them to guide visitors to your core sales pages.
If a user lands on a blog post targeting the long tail keyword “what do parrots eat”, then you would want to add internal links that point to your money pages.
That’s exactly what this pet insurance for birds website, which is ranking in the top position for “what do parrots eat” has done.
In the above example, the site has added an internal link to their ‘Quote page’ so that users who wish to purchase their insurance can do so easily.
Remember it isn’t just about Google when it comes to internal linking. Ultimately you want to direct traffic to your most profitable pages where relevant.
Here are some things to consider when it comes to implementing an internal linking strategy for your website:
- Think about how your web pages are related to each other (i.e. site structure and hierarchy). For example, an eCommerce site will likely have a homepage which links to category pages, which link to sub-category pages, which link to product pages.
- The most important pages on your site should have the most internal links pointing towards them – this’ll increase the chances of users landing on them, and provides an indication of their importance to Google.
- Use the right anchor text (that’s the clickable element of the link) – use a variety of keywords, branded terms and generic terms (i.e. click here, for more information) when adding internal links on your website.
Following an initial review of the client’s backlinks, we identified that there were several poor quality links pointing towards the client’s website.
More specifically, these links weren’t as relevant to the client’s niche as they should be.
In order to build more authority towards the client’s website, we devised a link-based strategy that focused on securing backlinks from niche-relevant websites.
A great way of prospecting potential link opportunities for your website is to look at the backlink profiles of your competitors.
That’s exactly what we did for this client, using Ahrefs’ incredible Link Intersect tool.
All you have to do is enter your domain along with your competitors and click “Show link opportunities”.
The tool will then pick out all of the referring domains that the competing domains have, but your website doesn’t.
In this case, the competitors have almost 19.5k unique referring domains compared to sklum.com.
Once you’ve got the list, take a look at this tutorial to learn how to get those links for yourself!
The Results Are In
After implementing the strategies above, the results speak for themselves.
- Increased organic traffic from 5,033 per month to 17,129
- Increased sales revenue from $17,122 per month to $92,119
On top of this:
The client is now ranking for 347 keywords within the top 10 positions of the search results-
That is a huge jump from the 110 keywords they were ranking for a year ago.
Wrapping It Up
As we’ve shown in many SEO case studies before, you can always find a way to rank even when competing against big players (like webmd.com in our case).
Having implemented the above strategies and overcoming the challenges laid out at the beginning of the case study, the client’s website has seen continued improvement in both organic visibility and revenue.
To recap, in this case study we focused on:
- Optimizing the on page SEO elements of the website
- Fixing keyword cannibalization problems
- Targeting long tail keywords through long form pillar content
- Improving internal linking structure
- Building authority with relevant backlinks
(I’m also available for private consultation here.)
If you have any questions about the case study, feel free to leave a comment below!