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  • Writer's pictureYellow Lemon

Case Study: Back to basics

To see improvements in your SEO, it's not always about making big changes - sometimes even the smallest of changes can help you gain improvements. This is what we found with one of our clients, where we went back to basics and focused on SEO hygiene factors and identifying actionable tasks from running an SEO audit.

The problem

One of our clients - an ecommerce business operating within a saturated gifting market - approached us to conduct an SEO audit. They had recently migrated to a new website and found that their SEO performance - impressions, clicks and rankings for priority terms - saw a large decline, but they couldn’t work out why.

‘Everything is the same’, they said, ‘it was just copied and pasted onto the new platform’. We assured them that an initial drop is sometimes seen with a website migration, however should bounce back to previous levels once Google has a chance to catch up. If migrated correctly, a new website can even supercharge SEO.

The solution

We undertook an audit, looking at some key areas:

  • Technical SEO, which involved looking at identifying any indexing issues, producing an error report (identifying 404s, redirect issues, missing h1s for example) and Core Web Vitals metrics.

  • On-Page SEO, where we ran analysis for the top priority keywords looking at previous performance and current performance, as well as a full on-page analysis of copy, meta data and headings in regards to keyword optimisations.

  • User experience, where our team did a walkthrough of their site, looking at site structure, anchor text and accessibility.

The results

From running our audit, we identified areas of improvement and prioritised them according to importance and effort.

Within our report, some of the top priority areas included were:

  • 404 pages and broken redirects. As the URL structure was changed with the migration, there were a number of 404 errors for product/category pages which hadn’t been updated, and broken redirect chains.

  • Targeting thin content on commercial pages. 60% of the clients category pages had less than 100 words, we recommended 300-500 words as a minimum.

  • Keyword optimisation. Looking at the top priority keywords the client shared, we identified areas of optimisation to target those which had dropped off page 1 after the migration. We also included general areas of optimisation and new keywords to target based on our keyword analysis.

  • Heading tag optimisation. There were a number of pages with duplicate or missing h1s, or incorrectly tagged heading structures on content pages.

  • Internal linking optimisation. We identified a number of orphaned pages which were not linked to on the new site, and proposed category/content linking opportunities. We also provided recommendations to improve call to action text.

  • Core Web Vital reporting. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) and Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) were flagged as the key areas impacting overall site speed. The new platform was component based compared to their previously free-text coded website, meaning each component had to load on the page, which impacted overall. Although changes to these may require development work, a change to how the page loads can benefit the whole site rather than just individual pages.

After implementing these changes over the course of 6 months, the client saw an improvement to their SEO performance, especially for the high priority terms which they flagged as critical commercial targets.

Year on year (YoY) changes to ‘top priority’ keywords

We also identified an opportunity to improve performance on a product category which they had on site but weren't optimising it as they saw it being of lower importance to their core offering, but we suggested it was an opportunity to target a new audience. We identified high volume keywords to target and they saw a significant uplift in performance at both a search query level and a specific page level.

We didn’t propose anything drastic or groundbreaking - we just suggested going back to basics and focusing on SEO 'hygiene’ factors’. We recommend to all of our clients a yearly SEO audit to ensure that simple SEO tasks are ticked off - something that is not usually considered important when we speak to our clients, but proven to be effective in gaining some small wins.

Looking for quick-wins? Get in touch with us and we can run an SEO audit report and provide you with actionable and attainable insights.


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