Local SEO Case Study: 4,342.44% More Organic Traffic for a Roofing Site!
by Al Gomez
The Good News: From 0 to 4k Increase
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) still rules! This local SEO case study will prove how we move from nothing to an increasing organic traffic in just six (6) months. It features one of our clients, a roofing company. Currently we can see that RoofCrafters have gained about 4,342.44% more organic traffic and a decreasing bounce rate compared to previous period.
Furthermore, increasing organic traffic implies that the site has top keywords. These keywords are ranking on the first page of search engines. Below is an example of top one (1) in local search result (Rank 1 in Local 3-Pack):
So, What’s Behind the Increasing Traffic of the Roofing Campaign?
We started facing with 13 ultimate site issues…
Increasing Bounce Rate.
At the start of the campaign, it has about 79.09% bounce rate on its main landing page which is the homepage.
The site has a fill-in form to be accomplished by users in order to get a free quote and yet the site is under HTTP (seems that users are not safe to share information).
Empty Landing Page.
Homepage was identified as the main landing page. It is the initial page where the users have started, yet this page looks empty. If you’ve got landed on an empty-looking page, what to do?
This includes meta title, description and headings. Using the Google search console, it shows that this site truly needs huge changes since those elements are not optimized, actually this site does not have headings.
From the beginning of this campaign, it started with no sitemap, which gives crawling issues. As per initial check, most of the pages are not indexed.
Missing Alt Tag on Images.
Based on initial check, some of the site images don’t have alternate text or alt text which describes what is in the image and its function on the site.
In this digital era, it’s truly hard to have a site that is not mobile friendly, it will end up high bounce rates, like what happen to this site.
Slower Loading Speed.
Initial loading speed of this site is about 5.02 seconds, which is much more slower compared to other sites.
No Microdata Schema.
Having a structured data is essential, especially if you are targeting locally. The search engine needs to know more data about the site. This can also help increase the search results click through rate (CTR).
Who want to be landed on a broken page or a 404 one? Initially this site has about 1000+ not found pages.
Internal Links not Optimized.
Internal links are links pointing to the relevant page of the same site. It helps in the main navigation of the site by leading the user to a relevant page. For this site, it hasn’t use some valuable pages to connect with relevant pages.
Low Offsite Links.
The site has an initial backlinks of 23. One of the reasons why it hasn’t maximize its rankings on the first page.
Unlisted in Local Citation.
If a site wants to rank locally, it should not ignore local SEO. And this site is not ranking locally. Additionally, it does not claim or includes its site in local citation sources i.e. Google Business.
What we did to solve the ultimate site issues and move on for progress?
As a result of initial site analysis using search console, SEMRUSH, Screaming Frog and SEOSiteChecker, those ultimate issues resurfaced and we started to optimize the site with the following:
Major Site Redesign : It’s Empty No More
It was identified through A/B testing that users have a hard time in navigating and using the site. Furthermore, it needs to leverage the power of its website for conversion and be competitive in its industry. As a result of analysis and experimentation, major website redesign was proposed and implemented.
Below is the comparison of the old and new website design.
The new site is totally different. It’s not empty anymore. The homepage which was considered as the landing page, now welcomes you with the technology and the modern superheroes of RoofCrafters which depicts authenticity and reliability of their offers.
Aside from answering the usage and navigation issues. Its newer face helps in answering the increasing bounce rate issues. It totally showcases what’s RoofCrafters stands for through adding vital content, i.e. an introductory text about the company and its unique offers.
Securing the Website: From HTTP to HTTPS
The site has a form that gathers user information and yet it was not secured. And this is alarming in our part. Additionally, we all know that Google has campaigned on HTTPS and it can boost ranking. To answer security or future website attacks, moving to HTTPS is truly a must. And that’s what done on this site.
The positive gains that we have is a proof that switching to HTTPS contributes in increasing of the rankings. If you are still believing that switching can cause lots of troubles like it will destroy all your SEO efforts, it can cause duplicate, you are truly now behind the competition and in the end can lead your website prone to attacks. So, don’t believe in myths, move now to HTTPS.
Onsite Optimization : Unveiling the Website’s Value
Aside from redesign and https, we also work with onsite optimization.
A straightforward forward question will go this way: “Why you need a website if it’s not visible in the search engine?” or “How can a website attract users if it’s not ranking on search engines?” Typically, answers will go this way: “I can set up ads to promote my website.”, “I can promote it through social media”, I can send it through prospects customers “, or there are lots of ways. Although there are many ways to gain traffic, but did you know the most effective way is through SEO?
This is not just about gaining backlinks, it involves onsite optimization which is fixing and maximizing the internal elements of a website. A website redesign or securing the site is not just enough to maximize a website’s worth. We definitely make a move in improving the following: HTML improvements, adding site-map, putting an alt-tag on images, fixing the site errors and working on its internal links.
Work with HTML improvements…
For HTML improvements, we make sure that we have convincing meta title and description. One main ultimate secret in creating an awesome copy: “think that it will be read by humans and not by bots”. It is also essential to do an audit if all of the pages have a unique and a compelling title and descriptions. Don’t forget to structure the website content through adding significant heading. This is not just for SEO purposes only, but it works as “elements of persuasion”.
