Local SEO Case Study: 4,342.44% More Organic Traffic for a Roofing Site!
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 increase 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 the 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 topping as number one (1) in local search results (Rank 1 in Local 3-Pack):
How did it happen?
So, What’s Behind the Increasing Traffic of the Roofing Campaign?
We started out with facing 13 ultimate site issues…
Increasing Bounce Rate.
At the start of the campaign, RoofCrafters had about 79.09% bounce rate on its main landing page, which was the homepage.
The site had a fill-in form to be accomplished by users in order to get a free quote, but the site was under HTTP (it seems like users are not safe to share information).
Empty Landing Page.
The homepage was identified as the main landing page. The landing page is the initial page where users have to start, yet this page looks empty. If you landed on an empty landing page, what do you do?
This includes meta titles, descriptions, and headings. Using the Google search console, it showed that this site truly needed huge changes since those elements are not optimized, actually this site does not have headings.
From the beginning of this campaign, the site started with no sitemap, which gave birth to crawling issues. As per initial check, most of the pages were not indexed.
Missing Alt Tag on Images.
Based on the initial check, some of the site images didn’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 ends up with high bounce rates, like what happened to this site.
Slower Loading Speed.
Initial loading speed of this site was about 5.02 seconds, which is much slower compared to other sites.
No Microdata Schema.
Having 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 wants to be landed on a broken page or a 404? Initially, this site has about 1000+ not found pages.
Internal Links not Optimized.
Internal links are links pointing to the relevant pages of the same site. It helps in the main navigation of the site by leading the user to a relevant page. In the case of this site, it didn’t use valuable pages to connect with relevant pages.
Low Offsite Links.
The site had initial backlinks of 23. That’s one of the reasons why it didn’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 include 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 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 the 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 RoofCrafters stand 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 was done on this site.
The positive gains that we have is proof that switching to HTTPS contributes in increasing the rankings. If you are still believing that switching can cause lots of troubles, like destroying all your SEO efforts and causing duplicates, then you are truly now behind the competition. And in the end, it can leave your website prone to attacks. So, don’t believe in myths, move on to HTTPS now.
Onsite Optimization: Unveiling the Website’s Value
Aside from redesign and https, we also worked on onsite optimization.
A straightforward question will go this way: “Why do you have a website for 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. There are many ways to gain traffic, but did you know that the most effective way is through SEO?
This is not just about gaining backlinks, it also involves onsite optimization which is fixing and maximizing the internal elements of a website. A website redesign or securing the site is not enough to maximize a website’s worth. We definitely made a move in improving the following: HTML improvements, adding site-maps, 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 titles and descriptions. 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 unique and compelling titles and descriptions. Don’t forget to structure the website content by adding significant headings. 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 do we need a sitemap? It’s simple. It helps websites 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. So, we made sure that it has appropriate alt tags. 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 had ‘not found’ or 404 pages. Simply answer the question: “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. 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 also worked 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 easily go 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 for 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 basics: what’s the website all about, and vital information — like contact numbers.
Improving 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 worked 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 the 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 on 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 did a competitive analysis through SEMRUSH.
For the local listings, we made use of Whitespark. Its citation technology is truly awesome. You will have an opportunity to be listed with the top 50 citation sources.
RoofCrafters is a local site that has multiple locations (8 locations). It is essential that the data should be accurate. It’s simply following the NAP (name, address, phone) rule or having 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; for example, to be listed on Google they have guidelines for representing your business.
6. It’s essential to consistently fill-in accurate data from one location to another.
7. Make sure to have complete (100%) details for each location.
Best Key Takeaways from this Case Study
Overall, working with this site was fun and challenging. There were lots of issues at the start, but it makes us face lots of opportunities: from learning to discovering what we can improve within the campaign. And below, we’ve listed the best key takeaways from this campaign.
Starting with this campaign, it is ideal to know what your brand opportunities or website opportunities are. Identifying these opportunities come from defining your business goals, target market, and your business performance. It is simply answering: “Why do I need a website for my business?”.
Do a Site Audit.
In our SEO process, this is one of the most important actions that need to be done before starting the campaign. At this stage, you will uncover the reasons why the website failed to convert. It basically tackles UX (user experience) issues and other technical challenges. This can be understood by answering this question: “Why should my website need to 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 are my competitors 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-bound) goals. In our case, we have a To-do list for the project that identifies the opportunities and improvements to be done, who will do it, and of course, when the deadline will be. We always make sure that we beat these deadlines.
Implement for the users.
When working on strategy implementation, it is significant to think about the users; even in adding a meta title, thinking 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 consider how the bots will see your site. Your target audience is always the priority.
Measure and analyze.
Either you are using a free tool like Google Analytics or a 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 if 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.
April 24, 2018
March 12, 2018