Isolator Fitness is a USA-made company that provides athletic consumers with meal prep bags and accessories with all products being produced at their facility located in Reading, PA.
In 2017 the company migrated from Magento to Shopify Plus and was having a difficult time completing the migration. Organic search results were starting to suffer which directly related to their bottom line.
I was hired to complete the migration and ensure that any foundational technical SEO concerns were addressed. As a contract consultant, I had six months to complete my portion of the work.
- Complete migration from Magento to Shopify Plus
- Conduct a full-scale technical SEO audit
- Resolve massive duplicate content issues
- Theme and server optimization
- Shopify Liquid JS optimization
- Robots.txt, sitemap, and meta-robots optimization
Process & Methodology
My first order of business was to complete the migration which required me to first ensure that everything on the Shopify side aligned with the previous Magento instance.
After crawling both sites with Screaming Frog I was able to produce a redirect map that would address all post-migration concerns regarding any changes in the URL structure.
Once we changed the DNS and pointed the URL to the new Shopify Plus store is when the real challenges began. The screenshot below shows how the developer forgot to update the URL structure of the internal links on the new production website.
I also realized that during the migration the developer inadvertently changed the meta robots status of custom products that were NOT meant to be indexed by Google. The screenshot below shows how custom parts were showing live in Google search results.
There were also numerous staging servers being indexed by Google with product and category pages that did not have canonical elements. It was the perfect storm!
It only took a few site: searches on Google to see that the company was suffering from massive duplicate content issues. I had no other choice but to roll up my sleeves and conduct a full-scale technical SEO audit on the new Shopify Plus instance to develop a complete list of recommendations.
The screenshot below shows how over 4,000 pages were indexed by Google for what should be a 439-page website.
Getting out of this mess required an artful blend of on-page meta-robots tags, robots.txt optimization, 301 redirects, XML sitemap alterations, canonical elements, and more all while working closely with a remote 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. The end result was Google only indexing the true 450 pages that needed to be indexed, maximizing Google’s crawl budget and allowing for a complete crawl of the website on every visit.
As Google continued to crawl the website, organic search rankings would steadily increase.
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. At the time many of my colleagues would allow their clients to suffer technically and make up for it with PPC and paid social media efforts.