Content Publisher Collaboration – Organic Traffic Up 50%

Overview

Credit.com came to Volume 9 looking for a partner who could consult against SEO across a number of different online channels, with content marketing and content syndication being a primary focus. Fully equipped with an internal team of web developers, content writers, social media teams, and in-house SEOs, Credit.com was looking for a true partner to help leverage SEO across all of these diverse channels, as well as to train the content teams on SEO best practices for moving forward.

Challenges

One of the initial challenges was the domain’s history of engaging in low quality or suspicious link acquisitions in the past. Although the site had an established and trusted history, the presence of ‘toxic’ backlinks in the
profile continued to hinder SEO growth and posed a very serious potential threat for the future.

Another challenge was the very outdated CMS and templates used across all content pages as well as the blog. The website had a number of technical Best Practices which were not being followed and also made the proper development and optimization of ongoing content difficult.

Finally, Credit.com has a very large content team who are actively working to produce, distribute, and promote syndicated content on both the site as well as to the internet at large. Our challenge was to not only review
and consult against their existing practices, but also to help train and come alongside of the teams to grow and better qualify these traffic streams.

Strategies

Focus on Top Content Silos
Our first strategy was to collaborate with the Credit.com team to find a few key silos of onsite content which were a top priority. Given that the site has hundreds of thousands of pages, it was important to focus on what the major opportunities were, what had the greatest potential for success, and which silos could best contribute to the bottom line.

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Using these criteria as a guide, we narrowed in on a few select groups of content to review and improve first. Our process involved finding the right keywords for the given silo, identifying content to be improved or expanded, fixing technical issues, and identifying areas to expand content. This effort included the most important pages of the site such as the homepage, top category pages, and the pages templates for each.

Collaboration with Content Teams
The next strategy was working towards integrating the Credit.com content marketing teams with our own. We began by learning as much as we could about their internal strategies and how content syndication and production fit into the overall online strategy. With this as a guide, we provided
an objective review of major areas of content marketing as they relate to SEO. This included things like personas, blogging strategy, syndication efforts, and the evergreen editorial calendar used on the site. Finally, we organized a series of trainings and workshops for our team to come in and train their content teams about SEO best practices such as optimization
techniques, topic selection, and new promotion ideas for content once it goes live.

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Link Remediation
As was mentioned, Credit.com also had issues with potentially harmful, spammy, or ‘toxic’ links in their profile. As such, we completed a comprehensive audit of their link profile to not only identify and diagnose issues, but also to develop a strategy for moving forward. Upon completion of this, we identified several thousand links which needed to be taken down right away. Working with a third part vendor, for six months we facilitated the effort to systematically, contact, remove, and disavow these links to avoid any future penalties.

SEO Technical Fixes
Our final strategy was to perform an SEO Best Practice review on the site from a technical perspective. There were many technical issues that were hindering a solid SEO foundation. The review helped to identify both
long-term issues as well as ‘low hanging fruit’ to be fixed right away.

Results

The recent SEO results have seen outstanding. In a little over 6 months, YoY monthly organic visitors saw a 50% increase for January 2014. We also saw significant increases on the key content silos which were a priority; YoY organic gains in the top three silos were up 38%, 62% and 307% respectively. All of these traffic gains are directly correlated to significant improvements seen in the organic keyword rankings. Finally, the efforts made to contact toxic linking domains resulted in over 13,000 links either being removed or disavowed.

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