Domain age: 3 years.
Start of work: December 28, 2020.
At the time of writing this case, 4 months have passed since we started to promote an online store selling children’s clothes, products for moms and all things baby care.
Compared with the previous period, we have increased revenue from organic output by 16%, traffic by 14.5%:
Since February, traffic has increased from 259 to 329 users per day from search engines.
Start of work
As a result of the audit we have found a lot of technical errors – broken links, images, CSS and JS-files, unconfigured basic redirects, problems with pagination.
To solve the problem of pages with 404 server response we prepared a map of broken links for the programmer:
Prepared a map of redirects, so that only the main mirror of the site remained in the index:
We configured pagination so that Google would index the second and subsequent pages. We set up static addresses like https://sait.com/collections/bestsellers/page-2/ and added “Page 2, Page 2…” to the second and subsequent pages so there would be no duplicates. We made a redirect from the first page of pagination to the category, because without it the site had two completely identical pages:
Checked page indexing in Google using the operator site:https://site.com.
In addition to essential for the promotion pages, index also included incomplete, uninformative pages, trigger registration pages, coupon registration, and so on. For example, the page that user sees after registration on the site. Or a page that prompts the user to create an account. Or just a test landing page. All of them got into the index. To exclude them, we closed them with meta robots=noindex, nofollow.
There were a number of unusual problems with the site, such as multiple headers and titles. Each page had two titles. One of them – unique, the second – was duplicated virtually throughout the site. Because of this, the issue of non-unique meta tags was critical.
Another unusual problem – multiple H1 headers and broken header structure. On 90% of the pages of the site was first the header H2, and only then went H1.
And 70% of the pages had two or more H1 headings:
Of course, all of this interfered with the promotion – the site had problems with relevance. And the duplication of titles led to query cannibalization – when several pages began to rank for the same group of keywords. We solved all these problems.
The most serious bug
A huge negative impact on the growth of the site was caused by a large number of duplicate pages. All of them were generated because of the CRM specifics. And when the pages were created, this point was not given due attention. We have identified 3 main reasons for the occurrence of duplicates:
- Incorrect work with tagging pages. All of them were created with errors. The result is a large number of pages with the same title and description. Example:
How we solved the problem: uniqueized tagging pages for low frequency queries.
- Duplicate pages due to the specifics of CRM (Shopify). It’s unclear how, but several versions of completely identical pages were created on the site. The only difference was the presence of micro markup and references after the text description. Example:
How we solved the problem: We merged the pages with rel=canonical. Made a detailed map of canonical addresses, and gave Google the main version of the page.
- Duplicate meta descriptions for pages with slightly different parameters. For example, gray backpack and blue backpack. Pages like:
How we solved the problem: we removed unnecessary pages, but left the opportunity to choose a color using JS – so that this information is not indexed by search engines.
Working with link weight
Monitored the competitors in the niche, calculated the growth rate of links, the distribution by pages, the ratio of dofollow and nofollow.
Based on the analysis we developed our own link strategy. Used different methods of acquiring external links to pump up the domain – crowd-marketing, outreach, getting links from submits and directories (to dilute the link mass).
Achieved the following link growth dynamics:
For comparison, this is the dynamics of growth throughout the year:
As a result, we were able to maximize the technical optimization and achieve positive results in a short period of time within all the limitations that Shopify creates. We do not recommend using this CMS if you are planning to seriously promote your online store in Google. There are more successful and free CMS. For example, we advise our clients to use Open Cart. It has all the same features as Shopify. Including various integrations with Amazon, Facebook.