Recently we have worked for a Fortune 500 company that has around 50k pages and 4.1M visitors on Google. In the beginning, we faced some difficulties, but later we overcame them and learned a lot.
In this case study, we will be discussing the challenges we faced, the strategies and tactics we implemented, the results we achieved, and the lessons we learned.
This case study is intended for SEO professionals, especially those who are interested in technical SEO. We will be focusing on the challenges, strategies, and solutions that we implemented to ensure maximum visibility and high rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Major Technical SEO Problems We Identified
It is not unusual to have difficulties when working with a large website. Keep in mind that people hire technical SEO experts to address technical website issues. When working with a Fortune 500 company, we did a technical audit by analyzing almost 60+ elements related to technical SEO. Here are a few we will discuss that created the major issue. All the other issues are important too, but we will discuss them in another article.
1. Too Many Pages Need to be Organized
Organizing web pages is not particularly difficult for an SEO expert, but it becomes challenging when working with a website that has more than 50k pages.
But we can’t let it continue to be that way because using SEO tactics makes it so challenging to locate the required pages. Additionally, poorly organized websites make it difficult for users to find the information they need, which lowers engagement and results in poor conversion.
When pages are properly categorized (in website & sitemap), it is simpler to build a silo structure that is user-friendly, implement updated SEO techniques like semantic SEO, add relevant internal links, and do a lot more. A well-organized website is also essential because search engines give it preference.
Despite so many difficulties while organizing, we succeeded by following a good plan and schedule. It took less than a month with my team because we divided tasks and worked based on daily goals.
2. Tons of Broken Links
Generally, when a company runs campaigns for different occasions, creates business events, and makes announcement-related content, they link these to many pages. And after a certain period, they delete these contents. What remains? Broken links!
It’s not good for a website to have broken links, as it can negatively impact the user experience. As a result of that impact, the conversion rate may decrease. Not only that, Google does not give priority to a webpage that contains broken links.
As it is common to have broken links on large websites, we ran an SEO audit and found tons of broken links. After that, we created a customized report, adding the content URL, broken link, anchor text, and source. And then we sent it to the technical department to resolve these errors.
3. No-Index Pages That Were Linking to Index Pages
Sometimes it’s a bad practice to link no-index pages with index pages. Because no-index pages have no potential benefits on SERPs, it appears that lifeless content is linked with live content. In this case, those no-index pages eat the crawler’s budget just to link up with an indexable page.
While working on the client’s website, we found so many internal links between no-index pages and live articles. As soon as we found it, we shared it with the content dept. Once they reviewed that, they identified many pages that could be removed and we did that.
This action improved the internal linking structure to the website, which is helpful with ranking.
In addition to this, we found that many pages with no-index tags were actually very important pages. We removed all the no-index tags from those pages and asked their DEV to add those pages to their sitemap. As a result, Google crawled those pages, and those pages started to appear in the top SERPs.
4. Identified a Lot of Thin Content
Thin content can have a negative impact on SEO. It doesn’t have enough information to tell the search engine that the page is valuable. After we found a lot of thin content on the client’s website, we suggested the client to rewrite those pages to make them more valuable to the readers. We also suggested they should add more value to the content by adding supporting information, images, videos, and other elements that can make it more interesting.
5. Missing Heading Tag (H1, H2)
Heading tags are essential for a webpage. It helps to inform search engines what the content is about. As we were analyzing the client’s website, we found out that so many pages were missing heading tags.
To fix this issue, we added heading tags to all the relevant pages. That not only helped us to solve the technical issue, but it also helped us to optimize the website for search engines.
A standard service must have professionalism. To provide top-notch technical SEO service, we did our work at our best and did some extra work to guide them to get the best benefits from our work.
As there were more than 60 technical SEO issues on the client’s site, we had to inform the client about our work status, guide their DEV to work properly as per our plan, and consult them when necessary.
So, here are the solutions that we’ve provided to our client:
1. Created a Visual & Automated Dashboard Where Clients Could See the Website’s Daily Updates
An automated analytics dashboard is quite helpful to identify website progress, performance, and errors. For that, we had to build a visual & automated dashboard to keep track of the website’s daily updates. That was important for both of us (the client and our team).
To do so, we created a customized GDS report that was totally automated. Here, Google Data Studio was the best option, as we could use customization options to show only relevant data for our needs.
2. Prepared an Action List of How Their DEV Could Solve the Issue
It’s always important to make a website’s interface attractive, lightweight, and useful. While working with a Fortune 500 company, we noticed a lot of heavy coding work, design failures, improper placement of CTA buttons, and more.
Without solving these problems, it was not possible to showcase our work. For that, we created an action sheet so that the client’s DEV could be aware of the issues and resolve them.
3. Consulted With Them About How We Could Ignore This Kind of Issue in the Future
After completing a successful task, we let the client know about the major problems we had faced and consulted with them about how we could avoid them later.
For example, we noticed silly on-page SEO mistakes on so many pages, so we consulted the client to train their editor & hire an On-page SEO professional.
Similar to the previous example, we consulted them on a number of issues that we suspected would arise in the future.
Result After Implementing Technical SEO
The outcome of our efforts exceeded our expectations. Because we use the best and most up-to-date methods, the outcome must be the best.
So, these are the following enhancements we made to our client’s website.
1. Improved Keyword Ranking & Traffic
The first and most important thing our clients want to see is an improvement in their keyword rankings and traffic. After all, the whole point of doing technical SEO is to make the website more crawlable and rank keywords to the first page.
We’re happy to report that our clients have seen significant improvements in both keyword ranking and traffic after working with us.
2. Increased Visitor Time
We’ve seen an increase in visitor time on our clients’ websites after implementing our technical SEO strategies. This means that people are staying on the site longer and engaging with the content more.
