Case study - Seema Malhotra MP

Seema Malhotra is Labour MP for Feltham and Heston, former Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and member of the Commons Select Committee for Exiting the European Union. 

The brief

I was commissioned by Seema to undertake an SEO audit of her constituency website (link) in 2017 in order to identify opportunities for technical optimisation and content enrichment.

My work

Labour MPs have all of their constituency websites built using a proprietary software, managed by outside contractors. This limited the scope of my work somewhat as many substantial issues (the lack of adequate caching, slow performance, poor responsiveness) resulted from the specifics of the platform and where not easily resolvable. This being the case, I focused my work on 'quick wins' that would still offer demonstrable improvements in the site’s SEO.

Technical audit

My recommendations included the following:

  • Implement the canonical URL element pan-site so as to guard against the risk of duplicate content
  • Prime most important content and pages for regular indexation via XML sitemap, and meta-robots instructions
  • Set up appropriate schema markup related to Seema as a public figure and MP to promote accurate indexation and an updated Google Knowledge graph and to help different user groups (primarily constituents and media organisations) find the content they need
  • Set up SSL certificate in order to implement HTTPS.
  • Implement more robust horizontal linking to reduce siloed and poorly indexed content

Content and information architecture

My recommendations included the following:

  • Fully integrate social media channels with the constituency site
  • Implement social media platform markup (e.g Twitter cards and Facebook OpenGraph) for long-form content so that it can be easily syndicate across channels in rich format.
  • Overhaul and strip-down the primary and secondary navigational schemes so that they offer a much simpler and clearer presentation of content that does not needlessly replicate itself
  • Better integrate third-party content (Commons’ speeches, press articles and interviews) with the constituency site
  • Respond in an adequate and timely manner to user engagement (comments via the site and social channels).

Conclusion

My recommendations were well received. Content and CMS-related tasks were passed on to the website maintainer for implementation. Technical recommendations were shared with the platform providers, for implementation at their convenience.