Medical SEO Case Study
Zero to Hero in 6 Months
Today we’re going to walk you through the results of one of our clients in the medical industry who we’ve helped get from effectively zero to tens of thousands of visitors a month and an estimated traffic value in the six-figure range.
The client came to us with an affiliate site that was established in early 2017 and had never really gotten traction in spite of great content and a decent amount of backlinks present.
We always start our optimization process with an SEO audit of the existing site and in this case, it was also the most important thing to look at.
Keyword Cannibalization Issues
One of the key issues became clear almost immediately.
They had a lot of great content, but they were often targeting the same keyword on more than one page. This was causing keyword cannibalization and dragging down the rankings of each of the pages.
As an example, they had separate pages for “best device” and “device reviews” but the content, although unique, was too similar for Google.
In each of these cases, we figured out which one was the stronger page, and then merged the weaker one into it. For example, we’d take some of the content from the “best” page, add it to the “reviews” page in a way that creates value to the user, and then 301 redirected the “best” page to the “reviews page”.
The new page jumped up in traffic and today ranks for both of the keywords.
Another major issue we were facing was that the clients’ site took forever to load. We’re talking about pages that took over 3 seconds to get to first byte and over 10 seconds to actually load.
We ran a site speed audit and had the clients’ development team take care of the issues found.
Here are some of the changes made:
- Upgraded hosting company
- Added a content delivery network (CDN)
- Resized all images to display sizes and compressed them
- Deleted 7 unnecessary plugins and replaced 3 with faster ones
- Small technical additions
Today, the slowest page on the site comes in at around 2 seconds and the fastest one in 437 ms. This had a massive impact on conversions and bounce rates and definitely made Google happier as well.
Now with the on-page side taken care of, let’s get to the meat and potatoes.
Enter Link Building
Here’s what we were up against
The medical niche is a competitive one, especially when it comes to products and other money keywords.
Our client was competing against sites such as Consumer Reports, Reviews.com, and PCMag (weird that they do medical, I know). Each of them have ridiculous authority, and also up to 250 websites linking to the pages that we were competing against.
When we started, the client had about 130 referring domains to the site in total, so we had a lot of catching up to do.
Broken Link Building Campaigns
Due to the volume of links required, we decided to kickstart the project with two broken link building campaigns.
We went through the top 50 sites in the general vertical and looked for pages with over 50 links to a page that had now been deleted.
Using web archives, we figured out what content used to be present on these pages and then worked with the client to recreate a better, up-to-date versions of them.
Next up, our SEO team started searching for the emails of the editors, writers, and marketing teams of the companies that were linking to the dead pages.
Using our tried-and-tested email templates, we managed to score over 40 high quality links to these new pages. For the geeks out there, some of these were above DR80 and the majority at least DR50 (these are domain authority metrics).
We then ensured our new pages had internal links to our key money pages to funnel the link equity to them and increase rankings site-wide.
The campaign was a massive success and really kickstarted the growth of the site.
Content is king and our client was largely on top of that side when starting with us and we wanted to use that to our advantage.
We identified about a dozen pages on their site that would be considered “linkable assets”.
These were super comprehensive pages that have unique research, compelling listicles, and interesting round-ups. Our competitors had equivalents of these that had attracted dozens if not hundreds of links each.
We analyzed who was linking to these pages on our competitors’ sites and reached out to let them know that we’d built a better, more comprehensive resource and asked for a mention.
About half of these pages not only linked to us but also removed links to our competitors resources.
A Sniper Approach
Our link profile growth was exceptional. A lot of our pages had jumped to the first page but hadn’t quite hit the top three positions yet.
Next up we took a “sniper approach” to the pages that were performing the best.
What pages are ranking on the first page, cover a lot of different keywords, and seem to be close to where the traffic is – the top 3 results.
We reached out to webmasters and editors that we knew in the medical space and started doing super relevant guest posts to boost up these pages.
These were exclusively sites with a high domain rating, legitimate organic traffic of their own, and they had to pass our in-house manual review by the SEO team.
The results have been great and since scaling things up in January, our traffic has grown over 3x.
The client is still with us to this day and we’re hoping to update this case study again later in the year as they keep growing with us.
Have a site that could use a nudge when it comes to organic traffic? Get in touch and let’s see if we can help you.
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Written by Smash
Ranking websites like it's our job (because hey, it is our job).
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