Friday, March 16, 2007

SEO Case Study: Borthwick Castle

We have recently starting doing some work with Borthwick Castle to help them improve their online presence. We are in the early stages of the work but I thought it was worth detailing two problems that we see a lot of websites suffer from.

Ensure that each page has a unique title

The first thing we tackled was to update the title tags of the pages. Like many many websites out there the title of every page was the same. - By updating the titles to describe the content on the particular page we are giving more information to the search engines about what that page is actually about.

The Castle, like many others is available as a wedding venue. Previously the page that talked about the weddings (like every other page) had a title of Borthwick Castle Hotel. By updating this title to Scottish Castle Wedding | Civil Ceremony or Religious Wedding | Borthwick Castle we are able to convey more about the context of the page not only to the search engines but also to the users of the website. Rather than the title implying the page is about Borthwick Castle Hotel, it is now being far more specific, telling people the page is about Scottish Castle Weddings and that they offer Civil or Religious Ceremonies. The very least this does is to give the listing in the search engines more chance of attracting people who are looking to get married in a Scottish Castle.

Ensure that there is only one URL for any page of the website

The search engines don't like duplicate content. Many websites are damaging their website by having more than one way of getting to the same page. The most common problem (and what we saw with Borthwick Castle) is multiple domain names all pointing to the same place.

In the case of Borthwick Castle, they had 4 domain names.


With help from Coline at The Black Cat Company (The Black Cat) we added a 301 redirect to all the domain names so that they all now redirect to This removes all the duplicate content, and should start to help them in the search engines.

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