Recovering Search Rankings After Relaunch

If you are not careful, launching a new website can kill your local SEO. This happened to our client, but we rescued the situation.

The challenge

Our client had just launched a new website, which looked great and was fully mobile optimised. But he was only seeing his competitors appearing at the top of the search page. His own website, which used to appear for lots of local search terms, had suddenly fallen in ranking.

We found out that when our client was having his new website designed, he had briefly discussed SEO with his web designer. But the web designer had not further developed this vital aspect. There was no plan in place to preserve and transfer the excellent search rankings the website had enjoyed previously.  When the website was launched the client’s search rankings fell sharply. He lost all his local search traffic overnight. He was very upset and concerned.

He was spending a lot of money on paid search advertising to ensure that his business was visible in searches. But naturally he wanted to ensure that his business appeared in the organic search results and in the 3-pack (the map of local businesses shown by Google on local searches).

For local businesses and businesses which serve a geographical area, it is essential to be found in local searches. When you appear in local searches, the user knows you are near to them, knows you understand the local area, knows it will be easier to get meaningful reviews and recommendations and are more likely to contact you or make a purchase.

What's more, for many businesses, being found in local search negates the need to pay for advertising, which can save the business a huge amount of money.

The solution

This was a perfect SEO local search brief.

We started with an SEO audit. The SEO audit is a vital exercise to fully understand how the website has been developed and where it stands in search at the start of our involvement. It tells us if anything is "broken" in SEO terms and what needs to be improved.

Using our audit we developed a schedule of work over a period of 6 months. The strategy was to tackle specific keywords and employ both technical and content tactics to increase local SEO rankings for these keywords.

The impact

Our research and tactics had immediate impact.

The client saw their local search rankings improve almost overnight.  For example, where some keywords were ranking around position 13 or 14 in search results (so not on the first page of search results), the site was now ranking in positions #2 and #3 and appearing on the local search map.

The outcome was that our client was easily found in local search once again.

A lesson to be learned from this is that web designers are not usually SEO experts. They are often very good at designing cutting-edge, attractive websites. But they are not usually concerned with SEO. If you are having a website designed (or redesigned) we would recommend you find out whether the website will be:

  • Not ready for SEO (no SEO preparations built in)
  • SEO-ready (no SEO built in but the website has all the necessary infrastructure to put SEO in place after launch)
  • SEO-ready (SEO built in at launch)