case studies

Complex SEO Strategy Can Bring Outstanding Results – DiscoverCracow.com

Client
  • discovercracow.com
Solutions
  • The combination of on-page and off-page SEO (especially adjustments in the IA and URL structures; a link audit) with a content marketing campaign.
Numbers
  • A 1618% increase in overall SEO visibility.

DiscoverCracow is a Polish e-commerce website, selling tours and trips around Krakow and its surrounding areas. The company aims for an international audience, mostly the UK and US markets, as well as English-speaking tourists visiting Poland. Having a bunch of online competitors to beat, DiscoverCracow contacted Elephate…

Problems and solutions

An analysis of the website revealed a number of issues. We had to clean up a little mess in the Google index – we found a number of paginated pages and sorting results. Afterwards we had to prepare a new indexing strategy. Furthermore, the detailed keyword research allowed us to recommend some adjustments in the website’s architecture.

Then we had to take care of the elephant in the room – the keyword cannibalization issue. This was a problem directly caused by the website’s structure. On discovercracow.com, the range of offers is based on the same theme: groups of tours to Auschwitz or Schindler’s Factory Museum, as well as some sightseeing trips around the city. They differ in details, but that doesn’t necessarily make much of a difference for Google, as the pages from every group are optimized to rank for the same keywords (such as “Auschwitz tour” or “Krakow sightseeing”). As a result, a bunch of pages were competing against each other in the organic search result.

We encountered some technical restrictions caused by our client’s sales system. Redesigning the trip offer was not an option, so we had to find a different way to overcome the issue. After some discussions with the DC team, we decided to take advantage of canonical links. We picked the most important pages (bestselling trips) and canonicalized the duplicates. Further recommendations concerned improvements in the internal linking strategy (as they had some redirects there) and the website’s overall performance (graphic files compression, optimization of JavaScript & CSS).  

Link Audit and Content Marketing

However, on-page SEO was only part of the process. A detailed Link Audit was also conducted and it revealed a number of toxic links that didn’t comply with Google’s policies. It appeared that a vast number of dubious quality catalogs and spammy comments were pointing to discovercracow.com. Such links were posing a threat of a penalty from the Penguin algorithm and had to be removed. After taking care of the mess in the link profile, our Content Marketing team could focus on gaining valuable, white-hat links. They were also helping to optimize the content on discovercracow.com. All of these actions also contributed to the website’s visibility.

Effects

The last of the SEO recommendations were implemented in the second half of June, 2017, and the content marketing campaign lasted till October. During our cooperation, the website’s overall SEO visibility increased by 1618%.

And discovercracow.com gained quite a lot of new valuable keywords:

For the first time ever, phrases from discovercracow.com started to appear in Google’s TOP 3 search. And we’re really happy to see how the numbers look today:

More importantly, even though our SEO cooperation has ended, the number of ranking keywords, together with the estimated traffic, is constantly growing, both in the US:

and the UK market:

Speaking of results, we cannot ignore the DiscoverCracow team’s contributions to the project. Without a shadow of a doubt, the success of discovercracow.com can be proudly owned by the combined efforts of Elephate and the DiscoverCracow team. This case study proves that a complex SEO strategy can bring outstanding results.

Testimonial

“Amazing cooperation. Simply speaking – it was a pleasure. Why? Professional, reliable knowledge. Great Communication and Project Management skills. Yes, service cost above the average, but our expectations were met 100%.”

– Przemek Orlikowski
Marketing Manager,  DiscoverCracow

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