1. Improve Site Quality
Before improving specific pages, there’s usually huge opportunities to improve the overall site, which has a larger impact.
In PC International’s case, due to being a WooCommerce store with a significant number of products, there were a large number of technical SEO issues.
One of the biggest was caused by the faceted navigation:
If you were to click any of these pages, it would launch a new indexable page.
This is an issue when multiple similar pages are created targeting the same keywords:
<figure class="w-richtext-figure-type-image w-richtext-align-fullwidth" style="max-width:1219pxpx"><div><img style="box-shadow:none;margin:0;border-radius:0" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/62a71a99fc80c544af00084d/63f87b4237a3c160a6537d85_pcintl-keyword-cannibalisation.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" title="" style=""></div><figcaption>These two pages target the same keyword, have almost identical content... but they're seen as two separate pages.</figcaption></figure>
In the SEO world, we call this keyword cannibalisation. It means you have more than one page targeting the same keywords, which usually leads to inconsistent rankings.
We managed this by merging different pages, canonicalising them together (i.e. informing search engines they’re the same page), and/or de-optimising certain pages - depending on the situation.
This may seem trivial, but it’s huge for site quality issues and getting these product category pages to actually rank well.
Beyond that, there were all your common technical issues that come from larger sites e.g. 404 pages, 500 error pages, broken canonical links, broken backlinks, broken menu links, etc.
For a website with thousands of pages, these all make a drastic difference to site quality, which impacts rankings.
This is likely why we started seeing solid growth within a few months of starting:
2. Expand Bottom of Funnel
This is literally the only client we haven’t launched new product category pages for.
In this case, PC International is using a faceted navigation plugin that creates new product category pages for every single filter option. This creates a huge number of bottom of funnel pages already (actually too many, see prev section).
So rather than creating new ones, we simply identified which ones were worth using and worked with the client's writers to expand these with content.
… there were a LOT.
For content, we recommended shorter descriptions added to the bottom of the page with relevant keywords and internal links, for example:
This adds a bit more detail to the page making it easier to rank without impacting conversions. Again, this adds up across 100+ categories optimised.
We also added to the middle of funnel this time.
Take a look at these keywords:
- small laptop prices
- good laptops for students
- best laptops in south africa
- small laptops
- best budget laptops south africa
These are all what we’d call “middle of funnel”, it’s not necessarily someone searching for a store to buy a laptop from, but it’s someone looking for information of what to buy.
It still converts to sales and there’s a lot of these searches every month.
At the time of starting with PC International, they had zero blog content. So we worked with their writers to publish 30+ at this point, which added thousands of monthly visitors to the site.
3. Optimise Bottom of Funnel
In combination with improving low hanging fruit pages like pc power supplies, geforce graphics card, ryzen 5 laptop, and other product categories that simply need light optimisation and some content.
We also went deep on specific key pages that had huge opportunities.
The homepage, for example, now ranks 2nd nationally for “pc” with 12,000 monthly searches. They’re also on the first page for “tablets for sale”, “gaming laptop”, “i7 laptop”, “ssd hard drive”, and more.
These results come down to a mixture of improving the page content, internal linking, and targeted backlinks.
For example, there’s 35,000 monthly searches for “laptops for sale”, so we targeted the H2 in the description section to target this:
You’ll also see in the title tag for most pages we’re targeting keyword modifiers like “buy” and “south africa”, these have many thousands of searches per month so are a quick win:
And we also put a LOT of effort into internal linking.
That means adding links from product categories to subcategories and products:
And manually linking product pages up to product categories:
This may seem simple, but internal linking is a huge ranking factor and this adds up to hundreds of relevant internal links to the right pages.
We often see big ranking improvements within a few weeks of pushing a page with all these internal links. And it’s your own website, so there’s no outreach or nonsense.