On-page changes and Link strategy which boosted traffic on PerkinKnives.com

Client Profile

‘Perkin Knives’ is a custom knives maker based in UK. By hiring some of the most proficient knife-smiths from around the globe, they ensure utmost quality. So, for those who like being outdoors, camping, hunting or indulging in bushcraft, these knives are a perfect fit.

Challenges

When we started off with Perkin’s SEO campaign following are the challenges that we had to face.

  • Highly competitive and specific niche: In a world looking for adventure, knives are a real need. Although, we were intuited that the competition’s going to be tough, turned out it was almost impossible to rank in the top ten search results on Google.
  • Low traffic and less sales.
  • Poor search rankings: Website’s pages were not ranking for major keywords.

On-page SEO issues and solutions that we came up with

While placing a web page at any position in its search results, Google takes eighty five on-page factors in consideration. This implies that any website looking forward to improving it’s search presence is supposed to have a clean on-page SEO profile.

So, to start with that, we analyzed ‘perkinknives.com’ for on-page issues. This made us aware of the required design changes. Here’s a list of the issues that we found and changes that we made.

Issues

  • Pages-Pages everywhere, not a page with tags: Their website had hundreds of pages. Nothing’s wrong with that. If you use it right, having many webpages can help. What ruined their game was the fact that their webpages lacked proper optimization.
  • Meta-data that they were using was not adding value. It didn’t contain important keywords and information that mattered.
  • Category pages lacked relevance.
  • Most of their webpages had weak content. Search engines in 2018 are getting smarter every moment. This is keeping thin web pages way behind the top ten results of SERPs.
  • Also, apart from being important for search rankings, quality content is crucial to keep users informed and entertained throughout their journey.
  • Slow page loading speed.
  • Improper interlinking of content.

Solutions

  • Updated the meta data. We updated their titles, headlines, meta descriptions for web pages, category tags and tags for articles.
  • The aim was to make the meta data work for them, making every word count.
  • Updated their old content pages. Now there was fresh, engaging content which would interact better with the users.
  • Also, we ensured the right use of keywords which we came-up with after in-depth keyword research sessions.
  • We got rid of duplicate content within the website. Canonical tags were also added.
  • Trashed the unnecessary tabs from the navigation bar. The menu was cleaner now.
  • This made navigation easier than ever.
  • When running the GTMetrix’ website speed test on ‘perkinknives.com’, we found out their website was loading slow.
  • To resolve this we updated their .htaccess file by adding codes to leverage browser caching and to enable gzip compression.
  • Updated content interlinking keeping relevance and usefulness of links in mind.

Off-page SEO issues and how we fixed those

While quotes like “Content is King” and “Work for users, not for spiders” are quite popular, websites still can’t rank without backlinks. Believe it or not, Off-page SEO is real. While eighty five on-page factors are considered for ranking, backlinks alone account for around fifty off-page factors.

This doesn’t belittle the value of on-page or off-page SEO. What it does is imply that no search engine marketer marketer can do without any of these.

Halting this discussion until next time, now we needed the link profile report for ‘perkinknives.com’. So, we turned to Rankwatch’s backlink analysis tool. Analyzing the link profile, we could figure out that there was something fishy with the links.

For a better understanding and to enable ourselves to take action, we listed out the issues as follows.

Issues

  • Not enough backlinks.
  • Existing links were from websites with low web traffic and authority.
  • Some toxic backlinks were found. Irrelevant directories, links from pages with high outbound link density, reference backlinks and irrelevant comment links.
  • All the links from the dark corners of web needed treatment.

Solutions

  • First thing we did was make a list of the bad backlinks.
  • Then we made a disavow file consisting these links. In the end we used the Google’s links disavow tool. This is how we got rid of those spammy, unwanted backlinks.
  • In the next step we created a link strategy.
  • Perkin’s website lacked relevant qualified backlinks. This called for Guest posting as it is the best way of building backlinks, keeping naturally gained backlinks aside.

    So, now we made a list of blogs and websites in and around Perkin’s industry. To come up with the top blogs we used search terms like “top safety knife blogs”.

    We sorted the search results for blogs with decent web traffic and authority. Now was the time to find blogs’ owners’ contacts and pitch them for writing a Guest post for their blog.

    The email template that worked the best for us went like:

    “Hello, [Name]
    I’ve been a subscriber of [Blog Name] for some time now – and I especially enjoy reading to [Blog category/section/series name] on daily basis.

    I’ve been working on an idea for a post about [blog idea] – and it struck me that this would be a great fit for your audience. Recently, I’ve had several successful guest posts on major blogs including [Blog Name], [Blog Name] and [Blog Name] – which you can see here:

    LINK #1
    LINK #2
    LINK #3

    The working headline for the post is [title] although I’m open to changing it up if needed. I feel that the post would be especially relevant to your readers because [State how it will help the readers] The summary of post is…

    [Bulleted list or paragraph summary of your blog]

    Although there are many such blogs out there that covers the same thing, I haven’t seen a lot of posts that walk readers through [main key point] very well. For that reason, I think your readers would find it very useful.

    What do you think? Should I write it up and send you a draft?

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts,

    Thanks, [Your Name]”

    This template landed us with over sixty five guest posting opportunities on websites with DAs ranging from thirty to seventy two.

Results

We were constantly working towards optimizing their content both for search engines and readers. It took some time, but the results seemed to come along pretty well. By the end of September 2018, their web traffic witnessed a boost of a considerable 37.31%.

Also, the updated content and improvised speed worked for increasing user engagement. As a result of which, bounce rate deteriorated by a solid 36.26%.

The post campaign and comparison stats as preserved by us are as follows.

Page speed optimization for Perkinknives.com resulted in bringing their fully loaded time down to 4.9 seconds

Other numbers and results that matter

Apart from the graphs shown above, there is tabular data which might be useful for reference. Have a look at the numbers that we achieved.

Important factors that matter

Search rankings (positions in SERPs) before and after

Conclusion

While it might seem difficult, SEO is just a game that you play keeping search engine and its users on your team. The moment you trick your teammates, you lose.

When most marketers promise to achieve SEO goals, common mistakes place a lot at stake. Be it website architecture or a website’s link profile, to achieve your SEO-centric goals, all of it matters. Keeping the same in mind we commenced our journey managing PerkinKnives.com’s SEO.

As, on our way we faced challenges and induced solutions, we found a need of sharing this case study with our readers.

We hope this helped you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *