With 40 years of experience, IG is the No.1 global provider of financial spread betting and CFDs, holding a market-leading position in countries including the UK, Australia, Singapore and France.
A couple of years ago, IG were tasked with overseeing the successful migration to a .com address. Following the initial migration, many of their other sites have been gradually moved in the form of ongoing ‘mini migrations’. Previously, each territory had its own website with a localized domain (ccTLD). Now, the team needed to migrate all the local markets onto the top level domain (gTLD): ig.com. For example, igmarkets.de would become ig.com/de.
They wanted to ensure that the new domain was not affected by the errors that tarnished the old site. These errors might include redirects, 404s or even previously legitimate attempts at SEO that would now incur a penalty.
A further point of concern for the team when implementing this new sub-directory structure was their hreflang implementation. IG wanted to provide a great user experience and therefore serve users content in their own language, but there are also a number of legal implications. Certain content could not be showing to users in locations such as Germany, which have strict laws about activities like spread betting.
IG decided to use DeepCrawl to help with the migration. First, they used the hreflang tag reports to discover which tags had been implemented correctly, which were incorrect and which had no tags at all.
IG knew that the UK was their biggest market, so they decided not to risk initially testing new implementation there. Instead, each task was carried out on a smaller market, the effects carefully measured and if successful, they were gradually rolled out across other territories at a later date.
They also performed XML sitemap audits by combining their Google Analytics data with crawl data and drilling down in the Universal Crawl report. This way they could be sure the sitemaps correctly referenced the respective hreflang tags.
IG have correctly implemented hreflang tags and can rest assured that they are compliant with financial trading laws in the territories in which they operate; thus mitigating any risk to the wider business. In countries such as Germany, hreflang implementation has also helped IG avoid legal trouble relating to spread betting.
The SEO team at IG now rely on DeepCrawl for over 55 separate projects, including scheduled crawls that run bi-weekly or monthly, depending on the site.
“It makes us feel more reassured having DeepCrawl running. It’s easy to navigate, especially comparing the differences between crawls, meaning anything unexpected will jump out at you straight away. You’re always a bit nervous before a release happens because you’re not a developer and so to a certain extent you have to trust they’ve remembered all your recommendations.”
As soon as a site is pushed to production, IG use DeepCrawl to establish that the launch has gone smoothly. They continue to add new territories, and perform mini migrations on a regular basis to move all their content to the generic top level domain. The team still continuously crawls, checks, tests and tweaks until they are totally satisfied with the site’s architecture.