SilverDoor, a serviced apartments provider operating primarily in the B2B side of the sector, supply property bookings through a broad partners network across the globe. Based in London in the UK, SilverDoor won the 2015 Best Serviced Apartment Provider award and take great pride in their levels of customer service and expert local knowledge across their entire portfolio of 465 cities and 79 countries all over the world.
Focusing on an individual service approach rather than impersonal online bookings, SilverDoor operates a lead generation model for its business with the aim to draw website visitors into making contact rather than undertaking a remote booking operation.
As their previous website platform made use of a sub-optimal domain and URL structure with lack of more advanced technical search opportunities, SilverDoor came to 4Ps for support during the design, development and launch of the new website and in-house CMS as well as recommendations on future growth strategies.
Objective: a sustainable, search-friendly new website built on a platform for growth, deployed with minimal possible impact on the current website’s organic search visibility.
The previous SilverDoor website had no real mobile provision, reliant on the download of an iOS-only app to engage mobile visitors. Site structure was poor and there were numerous crawling and indexing problems for search engines due to excessive use of parameters in URLs.
The site suffered heavily from an attempt to implement technical SEO on top of an ageing and less capable platform, and numerous issues with the core HTML source code, structure and logical journey flow presented difficulties for users and search engines alike.
Without a capable CMS, the business struggled to represent itself accurately and fairly online, and search visibility suffered considerably. SilverDoor were keen to expand further internationally but were unable to create more geographically-targeted versions of their website with the platform, and basic functionality such as sitemaps and a clean codebase were not possible. Combined with difficulties implementing cross-domain tracking (as the order and quotes system had to sit on a subdomain rather than either of the main two websites), this led to considerable inaccuracies with analytics data so it was impossible to properly attribute sales by channel.
4Ps search consultants worked closely with SilverDoor at every level of the redesign and redevelopment process from the selection of a design agency through to the build, deployment and post-launch visibility monitoring of the new responsive website, built on an entirely redeveloped in-house CMS by SilverDoor’s own digital team.
This comprehensive launch project included:
- Advice and assistance on design agency selection based on a search-friendly and mobile-first approach
- Guidance and search/functionality specifications for CMS specification
- Design feedback and HTML markup recommendations
- Full technical specifications for a search-friendly platform, from URL structures to copy optimisation
- In depth semantic and social markup including schema.org for Places, WebPages and the company blog
- Multimedia optimisation recommendations for images and onsite video use
- Search market research and copy optimisation based on location driven topical queries
- Redirection planning and implementation testing to ensure no visibility loss
- Extensive testing and daily visibility checks post launch to monitor organic search performance
- In-depth consultative advice on international structure as SilverDoor were debating whether or not the time was right to commit resources to a global website without availability of their brand .com domain
As with any website redesign, redevelopment and relaunch there were some key challenges along the way. 4Ps and SilverDoor had to work very closely together as an integrated digital team to ensure correct implementation of recommended coding and search level functionality, and deadline adjustments meant that compromises had to be made between critical functionality needed at launch and lower priority elements in order to fulfil the objective.
The debate over taking the site international required careful consideration of technical, infrastructure and brand resources, and in the end SilverDoor took 4Ps’ advice to remain for the time being as an English-only site on a .co.uk rather than compromise their brand integrity and future search equity by trying to branch out without all the needed elements, including appropriate domain ownership, available to hand.
The site went live with complete preservation of existing traffic and visibility levels, and organic traffic and overall visibility has continued to grow after launch. Improved code to content ratio and a solid, clear URL structure improved indexing and query volumes on both Google and Bing have risen since the new site went live.
SilverDoor had particular concern for the visibility of certain priority query terms, so 4Ps ensured that ranking sampling took place during the launch process to give an indication of visibility for these business-critical terms. Thanks to the improved organic search potential of the new site, sampling of the critical terms shows a promising new trend.
Initial traffic results post launch show excellent improvement with zero loss of visibility thanks to comprehensive redirection and URL change management (numbers obscured to protect client confidentiality).
In addition, the new functionality of a fully responsive website has led to immense improvements in mobile engagement and visibility signals.
Additional consultative advice from 4Ps produced a dramatic improvement in page load speed, which is a known algorithmic factor for Google on mobile searches.
Even better, a reviwed content, topic/keyword and interlinking strategy has boosted qualified organic traffic and greatly raised organic conversions and qualified enquiries, boosting not only SilverDoor’s traffic and visibility but also their key business bottom line.
With the mechanisms for growth in place, SilverDoor now has a search-friendly and future-proofed website built to be beneficial to users and search engines alike, utilising the latest techniques in semantic markup, code-level optimisation and URL change management to ensure not only zero loss at launch but considerable growth in visibility, traffic and business goal conversions.
4Ps isn’t just another London SEO agency. To discuss how SEO and content are evolving together in order to keep pace with new developments in user interaction and search algorithms, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about data, marketing and user behaviour across all inbound channels.