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iMotorbike SEO Case Study – How We Increased Organic Sessions by 39 Times in 1 Year

Let’s begin our content with the description of iMotorbike company;

“iMotorbike is the #1 motorcycles online classified-ads E-commerce website in South East Asia, providing a fast, secure, simple and trouble free online experience with a wide variety of product range, setting itself apart from what exists in the market. iMotorbike offers three main categories: motorcycles, parts and accessories.”

Website: https://imotorbike.my/en/

From June 2017 till now, Converged Asia achieved to increase iMotorbike website’s organic traffic by 39 times. Besides conventional SEO practices, we also aimed to deep dive into the website’s necessities and focused on tailor-made implementations to gain this success.

The snapshot above is taken from Google Analytics and date is filtered as showing the period between June 2017 and July 2018.

Here are the 5 sample methods we used/advised for the SEO success

1- Overall Page Speed Optimization – Time to First Byte & Rendering Time Improvements

2- AMP Implementation to Ad Pages

3- Number of Backlinks Increased from Relevant Websites

4- Correct Canonicalization & Efficient Crawlability

5- User-Friendly Website Redesign

1- Overall Page Speed Optimization – Time to First Byte & Rendering Time Improvements

For overall page speed optimization, time to first byte and rendering time improvements would be one of the quick wins you can obtain for SEO performance.

Time to First Byte(TTFB): This term is used to describe the responsiveness of your web server. TTFB measures the duration when a user’s browser makes an HTTP request and receives the first byte of the page.

Ecommerce websites like Lazada or listing websites like iMotorbike are fully dynamic websites. Since this is the case, the solution for optimizing time to first byte has to become Redis or Memcached usage.

With this usage and optimization, the graphs below show what happened;

The test is done using https://www.webpagetest.org/ and Singapore is selected as the location of the request.

Homepage Speed Optimization

  • Time to first byte decreased from 1.73 seconds to 0.23 seconds.
  • Start rendering time decreased from 4.22 seconds to 0.6 seconds.
  • Overall page load time decreased from 8.23 seconds to 4.69 seconds.


Main Page Speed Optimization

  • Time to first byte decreased from 1.18 seconds to 0.46 seconds.
  • Start rendering time decreased from 3.85 seconds to 0.7 seconds.
  • Overall page load time decreased from 7.73 seconds to 4.72 seconds.

If your website is not dynamically served and if you are using nginx server, it would also be rational to implement FastCGI caching.

Below, there are two materials for more info we recommend you to look for;

Nginx FastCGI Example

Optimizing NGINX TLS Time To First Byte

2- AMP Implementation to Ad Pages

Besides server-side optimizations, compressing images or other static resources to improve the page speed, we also focused on AMP implementation.

Generally speaking, most of the websites implement AMP to their blog pages. In iMotorbike’s case, besides implementing AMP to news contents, ad pages were also in our target.

Here you can find the example AMP ad page;

AMP Ad Page Example

The outcome became fascinating as organic clicks flowing to AMP pages increased significantly over time.

AMP pages’ share within all organic traffic is now around 35%!

3- Number of Backlinks Increased from Relevant Websites

While we compared iMotorbike website with local direct and indirect competitors, the number of qualified backlinks from 3rd party websites were quite low.

Therefore, from day 1 – we did not postpone any backlinking effort.

The list below contains what we have done specifically for backlink acquisition;

  • Created backlink strategy plan for the upcoming 1 year
  • Extracted Top 20 Google search results for each keyword we track, and filter the websites in terms of partnership potential
  • Detected each backlink that our local competitors’ gained, and tried to imitate the same approach to earn the same backlinks
  • Listed down related blogs, forums, news websites
  • Finally scored and prioritized the websites in terms of their SEO value
  • Created mail templates for outreaching
  • Gave training to iMotorbike about the whole process and how to execute it

Yes, it is a long process. However, when it is managed properly the result becomes like this;

refering domain increase



4- Correct Canonicalization & Efficient Crawlability

Our aim here was simply to optimize the number of pages that should be indexed on Google. When it comes to the wrong implementation of canonical tags, everyone knows that there will be indexation discrepancy on Google SERP.

That’s why we figured out solutions for the items listed below;

  • Canonicalization of Query Parametered URLs
    • For example for this URL -> https://imotorbike.my/en/ads/used?color=Yellow the canonical was pointing to itself.
    • Imagine all the potential filters and their potential to trigger new parametered URLs. All pages were open for indexation, and there were millions of them!
    • Therefore, we labelled filters as important and unimportant attributes. For unimportant ones, we recommended a canonicalization rule that would give the canonical link to their parent category.
    • For example, the canonical link for https://imotorbike.my/en/ads/used?color=Yellowbecame this <link rel=”canonical” href=”https://imotorbike.my/en/ads/used” />
  • Paginated URLs
    • For paginated URLs, all canonical links were pointing out to their parent category.
    • We recommended to use canonical links as self-reference and use pagination rules so that there will be more efficient crawl.
  • Canonicalization for AMP Pages
    • For AMP pages, canonical links point out to their original pages.
  • Canonical as Self Reference
    • Apart from the 3 rules listed above, each page has a canonical link pointing to its own URL

With this implementation, page crawled per day dramatically increased.

Although for some cases, this graph may not indicate the improvement.

However, in our case, while we decreased the number of pages, the number of crawlable and indexable pages increased. Therefore, it is a good sign of improvement.


5- User-Friendly Website Redesign

During the time when we were busy with crawl efficiency of the website, another topic we started to talk about was the redesign of the website.

You might have implemented all necessary technical SEO recommendations on your website. It may follow Google guidelines properly.

However, if you haven’t built up empathy for your users and thought what they are looking for within your website, waiting to get ranked for competitive keywords can be devastating.

The snapshot below represents the old website, and generally speaking, category navigation + filtration options were not that user-friendly.

Our SEO recommendation included putting all important categories and subcategories on the category navigation so that both users and bots can connect to important pages with less clicks.

URLs could not be generated with the old filtration, and again it was not that good when it comes to UX.

With the new filtration;

  • Bots can crawl filtered URLs (which means we had better internal linking)
  • Users easily surf on the website (which increased the number of pageviews and its percentage)


Ömer Yıldız About the author

I'm the founding partner of Converged Agency, the SEO agency focuses on startups around the world. Our services include SEO, Digital Research & Insight, and SEO workshops. Before Converged, I worked for Lazada Malaysia, iProspect Turkey and SEM. During my agency experience, I gave SEO consultancy to 50+ different companies including big enterprise firms and startups.

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