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Case Study: Photography-Courses.com.au

Photography-Courses.com.au has been operating for over ten years. At the end of 2018 the site adopted its fourth design in that time. We're now fixing up the SEO.
Case Study: Photography-Courses.com.au

Photography-Courses.com.au has been operating for over ten years, advertising photography courses from schools across Australia. It's an aggregator and 'clips the ticket' on each booking it sends to the school.

The site suffered neglect over the last five years, prior to which it was a regular feature at the top of related SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

At the end of last year, the site was relaunched with a new, mobile-friendly design and a reduced range - focussing on providers who are interested in growing their business.

Six months on, the new site is starting to build some traction, but there were a few things missed in the relaunch that need fixing up.

Generally, the site has seen a decrease in traffic over the last year or so, but I don't feel I have enough information to attribute the decline to anything in particular. It's also not clear that the decline in visitors has led to a decline in revenue - maybe we've just lost the tyre-kickers!

Nevertheless, let's give ourselves a baseline so we know that things are getting better:

Google Webmaster Tools snapshot for prior 3 months
Top 10 queries by click for prior 3 months

Anecdotally, I know we've lost some ground on the Perth terms. But check the click-through rate (CTR) on the portrait photography course sydney term. We're doing something right there - 15.2%!

Anyway, before we go too deep, our plan, as always, is divided between three key actions:

  1. Increase the number of visitors to the site
  2. Increase the quality of visitors to the site
  3. Increase the conversion rate of the visitors on the site

We will start this process by addressing any obvious domain or infrastructure factors that might be impacting the site's performance in the SERPs.

Domain & Infrastructure Issues

Canonical URL

Immediately, I can see that the site does not have a preferred domain set. It is accessible via both the photography-courses.com.au and www.photography-courses.com.au domain names.

This can cause issues with the search engines because they may interpret the pages as having duplicate content - something they don't like.

The site has a long history of using the www sub-domain, so I'll stick with that.

Actions for today:

  • Implement a 301 (permanent) redirect for all visitors to the non-www variant to send them to the www equivalent
  • Add a canonical link to all pages to indicate to the search engines where to find the preferred version of the page