"Our SEO positioning has dramatically improved week after week with many search terms on page one of Google and the level of service has been exceptional. I believe this is a result of the genuine care Marwick shows towards their clients combined with the knowledge and experience of their team."
Elite Home Theater Seating (Elite HTS) is an internationally recognized manufacturer of ultra-luxury home theater seating for residential and commercial projects. In late 2019 the management team reached out to Marwick Marketing looking to improve sales and “To work with a knowledgeable agency that is up-to-date with the latest best practices and strategies for SEO and digital marketing. An agency that provides the same great service in month 1 and month 12.”
Over a period of six months, the team at Marwick Marketing improved the placement on Google for many keywords by 2,850 placements (and growing). This improvement in the position on Google took their non-paid organic SEO traffic from 2,954 visitors in December 2019 to 7,314 in April 2020 – a 150% increase and this continues to grow.
So how did the Marwick Marketing team improve the organic traffic? Matt Burns our senior digital marketing specialist talks us through some of the technical SEO aspects that allowed us to boost their SEO;
- Review of all indexed pages – large volumes of parameter pages from the Chair Customizer tool were found to be being indexed in Google. This was a concern for 2 reasons. Firstly, we were allowing Google to crawl, analyze, and index large volumes of pages that contained largely duplicated content. Secondly, since the number of pages was so high (as there are thousands of variations of combinations available in the chair customizer) we were concerned that the site was not making effective use of its crawl budget, and we instead wanted to focus Googlebot’s attention on more important areas of the site. Adding a canonical tag to the clean version of the page saw the number of these pages within Google’s index gradually reduce
- Content Audit – As well as these parameter pages being generated by the tool, the site also had a large volume of outdated and very thin content pages – primarily in the blog section, which had been left un-audited and allowed to grow over the years. We exported a full list of blog post URLs, cross-referenced them with Google Analytics to check if they were pulling in any traffic for the site, and also checked them against all of the common backlink tools to see if they provided any value in terms of attracting links. If it was a no to both of these, we manually reviewed the page to see if it contained good enough content to be worth keeping. In the end, we recommended the removal of around 40% of the total blog pages that contained little or no unique content or value to the site.
- Internal Linking Review – Internal links are an important part of any SEO strategy as they help pass meaning to a page through the anchors you use. Once our content audit and removal was completed, we set about auditing the current internal links to ensure that the most appropriate anchors were being used when linking to our key target landing pages. Particularly in cases like this where multiple different SEOs have had a hand in the site over the years, it’s common to see changes in strategies as far as target keyword and landing page pairings, and the site had a lot of inconsistencies in its internal linking practices as a result. This creates confusion for Google, as the algorithms have to work harder to decide which page to rank for which terms.
- Secondary to that – we also spent time making sure that the site was making the best use of its current linkable assets. To do this, we prioritized pages that had the highest volumes of backlinks and made sure to deep-link into our key landing pages from there. These were the strongest pages on the domain and internal links from them are the most valuable.
When we look at the organic results for one of our main target keywords, we can see that despite having the highest Domain Authority, the client was still being outranked by its main competitors:
Interestingly, despite being the strongest domain overall (discounting the large non-niche competitors like Amazon) the authority of our target landing page was significantly lower than those who were ranked above us. This was consistent with what we had seen already in the backlink audit. Some of the site’s strongest pages and its most linked-to assets were not being used as effectively as they could be to pass authority to key landing pages. Again, better internal linking was the answer.
- Backlink review and link reclamation – The offsite SEO on this project was made more complicated by the fact that the client had recently rebranded and changed their domain name. Their previous site had some amazing links from very high DA domains, but a lot had fallen through the cracks on the relaunch prior to them coming over to Marwick. Our backlink analysis was able to uncover hundreds of backlinks across both the new and the old domain which were now pointing to 404 error pages and effectively providing no value at all. By taking the time to recreate lost pages or 301 redirect these broken links, we were able to reclaim the value of hundreds of good links and redirect users to the most appropriate page on the site instead of an unhelpful 404.
- Keyword cannibalization – Keyword cannibalization was widespread throughout the site, with many pages being optimized for and targeting the same competing keywords. Again, this is likely the result of there have been so many different SEOs working on the site over the years with different strategies. By creating a clear keyword map and landing page plan, we were able to review the optimization of each page on the site and ensure that we are only competing with our competitors – not ourselves!
- Ensuring consistency with the rebrand – Whilst the rebrand and relaunch were successful for Elite HTS in a lot of ways, there were still a lot of inconsistencies across the site in terms of the brand name that was being used. Both internal links and page metadata were still mostly using the old brand name, and we were concerned that this may be adding to the confusion and the existing keyword cannibalization since our main target keywords were also in the old brand name. We reviewed all brand mentions across the site and updated them to the new, shortened “Elite HTS” wherever we found them.
- Migrating to a new domain the right way – A few months into the project we noticed that some pages on the old domain still remained in Google’s index, despite the fact that 301 redirects had been implemented on them months ago. This told us that Google either was not sure about the supposedly permanent nature of the redirect or didn’t recognize that the two domains were the same company. This is a problem because, in either of those two scenarios, the full amount of link equity is likely not being passed to the new domain. As we mentioned earlier, the old domain has some extremely high-quality links pointing to it and making sure that we retain as much of that link power as possible in the new domain is vital. To help encourage Google to recognize the rebrand correctly, we used the site migration tool in Google Search Console to officially tell Google that the old site had moved to a new domain.
- Keyword research and content creation – Once we were sure we had a solid foundation in place, it was time to move on to phase two. The next stage in the campaign focused on uncovering new opportunities by making an in-depth analysis of the site’s main organic competitors and the keywords they were targeting and ranking for. Our keyword research process uncovered many new keyword areas that Elite HTS were not yet targeting and we set about creating a content plan to build out the site and further our reach in the niche.
And here is what Bobby Bala, CEO at Elite Home Theater Seating, has to say about his experience with working with Marwick Marketing;
“I started my company Elite Home Theater Seating (Elite HTS) in 2004. Since that time I’ve hired at least 7 different SEO companies and it was always one frustrating experience after another with many years wasted.
This cycle finally ended when we hired Marwick Marketing at the end of last year. Since then our SEO positioning has dramatically improved week after week with many search terms on page 1 of Google and the level of service has been exceptional. I believe this is a result of the genuine care Marwick shows towards their clients combined with the knowledge and experience of their team. I also feel that being a boutique agency, they are not too big or too small which allows them to provide a higher level of service than the larger agencies in town.
In the years before Marwick, the agencies we hired would talk a good talk in the initial kickoff meeting, and I would feel excited that it would be different this time. However after a few months, the level of service would usually drop off, and a year later there would be hardly any improvement with our SEO positioning.
Most of the time, the poor results would be simply because of lack of SEO knowledge especially since SEO has become a more complex, ever-evolving science over the years. Other times it was because an agency had too much overhead and took on too many clients.”