Also, don’t forget the sitemap…
At this phase, we also make sure that the site has a sitemap. Why we need a sitemap? It’s simple, it helps a website to be seen easier by Google or search engines. It serves as a table of contents.
Fill in also the missing alt tag…
It was also identified that some of the images have missing alt-tags. We make sure that it has an appropriate alt tag. Just always remember that in adding an alt tag, it must describe what the image is all about and its function in the site.
Fix the site errors…
Aside from missing alt-tags it was also identified that the site have not found or 404 pages. This is simply answering: “Would you want your visitors to land on an empty page?”.
We have added a 301 redirect here, moving a 404 page into a relevant (alike) page. It has emphasis on relevant, a 404 page cannot be simply redirected immediately to the homepage, we should find a similar page. If you’re a user and you’re searching about SEO and you’ve landed on a social media redirected page, would it make sense?
Also, maximize the power of internal links…
We work also on the internal connections within the site, the internal links. This is like fixing the wires within your house or a building. We want to want to make sure that a user can go easily to a relevant page. Aside from helping in navigation, it also defines the hierarchical structure of a website. It also supports the page authority and ranking power distribution within the site. And one major tip on adding this: just add it naturally.
Using Schema Markup: Improve your Website Introduction with the Spiders
Who wouldn’t want to have an accurate representation? All websites aim to be acknowledged correctly. With schema markup, you can send the appropriate signals about your website. It includes the basic: what’s the website is all about, vital information like contact numbers.
Improving the Site Speed: From 5s to 1s
With the aim of decreasing bounce rate, we make sure that the site can load within a second or less. And that’s what we did with this site. To improve the loading speed, we work on compressing its images, minification of its CSS, combining external CSS and leveraging its cache. Always remember, site speed is critical.
Responsive Website : From Unfriendly to Mobile Friendly
Working with responsive web design is not just about setting trends. It conveys accessibility of your website on all platforms and that’s what we did with RoofCrafters.
Offsite Optimization : Working with the Outside Opportunities
To get the full potential of the website, it is not enough to work only with the internal side. For this site, we make sure that we can gain valuable links and be included in local listing sites. To further capture off site opportunities, we started with backlinks analysis and do a competitive analysis through SEMRUSH.
For the local listing, we make use of Whitespark. Its citation technology is truly awesome. You will have an opportunity to be listed with top 50 citation sources.
RoofCrafters is a local site that has multiple location (8 locations). It is essential that the data are accurate. It’ simply following the NAP (name, address, phone) rule or have the following:
Rules in doing local citation for multiple locations:
1. It will have the same business name or company name.
2. Use the precise address like: include the suite number, street address, building name, not just encoding a broad city name.
3. Have a unique local phone or contact number for each location.
4. Each location must have a dedicated page on your website.
5. Follow each citation sites guidelines like for example to be listed on Google they have guidelines for representing your business.
6. It essential that you are consistently filling accurate data from one location to another.
7. Make sure to have a complete (100%) details for each location.
Best Key Takeaways from this Case Study
Overall working with this site was fun and challenging. There are lots of issues at the start, but it makes us face lots of opportunities: from learning to discovering on what more to improve within the campaign. And below are the best key takeaways from this campaign.
Starting with this campaign, it is ideal that you know what your brand opportunities or website opportunities. Identification these opportunities comes from your defined business goals, target market and your business performance. It is simply answering: “Why I need a website for my business?”.
Do a Site Audit.
In our SEO process, this one of the most important action that needs to be done before starting the campaign. At this stage, you will discover the reasons why the website fails to convert. It basically tackles the UX (user experience) issues and other technical issues. This can be understood by answering this question: “Why my website does not meet my goals?”
Do a competitive Analysis.
You can do a competitive analysis through SEMRUSH. Doing a competitive analysis can help you identify your external opportunities (i.e. strategies). Aside from the external opportunities, it can aid you in discovering how competitors are capturing their audiences. In SEO, when you think of competitive analysis, it’s like answering: “Why my competitors are ranking?”
Make a feasible plan.
From the identified opportunities, it’s time to work on a plan. This plan should follow a smart (specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic, and time-bounded) goals. In our case, we have some To-do list project that identifies the opportunities to be done, who will do it, and of course, the deadline. We always make sure that we beat these deadlines.
Implement for the users.
When working for strategy implementation, it is significant to think about the users like even in adding a meta title, think about how your targets would react if they read that kind of copy. This is also vital, especially when you are working for the content, always set aside how the bots will see your site, your target audience is always the priority.
Measure and analyze.
Either you are using a free like using Google Analytics or paid tool in measuring your SEO efforts, this process is always a must. This will tell you if you are on the right track or you need to change your plan.
Do SEO for continuous improvement.
In SEO, we believe that Kaizen (a Japanese philosophy which means change for the better), is also applicable. It is not enough to STOP when you have positive results, a website needs continuous improvements. There are still opportunities that need to be discovered. It is simply not an overnight success. It involves a series of processes.
This local SEO case study is one of the proofs that search engine optimization is still alive. It is not just all about gaining links or rankings. Dealing with SEO is about answering: “What’s the purpose of your site?”
Therefore, I leave this question for you: “Why does your site exist?”
If you’re lost or you don’t know why your site exists, we are here to help you with local SEO.
July 12, 2017