Case Studies

Case Studies: Optimization Strategy for Hollow Harbor Comics

Hollow Harbor Optimization

Case Studies: Hollow Harbor is an independent comic book publishing company responsible for the Tyrants comic. Their site runs on SquareSquare and is purely informational about their creators and comics. The SquareSpace platform made for an interesting experience to include in the case studies. I was contacted by them through a subreddit to look at their site and offer insights on their brand. Following my strategy, they are able to achieve a high grade on their SEO.

Case Studies SEO Holow Harbor Optimization

Case Studies: Where they were Going Wrong

Josh and Scott of Hollow Harbor reached out to me about tooling up their site to help them be better optimized for search engines. I performed a site audit and discovered they were in pretty bad shape and scored 7.4 for optimization, a perfect opportunity for Case Studies. They should have scored lower, but their sister site for Tyrants Comics added some backlinking on their subpages. The home page and main landing page were sorely lacking and needed triage.

Image Optimization

Most the images had either no ALT-Text or the ALT-Text was irrelevant. The most important part of displaying images in the digital medium is making sure that your images have relevant and beneficial ALT-Text. It is the only way that search engines can determine context about your image, site, and property. When the search engines are given the right data — your site can soar.

What I recommended to Hollow Harbor was a complete keyword strategy which they could reverse engineer from their image ALT-Text. After consulting the SquareSpace documentation, I was able to go into their site and make the appropriate changes to give them images some context. However, SquareSpace is extremely code heavy and all the ALT-Text in the world can’t reverse that. Look into my thoughts on SquareSpace SEO before choosing it for your comic’s website.

Another problem for comic creators on the web is the size and resolution of the images they need. While it is important to have a good product, not all images need to be 300 DPI for a clean looking size. To make up for the code heavy aspect of the Hollow Harbor site, I made sure to go through and compress any images that could stand it. This makes the site faster, easier to use, and more highly regarded by search engines.

Link Building

Worse than having poorly optimized images, the Hollow Harbor site had a poor linking structure. Without an easy way to navigate through the site, users will leave and find something more convenient. This type of thing can also increase your bounce rate on your subpages. A higher bounce rate is death for a website, so it’s important to make sure that the structure is designed well.

Despite having two sites and resources on Material Market, Amazon, and Comixology there were no outbound links for Hollow Harbor. Even worse, none of those resources pointed back to their website. I behooved them to fix this problem to have more juice passing links. While backlinking is not as important as it once way, it is very important to make sure that aspect of search engine optimization is not overlooked.

Another strategy suggested to Hollow Harbor was to create Guest Blogs. Content marketing is one of the most important things a start up can do, but I will discuss that further in the article.

Content Optimization

Most of the content for Hollow Harbor had not been optimized. There were no meta tags for their pages and they had not been connected to the Google Search Console. Most pages did not have the adequate amount of content either. Their home page, for instance was void of any meaningful content that showed they were a serious independent comic publishing company. This aspect of branding is very important and content marketing cannot be ignored.

SquareSpace imposed some limitations on their options for content. Because the site builder relies so heavily on Javascript coding — it becomes very bulky very quickly. To counter this, the site needed much more content to justify the bandwidth load their site was demanding. The content they produce, I reminded them, needed to be written with a keyword strategy in mind. I put together a list of keywords they should consider and instructed them how they can use the search engine spiders to their advantage.

Changes Made to Hollow Harbor

I revised everything I pointed out in their initial site audit and created a strategy for them to be more successful. Digital reputation is everything to an internet reliant company. Hollow Harbor was advised and aided to create the following strategies:

  • Keyword Strategy
  • Guest Blogging Strategy
  • Social Media Strategy
  • Image Constraints
  • Content Marketing with SquareSpace Limitations

Search Engine Optimization takes time and development which is why so many people become overwhelmed and frustrated by it. No one will be able to transform your site into a #1 keyword ranker overnight, but Comic Construct is a friend to comics and will not disappear on you. When you retain my services, you get a friend for life and your site will continue to be optimized.

Hollow Harbor had done a lot of things right. Their site was fully responsive for mobile devices with is a huge ranking signal. They had clearly put time and effort into their brand and their content was not too far away from having good on-page optimization. They have multiple social media accounts which are updated regularly and they were linked to the site. Tyrants had 12 reviews on Amazon webstore which lent credibility to their brand and was easy to incorporate into the site. Case studies for comic publishers are important to Comic Construct and will continue to be produced.