This is actually one of my favourite case studies with a client because, well, you just have to look at the pattern of the journey we went on with this one – it was somewhat of a rollercoaster. As you can imagine, there’s a great narrative behind this one.
You can see that initially, we got very little traction with our SEO efforts. Between the start of February and early April, we went nowhere. So we made some wholesale changes to the page in mid-April and you can see that right away, that hurt us, with a relatively large drop.
Whilst we were around the last teens ranking, we immediately dropped to position 50 as Google reindexed our page. On the plus side, we were getting minimal traffic on this keyword, if any, so losing that position wasn’t going to hurt that much.
However, that drop didn’t last long and we started climbing again. But it wasn’t long before we realised that we were in much the same position as we had been before we made any changes. Back to square one.
So the next step, in early June, was much more drastic.
We decided that the page Google was indexing for this search term, wasn’t the page we wanted them to index. It has been a page that Google themselves had picked up and ranked early on, so we’d run with it. But on reflection it wasn’t one that, long term, we wanted to see ranking. So we blocked the first page from being indexed and crawled and optimised a different page for that keyword. There are basically two ways to stop Google indexing a page and you can read about them here. My preferred option is the ‘noindex’ option.
With all those actions in place, three months later, we hit 2nd position in Google.
Again, like our previous cases, we had a little luxury in that the website is a busy website. So the effect of optimising a page and redirecting backlink traffic is always maximised. But there’s still work to do, even with a busy site.
SEO Case Study 3: Conclusion
When you’re trying to rank for a particular keyword, one of the first questions you need to ask yourself is ‘is this the right page we want ranking for this keyword?’ This is especially true if you’re taking over an existing site – the page that might have historically been ranking for you might not be the best choice.
Blocking some pages and optimising others can produce a rollercoaster of an SEO ride, but in the end, the results above are testament that the right actions over time can deliver the results you want.