Since this site is a directory with an encyclopedic listing of different services, traffic is not based on dominating a single “golden keyword” (a keyword which is, by far, the most popular search query for a given product category or industry). Rather, traffic is the accumulation of many long tail search queries (“Italian tutor”, “nail artist”, “aircon repair”).
Therefore, Cogney’s strategy was based on optimizing Google’s “crawl budget”, that is, the maximum permissible number of pages crawled by Google at any time, so that more rather than less of the site’s content was crawled by Google, with Cogney prioritizing optimization of those portions or pages of the site most likely to lead to booking revenue based on the existing composition of keyword queries.
The first order of business was an SEO audit, to ensure that the site was easy to use and navigate for a human user and its pages easy for Google to find and index. Some of the routine matters typically required after an audit include deduplication of content, efficient internal linking, (re)naming of image files and modification of URL structure.
On top of the frontend changes (most of which improve the human browsing experience), Cogney requested highly technical code changes specific to increasing Google’s crawl efficiency. Such changes, although invisible to the human reader, reduce the amount of time and energy required for Google to move from one section or page of the website to another.
The next step was analyzing actual search behavior and nomenclature against how the site was actually signposted and indexed. For example, users searched for services by MTR stations yet the website’s geographical filters were stated by district. Similarly, Cantonese terminology and linguistic nuances were not properly mapped to their English language counterparts, resulting in search results which did not meet the needs of the searcher. For example, the translation of the Cantonese phrase for cleaners and maids resulted in a HelloToby page entitled “Home Assistants,” a term Google equates with home automation devices like Alexa or Google Home. In short, Cogney ensured that site content matched user intent more accurately.
Finally, Cogney repackaged the site’s customer reviews so they would receive maximum weighting under Google’s algorithm. Specifically, Cogney highlighted reviews with keywords most relevant for their service page, introduced machine translation of Chinese reviews on pages with insufficient review content and ensured that reviews were displayed with star ratings alongside their original text.
SEO audit + implementation (~12 months)