Credit.com Success Story
Challenge #1: One of the initial challenges Credit.com faced was the domain’s history. Unfortunately, the site had a reputation for 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 their domain profile continued to hinder SEO growth and posed a very serious potential threat for the future.
Challenge #2: Credit.com had a very outdated CMS and old templates used across all content pages, including the blog. The website also had a number of technical “best practices” that were not being followed in execution or in their templates, which made proper development and optimization of ongoing content difficult.
Challenge #3: Last but not least, Credit.com had a very large content team that was actively working to produce, distribute, and promote syndicated content on their site as well as to the internet at large. Without cohesive best practices and SEO standards to make this possible, however, the content being produced was unsustainable and ineffective.
When Credit.com approached V9, our strategy crystallized quickly: We would not only need to review and consult against their existing practices, but also train and partner with onsite teams to help improve content across the board.
From the start, Credit.com wanted a partner and advisory team to consult with their internal team members and improve processes across the board. So that’s what we did, and we started with getting to know the brand’s teams and content.
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 that were a top priority. Given that the site has hundreds of thousands of pages, it was important to focus on the major opportunities, what had the greatest potential for success, and which silos could best contribute to the bottom line.
Using these criteria as a guide, V9’s content experts narrowed in on a few select groups of content to review and improve first. Our process involved:
- Finding the right keywords
- Identifying content to be improved or expanded
- Fixing technical SEO issues
- Identifying areas to expand content
This effort encompassed the most important pages of the site, such as the homepage, top category pages, and each category’s template.
Collaboration with Content Teams
The next strategy was integrating V9 and Credit.com’s content marketing teams. We began by learning as much as we could about Credit.com’s internal strategies and how content syndication and production fit into their 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 elements of V9’s expertise, like:
- Blogging strategy
- Syndication efforts
- Evergreen editorial calendars
We then organized a series of trainings and workshops, where the V9 team came in and trained Credit.com’s content teams about SEO best practices. These trainings covered SEO essentials like optimization techniques, topic selection, and new promotion ideas for content. Thanks to our team of SEO experts, all of these trainings included the most up-to-date SEO information to make sure Credit.com’s efforts were well-advised.
Credit.com, historically speaking, had some issues with potentially harmful, spammy, or ‘toxic’ links in their profile. To address this, V9 completed a comprehensive audit of their link profile to identify and diagnose issues. Using this audit, V9’s experts identified several thousand links to remove. Working with a third party vendor, the team facilitated the contact, removal, and disavowal of these links to avoid any future penalties.
Technical SEO Fixes
The last leg of our improvement strategy was to perform a technical SEO best practice review on the site. There were many technical issues hindering Credit.com’s solid SEO foundation, and our review helped to identify long-term issues to address, as well as ‘low hanging fruit’ their team could fix immediately.
The proof of this partnership is in the pudding: In a little over 6 months, year over year monthly organic visits to Credit.com increased by 50%. They also saw significant increases on priority content silos, with year over year organic gains in the top three silos up 38%, 62% and 307% respectively. All of these traffic gains were directly correlated to significant improvements seen in organic keyword rankings. And of course, the efforts made to contact toxic links resulted in over 13,000 links being removed or disavowed from Credit.com’s site. Overall, we’d say that was the start of a beautiful friendship.