Squadhelp is the world's #1 naming platform and has ranked in the Inc 5000 list of America's Fastest-Growing Companies three years in a row. The platform helps brands struggling to find a great name through an expert-curated marketplace of names that can be easily searchable and available for immediate purchase, as well as a customized crowdsourcing approach to naming, making the naming process easy, fast, and even fun. Squadhelp’s naming community of 250,000+ creatives has helped over 30,000+ customers across the globe find a great name for their brand or business.
Business Challenge: enter the top 3 positions on Google for most core keywords
The power of organic search has never been underestimated at Squadhelp - the company has been SEO-conscious since its inception. However, the optimization was very situational: a rapidly growing yet small business, Squadhelp didn’t have a dedicated SEO specialist who would develop a comprehensive SEO strategy. Many optimization processes were put on autopilot, including position tracking.
Things changed at the beginning of 2021 when the team received their weekly automated Semrush visibility report. Squadhelp noticed a significant position drop for their core page and top keywords. It fell off the first page of Google, which affected the site’s performance in a meaningful way. Squadhelp was challenged to win back the lost positions and went bolder: the company’s new goal was to enter Google’s top 3 for most of their core keywords.
At the same time, Squadhelp started seeing more competition on SERPs. Google changed how it saw some of Squadhelp’s keywords: for example, “catchy business names” and “catchy name generator” were seen by the engine as very different keywords, but in early 2020 it merged them, bringing more competition to the SERPs. The team was about to go head to head with giants like Shopify, Wix, Godaddy, and others.
Solution: technical SEO and SEO-optimized content
Grant Polachek, Head of Branding at Squadhelp, decided to take a strategic approach to the matter. In February 2021, Squadhelp doubled its efforts in organic search and partnered with an experienced SEO consultant.
Together with Grant, they analyzed the company’s desired search terms and came up with 220 keywords. This cohort was divided into five thematic buckets. Next, it was time to start optimizing.
Technical Site Audit
First, Squadhelp ran a Semrush Site Audit to identify any technical problems that affected Squadhelp’s rankings on SERPs. The audit revealed numerous issues with broken links and pages that the team wasn’t aware of.
Broken Internal Links
Squadhelp removed the internal broken links that were pointing to non-existing pages.
Broken External Links
The team removed all broken external links.
The team replaced the URLs that were creating unnecessary redirects with the correct ones.
The team replaced all URLs that were listed with HTTP instead of HTTPS.
Squadhelp’s website had only one sitemap with more than 50,000 URLs. The team created separate sitemaps for different sets of pages. In the new sitemaps, they set priorities to the URLs that they want to be recrawled more often.
The team fixed the headings hierarchy because the old hierarchy was not correctly set.
Titles and Meta descriptions
The team rewrote the titles and meta descriptions that exceeded the max number of characters and created more attractive ones.
It took around 40 days to fix all the issues and improve the website.
Content Creation and Optimization
Squadhelp was aiming to improve rankings for their core pages. This meant beating a lot of serious competitors on SERP. The team knew: learning your competitors’ strategy is the key to outperforming them.
Squadhelp makes sure to include the newly discovered keywords in the content briefs for the content team.
Once the keyword list is ready, the Squadhelp team uses the Topic Research tool to check the topic trends and put together a content strategy. They develop content clusters of about 6 topics each:
“Topic Research allows us to create similar-themed content that’s not going to cannibalize, which is tough to do otherwise,” says Grant. “This helps us create a nice web of content with internal linking.”
When working with Topic Research, the team searches for popular questions and attractive titles. They also look at examples of articles to find new ideas and give more detailed instructions to the content team.
Once a content piece is ready, Squadhelp runs it through the SEO Writing Assistant to verify that it is optimized for Google. The tool checks for relevant and semantically related keywords, readability, originality, and more.
With the help of Semrush Backlink Audit , Squadhelp found quite a few backlinks that negatively affected their authority score. They exported the list of toxic or irrelevant domains and submitted it to the Google disavow tool. The team repeats the backlink audits twice a month to maintain an excellent backlink profile.
“After all the extensive work, position tracking is critical,” says Grant. “We constantly keep an eye on where we’re at, what has dropped, and where our competition is positioned.”
The team exports Squadhelp’s rankings from the Position Tracking tool to spreadsheets, as well as receives weekly Semrush Visibility reports with the changes in visibility both for Squadhelp and its competitors.
In just 3 months, between February and May 2021, Squadhelp achieved the following:
- Regained first page ranking for the “business name generator” landing page across several core keywords;
- Increased the number of priority keywords positioned on the first page by 17.25% (Squadhelp moved 22 priority keywords to page 1 on Google);
- Gained 4.33 million impressions from organic search, up from 1.13M in 2019;
- Increased the number of backlinks from outreach by 3X per month.