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Site Redesign with an SEO Focus to Get on the First Search Page: Case Study

Case Study, SEO, Web Design

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We approached General Insulation Company (GIC) in Spring 2015 about redesigning their site with a focus on SEO. At the time it was difficult to find GIC in the search results without invoking the company name as well. Typical results landed on the third or fourth search page. This depite the fact that GIC was a large insulation distributor with about 45 distributorships across the northeast, southeast, midwest, and California.

The web site was built with WordPress and Woocommerce, there were over a hundred products in descriptive product categories. Despite the built-in SEO advantages conferred the CMS and ecommerce plugin, and the reasonable product categorization, it was very difficult to find GIC products on the web.

Some of the SEO problems we found were:

  • Minimal or no product descriptions
  • No alt tags
  • No accessory content like product brochures or MSDS's
  • A simple list of distributorships and no distributor pages
  • Minimal or no metadescriptions
  • Poor permalink structure
  • Breadcrumbs bore no relation to category structure

Search result 2015 gic firebatt

This search result shows the lack of product description, metadescription, and product category in the URL. The paucity of content resulted in the inclusion of review content in the search snippet. There were no reviews on the site so this looked particularly bad in the search results.

We approached the site redesign to improve function, branding, appearance and SEO. The site was not connected to Google Webmaster Tools at the time, so there is not search query data from the initial period.

SEO was the focus throughout the design and implementation process. In brief, here are the SEO steps we took:

  • Logical product categories and subcategories reflected in permalink and breadcrumb structure
  • Short and long descriptions for each product, with accessory documents and links to media
  • Keyword focused metadescriptions throughout the site
  • Alt tags for all product images
  • Yoast Local SEO plugin to set up a page for each distributor with complete contact info, geotag, and microschema
  • Hierarchical product categories and subcategories in themenu
  • Major product category links in the footer
  • Connected to Google Analytics and Google Search Console (GSC - Google Webmaster Tools at the time). Collecting search query data in GSC is essential for continuing SEO analysis.

There was a rapid improvement in search results when the site went live. We have followed the site over time using search query data to further improve site SEO. The average search page position of the top 100 queries is now 3.45, and that of the top 300 is 4.6. That puts the top 300 queries on the first search page, and in fact on the top half of the first search page. That is important because 85% of all clicks occur in the top 3 search results.

Users per week stats 2014 to present:

Now virtually every product category is on the first search page.

Query Clicks Impressions CTR Position
general insulation 1747 8864 19.71% 4.14
general insulation company 502 1369 36.67% 2.2
calcium silicate insulation 174 3037 5.73% 3.13
thermax 119 1415 8.41% 27.44
dow thermax 114 2200 5.18% 4.49
general insulation locations 106 233 45.49% 2.29
cryogel 103 4139 2.49% 5.8
calcium silicate pipe insulation 96 460 20.87% 1.21
thermax insulation 90 3712 2.42% 6.41
foster 30-36 75 524 14.31% 1.57
calsil insulation 73 374 19.52% 1.28
rockwool sds 66 131 50.38% 1.62
dow thermax xarmor 58 195 29.74% 1.62
silicato de calcio 56 6914 0.81% 8.14
venture tape 56 3037 1.84% 4.41
phenolic foam 54 2414 2.24% 8.39
nfpa 285 53 2872 1.85% 7.21
rockwool insulation data sheet 51 234 21.79% 3.96
rockwool safe and sound 50 7810 0.64% 8.64
rockwool comfortboard 80 49 1806 2.71% 6.52
white pipe insulation 47 1539 3.05% 2.1

GIC often outperforms the manufacturer for the own products in search. The click through rates – they are exceptionally high. This is all organic SEO and local SEO. The local SEO component is a location page for each of about 50 branches, which is supported by built-in schema for the “Local Business” schema. You can see those local results as well in the search queries – they also rank for the first page – they are simply pushed down the list as they are ordered by clicks and they are simply searched for, and clicked on, less often as they are more geographically limited.

Here is how BBDS Design can help you achieve the same result:

  • Your web site should have a logical structure that reflects the nature of your business and products.
  • Each page must be SEO optimized.
  • You need a top to bottom SEO plan.
  • Organic SEO takes time. It needs continual work over time.
  • You need a consistent metric to analyze results over time.
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