How to Rank Higher on Google: Effective SEO for the Virgin Mobile website – Case Study
How is it possible to jump to the first position in virtual operators’ ranking in terms of the number of keywords in TOP 10 Google – in only 15 months? Find out in this article.
How to improve your website’s rank in Google?
Our cooperation with Virgin Mobile, delivering extensive SEO service started in June, 2018.
Having carefully analyzed the offers made by SEO agencies, we chose Whites. Our choice was motivated by the company’s experience and the fact that they have always focused on White Hat SEO activities complying with Google’s policies.
Since the beginning, Whites has leveraged valuable content to increase organic traffic.
Understanding the telecommunications industry, as well as having a professional approach to clients was another factor in choosing an SEO agency.
– Piotr Supronowicz, E-Commerce and Product Manager Virgin Mobile Poland
We realized that before our cooperation, Virgin Mobile’s website focused on users with previously developed brand awareness. Hence, since the beginning, we saw a chance to increase traffic on the website through landing pages. By this, we mean acquiring new users who did not think about Virgin Mobile as a potential future operator before.
About the Telecom industry – project challenges
In the telecommunications industry, queries are usually brand-related. To garner successful transactions, virtual operators need to attract high-quality and converting traffic to their websites. Focusing on non-brand queries and increasing traffic generated through them is an effective strategy.
A significant percentage of Telecom’s traffic comes from mobile which makes loading time crucial. Why? The data transmission signal might be weak due to a less stable Internet connection. Besides, mobile visitors tend to have less patience. Google considers page loading speed an important ranking factor as well. Overall, when this project started, the client’s website did not run smoothly when the connection was weaker.
It is essential to comprehend a business’s POV – e.g., to rank for keywords such as “the cheapest operator” may not be a given brand’s purpose. By understanding Virgin Mobile’s USP, we could choose the exact phrases that the company aimed to be ranked for – which helped build their brand image.
Virgin Mobile website ranking – goals
The main goal of the project was to increase valuable traffic on the website with a strong focus on non-brand queries. We succeeded and the number of such queries increased 228% in one year. Cooperation with the Whites team was based on business partnership, and a flexible approach to all of its aspects ensured the smoothness of operations. Whites went beyond the standard client-agency framework and took care of our business needs comprehensively – not only in SEO but also in areas such as UX.
– Piotr Supronowicz, E-Commerce and Product Manager Virgin Mobile Poland
We achieved the goal of 5200 non-brand organic entries monthly via:
- Content optimization of the Virgin Mobile website – cooperating with the client in terms of texts published on the website was an important element
- Reorganizing the blog and content creation
- Technical optimization of the website – in cooperation with developers
- Developing the link profile – also through SEO PR
Not only Google rank – Results
The first significant results were visible at the beginning of November when we ranked for a large number of keywords, bringing valuable traffic. But this was just the beginning…
Non-brand traffic and choosing the keywords
In June 2018 the client’s website had 4,500 non-brand organic entries monthly. One year later the number reached 10,250 entries, meaning we more than doubled the initial number. In terms of the number of keywords in the TOP 10 Google, the Virgin Mobile website had the most among virtual operators.
Moreover, the traffic’s structure changed. Before, a huge part of the traffic came from keywords related to other brands such as Dogry.pl, Telepizza or Sylwester Wardega, which was associated with partnerships and promotion. We observed a shift to more sales- and advice-related organic traffic, e.g., “transferring a number” or “how to track your phone for free”.
The graph below shows the number of phrases in TOP 10 Google for the websites of the 4 biggest virtual operators – in the period before the project started. It’s worth noting that even if increasing the number of queries is not the only way to obtain valuable keywords, it proves that websites grow and are more valued by the search engine.
Number of phrases in TOP 10 Google
Number of phrases in TOP 10 Google
As for 10/14/2019
The success of this project lay largely in rebuilding the content on Virgin Mobile’s website. The client fully adopted this point of view and put a lot of trust in us in this regard. This was a great advantage of our cooperation and allowed us to freely choose, develop and modify texts according to SEO practices. Moreover, Virgin Mobile’s specialists were aware that they may have to wait to see results. Their attitude towards us resulted in harmonious cooperation. The way we implemented technical recommendations also helped us succeed. We rationally prioritized technical tasks and this enabled us to solve the most urgent issues first while those less important and work-consuming were set aside for later.
– Krzysztof Walaszewski, SEO Specialist Whites Agency
How did we work on this project? – increasing the number of TOP Google searches
When the project started, Virgin Mobile had half as many keywords in TOP 10 Google as its biggest competitor, which was ranked first.
The first big step – a strategy with SEO audit
We audited 4 elements:
- Technical SEO – for IT and development departments
- Content SEO – in order to generate more organic traffic
- Web analytics – checking if there are no undesirable phenomena within the sales funnel and assessing the user-website interaction (checking if a user is satisfied with the result clicked in SERPs is crucial for Google)
- Link profile
Website optimization – phrase positioning and content selection
- An insufficient amount of text on landing pages was our main optimization need. Firstly, we enriched the client’s website with relevant content. Secondly, we attempted to meet all the keywords of a sales nature in the industry. Our goal was to create content that comprehensively explains issues related to the client’s services. Thanks to this, we could prove to Google that we accurately respond to potential customers’ queries.
