The Google Medic update seemed to have impacted websites in the health space. This included websites in the medical, fitness, and healthy lifestyle categories. The algorithm update also seemed to have an effect on e-commerce stores, only amplifying the impact on this client’s traffic.
Historically, the client’s website traffic reached its highest point in May 2018, acquiring just under 2500 organic visitors with a bounce rate of 52.9%. However, after the algorithm update, the website only recorded 1750 visitors in September 2018. That’s a 30% decrease in organic traffic in just two months.
The organic traffic continued to decline month-over-month, finally hitting a low point in December 2018 with just 1410 organic visits. In only 6-7 months, they had a nearly 44% drop in their organic traffic.
This e-commerce website was built on the Magento 1 platform. At the time of campaign kickoff, the store had roughly 2000 products and 60 categories. The website in its current iteration had been live since early 2017, and the domain had been in existence since 2015.
The website has an attractive design, it is easy to use and intuitive, it has fast page speed, and the site architecture is very well organized. At no time had the owners of the website ever conducted an SEO campaign or engaged an SEO company.
Our main challenge was identifying what could be the cause, or the causes, for the drop in search traffic. Was it a single penalty that we weren’t aware of yet? Was it multiple factors? We started by running a full on-site technical audit for more than 3000 pages, products, and categories. Our audit also included various data points like website page speed, website mobile usability, overall user experience, and the internal link structure.
Once we completed a technical audit, we then ran a comprehensive on-site content audit.
We evaluated factors such as:
- What landing pages were receiving the most traffic over the past 12 months?
- Which keywords drove the most traffic over the past 12 months?
- Which keywords experienced the biggest drop as a result of the Medic Update?
- Pages that had thin or non-existent content on them
- Gaps in content or landing pages for high-value keywords
- What, if any, content creation or blogging had been taking place?