SEO Case Study: Google Penalty Recovery
- Increase traffic
- Increase transactions and revenue
- Recover their keyword rankings, with emphasis on the “eye make up” category
- Organic traffic increased 30% vs. prior year
- Ecommerce conversion rate increased 12% vs. prior year
- Revenue increased 88% vs. prior year
Web Talent’s goal was to craft and employ an SEO strategy that aligned with the client’s desired results; to recover from a Google Penalty, better compete with well-known competitors, increase traffic and conversions, and improve online rankings before the 2013 Holiday Season. The client was suffering from a Penguin penalty and struggling to recover the “eye make up” related keywords, thus heavily influencing the traffic to their website. The client was also affected by a toxic backlink profile, which led to the penalty.
Web Talent initiated the campaign with an in-depth research and discovery phase, which allowed Web Talent to gain an extensive understanding of the client’s business, background and market. While working closely with their Marketing Director, extensive keyword and topic research established the building blocks for the link building strategy. A technical onsite audit was completed, however due to website platform transitions and implementing a site redesign, the recommendations were not implemented immediately. Web Talent continued to work with the client to provide recommendations in phases for the current site and the new site build.
Equipped with a short time frame, our team put together a three pronged disavow campaign to address the backlink issues. Our first step was sending out link removal requests to all of the websites we identified to be harming their website. These requests were sent twice and all responses, or lack thereof, were carefully recorded. Our second step consisted of crafting a reconsideration request that was submitted to Google’s webmasters. During this process, our third prong of the disavow strategy was to continue building new, relevant and healthy links through blogger outreach, product reviews/giveaways and fresh content creation.
As with most cases of websites hit with a Google Penalty, recovery took time but in a few short months, our strategy succeeded as traffic and revenue recovered for the Holiday season. During their most important time of the year, Dec 1-31st 2013, organic traffic increased approximately 30%, revenue had improved 70%, and their rankings were beginning to recover.
Product reviews and giveaways were published on high trafficked sites like:
- The Examiner
- How to be a Red Head
- Painted Ladies
Results in Action
Total visits increased by approximately 80%, with more of the traffic being qualified visits, and 40% of the traffic attributed to new visitors.
Focusing on organically driven traffic, visits increased 30%, with more of the traffic coming from consumers further down the purchase funnel. This can be seen through the engagement of these visitors, with bounce rate decreasing 30% and average time on site increasing by approximately 10%.
Since this website was a cosmetics ecommerce site, the company was very focused on increasing their total revenue. Our main goal was to increase the the total transactions and revenue during the Holiday season, since they had struggled in the 2012 Holiday season. Below are the total revenue values, organic search conversions only, from December 2013 compared to December 2012.