JavaScript SEO For A Large Publisher: A Case Study

Published: 
July 24, 2023
SEO Service(s)
Advanced Technical SEO (JavaScript & International)
When
2022 - 2023
Industry
Publishing / Education
Monthly trend line of SEO users since the beginning of the JavaScript SEO project, showing growth of 100% in 13 months.

SEO Results

+100%
SEO traffic
+320%
Non-brand SEO Traffic
+99%
Monthly active video viewers and podcast listeners
+269%
Keywords in top 3 organic results
Monthly trend line of SEO users since the beginning of the JavaScript SEO project, showing growth of 100% in 13 months.
Monthly trend line of SEO users since the beginning of the JavaScript SEO project

More about Momentic's SEO work with the client

Big projects and daunting technical SEO issues drive us at Momentic. With our advanced technical SEO capabilities, we've helped to turn around the fortunes of numerous websites, and this case study explores one of those.

Once upon a time, there was a slick JavaScript (React) website that saw its organic traffic in 2022 down 51% from 2021. The team behind the website how to stop the downward spiral. That's when they decided to call in the technical SEO experts at Momentic.

Momentic's SEO Audit & Roadmap

Momentic's audit was a deep dive into the website's SEO health, and the findings were eye-opening. We identified a range of issues, from JavaScript SEO problems (rendering and click events) to legacy internal link inconsistencies, URL canonicalization issues, XML sitemap inefficiencies, international SEO misconfiguration, lingering shebangs (!#), HTML hierarchy bugs, and upstream internal linking opportunities.

The output of our audit was an SEO roadmap and SEO¬†processes‚ÄĒfor the development team and the content production team. Essentially Momentic created a comprehensive and scalable guide to navigating the choppy waters of SEO. We handed off the roadmap and processes to the internal team, who were able to‚ÄĒand continue to‚ÄĒexecute many of the SEO recommendations. They started with addressing bugs related to JavaScript.

Client Goals

The business' main goal was to increase and maintain active users through web content (articles, videos, podcasts, and lessons).

The Results

As with most technical SEO projects, results began quickly. Here are some key SEO results 12 months after implementation began:

  • Monthly active users from organic search:¬†+100%
  • Monthly active video viewers and podcast listeners: +99%
  • Keywords in top 3 organic results:¬†+269%
  • Keywords in top 10 organic results:¬†+353%

SEO performance before the project: 

  • Monthly users from organic search:¬†1.25 million
  • Monthly active video viewers and podcast listeners: 296K
  • Keywords in top 3 organic results:¬†16K
  • Keywords in top 10 organic results:¬†115K

SEO performance 12 months after implementation:

  • Monthly users from organic search:¬†2.5 million
  • Monthly active video viewers and podcast listeners: 590K
  • Keywords in top 3 organic results:¬†59K
  • Keywords in top 10 organic results:¬†521K

The Fixes

#1: JavaScript SEO and Internal Links

The audit revealed link types that were not crawlable, a critical sitewide issue. The elements that looked like links were not implemented as an <a href> element. They needed to be. Google wasn't getting the full picture on the structure of the website. There were also bad links in navigable content and blog content that referenced legacy URLs and misconfiguration. These included URL references missing trailing slashes, https://, and old URL locations. The fix involved updating all <a href> links to their final redirect destination and updating the internal process to always include a specific URL structure to keep things consistent.

#2: Canonicalization, XML Sitemap, and International SEO

The website needed to utilize canonical tags on every URL to explicitly tell Google what version of content should be indexed. This was especially true because of how the JS app would serve a 200 and render all URL variations of content. But, if this was implemented in isolation, then XML sitemaps would contain canonicalized URLs. So, we recommended that only canonical URLs should exist in the XML sitemaps. The website also needed extensive hreflang implementation between alternate language versions of URLs and accurate Lang meta tags on every page to support 30+ languages.

#3: HTML Hierarchy, Breadcrumbs, and Video/Podcast Pages

All URLs on the website were missing h1 tags, and it didn't use any heading stucture; just <p> and <span> content stylized with CSS. The website needed better upstream internal linking and navigation, so we recommended implementing clickable breadcrumbs and corresponding schema.org markup sitewide. For video and podcast pages, the audit suggested making these real web pages (when navigating) instead of light-boxes, adding breadcrumb navigation, and putting the full transcript of each video or podcast on the page for a better browsing experience.

#4 Additional SEO Opportunities

The audit also revealed several large scale opportunities for the website, including

  1. Programmatic ways to better target the keywords people search on Google in Page Titles, H1s, and anchor text,
  2. Curated content grouping through information architecture and category development,
  3. A repeatable content strategy
  4. New evergreen content
  5. Leveraging authors for SEO / E-E-A-T
  6. Additional E-E-A-T recommendations
  7. Strategy to leverage Google's knowledge graph

Conclusion

The SEO audit and roadmap as a sustainable initiative for the website. The internal team was able to implement the recommendations and see a significant increase in traffic within six weeks.

Technical SEO isn't always the best lever to pull for SEO, but Momentic knows when that lever needs to be pulled. Momentic can help turn your SEO challenges into triumphs.

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We're a hyper-specialized team of experienced SEOs

We're based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but we help grow brands and bottom lines all over the globe‚ÄĒin nearly every industry vertical.

Whether you're an established brand, a Series A startup, or a local business transitioning to digital, we're built to help.

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