Seven Brothers SEO Case Study

seven brothers logo

Seven Brothers, often styled as sevenbro7hers, are craft beer brewers from Salford. As the success of their beer grew, they also opened up several physical beer houses across Manchester.

I do not have any access to their website nor have I had any conversations with them at this time. I simply wanted to have an initial look over their website and identify any areas that could perhaps be worked on. Nor am I aware of any wider technical issues or previous history of the site in regard to any migrations that may have taken place. 

Below is simply a very top-level analysis.

Seven Brothers Initial Findings

To do this I will only be using information that is publicly available and the tools that I personally have access to.

4xx Errors on Products: 

Of the 501 internal response codes encountered during the crawl, Screaming Frog found that 2.79% URLs returned a 404 error code.

These are mainly coming from the products section so there are several options that can be undertaken here, which I will cover later on.

Blog URL Structure: 

While the content on the site is good, the blog content is not under the URL structure I’d expect. For example, despite the fact that the blog is set up with the category https://www.sevenbro7hers.com/blog/, the posts do not have the /blog/ architecture in them. They are simply https://www.sevenbro7hers.com/the-craft-beer-movement-where-it-all-came-from/.

Website architecture is important to help Google understand the importance of pages on a website, as well as how equity should flow. It’s also helpful to users to help them navigate through the website.

Unoptimised On-Page SEO Opportunities: 

Page titles were good and included relevant target keywords, some of the lengths of these titles could be optimised though to ensure they are not cut off in SERPs and are making full use of the available space to encourage clicks.

Many meta descriptions are currently missing and seems to come from both the products as well as the blog content. Some meta descriptions are also longer than recommended.

Many images are also missing alt text which is something used by screen-readers and bots alike to help them understand the content.

There does not also appear to be much regularity to the posting of blog content, so I would suggest the creation of a content calendar. Adding regular content helps Google to see that Seven Brothers are regularly sharing fresh content and they are experts in the craft beer space and as such should be rewarded with better rankings over time.

External Duplication from Products: 

There is some externally duplicated copy, particularly in the product descriptions. It could be worth looking into how much of this content could be rewritten to make it unique as Google takes external duplication seriously and this could negatively affect their rankings.

Site Speed – Image Improvements: 

The page speed is looking ok, with a fully loaded time on GTMetrix of 6.2s (some room for improvement) and a total page weight of 2.11MB which is good to see.

Page speed is a known ranking factor, especially on mobile given the mobile-first index, so to facilitate further improvements there are changes that can be made with the images that are being used.

SEO Recommendations for Sevenbro7hers

image showing seven brothers beerHaving analysed the problems, the following solutions could be considered. It is entirely possible that some, if not all of these could be in the pipeline, or there could be other reasons why these issues remain.

In regards to the 404 errors on the products, it would be worth double checking if these products are simply sold out (which can return 404s depending on the eCommerce set up), or if the products are gone altogether. If this is the case, there are a couple of options. If there is a similar alternative product in place, you could 301 redirect to this. If not, consider redirecting to the main /seven-brothers-shop/ URL. Alternatively, if this would not make sense you could add a 410 code telling Google that this content is gone and will not be returning.

For the website structure, updating the posts to include /blog/ should be relatively simple to update within a WordPress website such as this. However, redirects would need to be added once done. Once implemented this would also help with the crawlability and internal linking of content.

It could be worth spending time to improve the page titles and meta descriptions that were flagged by the crawl. Well-optimised meta descriptions and titles provide context to both Google and users, and can improve rankings and click-through rate. Add alt text to images would also contribute towards this but would not have as large of an effect.

To improve the images as mentioned earlier, some of the images are being loaded in one size and then later resized in the HTML or CSS which is adding unnecessary lines of code. If the images could be loaded in the correct size to begin with then it would take less time to load these images.

Additionally, image compression could be used especially on those that are larger than 100KB (40+ of which were found by Screaming Frog) and should definitely reduce the overall time it takes for the Seven Brothers website to load.