Isolator Fitness is a USA-made company that provides consumers with meal prep bags and accessories with all products being produced at their facility in Reading, PA.
In 2017 the company migrated from Magento to Shopify Plus and was having a difficult time. Sales were starting to suffer and I was brought on board to make everything right. At the time I had no idea that this would prove to be one of my best technical SEO case studies. It was also amazing to see how much can be accomplished in a 6-month time frame when efforts are laser focused.
- Removed thousands of duplicate pages from Google search
- Optimize crawl budget for maximum indexing of pages listed in XML sitemap
- Utilize Google Search Console to identify ongoing technical SEO issues
- Massive NAPW alignment
Process & Methodology
My first order of business was to conduct a complete technical SEO audit so that I could start to figure out what was truly going on. It only took a few site: searches in Google to see that the company was suffering from massive duplicate content issues. The screenshot below shows over 4,000 pages indexed for what should be a 439-page website.
Staging servers were not configured properly causing not just one but three duplicate websites to be indexed by Google. This combined with simple products not have proper “rel=canonical” tags and was a perfect storm. We even found this rogue WordPress version that was spotted and subsequently taken down. The screenshot below shows a staging server URLS live in Google search results.
When reviewing theme files I found numerous instances of incorrect references to that staging server within the theme itself that would need to be addressed. There were constant Google Search Console warnings for assets not being accessible to the crawler and I used screenshots like the one below to communicate with our off-site Shopify Liquid JS developer.
Getting out of this mess required an artful blend of meta-robot tags, robots.txt optimization, 301 redirects, XML sitemap alterations, and more all while working closely with an off-site Liquid JS developer to implement any necessary theme modifications. It was a lot of testing and refining all while sticking to our guns and making sure that our devs and partners were not accidentally setting us up for failure.
After realizing the importance of NAPW at Mail Shark, identifying Name/Address/Phone Number/Website (NAPW) optimization opportunities became such a large task I trained the owner’s son on how to use Moz Local to identify and clean up rogue address listings.
This screenshot shows several entities on Facebook that were not real. This combined with everything described above took us the better part of 3 months to get under control.
What does not kill you makes you stronger and I walked away from Isolator Fitness with a whole new understanding of the importance of technical SEO. There are many of my colleagues that allow their clients to suffer in organic search and make up for it with paid search and social media efforts. I learned at Isolator Fitness that if you address your technical concerns early on and combine this with savvy paid search campaigns, this will show you the road to increased revenue and profits.