Boats.com SEO Case Study

Boast Case StudyBoats.com links boat buyers with boat sellers, with boat model listings from over 375 boat builders and used boat listings from boat dealers and yacht brokers worldwide, all available through one simple search. Once you've found the right boat, connects you with the best marine financing to help you find the best boat loan rates around—plus insurance and shipping, too.

The Challenge
Boats.com had some respectable rankings when they contacted SEO Inc., for seo services, but were not ranked in the Top 10 on Google for several important keywords in a few of their important product categories. While the site ranked very well for keywords like boats, new boats, etc., they had little visibility for highly-competitive phrases like “boat insurance”, “boat loans”, and “boat warranty”. Their goal was to get more traffic for these product categories.

  • #9 on Google for “boat loans”, which is by far the most searched phrase in the boat financing category
  • Not Ranked in the top 50 on Google for “boat insurance”, which is searched more than boat loans

Boats.com was very clear about their primary goal; to achieve top 5 or Top 10 rankings on Google for their primary keywords.  All other rankings increases would be considered a bonus.

Boats.com used java server pages (.jsp), and the site was completely dynamic. In addition, they used SSL for security as soon as the user leaves the home page. This site structure posed two unique problems that made the site’s interior pages inaccessible to search engine spiders. In addition, these pages had very little text content on them, and even less keyword density in the text content that did exist.

The Solution
Since none of the website’s interior pages were getting indexed by search engine spiders, the chances of ranking for keywords targeted on those pages was very small. So the first part of the solution was to build out the front end of the site by using static URLs (like http://www.boats.com) so that pages would get indexed by search engine spiders. In addition, we added keyword-rich content at the proper density levels to each of the pages. Of course, SEO Inc. then completed a themed optimization of each of the pages.

The Results
This client is extremely pleased with the results of the campaign. They have achieved TOP 10 rankings for the 4 most important keywords (boat loans, boat insurance, boat warranty, and boat shipping) without losing their #1 ranking for the keyword “boats”. These new rankings have given the site previously unprecedented visibility for their financial product categories and couldn't be done without any other SEO company.