REWRITE & OPTIMIZE.
NEW WORDPRESS WEBSITE.
A case study in WordPress website modernization for generational transition of a family business… during a pandemic.
A Shade Above Window Fashions – a south Florida second generation, regional family business – had been in business for 37 years before being faced with a feeling of unease about their business website. It had been some time that they felt their web person was able to provide reasonable answers, ideas, or any communication for that matter.
An audit conducted by Search Appeal revealed what was going on behind the scenes: the site had excessive 466 URLs, many of which were ineffective due to keyword stuffing, and too many large image galleries drastically slowing the site down accompanied by poor hosting.
Search Appeal had turned a rotting log and uncovered a mess of problems affecting the site’s ability to perform. These problems were enough to warrant the firing of the previous SEO. This didn’t happen smoothly, however, as the old hire technically owned the rights to domain under which the company had been operating, and refused to hand it over, demanding thousands for the rights to the domain, a completely unfounded and unreasonable price.
Through a powerful collaboration with Search Appeal, A Shade Above was able to build a new website on a new domain, complete with features and functionalities designed based on insights from the Audit conducted beforehand. Search Appeal was there not just to help technically, but to serve as a connection point between their business and the internet, complete with frequent communication and a wholehearted intent to help and not hurt; all coincidentally in a moment of maximum uncertainty at the brink of a global pandemic which would either completely erase the company or thrust its foundation, processes and operations into a heavily modernized form. To help with the pivot, a brand new appointment booking system was built, not only making their lead funnel more efficient, but also facilitating in the shift from operating an open-door showroom to a safer, by-appointment operation fully adapted to the new demands of the external environment. Simultaneously, a foundation for online growth was also being built by developing a creatively unique, technically correct website, ready to serve as the focus of a new PPC campaign led by industry experts at SEO.co.
A Shade Above Window Fashions had plenty of challenges to deal with: they were focused on a domain hostage situation while a global pandemic was developing in the background, and meanwhile they continued to run an entire business somewhere in between. To add on to these overarching problems, an audit of their previous website had uncovered several problems affecting their ability to attract and retain clients online. Their site had 466 site URLs, most of which were ineffective and drastically slowed the site speed (a critical factor in SEO) due to improperly sized images and inefficient hosting. There was keyword stuffing present on the site and the content on the product pages was thin, causing search engines to keep the site off page one results.
An essential first step was conducting thorough audits of the business’ current website. This was done to identify critical issues and carefully develop an action plan. The three key results of the audit were drastically slow site speed (a result of the unnecessarily large site size), lack of standardized, site-wide schema markup (an essential structure that when created correctly yields significant benefits for a site), and thin content on product pages which was detected as duplicate by the search engine.
The site speed issue was overlooked for a long time, but its importance can not be understated: Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively affect conversions. The obvious solution was to restructure the website and cut down on unnecessary uses of space. During the redesign this was addressed by reducing the viewport of the image to create smaller, digestible galleries paired with matching researched content. The file size of the image was taken into consideration when building the site, resulting in an image heavy site that is roughly 50% smaller in file size.
The lack of schema markup was another major issue, immediately addressed by integrating a basic optimization plugin called Yoast, allowing for the assignment of basic schema types to pages, resulting in schema being implemented site-wide. In April 2021, individualized custom product schema was written and placed throughout the site to enhance the benefits of these improvements.
The next issue to tackle was the content on the product pages. The pages were thin, some were seen as duplicate pages due to the reused content, and there was an overuse of keywords. There was a real need for new product page copywriting, and to facilitate this process, Search Appeal identified target keywords for each product page, and provided an assigned list alongside page section prompts which was then used to rewrite 26 pages of unique content based on industry experience of the business owner. It was then important to continue to develop the product pages’ unique content, and potentially select some with which a full blown blog with links to the product pages could be developed. It was successfully proven to the search engines that A Shade Above knows what they’re talking about, and these future action steps can help prove that they are the leading local experts. The more unique content placed on each page, the better the chance of increasing the rankings for those keywords.
Search Appeal is proud to report its impact on A Shade Above through clear, actionable metrics which concisely demonstrate the most important improvements in performance.
- AShadeAboveFlorida.com was an unused domain at the origin of the project. Through Search Appeal’s efforts, a site was created which was being displayed in search engines for over 1,000 search terms*, roughly 870% growth YOY.
- Site speed was increased by 370% on desktop and 14,750% on mobile despite a 290% increase in site size through a purposefully effective use of the space.
- Increased domain authority to 90% of former domain in 7 months
- Increased local search reach allowing for greater discovery through search
* Based on data collected through Search Console.
It’s clear that Search Appeal made a tremendous impact through this project, providing a foundation for A Shade Above Window Fashions to succeed online. At the beginning of the project, three main issues were identified, and each of them were resolved and improved through an impactful implementation of Search Appeal’s action plan within a one year period.
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