SEO Case Study
Ted Keyes Online
Note: This case study focuses on specific elements that can hurt your SEO when you don’t listen to professional advice.
Ted Keyes Online was an early client of CWDG LLC. Ted works and recruits for Logistic Dynamics (LDi) in Amherest, NY. We had previously done LDi’s website & SEO which, at the time, found LDi a ton of success online. Ted was impressed and decided he’d give CWDG LLC a try on his website. Ted is what he terms a “Freight Sales Expert” and his desire was to appear in more searches for freight broker and agent training.
I created Ted’s website using our early WordPress theme that utilized ZURB’s Foundation 5 responsive framework. I also performed extensive, long-term keyword research & analysis and on-page SEO services for Ted. His industry, freight broker training, is highly competitive and has proven difficult to get him to rank on page #1. I was able to get him to page 2 on Google for some searches and pages 3 & 4 for other keyword phrases.
My business partner also developed some PHP-based systems for his website and we both combined forces to create some landing pages for Ted that are converting quite well.
All of our efforts were working fine until Ted started to rethink his entire website and layout. I worked with him on many occasions over this period of deliberation tweaking existing content and creating more landing pages. Some of what was being proposed by Ted was sound while others had me scratching my head.
- Wrecked Responsive Design: Ted insisted on designing his website strictly accordingly his monitor’s display size (19″ widescreen). Seriously, try looking at his website on a 4:3 display, tablet or a smartphone. Keep in mind that the design flaws you see include optimized media queries.
- Uneven Keyword Usage: Going against the keyword research reports I provided, Ted started to move away from his optimal keywords within his navigation, headings and page content. Due to this, his website is currently at a lower search rank then when he started with CWDG LLC, even with more than 15,000 relative backlinks and counting. The best showing for his optimal keywords is page 6 on Google, for others he isn’t even within the Top 10.
- Misappropriated Backlinks: Approximately 94% of the backlinks point to a page that is not included in the content or navigation whatsoever. These backlinks are virtually useless and discounted by search engines.
Alas, CWDG LLC closed in late 2017 and Ted has moved on to another designer and developer. My design is still implemented, but the site has changed dramatically for the worse in terms of SEO and information architecture. By my standards, he’s worse off now than when he started with CWDG LLC years ago.
Ted was told time and time again that these issues were hurting the usefulness of his website & his SEO. In the end, what he wanted trumped anything I could suggest. The customer is always right, even when they’re acting against their own interests.
This case study is not, nor has it ever, meant to disparage Ted in any way. He’s a fine gentleman and a true expert in his industry.
Ted’s original website was static HTML and was riddled with errors, giving him a 33% SEO optimal metric based on my standards. At peak performance, I would predict that he was 60% optimized. As of 10/31/2017, after CWDG LLC, I estimate his SEO status is at about 25% of what it could be.