The educational agency Karandash.ua has been helping students to enter foreign schools and universities for 7 years. The agency is the official representative of more than 1000 of the best schools, colleges and universities in the USA, Canada and Europe. The agency is engaged in the selection of educational institutions and studying programs, support and organization of student’s admission at all stages, as well as preparing documents foe the embassy. Karandash regularly participates in major worlds exhibitions, including Study World and ICEF.
At the time of launching the work, the project owners had well-developed website with a high-quality content. It was noticeable that the owners love their business, which they are engaged in, have put a lot of efforts and time into the project and site. We did not start work from scratch and it made us very happy. However, a deeper analysis showed that everything is far from being so positive and there are a lot of technical flaws behind a beautiful picture, which, as rule, go to customers if SEO specialists were not connected when working on the site. The main problems we encountered:
- the site structure generated duplicates
- URLs were formed incorrectly
- there was no semantic markup
- Market analysis (volume of search queries by subject/region) and competition.
- Drawing up a semantic core, negotiating promotion priorities with a client, drawing up a “Cost/Result” plan (traffic/conversion) and six-month work plan.
- A full range of internal optimization work in accordance with the promotion strategy: metadata, linking, rewrite content.
- Providing internal SEO and technical optimization of the project.
- Providing site migration while maintaining traffic.
- External project promotion.
The main thing in SEO promotion (as in any direction of marketing, and the business as a whole) is market analysis and the choice of a niche in which you can achieve high results within existing resources and taking into account the specific and advantages of a particular project.
What was done?
External promotion: article promotion of the main page on the site and the main categories with the gradual increase in the quality (non-spamming of sites, relevance to the topic/region) of the permanent link mass with the connection of links in Sape to optimize costs from the third month of promotion, provided that the sites are constant on this exchange.
In accordance with the internal optimization of the project, we focused not on the promotion of individual requests or landings. Our goal was different-leadership in the subject due to the growth of the project trust as a niche leader throughout the pool of the semantic core.
In the first six months of cooperation, we moved the site to another, better hosting, and optimized the settings of the site and server (we implemented cashing, and together with the client we worked to reduce the weight of the images). This gave an improvement in technical characteristics, primarily, loading speed (uptime). We also fixed most of the validation errors, optimized the snipped by introducing micro-marking and adding a user rating.
From our point of view, in the SEO-promotion of projects there are no secrets or super insiders. Search is a competitive environment.
To improve the position of your site, you need to crowd competitors’ sites out of search results due to the fact that your site will be better, which means:
- To know what specific queries need to improve your positions, what kind of queries give traffic.
- To evaluate competition and your capabilities. To evaluate the potential profit from receiving traffic (due to the growth of positions) and the resources, which are necessary for this, including the work of a programmer, content manager and budget foe external promotion.
- To choose a niche and development strategy (what we are doing now and why, what we will do next)
- Do not chase the momentary improvements, because the next update of Panda or the same Minusinsk will close the “hole” and the site will fall in search with subsequent extra losses of time and resources for returning positions.
- To work systematically, ensuring the selection of sites for placing, the highest quality backlinks and the naturalness of the link profile (the sites correspond to the theme/quality/the ratio of anchor and non-anchor links)
- Constantly monitor the result and adjust the strategy of both internal and external optimization according to the dynamics of growth.
SEO is an ongoing process of improvement. Improving the site, its content, increasing the number of references to it on the Internet. This is the only way to obtain high and stable results and constant growth dynamics.
In the first month of work, the project received 15% less search traffic. However, already in the second month after the implementation of the T3, namely, optimizing the structure of the site and landing pages, adjusting meta tags and content, setting up linking, the site grew to 2,5 thousand conversions. That is, the site has grown 2 times.
In general for the year of promotion, traffic increased by more than 10 times, and the conversion remained at the level of the first or second months of promotion (but actually increased, as the share of branded, maximum conversion requests in the total search volume decreased)
Costs increased 1,5 times. We won’t write about how CPC decreased from organic search (this is first-class mathematics), but the cost of traffic is much lower than from the context.
About 90% of the budget was spent (and continues to be spent) on eternal links (in the form of articles, reviews and references). And search, organics has become the main source of traffic for the project, despite the active work in the context of attracting traffic in the contextual advertising systems, working with social networks and PR.
For 1,5 years of work on the customer’s project we were able to bring his site to TOP-1 for basic queries and to TOP-3 for all high-frequency and mid-frequency queries.
It turned out nowhere to grow in high-frequency-there is TOP everywhere. The same situation turned out to be medium-frequency, because due to the growth of the project’s trust, it’s not specific requests that are “burned out”, and the project gets the TOP in the subject as a whole.
The request “Education in England” is as expensive and competitive as possible. The keyword planner predicts the cost of CPC in contextual advertising of about 14,7 UAH per click.
For a week, with a keyword quality of 9 out of 10, the average cost per click can reach up to 20 UAH.
The cost of CPC in SEO is approximately 2 UAH.
What is now?
Besides the process of maintaining current positions, monitoring competitors and the market, together with the client, we have provided the process of constantly posting content on the site to receive low-frequency/information requests. The client expands marketing, trough working with an audience on social networks and cooperation in the framework of PR and joint activities with partners.
As a part of SEO, we create additional landing pages to receive additional traffic for those requests that are already in the TOP (other content, another unique selling proposition, on a sub domain), constantly tighten information requests and think about integrated marketing for the project.