24sata – a leading Croatian news outlet
As a prominent member of the Styria Media Group, 24sata has established itself as one of the largest media outlets in Croatia. With a track record in innovation, they were industry pioneers in introducing Croatia’s first mobile-friendly news portal and a mobile app. Recognizing the vital connection between technology and business in the media industry, 24sata always strived to stay at the forefront.
However, they encountered a perplexing challenge – following a website revamp and a transition from a multi-page app (MPA) to a single-page app (SPA) architecture, 24sata experienced a substantial drop in their web traffic. The pressing question that demanded an answer was – why?
Technical challenges affecting profitability
For news portals like 24sata, technological advancements and captivating content are essential for maximizing revenue through ad systems (PPC, PPV, etc.) and direct sales. Visitor numbers and retention are crucial as well. By delivering exceptional content and harnessing cutting-edge technology, portals can enhance the user experience (UX), boost traffic, and improve SEO rankings.
Despite unchanged content production, 24sata encountered a significant decline in rankings and traffic following their website revamp. The identified root cause was a technical issue, demanding swift resolution to restore their online traffic and, ultimately, profitability.
Our role entailed creating a detailed checklist of items to investigate further and providing estimated effort assessments for each item.
Extensive testing and a comprehensive checklist
To pinpoint the exact underlying issues, we conducted multiple rigorous infrastructure, backend, frontend and SEO tests within a controlled environment. Our investigation resulted in the development of a detailed checklist assessing the current state of each item, estimating the required efforts for improvement, and prioritizing based on their impact on SEO.
The outcome of this audit was a 160-page document, providing a roadmap for necessary improvements, recommended order of implementation, and a practical guide for seamless execution. This document served as a valuable resource, enabling any team to seamlessly implement our suggested changes using outlined findings.
The main issue behind 24sata’s SEO challenges was identified as a misconfiguration in server-side rendering (SSR) compounded by faulty frontend logic, which ultimately led to Google penalization.
They really wanted to help, and they got involved in the project. It was as though it was theirs too, not just ours. Finally, they managed to help us resolve the issue and bring our traffic back.