KwikBoost designs, manufactures and markets charging stations for mobile devices. Their products are used in school campuses, healthcare facilities, retail establishments, event venues and other locations where a mobile charging station is useful.
Back in May 2013, KwikBoost launched a new website. The company that helped KwikBoost launch the site did not follow SEO best practices. The site’s organic rankings and overall traffic tanked. They came to Globe Runner to fix their website woes and market them as an innovative leader in the charging station industry.
Challenge 1: The site was not optimized. It had technical issues, no redirects, different product page URLs, and other on-page factors that needed to be addressed. Priority one was to fix these errors and to help recover the lost organic rankings and traffic.
Challenge 2: Backlinks. After fixing the on-page issues, we conducted a backlink audit and determined KwikBoost was a victim of negative SEO. Our analysis determined that they received an algorithmic penalty from Google’s Penguin back in May 2013, the same month that their site launched.
In fact the two dates lined up almost identically. So what was a poor site launch coincided with a major algorithm update. These issues had a combined affect and KwikBoost’s organic traffic came to a halt.
Our on-page efforts were ignored because of the penalty.
We went through the arduous process of analyzing every single backlink and made note on the quality of each one. Spammy and unnatural backlinks were removed or disavowed. This took months of work. We continued to monitor and disavow backlinks that were built by the attackers.
Then October 2014 rolled around, along with the update to Google Penguin. The following happened.
KWIK STATS: Extraordinary performance improvements
- 779% increase in traffic from previous year
- 1,401% increase in organic traffic from previous year
- 297% increase in pageviews from previous year
- 74% increase in time on page from previous year
While we waited for Penguin to refresh, we focused on content marketing. Blogging, guest posting, writing company features, creating infographics and other forms of relevant content were the realm of focus. When Penguin refreshed, we saw a drastic improvement in almost every metric on the site.
VIRAL BLOG POST
In our content marketing efforts, we always research content trends and developments in order to maximize sharability and increase the likelihood of backlinks. Content that is topical, well written and promoted through different channels can add SEO value.
On February 10, 2014, with the help of KwikBoost, we wrote a blog post on 7 Reasons why students should be allowed to use cellphones in school. This was the first month of our content marketing efforts. At first, the post didn’t gain any traction — it was during this time period that the site was penalized by Penguin.
The analytics below shows pageviews from the day the piece was posted, up until March 2015 when they were nearly at the 50,000 mark. Keep in mind that Penguin updated in October 2014, right where you see the number of pageviews increase.
KwikBoost continues to rank 1-3 in search engine results pages for ‘should students use cellphones in school’ and its variations.
This particular case taught us several good lessons which we now use for all our other clients.
KwikBoost’s site recovered after a number of challenges, not all of which the client or any vendor could control. It is important to take charge of what you can control, and ensure that these factors are in the best shape possible. In KwikBoost’s case, we worked on their content, cleaned up their backlinks and addressed other on-page issues as we waited for Google to refresh its algorithm. These elements, combined with the Panda update, helped to make the site look good again in Google’s eyes.
The KwikBoost case underscores what we always tell clients: SEO is a strategic call. It requires goal-setting, patience and constant tending in order to move the needle, even if just a fraction of an inch a day. Progress is not overnight and movement can be incremental. Sometimes it requires shifting strategy and employing new tactics halfway through the journey. Any SEO vendor worth its salt will never promise to fix a penalized site’s problems in a few weeks. Run away fast when that happens!
Content marketing is often pigeonholed as writing blog posts and managing social media feeds which is unfortunate as there is so much more to this area. Apart from blog posts, content can be any of the following (and by no means is this an exhaustive list):
- Slide shows
- Infographics (although they’ve taken a knocking we’ve found their appeal to be unaffected)
- White papers
Sharing content on social media is a first step but there are other things one can do to spread the word. Blogger and media outreach is one; guest posting is another. For KwikBoost we explored a number of avenues in which their content can be shared by as many people as possible. Again, it helped to have a topical subject in the case of the blog post that went viral. Which brings us to the third lesson:
Creating any content with the sole objective of breaking the internet can be an exercise in disappointment, not to mention pretty short-sighted. Look at content creation as an exercise in building a strong foundation for your brand, an activity that is cumulative, much like compounding interest. When a piece of content goes viral, it can be months after it was made. In Kwikboost’s case the planets aligned with the topicality of children using cell phones, the lifting of the Panda penalty and the sharing activities of influencers who picked up on the story.
Studies have shown that regular content creation reaps benefits; in fact blogging 16 or more times a month can increase traffic up to 3.5 times more than blogging 1-4 times. Don’t just create content to go viral. Create content to increase your leads, website traffic and all the good stuff that comes with being out there and building your brand in the marketplace.