- The second crucial action was to divide the aforementioned content into 10 landing pages regarding particular services. To ensure that we were making a good choice, we performed keyword and user behavior analyses. We tried to discover which services might be attractive to a person searching for given keywords in Google.
- Next, we saw a need to create a coherent blog strategy. The aim was to create texts that would have a substantial value to readers. Before, the blog had been focused on phrases with no big sales or SEO potential. We established a long-term content development plan and prepared older texts for reuse. Moreover, thanks to creating a regular internal link matrix which also led to older articles, we showed Google’s robots many valuable texts on the website. Additionally, we carefully balanced the links in order to both achieve equilibrium and redirect users to the landing pages.
A well-positioned blog reinforces landing pages, building brand recognition, and authority, which fits into the long-term strategy. It also reaches consumers at an early stage of the sales funnel. Not only are the texts that we create SEO-friendly, but they also meet readers’ needs. Thanks to this, they serve the client by engaging users and building the brand in social media.
SEO workshop for the client
In ventures like this, we try to go beyond the standard agency-client framework and look at a case strategically, as well as helping clients understand our actions at a deep level. For this reason, we organized dedicated workshops for the Virgin Mobile team. Our specialists explained Whites’ approach to SEO and presented the challenges that we face in such projects. Thanks to this initiative, we made sure we were on the same page as our client, as well as letting their team understand our priorities and elements important from an SEO perspective. The communication and quality of our cooperation were significantly improved.
Turning the power of PR into SEO for virtual operators
It’s noteworthy that we turned the power of PR into SEO during our cooperation with Virgin Mobile. We monitored comments on the brand that did not link to the client’s website with the Brand24 tool. Then, we contacted publishers directly in order to broaden the website’s link profile.
SEO vs. UX
It happens that when specialists implement UX improvements, they make decisions that are not beneficial from the SEO perspective. Despite being responsible solely for SEO, we also get involved in User Experience design – to work out a compromise between SEO and UX. In this case, we focused on sales landing pages. We did not want users to feel overwhelmed with excessive content on a page and therefore we introduced a “Read more” button.
Having appreciated our contributions, Virgin Mobile asked us to further consult on UX improvements. We organized a workshop focused on modeling the mobile version of their website. Our SEO specialist involved in this initiative made sure that SEO optimization recommendations would be implemented and that the website would have enough space for texts to be analyzed by Google. Moreover, our SEO expert helped the team find the pages generating the most organic traffic and drew up an internal linking proposal.
Competitor analysis – checking not only Google ranking
While working on the website optimization, we stayed up to date with competitors’ activity and their domains’ positions in Google. Below you can find the number of phrases in TOP 10 Google for the websites of the 4 biggest virtual operators – before our cooperation with Virgin Mobile started.
Apart from monitoring the websites’ ranks in Google with the Senuto tool, we performed a complex analysis of 6 competitors in terms of:
- The number of keywords in TOP 10 and TOP 50
- Estimated organic traffic
- Specific positioned queries
- Content posted on their websites and blogs
- Link building activities
Thanks to the reverse engineering approach to SEO, we could define industry benchmarks.
Keyword optimization – transparent analytics of SEO results
What indicated our success was simultaneous analysis, monitoring the website and checking the position in Google. One of the aforementioned challenges was finding an appropriate way to monitor non-brand entries and visualize the results of our activities clearly. As Google Analytics measures brand traffic overall, we decided to use Data Studio, which delivers filtered information from the Google Search Console. What kind of filters did we set? For example, we eliminated all the ways to search for Virgin Mobile – including variations resulting from typos such as wir, gin or ver. Thanks to this, we obtained non-brand entries and monitoring of the queries’ ranks.
Effective optimization – a key to success
Our project’s success lay in our partnership with Virgin Mobile. Thanks to the client’s trust, we could focus on the effective development of sales-related content on the website, so that it ranked for many non-brand phrases. Moreover, we had a strong focus on:
- Turning the power of PR into SEO
- The client’s willingness to broaden their knowledge of SEO
- Finding a balance between SEO and UX on the website
- Clear SEO analytics in Data Studio
- Flexibility coming both from our and from the client’s side
- Monitoring the market
- Effective prioritization of tasks and agility in implementing changes
Throughout the project, we listened to Virgin Mobile’s expectations as closely as possible and went beyond the standard cooperation framework. Thanks to full comprehension of the client’s needs and business specificity from our side, and of our work – from the client’s side, we developed a relationship of full partnership. There were challenges but thanks to the flexible and partner-like approach of Virgin Mobile we overcame all of them.
– Marcin Kubik, Head of Client Service Whites Agency