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Local SEO rankings rescue (7-8/18)

How I helped a small business client rebound from an SEO disaster after switching platforms — and get them back to Google page 1.


Business: reclaim site’s Google page 1 positions, organic search brand visibility and traffic
SEO: consult to offer client a best past forward with some relatively straightforward migration SEO tactics, + analysis to uncover new opportunities
SEO: streamline Squarespace implementation and make SEO improvement super fast and efficient with my site audit & strategy package

The Way Forward

July-August 2018: NYC personal stylists BU Style found me after they had suffered a significant drop in critical geomodified (“nyc” + keyword) search positions that was hurting their business, which we attributed to their site rebrand that involved moving to a new Squarespace domain. I was able to narrow this down to:

1) Lots of broken links (404s) that has slipped through the cracks during the domain change and weren’t 301-redirected

2) Changes in URL structure, site structure (top nav items, for example) and onpage content otherwise changes. These types of changes would be expected as part of a rebrand, but many business owners who switch platforms or domains don’t expect to be hit by Google on this when in fact the rule of thumb when changing EITHER is simple: keep all other changes minimal.

With my migration SEO experience, I knew I could get them back to page 1 of Google just by doing the priority migration SEO, technical & onsite work. The bulk of the effort to reclaim SEO value involved redirecting all broken links while also using 301 redirects to clean up BU.Style URLs and provide some keyword optimization in the URL strings as well.

Also, I found that a lot of backlinks (directory listings and article links) were still referencing the old domain — we were able to get that resolved in this package using my SEO Strategy deliverable.

I gave them some in-depth keyword research and optimized their titles and onpage content for keywords, while also providing optimization for meta descriptions so that BU.Style ended up ahead of the old site with their appearance in search.

You can see the results in screenshots here. Squarespace isn’t the most feature rich or flexible platform for SEO, but it is really to work with from a content management and design perspective… so I don’t recommend against using it, and was actually able to get my client back to Google page 1 for keywords like “personal stylist nyc” in under two weeks!


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