What was our starting point?
At the beginning of the March 2020, we were getting an average of 10 clicks and around 150 impressions per day. Also, according to Ahrefs, we were losing ranking on keywords that we used to rank for because we had recently switched from using WordPress to ReactJS without having SEO in mind. We spent 90 days focusing on fixing the major SEO problems, and then scaling after to have a full rounded organic strategy.
(Image screenshot taken in June 2020 from Google Search Console.)
What were the challenges and how did we overcome them last year?
In order to determine what needs to be done to improve our performance, we’ve audited the website to find what issues we have that could be affecting us negatively. Below are all the issues we found.
1. Duplicate Titles
Almost all the titles on startupsgalaxy.com were duplicate. They all had the title “Startups Galaxy | The startup platform.” and this is an issue for two reasons:
2. Having duplicate titles will confuse search engines on what page to pick when ranking them in their indexes or might even ignore your titles at all and look at other signals.
We changed almost all of the titles of the pages we have so that each page gets a unique title that describes what it’s about and contains that target keyword we want to rank for.
2. Thin Content on The Blog
We had blog posts that were only about 20-30 words long, blog posts that didn’t provide any value, old news posts that weren’t relevant anymore, blog posts that linked to 404 pages, and pages that barely had any content such as empty category pages, authors that never contributed before, etc.
We’ve removed all of these kinds of pages from Google by either adding a noindex tag to them or removing them completely.
As you can see in the screenshot above, we had around 225 pages on the blog indexed and we took that number down to less than 150.
How did we identify thin content?
There’re different forms of thin content; it could be scraped content, content copied from other websites, pages that are full of ads and pop-ups, but what do all of these kinds of content or pages have in common?
Simply put, these 2 points:
1. They provide little to no value to the user
2. They provide a bad user experience
You can easily find such pages using tools like Hotjar or Google Analytics to see which pages have an alarming dwell time or bounce rate lower than what’s expected. That doesn’t mean that every page with a high bounce or low dwell time is a thin content page because, for instance, opt-in pages always tend to have a high bounce rate so you should always see the context.
3. Crawling Issues
What we did was enabling server-side rendering and allowing search engines’ bots to crawl it.
4. Internal Links
The startups’ pages had almost no internal links to any other startups or categories and that made it even more difficult for both users and crawlers to discover more pages on the website.
So what we did was adding internal links to at least 4 or 5 startups in each startup page and also links to the startup’s categories.
We did also link to our most important pages on the blog and the platform from the footer so they get site-wide links.
5. Lack of High-Quality Backlinks
In the beginning, we only had around 70 referring domains and most of them were low-quality scraping websites.
Here’s a screenshot from our referring domains graph from Ahrefs.
How do we identify high-quality backlinks?
There’re lots of factors that determine the quality of a backlink but the most important factors are that we look at are:
1. Is the website we’re trying to get a link from relevant to us?
2. Is this website a real website with real traffic?
3. Is that link an editorial link that the owner of the website genuinely created?
If the answer to these of these questions is no, we probably wouldn’t go for that link. as a general rule of thumb, always ask yourself this question “would you want to acquire that link if search engines didn’t exist?”
At the end of the quarter, our rankings improved for multiple keywords, we were getting around 3x increase in clicks and a 5x increase in impressions!
One More Thing…
As of November 2020, we just bumped up the numbers again and doubled the click rates from quarter 3 and grew impressions by an additional 33%.
We did it in just a few hours each month, without any full-time employees. Get in touch with us, and we can do this for your startup!