Search engine optimisation is quite an art form and takes time to apply and master.
Working with one Joomla client, The Alpine Chalet, we have been working on getting overall better search engine optimisation results for the self contained ski apartment situated in the ski fields of Smiggin Hole, near Perisher.
This case study will look at the client website, http://thealpinechalet.com.au, and how we approached the search engine optimisation of the website to help it better thanks for terms such as "Smiggin Hole accommodation" and other long tailed keyword phrases around it.
If you have a Joomla website and wish to improve your search engine results and search engine ranking then this case study will give you some insight into how you can possibly do that.
The Alpine Chalet came to us in mid 2013 to try and help with the optimisation of their newly built Joomla website. Building websites in Joomla is easy. The harder part is optimising it for speed and then optimising it for search engine optimisation. It is even harder when trying to compete with certain keywords in a very competitive industry.
The Alpine Chalet were competing for particular keywords such as Heidi's ski accommodation, Smiggin Ski accommodation and various other keyword phrases that were geared around skiing, accommodation and the area of Smiggin Hole, also commonly misspelt and miss pronounced as Smiggins Hole.
The task initially was to try and claim back some of the search engine rankings that were lost in the transition of the website fro a static site to the more dynamic Joomla website. Although visually appealing, the new website was a little slow at loading and the search engine friendly URLs has completely change from the old site structure to that of the new.
Unlike with new websites, old websites that get upgraded need to be treated accordingly for changes in URL strategy and keyword strategy and this can take time.
Step 1: Redirection of all the old URLs
The first step is to make sure that all of the old URLs on the website point and get redirected to their new alternative pages on the website. The Alpine Chalet had many URLs that were now seem as broken by Google. Using Google Webmaster tools, we are able to track and see exactly what URLs on the website are broken in the eyes of Google. From here we can redirect URLs to their new location.
The longer this is left untouched, the more of an impact there will be to the overall search engine ranking of the website. If these URLs remain broken for too long the site in general may be penalised.
Step 2: Creation of New Content
The content on the current website didn't relate too much with the area of the ski accommodation. Smiggin Hole was only mentioned once or twice on the entire website meaning the website almost had no relation to "Smiggin Hole" at all.
New content was created on the website to suit the target that the client was aiming for.
Step 3: Control of Joomla's SEF URLs
The trickiest part of search optimisation for Joomla is the search engine friendly URL system in Joomla. Setting up the right category structure for your content and the right menu structure is important right at the very beginning of the project because as soon as you change it or tweak settings you will suffer from broken links and 404 errors where ever Google has picked you up. Getting this right and being crawled right by the search engines is paramount.
Step 4: Getting the Visit from Search Engines
The last step of our process once the website has been setup, content created and SEO structure all set was to make sure that Google and other search engines would crawl the website and keep coming back to find newly updated information.
Sitemap extensions were setup and configured on the website to help the search engines crawl the website and tell it what to crawl.
Being able to control exactly what you want the search engines to see is an important aspect of controlling your search optimisation.
Step 5: Rank Monitoring Tools
Overtime, we need to know how the website is ranking for various search keywords and having tools that monitor and track how the website and competition is ranking for various keyword phrases is vital.
PB Web Development implemented tools to watch and monitor these changes to that content and the website in general can be tweaked and altered to get the best results.
As of the time of writing this case study, 21st December 2013, the results aren't in yet as it is still to early to tell. As the Ski season and bookings start in 2014, we expect to see a completely fully booked calendar for the Alpine Chalet with very happy skiers and chalet owners.