WTM Digital’s goal was to craft and employ an SEO strategy that aligned with the client’s desired results; to recover from a Google Penalty, better compete with well-known competitors, increase traffic and conversions, and improve online rankings before the Holiday Season. The client was suffering from a Penguin penalty and struggling to recover the “eye makeup” related keywords, thus heavily influencing the traffic to their website. The client was also affected by a toxic backlink profile, which led to the penalty.


WTM Digital initiated the campaign with an in-depth research and discovery phase, which allowed WTM Digital to gain an extensive understanding of the client’s business, background and market. While working closely with their Marketing Director, extensive keyword and topic research established the building blocks for the link building strategy. A technical onsite audit was completed, however due to website platform transitions and implementing a site redesign, the recommendations were not implemented immediately. WTM Digital continued to work with the client to provide recommendations in phases for the current site and the new site build.

Equipped with a short time frame, our team put together a three pronged disavow campaign to address the backlink issues. Our first step was sending out link removal requests to all of the websites we identified to be harming their website. These requests were sent twice and all responses, or lack thereof, were carefully recorded. Our second step consisted of crafting a reconsideration request that was submitted to Google’s webmasters. During this process, our third prong of the disavow strategy was to continue building new, relevant and healthy links through blogger outreach, product reviews/giveaways and fresh content creation.


As with most cases of websites hit with a Google Penalty, recovery took time but in a few short months, our strategy succeeded as traffic and revenue recovered for the Holiday season. During their most important time of the year, organic traffic increased approximately 30%, revenue had improved 70%, and their rankings were beginning to recover. Placement were earned on high value publications, often trafficked by their target demographic.

Results in Action

Total users increased 40%, with 40% more traffic attributed to new visitors.

Since this website was a cosmetics ecommerce site, the company was very focused on increasing their total revenue. Our main goal was to increase the the total transactions and revenue during the Holiday season, since they had struggled in the prior year’s Holiday season. While total users were up vs. prior year, organic revenue also improved, growing by over $100,000.

Case Study Highlights

Industry: Cosmetics


  • Increase traffic
  • Increase transactions and revenue
  • Recover their keyword rankings, with emphasis on the “eye make up” category


  • Organic traffic increased 30% vs. prior year
  • Ecommerce conversion rate increased 12% vs. prior year
  • Revenue increased 88% vs. prior year