SEO Case Study

A few months ago we started working on a new project, the redesign of our own website. It was the time for the former website of Digital Menta, an online marketing agency that until recently focused “only” on PPC services, would be renewed and include a space for the new Design, Inbound and SEO teams.

In addition to including the new areas of work of the agency, we wanted to renew the image of the previous website, in which the services were soda cans and had become somewhat outdated.

Imagen de la web anterior de Digital Menta
Project characteristics

The main characteristics of the project are:

  • The new Digital Menta design team is in charge of creating the new design.
  • The domain does not change
  • The architecture of the site changes:
    • New pages are created that describe the services offered by the agency.
    • New categories are created in the blog corresponding to the work areas in which we work.
    • The taxonomy of URLs changes

Stage I: the importance of an “SEO-friendly” design

The first thing we do from the SEO team is to participate in the web design process. We collaborate with the design team to ensure that the website will be correctly optimized for search engines. In addition to having a responsive design, there are two fundamental points for SEO:

  • Internal Linking: We have to make sure that interlinking is going to be adequate, we will be able to define anchor texts and links will be trackable by search engines.
  • The content: we will be able to define the content (unique and original) and the format of each of the pages so that the search engines will be able to read it.

Stage II: inventory of the current website

With the process of switching to a new website in which the URLs will change and will be new to the search engines it is important that the old URLs are redirected properly to the new ones so as not to lose the Organic positioning and current traffic.

That is why we collect all the URLs of the current web using several tools:

  • Crawling the web with screaming Frog
  • Indexed URLs of the Google Search Console Coverage Report
  • URLs with impressions in Google Search Console
  • URLs with traffic in Google Analytics
  • Old Sitemap

Stage III: analysis of the current pages

When we already have a list with all the pages that we have been able to find, we can analyze whether it is worth keeping them on the new website. When we already have well positioned pages we have to make sure that the content is going to be maintained on the corresponding page of the new website.

Unfortunately, not all the pages we find are ranking well. Among the old pages we find:

  • Blog articles that have become outdated and that we will have to update or delete (both from the web and from the Google index).
  • Several blog articles that talk about the same topic that we will have to unify.
  • Articles that are not classified in the correct category, since so far there was no consistency in the classification of articles by categories. In these cases we define the correct category and eliminate those that are repetitive or have been created randomly. We also remove most tags from blog articles.
  • Articles that have been deleted but still indexed in Google. They are pages that give 404 error and we must manage them properly so that they disappear from the search results pages.

We decide what will happen with each of the pages found and define the URL of each of them in case they are going to be maintained on the new website. We have to keep in mind that the old content must be maintained if we do not want to lose the positioning of each of the pages.

In the end we will obtain a document that will help us define all the redirects that will be done.

Redirecciones URLS

Stage IV: Definition of the structure and content

As we participated in the design process, we already knew what sections and what types of page were going to make up the new website but we had to define what content each of the pages would have. In some cases we keep the old content without making any changes, in others we update the content and in other cases we have to create it, as in the case of the pages that talk about our new services.

In this process we are guided by a keyword research in which we include:

  • Google Search Console search terms: these are the terms for which the current website is already positioned and we must take them into account in order to maintain or even improve the rankings and the current organic traffic. Thanks to the add-on Search Analytics for Sheets we can export these terms with the page that is having impressions and clicks on each of those searches.
  • Competitive keywords: for example, we use tools such as Sistrix to obtain the keywords of websites specialized in digital marketing in Spain.
  • Keyword suggestions obtained from keywordtool.io from generic terms.

When we have compiled all the keywords that may be interesting for Digital Menta, we add the search volume of each one to be able to prioritize the amount of organic traffic that these searches could provide. Then we assign a URL, which can be one of the old or new web pages, corresponding to one of the agency’s new services. It can also be proposed as a topic for a blog article.

We also take into account that there are keywords that can be grouped by their similarity or because we consider that the user’s search intention is the same, for example when searching for “online marketing agency” and “digital marketing agency” the user is looking for even if you use different terms and therefore the page you land on can be the same. For this reason we assign one or several keywords semantically related to each of the pages of Digital Menta.

When choosing keywords, and although positioning the web for generic terms can provide greater visibility and organic traffic, we also take into account specific keywords for which there is usually less competition when ranking in Google.

Stage V: optimization and content creation

Thanks to the document we have obtained with the study of keywords we already know if there are well positioned pages or that with some small optimization they could become. In addition, if we already have an article well positioned for a particular search, it is not advisable to try to position another page. Should we create a new article focused on positioning that same keyword, it should compete with the page that is already positioned, so it could have a negative impact on the current positioning.

We review the content that already exists on the Digital Menta’s website and optimize several elements:

  • Meta-title and meta-description: We check that they include the target keyword, that they are not too long and that they are attractive to readers with the aim of increasing the CTR
  • Broken links and redirects: We correct links that point to 404 pages and redirected pages to point to the correct URL.
  • Anchor text of internal links: We review the anchor texts and optimize them to include the keyword assigned to the page they are pointing to.

As for the new pages, we ourselves write the pages that describe our services including the assigned keywords, lists, optimized images and, above all, information that we believe is relevant for a user who enters our website.

Stage VI: reviewing the new website

When the website is in test mode we check again that the new template includes everything we had proposed at the beginning of the project and that all the elements that affect the web positioning are well configured:

  • Canonical tags
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Logic header structure
  • Pagination

We must also ensure that the provisional version of the website is not indexed in Google to avoid duplicate content problems.

Stage VII: launching the new website

Finally and after all the effort, we launched the new website with the new design!

Already in production we take care to verify that everything works as planned:

  • Google Analytics: We include the Google Analytics code and verify that it works.
  • Redirects: we configure the htaccess file and verify that all the URLs we obtained in the “inventory” phase are redirected correctly. We can do this by tracking all the old URLs in list mode in Screaming Frog
  • Sitemap: We configure and create the new sitemap and send it through Google Search Console.
  • Robots.txt file: We configure the file to exclude parts of the web that we don’t want to track bots.
  • 404 errors: We track the new website with Screaming Frog to detect and solve 404 errors

Results

After launching the web in April 2019 we get the visibility of the web to grow and also increase, as can be seen in the visibility graph of Sistrix

Gráfica de visibilidad de Sistrix

Looking at the distribution of rankings we also see that the number of keywords ranked on pages 1, 2 and 3 of Google is increasing.

Ranking Distribution de Sistrix
Thanks to this increase in visibility the number of users has increased by 47%

Caso de éxito SEO Digital Menta

Summary: SEO as a process of continuous improvement

Apart from updating the content if it has become outdated, we improve the internal interlinking, adding links to related articles and the pages that describe our services and modifying the anchor text of the current links so that they correspond to the keywords that we have defined in the previous analysis, which helps us to better position the pages that we consider most important. On the other hand, we take care of optimizing the images of some articles that were not optimized at the time of publication. We check the file name, the alt and title tags and the file size.

In summary, and although the redesign process has been a success, in order to continue improving the positioning we must continue working on the optimization and updating the content, something that becomes a recurring task and in which we have the participation of all the Digital Menta online marketing team of experts.

Written by

Elena López

SEO · 29 / 10 / 2019

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