We recognised the Amigo Loans SEO campaign would require several key focal elements and that each would need its own unique evaluation and optimisation:
These inputs, which had sitewide implications, provided a profound reminder: With SEO, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Though we were looking at improving the ranking for one keyword, that didn’t mean just focusing the campaign on one keyword, nor one page.
- Technical: Although the Amigo Loans site wasn’t beset with technical issues, there were factors that made the site unnecessarily ambiguous to Google.
- Content optimisation: The Amigo Loans site we inherited had a rich body of content to work with, but it was scattered across the site in a non-cohesive and unhelpful way.
- YMYL/ EAT optimisation: Perhaps the most important aspect of our collaboration with Amigo Loans was YMYL/ EAT optimisation. We knew that we were operating in one of the most closely scrutinised areas of Google’s algorithm and that the site had to more than leap the hurdle for any potential quality rater passing by.
Initially, we focused on solving technical and content-based problems that would be preventing Google and other search engines from understanding the site as clearly as possible. Ranking chiefly among these problems was the identity of a best-fit page for the keyword “guarantor loans”. Using our favourite historical rankings tool, we could see Google was switching between two URLs. That meant choosing one and ensuring that it was the best page for that term, through baking it into the site’s structure and information architecture, as well as content optimisation.
While our content optimisation efforts saw a tightening of keyword targeting in favour of our campaign objective, the bigger undertaking was revolutionising the site’s enormous body of informational content. Though it may sound counterintuitive, our route to success was not just through the guarantor loans landing page – it was through everything around it. We understood the site was unlikely to rank favourably for its target term if the majority of the site was noticeably lacking in quality when compared to the pages which were “supposed to rank”.
Amigo Loans had amassed a body of informational guarantor loans relevant content which was both hard to find and thin. This informational content comprised the majority of URLs on the website. In other words, crucial information about guarantor loans was split between a handful of useful pages and scores of pages which were not useful but should have been.
With a detailed pruning exercise we created a plan on pages to improve, merge and remove. This resulted in a dramatically reduced number of URLs and the creation of useful pages which were then made a fundamental part of the website’s navigation.
YMYL stands for “Your Money or Your Life” and it is used to describe websites that are important enough that, were they low-quality, they could have a potential negative impact on a person’s life in a significant way. Google has confirmed that for YMYL queries, they will pay more attention to expertise, authority and trust (E-A-T).
With Amigo Loans, and the term “guarantor loans” in particular, we knew these factors needed to inform our activities. Our process to improve the site’s trustworthiness saw a mix of competitor and customer research. Regarding the former, where did they place their important information, from contact information to interest rates? Regarding the latter, what are the core concerns of the user and does the site adequately meet those needs in the most accessible and helpful way possible?