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      33% annual organic traffic growth in "under the filter" domain conditions

      Author: Nataliia Pronina
      Head of SEO


      The clinic of German Medicine in Kyiv, specializing in high-quality surgery for complicated cases.

      The key directions of treatment

      Our goal

      Increase of organic traffic on the site and, subsequently, an increase in conversions on the site in the priority directions defined by the client:

      Source data and project features

      Region: Kyiv and oblast

      Start of work: October 20, 2021

      Project features: the site worked on Joomla in the beginning, and later migrated to WordPress at the end of 2021.

      Language of promotion: Russian

      Search Engine: Google

      Software developers and copywriters are assigned by the client; physicians are directly involved in writing articles for the site.


      Comparative analysis with the competitors

      When taking over the project, our team conducted a comparative analysis of the main indicators of the client's site compared to its competitors:

      # Target Domain Rating Domains Ref domains Dofollow Total Backlinks Total Keywords Total Traffic
      1 Client's site 28 246 124 1 148 14 422 12 646
      2 Competitor 1 29 424 259 7 569 30 058 116 324
      3 Competitor 2 30 518 354 5 858 35 084 53 432
      4 Competitor 3 15 108 74 764 14 521 42 306
      5 Competitor 4 49 1068 732 3735695 84782 148 058
      6 Competitor 5 53 1523 1145 99386 150037 281 833
      7 Competitor 6 32 391 229 5091 46959 92 247
      8 Competitor 7 40 685 427 10369 112663 424 569

      As you can see from the comparative analysis, the client’s site was losing in traffic to all competitors: with a relatively strong site DR - the lowest traffic metrics.

      Given equal keyword counts with the competitor №4, the traffic is 3.5x lower, which proved our theory of poorly designed semantics for the landing pages of services.

      For example, for the query "treatment of lung cancer" all competitors are ranked in the top 10, and the client's site - at the 74th position.


      33% annual organic traffic growth in under the filter domain conditions 1


      However, the landing page of the promoted site is filled with information at the same level as that of competitors. The same situation is true for the majority of high-priority pages.

      Additionally, the Ukrainian version of the site has not been implemented.

      There is no blog for information requests on the site.

      Selected work strategy

      Technical audit of the site

      The first stage of working on the project - a complete technical audit of the site and its internal optimization, as well as drafting recommendations for the correction of critical errors.

      Program implementation Inspection result Priority Contractor
      1. IP website analysis correct high software engineer
      2. Checking the website for viruses ОК
      3. Domain history analysis ОК
      4. Checking for the elements that may negatively impact user's interaction with the website ОК
      5. Checking for availability and correctness of forming SEO-Friendly URLs (human-readable URL) ОК
      6. Checking for the gluing of mirrors and complete duplications ОК
      7. Checking for a complete duplication of content ОК
      8. Checking for technical pages, pages with duplicate content, or with no content in the index correct high software engineer
      9. Checking for the correctness of the server's responses to the page request ОК
      10. Checking the page code for HTML and CSS errors correct high software engineer
      11. Checking for availability and errors in SSL certificate correct high software engineer
      12. Checking for hidden or spam links to external resources ОК
      13. Checking for the correctness of the robots.txt file setup correct high software engineer
      14. Connect GWT ОК
      15. Connect GA ОК
      16. Check Sitemap.xml correct high software engineer
      17. Checking for CSS and JS availability ОК
      18. Checking microformats correct high software engineer
      19. Checking social media buttons ОК
      20. Checking website loading speed correct high software engineer
      21. Checking for the availability and optimization of multilingualism correct low software engineer
      22. Checking for the mobile version of the website ОК
      23. Checking the adaptability of the site on different types of devices ОК
      24. Checking for the correct output of the text content ОК high software engineer
      25. Tracking Stat.Aweb content in the SEO-monitor correct low software engineer
      26. Checking for the elements (commercial factors) on the pages required for ranking in this topic correct high software engineer
      27. Checking for the partial content duplication correct medium software engineer
      28. Checking for the content pages in the code, which are not displayed on the site pages ОК
      29. Checking the indexation of reviews on the site ОК
      30. Is the content visible with the JavaScript turned off ОК
      31. Checking the site for compliance with the requirements of the Instructions for Assessors correct high software engineer
      Content Inspection result Priority Contractor
      32. Checking for affiliates correct high software engineer
      33. Checking for the correctness of forming meta tags correct high Content manager
      34. Checking for availability of landing pages for semantic core ОК
      35. Checking for availability/uniqueness of the web content correct high Content manager
      36. Checking for the text content optimization ОК
      37. Checking for availability of content formatting ОК
      Structure and re-linking Inspection result Priority Contractor
      38. Checking for the "bread crumbs" menu ОК
      39. Checking for the re-linking on the website correct high software engineer
      40. Checking for the broken links ОК
      Usability Inspection result Priority Contractor
      41. Checking for the broken links correct medium software engineer
      Image optimization Inspection result Priority Contractor
      42. Checking for the broken links ОК

      A distinctive feature of this specification is that it was required to identify critical errors, as well as to prevent their recurrence in the new CMS site.

