Gulf Eye Center SEO Case Study

by Karl Tablante • Updated: December 16, 2020

Gulf Eye Center Logo

Operating the heart of Dubai’s downtown, Gulf Eye Center is the premier LASIK and eye surgery destination in the MENA region. Although Gulf Eye Center is a local market leader, a heavy reliance on passive word-of-mouth marketing meant a steady decline in business over the years.

SEO Sherpa was approached by Gulf Eye Center when their newly designed website failed to meet its intended objective – competing with the clinic’s digital-savvy competitors. 12 months after choosing our Standard SEO Package, our client saw some tremendous growth in SEO performance: 

  • 326% increase in leads
  • 69% organic traffic improvement
  • 75% boost in Share of Voice
  • Generated an estimated AED 24 for every AED 1 invested in SEO

About Gulf Eye Center

Founded in 2012, Gulf Eye Center had long established itself as a leading eye specialist clinic in Dubai and the surrounding emirates thanks to its international team of highly qualified eye specialists and doctors.

female opthalmologist

Since its founding, Gulf Eye Center has been responsible for introducing new treatments and procedures never seen in the MENA region like Crosslinking and Orthokeratology. As a cutting-edge facility, Gulf Eye Center was able to lean on word-of-mouth referrals to bring in patients.

Even though Gulf Eye Center was the foremost centre for specialised eye care procedures, the clinic’s online presence was severely limited. Having extremely low visibility in search engines meant Gulf Eye Center struggled to compete with new digital-savvy competitors. 

To address this shortcoming, the clinic designed and built a new website. While more visually appealing than its previous iteration, the website was poorly optimised for search engines or conversions. The content produced by the clinic struggled to get the necessary traction and attention from its intended users and audience. 

In order to effectively compete in an increasingly Google-first age, Gulf Eye Center partnered with SEO Sherpa. As their SEO agency, our task was to enable Gulf Eye Center to cut into their competitor’s online market share and gain ground in Google’s SERPs. 

While Gulf Eye Center had a spartan SEO budget, we were confident in our ability to deliver on expectations. 

The Campaign Objectives

Despite being a well-established market leader for specialised treatments like “Orthokeratology” and “Keratoconus Correction,” a lack of online visibility meant Gulf Eye Center had lost market share to more prominent competitors.

At the time of partnering with Gulf Eye Center, the clinic had little to no presence on Google’s first five pages.

Our primary objective with this project was to recapture the Gulf Eye Center’s position as the foremost experts in these primary procedures. This meant our client had to own these terms in search before taking on more generic “eye doctor” keywords. 

By owning these key terms, our client would be able to drive more qualified traffic to their site via organic search. 

The second goal of our campaign was to address the lack of patient-led conversion focus of the site. While the newly built website was well-designed, its content was thin and failed to convert visitors due to an absence of call-to-action messaging. 

A strategic approach to content creation and development would allow Gulf Eye Center to increase website conversions and generate a predictable stream of inbound customers, replacing the business’s passive word-of-mouth referral system.

The Campaign Strategy

Our strategy to increase visibility and generate more qualified traffic for our client was focused heavily on enhancing website trust. In light of Google’s recent Medic Update, we emphasized E-A-T optimisation, expert content, and quality link signals.

First, we needed to address critical technical factors. 

The Gulf Eye Center’s redeveloped domain resulted in indexation issues from duplicate content and broken links. We knew that the website had historically ranked well. By fixing the domain’s technical problems, an immediate boost to rankings could be realised.

Next, we had to focus on the factors affecting website useability and trust. 

The newly designed site lacked strong E-A-T signals, which are pertinent to websites in the medical field. Adding patient testimonials, accreditations, and expert content would strengthen E-A-T, which would result in increased conversion performance and rankings.

Finally, we set out to reorganise the navigation structure and optimise the site’s UX to aid patients in finding the content they required. Link acquisition via email outreach was also performed to allow our client to generate quality backlinks. 

