The brief

When a popular footwear retailer approached Search Laboratory, they were already dominating the fashion sneaker market. However, they were noticing that their competitors were edging ever closer to them in the organic SERPs and did not want to get complacent and allow other brands to start to impede on their market share.

The client had also noticed that after steady improvements in their organic visibility, their growth had plateaued, and they did not want to stand still for long.

We were chosen to help them improve their organic visibility due to our deep understanding of intricate technical SEO, which the client hoped would unlock even greater potential for their site and grow the revenue achieved through their organic listings.

85%

increase in organic search visibility

44%

increase in organic search traffic

91%

increase in organic search revenue

The strategy

The retailer’s core demographic is male and aged between 18 and 34 and has an interest in fashionable footwear.

Our strategy to address the issue of organic visibility was to conduct a thorough technical audit of the site to find any potential quick-wins that could enhance the website’s performance in a short period of time. It was hoped that these marginal gains would affect the client’s bottom line as the site was, on the surface, technically perfect. The team had to concentrate on finding errors that were not apparent at first glance.

The implementation

One of the technical SEO discovery questions our team had for the client was whether the site, or part of it, had ever been served on a different URL. The client side team did some internal searching and discovered that the site had been previously served on a different URL over a decade before.

Our team then analyzed these old URLs to find that they had hundreds of links pointing to them and they had not been redirected to the live site. This meant that the current site was not benefiting from the authority that these links had bestowed on the redundant URLs. Redirecting these old URLs to the current site created a real boost to the site’s authority and rankings in one action, that had not been identified as an opportunity in the ten years these pages had been dormant.

Other technical SEO work

  • Changing the URL structure to mitigate the number of broken URLs that were created when products became out of stock
  • Uncovered an issue on the site in Javascript resources, leading to the discovery that the site could not be read by search engine crawlers
  • Team identified this quickly enough and prevented any loss of organic visibility
  • Optimized product page copy and meta descriptions across the site to ensure they avoided duplicate content issues
  • Implemented browser caching and minified objects on mobile devices to help site speed and mobile optimization issues

Results

Due to the competitive nature of the brand, many of the results were benchmarked against their biggest competitor.

In September 2017, our client’s domain authority was tied with its biggest competitor, at 48. By unlocking the links and ensuring search engines could crawl the whole of the site, the domain authority increased to 57, while their competitor’s only grew to 52.

By redirecting the old URLs, the website’s followed linking domains increased significantly. In September 2017, our client was being outshone in links by its competitor (our client had 1,600 and their main competitor had 1,800). By the end of the six-month engagement, the site had 4,400 links pointing to the site, the majority coming from the redirected pages, while their competitor now had 2,600.

  • An increase in organic search visibility of 85% (2.5 million impressions in September 2017 to 4.6 million in March 2018)
  • A considerable increase in organic search traffic of 44% (sessions increased from 4.1 million a month in September 2017 to 5.9 million in March 2018)
  • An increase of 91% in organic search revenue (from $3.4million in September 2017 to $6.5million in March 2018) This was also a 22% increase on the previous year proving that this was not just a seasonal fluctuation.