Vonage is an award-winning global communications service provider for both B2C. and B2B markets. They primarily provide “voice over Internet Protocol” (VoIP) services, and serve nearly 2 million customers and 500,000 businesses worldwide.
While they are amongst the best in their field at their services, they were previously not maximising their SEO opportunities.
Vonage held their blog section on a subdomain that was separate to their main site. This arose from a legacy approach to hosting, with the blog using a different content management system from the rest of their content.
This was easier to manage from a content perspective, but in terms of SEO, it was failing to boost their search rankings. The Google indexing method treats subdomains as separate entities from their root domain – accordingly, any search visibility boosts Vonage might have been gaining from their blog content were instead being lost.
Likewise, the detachment was negatively affecting the blog, as it didn’t share the domain authority and SEO campaigns of the main Vonage site. There was a lack of synergy between the site and the blog, and both were missing out on potential advantages as a result.
Kaizen identified this problem and made suggestions on how this might be corrected, so that the blog and the main site might work in tandem to promote the Vonage brand to its fullest.
“We were producing high quality, targeted content, but we weren’t reaping the SEO benefits from it,” said Simon Peat, Vonage’s Digital Commercial Manager, “It was easy to manage the blog through WordPress, but we weren’t leveraging our resources properly.”
Kaizen saw that there was a direct benefit to be gained from the blog if it could be connected properly to the main site in Google’s eyes.
Their solution was to implement a “reverse proxy”, a proxy server which would retrieve the content of the blog subdomain, and return it to the client as if it came from the proxy itself.
A blog section was set up on the main site which used this to display the content hosted on the blog site, while the blog site itself was set to redirect to the root domain in order to prevent content from appearing twice. As a result, every blog post which was originally hosted on blog.vonage.co.uk/blog-post is now accessible on www.vonage.co.uk/blog/blog-post.
The pages on the main site contained frequent links to the blog content using the old URLs. While the redirect system implemented on the blog’s landing page was also applied to the individual URLs of the Vonage blog, an excessive number of 301 redirects could have negative effects on both speed and SEO.
Accordingly, the main site was crawled for any links pointing to the blog site. These links were replaced with the new root domain URLs to reduce these unnecessary and disruptive internal redirects.
This process meant that search engines saw the blog content as part of the main website rather than as a separate domain, and treated it with a uniform, higher ranking. Both new and old blog content were now contributing to the Vonage root domain’s SEO.
“A reverse proxy made sense,” said Pete Campbell, Kaizen’s Managing Director, “Vonage’s blog had a high level of SEO value, but it wasn’t benefitting their main site. Through our restructuring process, we made sure Vonage didn’t miss out on the value of what they already had. And it’s just as easy for them to manage as before, because it’s still hosted separately.”
Because of Kaizen’s input, Vonage has seen a massive 15% increase in organic traffic, and 1006 previously-disregarded URLs were indexed by Google.
As a result of this, Kaizen is now also appointed to manage Vonage’s entire organic and content marketing strategy.
“As much as the greater visibility of our brand thanks to the united power of our main site and our blog, we have a better understanding of our own resources,” said Melissa Sequiera, Vonage’s Digital Acquisition Manager, “We now know the real benefit of our blog – we can see it in our traffic and our conversions!”