The following blog post includes an interview with Hamlet Batista and Cloudflare’s Zach Bloom. What the full interview on CloudflareTV here. Bloom: I would love to hear about the story of RankSense and what problem it solves. Batista: Ranksense is an agile SEO platform. It’s about doing things iteratively, having a fast feedback loop, and...READ POST
Editor’s Note: Línea Directa S.A.S is a leading fashion manufacturer in Colombia. Their main brands include: Pacifika, Carmel and Loguin. In July 2017, the company hired Andrea Ramírez as Digital Producer, where a key part of her responsibilities is the performance of the SEO channel. In collaboration with RankSense, Andrea has managed to implement successful SEO recommendations using our agile SEO platform.
I am a Digital Producer, not an SEO specialist per se. That being said, my career has required me to know a lot about different digital fields to develop successful digital products. Over the course of my career I’ve learned the value of implementing technical SEO recommendations. In working with RankSense since late 2018, I’ve been very pleased with the collaboration and the results that I simply do not have the time or resources to AB test, evaluate, and implement myself.
The problem with a “spray and pray” SEO strategy
Pacifika is a fashion brand and, in August 2017, we launched our e-commerce channel. We know the value and necessity of SEO for revenue and the positioning of our brand within this channel. For this reason, we understand that the structure of our platform should be prepared for changes in Google Algorithms. As the Digital Producer, I am in charge of managing the SEO strategy according to the cycle of our digital products and the market needs. It’s my job as a liaison between the business team and the IT team to communicate the business needs to the technology specialists in order to streamline recommendation processes.
One of the major challenges that we’ve encountered is that there are so many business needs for the website that we have no way of implementing in a systematic way to measure for ROI. For instance, the business team would regularly make as many as 50 recommendations–such as changing the site map or updating fields–that the IT team would implement without knowing their impact until after the implementation. To be frank, out of 50 recommendations, maybe 3 or 4 would turn out to be valuable for the SEO of the site. We were wasting a lot of time and manpower.
Partnering with RankSense to address SEO problems quickly and effectively
This is where RankSense came in–they audited our site and immediately discovered several critical problems. To address them, for example, they edited our robots.txt file so that Google and other search engines would be able to crawl the site much more efficiently (instead of getting stuck in crawler traps and infinite crawling spaces). In another example, they fixed paginated pages, because they all had canonical tags that pointed to the first page in the set. This was a major problem because then Google eventually dropped all the content/links/keywords/etc. in those paginated pages from the index, including all of the product links as well as the product keywords and copy. In other words, they had dropped valuable content from the index because the canonical tag told Google that the content on the paginated pages was exactly the same as the content on the first page.
Throughout the recommendation process, I learned valuable information and deepened my knowledge of technical SEO. For instance, in the case of the paginated pages, not only did they have canonical tags that pointed to the first page in the set, but they actually had no index tags on them. Google never even indexed them! RankSense fixed this issue by adding self-referential canonical tags.
In the past when I’ve worked with other SEO experts, they’ve made recommendations for the site but, given the overarching responsibilities of my position, I’ve had no way of implementing the suggestions. When we brought RankSense on late in 2018, we hadn’t even attempted to make most SEO changes to the site from our previous consultant from eight months prior. We simply didn’t have the time or IT resources. The team at RankSense understood this problem and were able to audit our site, but more importantly using their Cloudflare app, implement their recommendations that positively impacted our revenue.
Increase your traffic, increase your ROI
The most important thing I’ve learned throughout this process is that it’s not about the volume of changes you make, but the quality. We don’t need to 50 requirements to improve the page. With the app, they can test multiple approaches in our site, determine the best, and then our IT group can implement the validated changes in Hybris. That is because we can quickly realize what works and doesn’t. In the brief time we’ve worked with them, our site traffic has doubled. Now we can reinvest the money in the places of the business that need more traffic.
This project has been so successful that I’m looking forward to tackling the next business challenge with RankSense–having Pacifika appear in a search of non-branded terms. Currently, close to 80% of our traffic is from branded searches in Google, and I would love to see it expand with other terms. The exciting thing about SEO is that there are so many ways to increase revenue streams and when you see the ROI, you know it’s working.