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US business naming platform gains page 1 rankings for 22 priority keywords in 3 months

“Semrush is an amazing platform that simplifies our digital marketing tactics, helps track backlinks, and has been a driving force behind our rapid growth over the past few years.”
Grant Polachek, Head of Branding, Squadhelp

About Squadhelp:

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.

Squadhelp’s Site Audit Overview
The discovered errors included:

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.

Unnecessary redirects
The team replaced the URLs that were creating unnecessary redirects with the correct ones.

Non-SSL links
The team replaced all URLs that were listed with HTTP instead of HTTPS.

Sitemap.xml
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. 

Headings hierarchy
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.

Squadhelp’s Site Health trend

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. 

First, Squadhelp ran the company’s target keywords through the Keyword Overview tool to see who ranks in the top positions. They then plugged those competitors into the Keyword Gap tool.

Using the tool, Squadhelp discovered many unobvious keyword opportunities that the competitors were ranking for but Squadhelp wasn’t. The team created new pages to compete for those keywords. With a little effort (and a more robust domain authority!), Squadhelp outperformed a lot of the competition.
To collect all related terms, the Squadhelp team runs the primary keywords through the Keyword Magic Tool. They look for frequently asked questions, rich snippet opportunities, and related phrases. While the team pays attention to the search volume and keyword difficulty metrics, the search intent comes first: if a low-volume keyword has a high buyer intent, they will still pursue it. These are the terms that target just the right users. 

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. 

SEO Writing Assistant recommendations for Squadhelp’s article

Backlink Analysis

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. 

Squadhelp’s Semrush Backlink Audit Overview

Keyword Tracking

“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. 

Squadhelp’s Position Tracking Visibility report

Results

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.
Overall, the ongoing SEO improvements have played a significant role in Squadhelp’s ability to rank in the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies for three consecutive years.
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