How LinkGraph Catapulted AutoAuctionMall.com from Startup to Page 1 of Google with Strategic SEO

About
Auto Auction Mall provides dealer-level access to every major used, salvage & insurance vehicle auction house in the United States. They provide instant access to over 150,000 auctioned vehicles, allowing users to save thousands while purchasing, financing, and shipping vehicles through their convenient portal. With a team of world class support staff, their Auction Specialists are the most knowledgeable in the business, and their goal is to help users find the best possible vehicle at the lowest possible price. Auto Auction Mall exists to remove the dealership barrier and give regular people around the globe dealer-level access to the cars they want.

The Problem

Auto Auction Mall offered a more affordable car-purchasing process than their competitors, but entered a crowded marketplace occupied by long-established used car and used-car-for-sale websites. From an SEO perspective, the online car buying search ecosystem is dominated by well-known brands like Carvana and AutoTrader with massive backlink profiles, over 20-30 million indexed pages, and sites that consistently invest in improving their SEO.

So Auto Auction Mall came to LinkGraph with a brand new site while wanting to better compete in this crowded market. As a nascent but growing brand, Auto Auction Mall needed to find several keyword niches that they could rank for to begin generating traffic and sales, while steering clear of searches dominated by heavyweights in their space. Auto Auction Mall had big goals to not only dominate the US market, but specific markets in Africa as well, and needed a nuanced SEO strategy that paired aggressive link building with geo-focused targeting and content strategy.

The 6 Point LinkGraph Solution

1

Content Strategy for Landing Pages and Blog Posts

LinkGraph used our proprietary copy optimizer software to create landing pages and blog posts that strategically built topical depth around car auctions content, demonstrating the site’s authoritativeness over keyword searches in this domain. With our software, LinkGraph improved the on-page content across the site, improving their average content score in our tool from 20/100 to 80/100. The significant content improvements enabled them to start ranking for thousands of high-value keywords.
2

Technical SEO, On-Page Optimization, and Structured Data

One of the challenges of launching a large site (over 100K pages) with a small backlink profile is concentrating link equity onto pages that matter most. LinkGraph became more strategic with Auto Auction Mall’s site structure by using the header to wisely route PageRank to the landing pages that were actually capable of ranking well on Google. We also added the robots “no index, no follow” tags across thousands of product pages we believed wouldn’t perform well on Google and leech precious link equity and crawl budget. Focusing their PageRank onto a narrower range of pages given the domain’s under-developed backlink profile yielded an immediate improvement on site rankings. We also added structured data markup so search engines could display event and location based auction information in local searches, which improved organic click-through rates (CTRs) as measured in Google Search Console.
3

Monitored Crawling & Indexing of their Single Page ReactJS App

Auto Auction Mall decided to shift the front-end programming language of the site from MeteorJS to ReactJS SPA (single-page application). In the process, their software engineering team was considering using front-end rendering of their page content, using hash bangs for URL routes, and other strategies to focus on delivering a compelling user experience. Fortunately, with the LinkGraph team’s extensive technical experience working with SPAs and SEO best practices, we helped Auto Auction Mall’s in-house team avoid the pitfalls of using these advanced javascript technologies through server-side rendering for GoogleBot requests initially using PhantomJS and then later with SSR in NodeJS, so that search engines would receive fully rendered HTML content and meta tags. This enabled Auto Auction Mall to deliver a high quality user experience while also delivering crawler-friendly HTML content.

LinkGraph also ran our own crawlers across the site to make sure the server was configured correctly and that search engine robots would be able to index the site correctly. We also utilized the webserver logfiles alongside Google Search Console data to verify that crawlers were still able to discover and index pages throughout the site after the migration.

4

Site Migration: Site Architecture, Servers, and DevOps

LinkGraph worked with the Auto Auction Mall team during the process of migrating the site to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). GCP allowed the site to be hosted on production-grade infrastructure that would be capable of scaling up as the site continued to grow its traffic. In the process of migrating the site’s URL paths, we created a comprehensive URL redirect map to confirm that 100% of URLs on the old site would properly resolve to the appropriate new URL paths. This ensured that the site would minimize any loss of search visibility due to the site’s old pages 404-ing and getting ejected from search results after the migration. This close coordination with the AAM team actually resulted in the site increasing its search visibility by 15% after the migration.

There was also the possibility that Auto Auction Mall could lose existing keyword rankings and visibility if the site migration was not properly monitored or search engines struggled to crawl and index redirects and new url maps correctly. LinkGraph prioritized providing comprehensive guidance throughout the technical challenges of site migration while incorporating a full-scale link building and technical optimization strategy.

5

Growing Site Authority and Link Building

LinkGraph performed a comprehensive audit of Auto Auction Mall’s backlink profile to identify and remove toxic and spammy backlinks. LinkGraph set up monthly updating of their disavow file in Google Webmasters Tools. Then, LinkGraph executed a high-scale outreach campaign to improve the quality of Auto Auction Mall’s backlink profile, focusing on high-authority automotive publications in the US market. Over the course of the first 12 months of the campaign, LinkGraph secured over 300 relevant backlinks in relevant editorial content on these publications, significantly boosting Auto Auction Mall’s domain authority. LinkGraph also ran link building campaigns targeting specific foreign markets in Africa that the Auto Auction Mall team was focused on.
6

Content Strategy for Landing Pages and Blog Posts

LinkGraph used our proprietary copy optimizer software to create landing pages and blog posts that strategically built topical depth around car auctions content, demonstrating the site’s authoritativeness over keyword searches in this domain. With our software, LinkGraph improved the on-page content across the site, improving their average content score in our tool from 20/100 to 80/100. The significant content improvements enabled them to start ranking for thousands of high-value keywords.

The Results

LinkGraph’s data-driven, strategic approach to SEO strategy almost tripled the organic traffic to AutoAuctionMall.com, making the traffic the site has earned from search engines the most significant driver of revenue for the brand. Together, we’ve come a long way, and look forward to continuing helping the brand drive long-term, sustainable growth in the years to come.

275% Increase in organic traffic (40K to 110K sessions per month)
10.5K Keywords on the first page of Google
80K Keywords Ranking on Google (400% Increase)
150% Increase in economic value of organic traffic
240% Improvement in conversion rate
5X Growth in total monthly transactions

Quotes

“Daily visitors grew significantly due to LinkGraph's expertise. Their responsiveness complemented their customer service approach. Customers can expect a transparent and comfortable relationship with their marketing experts.”
Business Development Manager, Auto Auction Mall
“From a project management standpoint, they’ve been superb. Any time I have a question, my contact is there. He will write me back two-page emails to explain the intricacies and fixes for various topics. I just can’t tell you how happy I’ve been with them.”
Business Development Manager, Auto Auction Mall
“From the marketing side, I’ve seen the increase. What’s important to me is that I can come to my contact with a question that’s bothering my team or me, and he’s quick to respond. He always makes himself available. Their customer service is better than other third-parties I’ve used.”
Business Development Manager, Auto Auction Mall

What our other clients say

“We’ve seen a significant increase in our rankings. LinkGraph took a very targeted approach and dramatically improved our keyword rankings from page 20 or 40 to page 1 or 2.”
Ted Hunting
Senior VP of Marketing at BrightPattern
Thanks to LinkGraph’s work, we have seen a 53% increase in their organic traffic. Our search rankings for important keywords have also risen, giving them an extremely competitive edge. The team demonstrated their genuine commitment to the our success and was a flexible working partner.
Brad Brenner, Co-Founder & CEO, Therapy Group of DC