- Stansberry Investor launched a new site that was rife with technical issues, no authority, and no ranking keywords.
- Redefine Marketing Group cleaned up issues with core web vitals, cookies, and header response codes that made it difficult for Google to crawl the site.
- With no authority, a mix of canonicalization and hearty link building would help search engines recognize Stansberry’s investment expertise.
- An evergreen, keyword-rich content calendar would set the stage for keyword presence and organic traffic.
Stansberry Investor, a subscription-based service that publishes expert financial information and software, is the go-to financial resource for millions of worldwide investors. Their business model rests on two principles: giving their customers the kind of advice they’d want to receive should their positions be reversed, and only publishing guidance from analysts whose strategies they’d let their own families read and follow.
This personal approach to financial advice is intended to create the foundations of long-term relationships with their clientele of investors. As a result of this approach, internal marketing conversions are drawn on selling lifetime subscriptions – giving their clients full access to their range of products.
In 2021, the FinTech brand Stansberry Research unveiled its new investment analysis website, Stansberry Investor. While they arrived on the scene with the financial expertise their investors craved, the site launch was weighed down with technical errors that kept search engines from crawling the site. Their advice wasn’t useful if it wasn’t visible to the investors who needed it.
In order to get their advice in front of the investors who’d benefit from it – and to drive their subscription-based conversions – Stansberry needed website authority, organic visibility, and, importantly, established expertise in the eyes of search engines.
Redefine Marketing Group’s solution
Redefine Marketing Group had a set of goals to start with: first and foremost, making sure that technical errors were cleared up would ensure that the site was crawlable and indexable – a critical step in gaining organic traffic and visibility. From there, we’d set to work increasing site and band authority, and that content would be the cornerstone of that traffic. Ready with an entire site audit, we first looked at what needed fixing on the technical side.
Indexing and errors
Upon taking a deeper dive, we confirmed that issues crawling the website page to page were prevalent, to the point where only nine pages were indexed on Google: the homepage, and a few seemingly random articles.
Core web vitals
Core web vitals are defined by the search engine that initiated them, Google, as a way to provide unified guidance for quality signals. They’re intended to help bring a great experience for every user on the web. In order to really invest in Stansberry’s success, we dug deep into their vitals.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), is a core web vital that gauges when the most significant content element is rendered on the user’s screen, and thus indicates that the purpose of the page is visible to the user. Google expects pages to load within 2.5 seconds or less. Stansberry was hitting at 6 seconds or above, thoroughly failing this metric.
Ensuring proper image sizing, optimizing those images, and fixing lazy loading issues would contribute to helping the pages load at a better pace. Implementing caching, something the site had problems with, would speed things along even more.
Cookie clean up
Google’s cache indicated that the indexation of the homepage was entirely empty, and that, when clicking on View Source, only part of the site had loaded at all.
The culprit? Cookies.
When turning off browser cookies, the pieces of data from a website that are stored in a person’s browser and allow a site to retrieve it at a later date, Stansberry Investor came up empty-handed on an empty, white webpage. The site’s coding needed immediate updating to allow for proper loading, regardless of whether the user can write or read cookies.
There was more work to be done with Stansberry’s site issues. As we continued our technical error cleanup, we discovered header response issues, starting with the homepage itself. At the time of launch, the URL of the initial page that a visitor arrived on would retain that URL within the header – even after going to another page on the site.
This error made it difficult for Google to make heads or tails of the site, as it considered it difficult to navigate through. This was a likely contributing factor to that low indexing.
After a thorough diagnosis from the dev team, the issue was corrected from within the coding itself.
Transferring and building authority
The swap from Stansberry’s flagship domain to its new one would involve implementing cross-domain canonicalization tactics. Our goal? Leveraging Stansberry’s primary domain’s authority for Stansberry Investor’s benefit.
It can be tricky for a new site to build authority, but it’s never impossible, whether for a new site or a migration.
With canonical tags
To make the jump from Stansberry Research to Stansberry Investor, we recommended adding a canonical tag on the Stansberry Research URL, where the articles originated. A canonical tag would also prevent issues that might arise from using identical (or ‘duplicate’) content from appearing on multiple URLs. From a practical standpoint, canonical tags explain to search engines which URL should appear in search results.
Adding rel=”canonical” to the <head> section of the HTML page would facilitate this, taking care that the href attribute-value pair needed to be the fully ‘qualified’ or ‘absolute’ URL.
Through link building
Authority is seen as a directional metric – it helps search engines measure the authoritativeness and value of a website, and rank it accordingly. It’s measured on a scale from 0 to 100. Stansberry started at 0.
We knew we’d need a beefy backlink profile to make that authority rise. Our focus was first on building branded links with anchor text that explicitly named Stansberry Investor to get our foot in the link building and authority door. The goal was to get Google to associate the brand name with their new domain.
Once we’d laid the groundwork, it was time to cash in on anchor text that better aligned with the keyword research we’d been conducting alongside our link-building efforts. We reached for anchor text like ‘capitalize on stock market records’ and ‘investment research tools,’ allowing Google to tie these terms to the site.
Increasing organic presence
Technical and SEO best practices in place, it was time to put our money where our mouths were and buckle down on on-page optimization and increasing keyword positions within search.
When the campaign first kicked off, Stansberry’s keyword portfolio was lacking – the website ranked for absolutely no keywords at all. Through keyword research, it was discovered that the site didn’t even rank for its own name, Stansberry Investor.
Redefine Marketing Group began crafting a content calendar and link-building strategy that would help gain footholds on the keywords that really mattered. Stansberry’s freely available blog content, at that time, was largely trendy newswire updates and of-the-minute, topical fare. While this type of content has value, evergreen content was sorely needed.
Leveraging competitor content rankings and backlinks, we devised evergreen topics and SEO recommendations into a concise content calendar. These must be articles that their finance-minded audience would look for regardless of season, portfolio, fiscal quarter, or stock market turbulence.
An essential guide to REIT investing and other ‘general’ FinTech posts would populate the site and begin drawing in much-needed keywords – and backlinks.
Raking in the results
With links built, content planned, authority transferring, and pesky site issues cleaned up, it was time for Stansberry to start watching their organic search portfolio grow. A site that once did not even rank for its own name was now carrying 40,000 terms, with roughly 10,000 of those on the first five pages of Google search. This benefitted Stansberry to the tune of over 9.6 million YTD impressions and a 1,880% increase in page 1 rankings.
That authority score climbed from the bottom of the barrel to 41, and their backlinks grew by 233%
|Page 1 |
Growing at scale
Pleased with their results, Stansberry continued to rely on Redefine Marketing Group to plan content and manage their keyword research and SEO best practices, even taking us along for another rebrand later down the line.
If you’re launching a new site, or migrating to a new one, you don’t have to build your authority or manage your backlinks alone. At Redefine Marketing Group, our team is at the ready to ensure that even a site starting from square one can not only do so smoothly, but catch up to its competitors in no time. Ready to Redefine your marketing? Let’s get in touch today.