      Later on, following the implementation of the new CMS, our experts conducted an additional check on the specification items to make sure there are no errors on the new site.

      Analysis of getting the site under the Google filters

      Due to the fact that during the incoming analysis, we had some concerns about Google filters being imposed on the domain, our team conducted a thorough analysis and audit of the site and took a number of actions to improve the situation.

      Example: section that is perfectly designed for internal optimization

      site/kompyuternaya-tomografiya, yet was completely unranked by Google.

      In this case, we decided to conduct the test with a change of directory with and without a 301 redirect: we created a new directory page site/kt-diagnostika/, set up a redirect with site/kompyuternaya-tomografiya to the new page.

      Changing the directory did not give us the expected results, and 23.02.22 after four months of the project promotion and a lack of positive dynamics, we offered the client two options to remove the site from the filter:

      1. Conservative — continue to consistently work with the site (elaboration of semantic core, meta tags, texts, increase link profile) and wait for the next update, which will allow the search engine to fully re-evaluate the site. In case the situation does not change after the update - proceed to point 2.

      2. Radical — change the domain without waiting for an update (that is, in the near future). There is a risk that the filter will be passed with 301 redirect, as well as the risk of subsidence of existing positions (however, if you change the domain correctly, they will be minimized).

      Starting from February 24, 2022, the project was suspended due to the outbreak of full-scale hostilities, returning to the discussion back in May 2022: the client opted for the second course of action, the radical one.

      While discussing a new domain for the site, the search engine held a Core Update in May, following which the percentage of queries output on the worked-out pages increased from 2% to 8%.

      October 2022 Core Update raised to another 14% of the output on the first page, following which it became clear that Google saw all our improvements and the issue of changing the domain was solved.


      33% annual organic traffic growth in under the filter domain conditions 2


      Semantic core

      The first stage of working on the Semantic Core

      Along with the technical audit of the site, we started working on the collection of semantic core for the priority directions defined by the client. Due to the fact that the clinic specializes in the surgery of complex cases, we selected the following for the first period:




      General Surgery:




      The second stage of working on the Semantic Core

      While working on the semantic core and semantic groups for the priorities, we found "cannibal pages," duplicating the content of the main page, which may negatively affect the growth of the main category positions.

      Our optimizers have reviewed all pages of the site on the basic (promoted) requests, preparing the ToR for "gluing similar pages".

      An example of "cannibal pages":


      The queries by which the page was ranked:


      33% annual organic traffic growth in under the filter domain conditions 3


      Second example: site/gemorroi

      The queries by which the page was ranked:


      33% annual organic traffic growth in under the filter domain conditions 4


      The third stage of working on the semantic core

      Upon working out and optimizing priority pages - collecting semantic core, updating MT and texts - we have come to the stage of expanding the semantic core and the allocation of narrower areas of services in separate pages.

      For example, from the "Gynaecology" group, we highlighted a group of queries for the Women's Consultation, and after optimization it came to the top for many queries.


      33% annual organic traffic growth in under the filter domain conditions 5


      From the "Hemorrhoid Treatment" group we have highlighted and optimized the following pages:

      Thrombectomy, Hemorrhoids (external, acute, internal), Longo surgery, etc.

      An example for Thrombectomy:



      33% annual organic traffic growth in under the filter domain conditions 7


      An example for the Longo surgery page:



      33% annual organic traffic growth in under the filter domain conditions 8


      Building up an external link mass

      At the early stage of the project, our experts analyzed the existing link profile, rejecting all low-quality and spammy donors, which could affect the growth of positions.

      Having analyzed and revised our link profile, we started building up links from quality and trusted domains. The main focus was on the medical sites.

      We used the following link procurement methods during the project:

      E-A-T factors

      It should be noted that the following E-A-T factors: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness were well-established on the project.

      The texts for the service pages were written and/or proofread by the clinic's physicians, as confirmed on the service pages.

      The website has patients' testimonials as well as video testimonials.

      We have also finalized pages about the clinic's equipment, "About the clinic" page, as well as the information on available service payment options.

      Results on the project

      The priority highly-competitive directions defined by the client showed an increase from 30% to 150% compared to the original traffic.

      In the "Gynaecology" direction the traffic increased by 300% from the start of work until December 31, 2022, with a small slump at the end of 2021 (when the site moved to a new CMS):


      33% annual organic traffic growth in under the filter domain conditions 9


      200% growth in mammalogy direction:


      33% annual organic traffic growth in under the filter domain conditions 10


      100% growth in proctology direction:


      33% annual organic traffic growth in under the filter domain conditions 11


      150% growth in surgery direction:


      33% annual organic traffic growth in under the filter domain conditions 12


      300% growth in oncology direction:


      33% annual organic traffic growth in under the filter domain conditions 13



      Despite the assumption that a Google filter was applied to the domain, we continued to improve and optimize the site pages, which had a positive effect on the growth dynamics of the site. All succeeding Google updates significantly improved the project's visibility in the search engine.

      Our team achieved such results thanks to:

      Project participants:

      Project Managers: Oleksandra Nesina

      Optimizer: Nataliia Pronina/Lehkobyt Andrii

      Linker: Yevhen Fedchenko