Case Study: USA Classifieds Company
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This SEO case study was done on a once popular USA Classifieds website that went bankrupt and then purchased by another company that was looking to reboot the website. Their organic traffic took a massive dip over the summer of 2017 which is why they contacted us looking for help.
This shows traffic from April 1st, 2017 to October 22nd, 2017 when we were first contacted by this company. On that date traffic had dropped to 1,245 organic visitors on Google. Before the massive drop the site was averaging around 4,500 visitors per day.
As always, the first thing we did was we performed an audit of the website, starting with a comprehensive technical analysis to see if there were some obvious issues that could be causing the site to drop in traffic so quickly.
Initially we could not find any obvious issues, so we started asking questions so that we could fill in some gaps in history of the site, long-term and over the past 6-12 months. We found out that they were working with a company in Europe that had been making some changes to the ‘software’ for the site. This company had made a lot of changes over the past 3 months alone, so it was a bit difficult to figure out which changes could have causes any problems on the site.
What We Discovered
After carefully analyzing the changes and sorting through the logs, we noticed that the meta tags (descriptions and title tags) had been changed. We verified this using various tools that clearly showed these changes had occurred during that time frame.
Another issue we found was that the geolocation redirect was using an outdated database that was causing errors when visitors arrived on the site. It would automatically redirect to a specific state and city URL regardless of where the visitor came from. It was always the same URL. In that redirect chain we noticed there was an additional redirect that didn’t need to occur in the first place.
What We Did
We carefully mapped a plan to correct these mistakes, but unfortunately we were constantly having to wait for responses from the development team in Europe. After hounding them for a month the changes were slowly, but surely made. However, not all of the changes were done correctly, so it took a while to ensure that they were all done to our specifications.
The Title Tags and Meta Description tags were changed back and optimized to what they were prior to the software updates.
The home page redirect chain (3x) was corrected, although the geolocation issue still existed until recently.
There were approximately 15 other smaller issues that were also fixed, but probably not as critical as the issues explained above.
We then left the client with a plan of attack and consulted with their link building team on where they should focus next, although we also helped push some very solid social links to help some inner pages and get some URL’s indexed again.
The results are clear, the site is now moving upwards to where it once was.
We fully expect to see the site not just return to the norm, but exceed its past numbers. The work performed took approximately 2 months, but it was mostly due to the delays by the development team in response time.
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