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Global Crane Leader Finds Opportunity in Site Structure Challenges

Manufacturing Search Marketing


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135% lift in total organic search traffic across more than 50 distinct domains

A $2.9 billion international industrial crane manufacturer faced a massive challenge in developing a monolithic digital ecosystem to span 26 countries and 13 languages, totaling more than 50 individual sites. The fully executed network more than doubled the client's organic traffic by the end of the 16-month roll-out.

The client partnered with search and interactive team members at Upward to take on the project, which required expertise in digital strategy, user experience development and hard-nosed, technical SEO. With precarious moving parts stretched across the website’s 6-continent landscape, one misstep could reverberate across hundreds of pages. One fine example of the challenge: Upward needed to generate traffic to a new US-based domain that would complement (not cannibalize) an older global domain.

The project called for a carefully administered program to keep each moving part in place, beginning with developing a structure to accommodate iterative releases within the responsive Drupal platform. Just as important as the structure itself was the plan to efficiently create content without picking up duplicate content penalties along the way. 

Through a diligent audit of valuable keywords in multiple languages, Upward created a multi-layered content schedule and internal link composition designed to signal the most authoritative pages as such. Finally, the stakeholders banded together for the mundane but absolutely critical legwork: redirecting traffic from hundreds of dead pages to each most relevant new page, rewriting metadata for every last page and methodically updating content.

Even though Upward and the client had to work together to create a huge volume of material, no one could lose sight of the unique purpose of each individual component -- from share-worthy content like in-depth articles, videos and infographics to lean, powerful conversion landers for PPC. No matter the end use, “quality” meant uniform – but not redundant – content.

Strategic Quality Control

By the end of the 16-month rollout, all indications suggested the high expectations for quality were met. In addition to the 135% lift in organic search traffic across the board and improved quality scores reflected in PPC, the sites also recorded a 77% improvement in time on site and a 53% improvement in bounce rate. Just measuring the continued progress of each domain was no small task, but the client worked with Upward to prepare a “one-click” report that automatically pulled high-level metrics relevant to the client for each domain, side-by-side. The report, which saved the client 80 work hours per month, verified what the client already knew: the new site structure and content was delivering more high-value leads across dozens of countries, site languages, products and services.

By making the investment of time and energy upfront, and getting it right the first time, the client earned an information architecture and content backbone that will serve its complex global needs for years to come.


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