How I overcame technical SEO, structural, duplicate content & backlink spam issues to put my client’s two small business websites on Google page 1.
• Business: increase organic traffic (+ online conversions from organic traffic), and brand visibility in Google
• SEO: resolve duplicate content issues across sites in two different geographic markets, clean up onsite issues (technical SEO), improve backlink profile, improve search performance
The Way Forward:
After starting an “step 1” SEO consulting package for a small-business WordPress site, I quickly saw there were some technical hurdles to overcome in order to meet my client’s specific goals for search. Renewal by Andersen B.C.’s market – window replacement services in the Vancouver area – was fairly competitive, and there was the added complexity of past “blackhat” SEO work that had led to some undesirable (spammy) backlinks to the site. Additionally the site structure was a bit of a mess, and there were lots of “test” pages and other potentially harmful site URLs that had been getting indexed by Google for months (if not years)…
And as I would soon find out, the site had lots of duplicate content that had been reused on/from other sites. While duplicate content may not be a ranking penalty in and of itself, content that’s blatantly copied can be… and unique content is much more valuable as a precursor to improve rankings. So it became a project where just out of my own curiosity I wanted to see what was possible in the short-term in terms of both technical SEO and offsite SEO (building relevant links). In short, it was a challenge.
With this SEO audit/strategy package I provide for all new clients, I was able to diagnose and check off all onsite SEO priorities for this relatively small site quickly. I have a number of go-to plugins that make this extremely efficient for WordPress sites.
• Structural cleanup – pages in navigation
• Onsite content revisions (to resolve duplication and provide new SEO value)
• New relevant directory submissions – local SEO
• Content guest-blogging marketing plan to attract relevant backlinks
Out of these, we had noticeable success with the directory backlinks as I was able to pick up valuable government site links (higher site authority), and also picked up a unique, relevant blog backlink from content marketing as well. Looking at competitor backlink profiles was helpful in this regard.
Fast forward to September, and the site is ranking on page 1 for its business critical keyword “vancouver windows” (screenshot) as well as keyword variations. I also did a small-business SEO consulting package for the “sister” site in Anchorage, Alaska, and that site is now #1 for its business critical keyword targets (screenshots) in a less competitive market.
All in all, a lot to build on for future growth!