Wibble are seen as a leading web design and web development studio. We are experts in the customisation and development of the WordPress content management system. One aspect of web design and development that we have been putting a huge emphasis on is technical SEO (search engine optimisation) or the process for helping the quality or quantity of website traffic.
WordPress is a really good CMS in terms of SEO configuration without customisation, out of the box. It is developed in a way to make the structuring, management and publishing of content a simple task to help with the crawling of your content without much effort. WordPress is generally seen as the best, open-source CMS for search engine optimisation. I would agree with this after using a number of other CMSs over the last 15 years. Throw some additional plugins at the website like Yoast SEO, Smush and a good cache setup and you have the building blocks for a good SEO-centric site.
We recently were approached by McCartan Turkington Breen Solicitors – a leading full-service law firm in Belfast. In what I see as a good reflection of our own search engine optimisation skills, MTB found us via a Google search. We worked very closely with MTB’s Marketing Manager, Glenn Reid to identify issues with the current site, his goals and targets for the new site and how Wibble will ensure that the site is built in a way to help, as much as possible, with search engine optimisation. To quote Glenn “I found Wibble by searching “Wordpress Developers Northern Ireland”. I only considered 1st-page results on the basis that if a developer can’t get themselves on page 1, how could they get my firm on it? I spoke on the phone with several of the results and found Wibble to have the most promise.”
From a commercial point of view, in the field that McCartan Turkington Breen are in, a successful organic SEO campaign can reap huge benefits for the business. The services provided are of a high value and cornering the market for key search terms can reap huge rewards for them. This is what we set out to do in partnership with McCartan Turkington Breen.
We made the decision very early on that a custom WordPress design and build would be required. As per a previous blog by Shane, on comparing custom-built themes VS pre-built themes, using a bought theme would not be sufficient to ensure that targets set, such as site speed and page quality markers such as performance, accessibility, best practices and SEO as per the Google page quality test were passed.
We set about creating the new site, following our tried and tested web design and development process with a clear set of requirements that we had agreed with Glenn that we needed to hit to make the re-launched website a success.
From initial sitemaps, and wireframes through to concepts and on to the development phase we had search engine crawling, indexing and ranking in mind with every decision we made. Site speed was something that was key importance – and this wasn’t just considered at the end once the site was built; it was thought about in the design phase – I am very proud that our design team have a pragmatic and smart approach to web design. For some, the design phase is just about making a site “look pretty”, for Wibble, it is about setting out design and development markers to ensure the site is both aesthetically and technically sound.
In the development phase, we made considerations around URL structure, ensuring 301s are in place, image optimisation, microdata, ease of internal linking and hundreds of other considerations around technical SEO.
No matter how many times we do a launch, I still get nervous and worry about the site having a negative performance when we are carrying out significant changes. We had everything in place and carried out a rapid pre-launch and post-launch checklist to help with the launch procedure. Thankfully, this was not the case and we saw rapid results within days of the launch.
After launch, there were almost instant improvements in performance in the ranking of the website in search engines. Several cornerstone pages appeared on page 1 of Google immediately following the launch. This was a massive and important win to ensure that we were on the right track.
Wibble is both reliable and robust. These traits allowed me, as a legal marketer, to implement my strategy quickly and decisively. The results within six months have been transformative. This simply would not have been possible without a design and development team that I could rely on to play their part.Glenn Reid, Marketing Manager
Current SEO progress
At the time of writing, the site has continued to perform exceptionally well. On discussion with the client around this case study, the results showed that we now are hitting a 1,244% increase in the average monthly impressions on Google. It should be noted that the pre-launch number of impressions were not incredibly low to begin with.
The time users spent on the website increased by 62% and department heads have commented that there has been a significant increase in new enquiries – a lack of tracking with the previous site means we can’t accurately compare the increase in enquiries but anecdotally the increase has been remarkable.
The screenshot below shows the progress in terms of impressions from their Google Search Console.
Working with the client
I’d love to sit here and claim 100% of the success came from Wibble’s team of web designers and developers but we only played a part in the overall process.
The great thing about this project is there was buy-in from the start from the client. They knew what they wanted to achieve and Glenn was an expert in what he was working on, leaving Wibble to take full control of the technical SEO and custom WordPress development.
Over a period of three months, Glenn made continual on-page SEO improvements to cornerstone pages with a goal of moving those pages to the top 3 results on page 1 of Google – all these moved as planned. During the same period, the client identified and researched popular keywords and phrases and created new pages and posts using Wibble’s custom blocks that contained these keywords – during the design and development phase we had worked a lot on content mapping to create custom WordPress blocks to house any type of content that the site would present. Glenn could trial and error the order of the blocks and see what worked best. This custom WordPress development practice gave the client free rein to work on post pages and build the site structure without the constant need to involve Wibble.
Blogs were used to expand on detail with the only limits being the user’s time on the page. Using the default WordPress CMS functionality, it made internal linking a breeze and was very much focused on. This is one of the reasons the average time spent on the site increased by so much.
Blog posts and case studies were created with relative ease by the client to direct people from social media to the site and combined with the features mentioned above, users were kept on the site and filled in enquires on the back of that.
A prolonged and continuing process, by Glenn, of obtaining backlinks from third parties such as partners, publications and service providers is underway and will form a part of future plans.
I feel this is a great example of experts in their respective fields working together to produce the results for the site. Wibble are not content or on-page SEO experts and working with Glenn this wasn’t an issue as his expertise covered this. We are web design and web development experts and we were able to apply this expertise to the project and, so far, it has been a resounding success.
If you are a law firm, solicitor, or lawyers and could benefit from bespoke legal web design or legal web development services, Wibble are a Belfast-based web design company with a range of law firms as their web design clients. Contact us if you’d like to have a chat about how we can help.