If you are a learner, you might be wondering how it is possible to increase visitor time by doing technical SEO. Well, we make sure that the website loads quickly and that there are no broken links or other errors that would cause someone to leave the site. We also optimized the website for better engagement with the user, such as by adding internal links and relevant CTAs.
3. Technical SEO Health Improved Rapidly
When we start working with a new client, one of the first things we do is run a technical SEO audit. This allows us to see what areas of the website need improvement and where there are potential issues that could be holding the site back.
After implementing our technical SEO strategies, we typically see a significant improvement in the overall health of the website. This is because we are able to fix any issues that were previously causing problems and implement best practices that will prevent problems from occurring in the future.
4. Search Engine Crawler Budget Saves a Lot
We often see that our client’s website has been wasting its search engine crawler budget on low-quality pages that don’t need to be crawled. This is because they haven’t been using proper technical SEO practices, such as setting up a robots.txt file.
After we optimized the website and set up a proper robots.txt file, the budget invested for search engine crawling was significantly reduced. This results in a lower overall cost for the website owner and less wasted time for the search engine crawlers.
5. Conversion Rate Improved
One of the ultimate goals of technical SEO is to improve the conversion rate on the website. After all, if a website is getting a lot of traffic, but no one is converting, then it’s not doing its job.
We’re happy to report that our clients have seen a significant increase in their conversion rate after working with us. This is because, we have organized the whole website, removed the broken links, increased the loading speed, and much more.
Challenges We Faced in Technical SEO Implementation
Working on a giant website is always challenging, and our experience working for a Fortune 500 company was no different. Over time, it presented us with a number of significant challenges.
1. Hard to Implement Because the Site is Built-in Raw Coding
Because the site was developed using raw coding, we had to collaborate with the developers to implement our technical SEO changes. It was difficult because we had to make sure that the developers understood our changes and why we were making them.
2. We Had to Use Client-Side DEV
Since the client’s site was built by raw coding, we needed a developer to put our strategy into action. The client had a very strict policy about only using client-side DEV for changes. They were not as well-versed in everything as our team. For that, we had to explain many things before they worked on our plan. We felt challenged here.
3. The Reporting Was Built in GDS, Which Was Totally Customized
To accurately report to the client on the website’s daily growth, we had to use GDS. This was difficult because we had to customize it so that we could obtain relevant and detailed information about the website. To do so, we learned how to use customized GDS and make sure that we were tracking the right metrics to report back to the client.
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How Technical SEO Impacts Ranking
Technical SEO is the #1 ranking factor. Suppose any website has a major technical problem that can’t be ranked if we add big content or hundreds of backlinks. The goal of technical SEO is to make it easy for search engine crawlers to access, index, and understand the content on your website. In addition, by fixing technical errors, a website can avoid being penalized by Google and other search engines.
While the direct impact of technical SEO on rankings is undeniable, it is important to note that technical SEO is just one part of a larger SEO strategy. In order to rank well in the SERPs, a website must also have high-quality content, well-optimized on-page SEO, and a strong backlink profile. However, if a website has all of these things but is not technically sound, it will likely struggle to rank.
However, technical SEO also has an indirect impact on ranking. This is because, as we mentioned before, technical SEO can improve the conversion rate and visitor time on the site. Both of these factors are taken into account by Google when determining rankability.
In short, technical SEO is important for ranking because it makes it easy for search engine crawlers to access and understand your content. If your website is not properly optimized, then it will be difficult for search engine crawlers to access and understand your content. This can lead to a lower ranking.
How Can You Make Sure of Good Technical SEO Health? 4 Tips
To ensure good technical SEO health, it is preferable to keep technical SEO factors in mind from the beginning. And if you have a live website, you can seek professional help to recover your website’s technical SEO health and maintain best practices to keep a good technical score. Here are some valuable tips from experts to ensure good technical SEO Health:
1. Consult With an Experienced Technical SEO Strategist Before Building a Website
No matter if you are planning for a big or small website, to ensure good technical SEO health, you should always consult with an experienced technical SEO strategist before building your site. An experienced technical SEO strategist can help you ensure that your website will be built in a search engine-friendly way from the start. This can save you a lot of time and effort down the road trying to fix technical SEO issues that could have been avoided.
2. Plan Technical SEO Before Building the Website
Before you begin building your website, you should plan for technical SEO in the same way that you plan the purpose, architecture, and design of your website. This means having a clear understanding of how you want your website to be structured and how you want users to be able to navigate it. Once again, consulting with an experienced technical SEO strategist can be extremely helpful in this planning process.
3. Run an SEO Audit Before Making the Website Live
When launching a new website, it is important to run an SEO audit beforehand. This will help identify any technical SEO issues that need to be fixed before the website goes live. An SEO audit can also help ensure that your website is properly optimized for search engines.
4. Perform Regular (At Least Once Per Month) Website Audits
To maintain good technical SEO health, it is important to perform regular website audits. This will help identify any new technical SEO issues that may have arisen and need to be fixed. There are a number of different SEO tools that can be used to perform website audits, such as Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, etc.
This project has been very challenging for us since the very beginning due to all the technical SEO complexities we had to resolve, but so far we have been very successful in identifying the issues and resolving them.
We’ve leading SEO industry experts with over 10 years of experience who have come across various critical technical SEO projects and were able to complete them successfully. Till now, we have managed to uphold the quality of our work and also exceed client expectations. This is still an ongoing project but we’re proud to share the experience of our massive success so far. And, we strive to make this project a groundbreaking success.
Technical SEO is very complex and it needs to be handled with a lot of attention and care, so it’s best to get help from the experts. If you need help with the technical SEO of your website look into our Professional SEO Service or Book a Free SEO Consultation now.