Supporting Codility's Growth with SEO

From live coding to technical whiteboarding, Codility are in the business of helping companies scale their development and technical teams – here’s how we’re supporting them to scale themselves.
Codility is a popular SaaS platform operating on the forefront of modern tech recruitment. Their product suite is designed to help hiring managers and recruitment teams source, screen and interview potential developers as part of the hiring process, providing a deeper level of transparency for candidates and companies alike. From live coding to technical whiteboarding, Codility's customers can manage the entire hiring process remotely, scaling their development teams with minimal overheads.
Recently having completed a successful round of funding, this promising scale-up approached us for support with a brand redesign and website build (which you can read all about here) to support their continued growth. As part of this project, we incorporated optimisation work to help present this new information architecture to the world through Organic Search and prevent any traffic loss associated with the relaunch.

Phase One: Migration Support

Migrating to a new website or platform is one of the most common reasons for organic traffic loss, and the team at Codility were fully aware of this and keen to avoid any negative repercussions from such a significant project. We agreed that the best course of action was a three-month pre and post-migration campaign, with considerable research and benchmarking before the launch, followed by eight weeks of technical support and optimisation.
We incorporate SEO into all of our products, but traditionally this activity will cease upon product launch, at which point responsibility for SEO is handed back to the client team. The approach we took with Codility enabled us to analyse their user data in detail and devise a quarter-long strategy of technical and content updates, which we reviewed at regular intervals to ensure we kept acquisition on track.
The Benefits of Client-Agency Integration
Another difference in the approach we took to this project was the level of cross-team integration between Codility & Tangent. Often when working on a consultative basis, respective teams maintain distance, which can slow down implementation and lead to significant dead time. By centralising all project management, communications and sources of truth, we were able to shorten the sign-off process down to as little as the same working day.
Codility's willingness to work with us in such an agile way was key to success, and during this initial launch phase–even with the added pressure of Covid-19 on the recruitment industry–traffic returned to pre-relaunch levels within four weeks, and has remained on a positive trajectory since.

Phase Two: Incremental Growth

While maintaining acquisition through a launch is hugely important, with a new information architecture and targeting strategy focusing slightly less on the ins and outs of programming and more on supporting those in the process of active recruitment, there remained a need for ongoing SEO.
The first phase of optimisation was purely about holding onto positions which drove the vast majority of traffic, of which, around 100 key terms were the most important. Obviously, there are limitations to the growth possible from such a limited list, and following a return to pre-relaunch acquisition, we set our sights on growing our audience.
Breaking SEO Down Into its Constituent Parts
In this second phase, we redirected our focus from pure technical optimisations to cover the three core facets of SEO: insight, on-site and off-site. Maintaining our existing, tight-knit inter-organisational workflow, the teams at Tangent & Codility devised a three-pronged strategy focused on acquiring these users through organic search, with active workstreams balanced between this collective resource pool.
While our goal was to diversify beyond purely technical terms and programming paradigms, one of the facets of this growth approach was the nurturing of partnerships with developer resources, educational websites and programming guides due to their importance as an avenue to use by organisations.
These off-site resources represent a significant proportion of Codility's acquisition, and to neglect these areas would be highly detrimental to continued growth. Rather than outreaching for spammy backlinks, this area of our strategy was designed to ensure that users from these institutions had access to tools–such as detailed guides and coding walkthroughs–that would benefit their users enough to link organically. In doing so, more than 50 new links have been naturally generated since the start of the campaign.
Developing New Audiences to Target with Content
To engage our new target audiences, we began with research. Hiring managers and CTOs have vastly different priorities to developers, and to understand these we started by investigating where they spend their online downtime, and what content resonates with them most. Above all, we found that the benefits to these stakeholders as individuals was a primary driver, with searches around process streamlining, speed and ease of use recurring throughout our research.
This led to the development of an extended keyword list and content strategy, which we're currently activating across the website and social media. This combined approach enables us to drive organic traffic directly from organic search, while also nurturing leads with decision-makers on LinkedIn, where our research identified clear opportunities, and benefiting from a ranking boost from Twitter discussions.
It's still early days for this campaign, but the results of this adaptive way of working are becoming apparent. In fact, every week since we started has been our best performing week to date.
Learnings from this Campaign
Across the campaign's phases, there's been one key learning that repeatedly presents itself: the importance of a close-knit client-agency relationship with clearly-stated and shared responsibilities. At its heart, SEO is a test & learn based exercise which benefits from a deep business understanding and the ability to quickly understand the benefits or drawbacks of changes to keep growth on a positive trajectory. Clients who understand where strengths lie between the agency-client partnership and take an agile approach to growth, such as Codility, are the clear winners.
If your brand is currently in the process of investigating agency-led SEO as an option, we'd strongly recommend keeping this in mind. Many organisations see the benefits of SEO without understanding the importance of their involvement, and end up paying a significant premium for less-than-premium benefits. The most effective strategies bring together brand experts from the client-side and optimisation experts from the agency side, who collectively drive their joint strategy forward.
Early signs for this campaign are promising, and we expect to be able to continue on our present trajectory for the foreseeable future. For more information on our SEO offering, or any of our digital growth products, you can explore these and more in detail on our capabilities page.