This SEO case study focuses on AccountantOnline. We started working on their website in February 2017. In Jan of 2017, the website had around 400 visitors from Google; by Jan 2018, this was over 8,500 for the month. (Update: this has now doubled)
The company had recently rebranded, changed the company name, and migrated the website from an old domain to a new one. The redirects from the old domain were incomplete. Only the home page was redirecting. This meant that the content on the old site was duplicated on the new site. Setting up 301 redirects quickly solved this duplicate content issue.
There was various on-site duplication which was quickly dealt with.
This left us with three main areas to concentrate our SEO efforts on.
The content had two problems: the date was in the URLs, and the content was not of great quality.
We 301 redirected all the date URLs to take out the numbers in the URL. Our logic for this is to allow content updating without needing to change the URL. For example: if you are running an accountancy blog and create a post to review the government’s budget, it is doubtful whether the posts from previous years will be useful.
We prefer to keep the URL as it is and just replace the content and publish it at the current date whenever the content is updated. This helps SEO in several ways: often, posts will already have shares; therefore, new content displays social proof. Hopefully, the previous post will have links to it, so we manage to keep building more links to the same URL making it easier to rank the new content on Google.
The last part of the content problem was solved in-house. The current content wasn’t great. We started going back to posts that we thought had potential and re-writing those posts. Posts irrelevant to the business goals were deleted (and redirected if considered worthwhile).
The in-house writers have produced industry leading content. This made the rest of the SEO much easier.
Keyword research was completed to create a content map and was used to update current pages.
Local SEO / Google Maps Optimisation
They had a listing in the previous company name. We changed this to the new company name, optimised the listing, and added photos.
Local citation submissions and a few guest posts to help with localisation to the target area were completed.
The website ranks well in one area, and work is ongoing for another.
Link Building & Content Marketing
We knew from the audit that link building would be the main ongoing SEO service. Competitors had many more links, and the company targeted the whole of Ireland rather than a narrow geographical area.
Links were built from month 2 onward.
Content marketing only became available once the content on the website was of a high enough quality.
Along with a change of company name, there was also a website redesign between months 3 and 6. We ran into issues with the web development company that did the redesign. URLs were changed without 301 redirects being put in place, and arguments were put forward that redirects were not required…
The lesson we took away from this was to ensure we had the full trust of the company with regards to all matters SEO before any other company was involved.
Overall the project has been relatively standard apart from the very high-quality content – that is the one factor that has enabled the traffic to continue to grow at a very high level. Without the content, the website would still have done well, but the growth would have been lower due to Google now being able to detect content that answers the searcher’s query.