The Execution – Technical and UX

Elevating E-A-T factors, calls-to-action, and conversion page discovered required an improved homepage user experience. We enhanced UX and overall crawlability by:

  • Redesigning header and footer site elements to promote trust factors like featured-in logos, customer testimonials, and team information.
  • Restructuring the website’s menus to incorporate all primary services, channelling users and link equity to the site’s conversion pages.
  • Scaling images, browser caching, and compressing code, making significant improvements to page speed. 
  • Implementing Canonical tags and 301 redirects which addressed duplicate content issues, nullified link dampening, and fixed redirect chains.
  • Fixing numerous broken image links on the site’s blog page.
Gulf Eye Center's Website Redesign

The Execution – Content

To maximise essential E-A-T signals and highlight Gulf Eye Center as a trusted healthcare provider, we merged content best practices with medical expertise. 

Here’s how we executed this objective:

  • Created extensive content for 34 core service pages through data-driven keyword research, TF-IDF, and LSI keyword analysis which allowed the site to optimize ROI, distribute cost, and meet the bottom of funnel search-demand most likely to convert. 
  • Built a content calendar using our proprietary framework, which uncovered the top-performing topics in Gulf Eye Center’s categories.
  • Closely collaborated with the clinic’s lead surgeon to regularly update the site’s blog with optimized, expert-reviewed medical content that reinforced E-A-T signals critical to the healthcare industry.
  • Optimized content to target rich answer opportunities and rich snippet listings.
Gulf Eye Center's Updated Website Content

The Execution – Promotion

Careful deployment of link building via email outreach resulted in our client winning 46 unique referring domains from relevant sites. We won highly authoritative links by:

  • Focusing primarily on guest posts and link reclamation.
  • Targeting health and wellness websites, mommy blogs, and lifestyle blogs with content contribution pitches to control the destination URLs of links.
  • Participating in email outreach under a company spokesperson’s name to leverage Gulf Eye’s brand equity and improve the email response rate. 
  • Targeting highly qualified category pages and relevant blog pages using a mix of exact match and partial match, plus branded anchors.
  • Claiming the company’s Google My Business account, building local citations, and fixing many citation inconsistencies.
Gulf Eye Center's Promotional Outreach Example

Gulf Eye Center Campaign Results

When the site redesign failed to meet expectations, we sought out to address the site’s technical and search optimisation issues. By the end of the SEO campaign, our client saw significant increases in leads and sales.

Gulf Eye Center's Referring Domain Results

After increasing the total number of referring domain counts to the client’s site from 63 to 98 between October 2019 and September 2020,  keyword rankings and position in Google’s search experienced a tremendous uplift. Towards the end of the campaign, Gulf Eye Center was ranked amongst the top positions for their primary specialisations.

Gulf Eye Center's Keyword Positions Results

Share of Voice also saw considerable growth. From the start of the campaign to its end, Share of Voice grew by 75%, from 180 to 314, for the site’s most important keywords. 15% of the client’s primary keywords successfully ranked in the top 3 positions of Google’s SERPs.

Gulf Eye Center's Share of Voice Results

Despite a market decline during COVID-19, Gulf Eye Center’s organic impressions continued to grow steadily. Strong SEO results also helped to increase organic sessions and conversions. Organic sessions increased by 69.26%, and organic lead conversions grew from 41 to 175, an impressive 327% boost.

Gulf Eye Center's Organic Impressions Results

By the 4th quarter of the campaign, we were generating an estimated AED 24 in sales for every AED 1 invested in SEO – a remarkable return on investment. 

Gulf Eye Center's Conversions Results

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James Reynolds

About the author: James Reynolds is passionate about helping you get more traffic and sales from search engines.


About the author: Karl Tablante is the Inbound Marketing Manager for SEO Sherpa, a top-rated organic SEO agency that lives and breathes all things search.

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