SEO Case Study Of A Brand New Online Marketplace
This is a case study of how a brand new online marketplace sitewide non-branded keywords achieved 70% ranking improvements, from the very beginning since the website was launched and follow by the optimization activities that brings direct and indirect rank boosting effect on this brand new website.
January - June 2019: Ranking boost without creating new page on external websites
Ever since the website was launched and indexed in January 2019, it has been receiving backlinks from external websites without creating new contents to drive backlink traffic to it. We can see that the overall ranking for non-branded keywords (hence the exclusion of ‘Fittripper’ from search query) have been erratic and was hitting the lowest rank at 84th position in March 2019, and subsequently climbed up steadily from April onward and settled at 62th position in June 2019.
To examine why was the ranking only started to climb up from April, let’s compare the difference of backlink sources between these 2 periods.
In a closer look by filtering out backlink with ‘nofollow’ tag, we learned that these backlink domains have relatively high Domain Authority hence should be making positive impact on improving the ranking. However the traffic volume were too insignificant that it might not be effective for passing link juice. To further validate this correlation let’s look at the backlink sources for the following 3 months.
As a comparison, the traffic had tripled and it has been gaining new external website sources that are also with high Domain Authority. Besides the boost in traffic quantity & number of domains, one apparent difference that also explained the positive impacts during these 3 months were the backlink from relevant sources, i.e. lonelyplanet.com & cascadeclubandspa.com. These 2 domains are highly relevant to this new website niche since it is a gym marketplace that aggregate short term gym passes in most visited cities.
July 2019 – March 2020: Ranking boost from new backlink pages on eternal websites
1. New backlink pages for ‘gyms in Bali’ on relevant domains
In the following 6 months we’ve further optimized backlink building strategy, specifically aiming to improve ranking for ‘gyms in Bali’ keyword. We’ve been collaborating with highly relevant domains to rank for this keyword, namely balipersonaltrainer.com & honeycombers.com, which each have contrasting domain authority.
Now let’s review how had the keywords ‘gyms in Bali’ performed over time since the backlink traffic started in August 2019
Prior to these domains backlink the ranking for ‘gyms in Bali’ were at 94th position in July 2019 (note that all the branded keywords are filtered to evaluate impartial ranking performance), and in the 4th month since the backlink traffic kicking it jumped up to 73rd position in November 2019, and improved further to 71st position in December 2019.
Besides the positive impact on targeted keyword ‘gyms in Bali’, these backlinks had also improved site wide ranking generally.
As per the result shown above, the overall ranking for non-branded keywords jumped from 58th in July 2019 to 36th position in December – that’s equivalent to 38% rank boost.
2. New backlink pages for ‘gyms in Bangkok’ on relevant domains
To boost ranking for this keyword ‘gyms in Bangkok’ we had collaborated with relevant niche websites which are thaiemdbc.org (the Royal Thai embassy) & bk.asia-city.com (Bangkok lifestyle magazine), to create new content on targeted keyword or the equivalents.
Let’s review the ranking performance for ‘gyms in Bangkok’ before and after the new pages link building below
The ranking for the keyword “gyms in Bangkok” showed slow progress between December 2019 and March 2020. However, a significant improvement occurred in April 2020 after the website received a decent amount of backlink traffic from bk.asia-city.com, following the publication of an article in March 2020. As a result, the ranking jumped from 90th to 64th the following month. Two months later, the ranking has further improved to the 52nd position, representing a 42% boost from the initial 90th position. Additionally, this boost in ranking has positively impacted the site’s overall ranking for non-branded keywords as well, improving from 34th in December 2019 to 26th in January 2020.
Ranking boost from forum posting
Besides building new backlink pages from relevant domains we’ve also been getting ‘dofollow’ backlink from forum posting that helped the boost in ranking.
In this forum a guest recommended a gym in Phnom Penh and attached a hyperlink to FitTripper website, this had resulted in a boost in ranking specifically for ‘gyms in Phnom Penh’ keyword.
Overall rank boosting rate per month
Over the span of 18 months, the site wide ranking for non-branded keywords have improved from 84th at its lowest point to 26th ranking as of June 2020, without creating massive new backlink pages. However we need to be mindful that the rank boosting rate varies depending on its existing ranking positions.
When the ranking were below 80th position it managed to boost on average 7.7 positions per month. Even though it merely gain ‘low-hanging baclink’ without investing total new page from external domains.
While at the ranking of <60th positions, although with more new backlinks pumping up link juice yet the rank boosting rate had diminished to almost half at 4.4 positions per month on average.
The rank boost is getting trickier when it attained <40th positions, although at this point of time we are receiving most backlinks ever since the site was launched, the rank boosting rate could only progress at 1.6 positions per month on average.