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Today I am going to show you how we increased monthly revenue to £109,377 for an ecommerce store throughout Covid…
…despite the fact they are in the sports niche-
In fact we’ve been able to-
- Increase daily search traffic from 940 to 2,684
- Increase monthly transactions from 394 to 1,028
- Increase monthly revenue from £37,451 to £109,377 (£127,266 at peak)
How did my team at Search Logistics do that?
Well, keep reading and I’ll break down the complete strategy for you step by step!
What Will I Learn?
A Closer Look At The Case Study
The client is an ecommerce site in the sports industry that competes against many household names.
This wasn’t helped by Covid, especially after the UK’s lockdown announcement in March.
So we spent the first part of the year making sure the site was in the right position to benefit when lockdown restrictions were lifted.
What did work in our favour was that many companies reduced their budgets & SEO spend during the initial Covid panic.
This is what we did-
- Analyzed the competition
- Completed a technical SEO audit
- Fixed all of the problems we found
- And cleaned up the link profile
Challenges We Had To Overcome
The sports niche is a competitive niche with well-established brands with big-budgets dedicated to their marketing campaigns and website.
However, this isn’t the first time we have had to overcome such problems.
In this case, our main goals were to rank for the specific brands our client sells by building a cleaner on-page structure focused on driving authority to the top converting pages.
But when we first took the site on there were a number of problems to deal with like:
- Low-quality link profile
- Poor internal linking
- Missing and/or duplicate content
- Poor keyword research
- Weak on page optimisation
Plus – the website wasn’t particularly user friendly either which led to poor bounce rates, engagement and conversion.
Interested in ecommerce? Check out these ecommerce statistics.
Creating A Plan Of Attack
So with an uphill battle ahead of us…
…we put a 6 step strategy in place to guide us to search success!
Based on client feedback, the first thing we looked at was the backlink profile.
Ideally we like to see relevant links with a healthy mix of exact match, partial match, branded and generic anchor text.
But our client had a cluttered backlink profile with many domains that were not only irrelevant but very low in their quality.
To combat this problem, incremental updates to the disavow files were made in March, April, June and July on all variations of the client’s domain in Google Search Console.
This helped us to exclude the toxic links Google associated with the client.
We specifically looked for:
- Domains with no authority.
- Targeted anchor text.
- Total number of backlinks from any single domain.
- Traffic statistics of those domains linking to the client’s domain.
Don’t know how to disavow your bad links? Learn how to disavow backlinks step by step.
Step #2 – On-Page SEO
During our analysis we found that competitors category pages were ranking almost at will, but our clients category pages were not.
Because competitors were including complemntary excerpts of text on their category pages to supplement the products listed on the page.
This was a small but crucial difference that were allowing competitors to clean up.
Adding content to your category pages is essential for 2 reasons:
- They provide context to the user in terms what or how to buy.
- They help search engines to establish the topical relevance they need.
In some cases our client had added keyword stuffed content to category pages previously, but it was hidden and way over-optimized by today’s SEO standards.
So instead we replaced all of that with content that assists people’s buying decisions with internal links to key pages, brands and products placed accordingly.
Then, we let the products on the page do the rest of the talking.
Check out my full SEO checklist for more content optimization hacks.
Step #3 – Internal Anchor Text Optimization
The client was not making the best use of internal anchor text opportunities.
In most cases they were linking to category, sub-category and product pages with generic anchor text like-
- See More
- View Now
- Click Here
And Google’s John Mueller went on record to say-
“The context we pick up from internal linking is really important to us… with that kind of anchor text, that text around the links. That’s really important to us.”
So it pains us to see internal links that use generic anchor text at scale.
In this case, we recommended that they use the exact keyword that the category, subcategory or product wants to rank for as anchor text where possible.
Step #4 – Technical Fixes & Implementation
Our technical SEO audit found a number of fundamental problems that we needed to fix in order to create a well-oiled site.
This included problems like-
- Adding relevant ALT tags
- Fixing internal 301 redirects
- Taking care of all 4XX errors
- Updating duplicate meta data
And so forth!
Although many of these are low level problems, lots of small problems quickly add up to a big problem so it’s important to take care of these as you find them.
We also worked to increased website speed across the board-
Because site speed is not only a ranking factor for Google, but for your customers as well.
Step #5 – Page Titles
One of the biggest weaknesses of the site was that the page titles were not including target keywords to cement the purpose of the page.
Ideally you want to do this as close to the start of the title tag as possible-
But this wasn’t the case for this client.
Instead they were using title tags that looked like-
Brand Name | Online Sports Shop | Order Now | Partial Match Keyword
Which left an awful lot of room for opportunity! So we went through the entire site and updated titles to be keyword focused with SEO copywriting in mind.
Step #6 – Heading Tags
Like title tags, the use of heading tags throughout the site was also problematic.
Not only was the structure often wrong, but they were under utilising the opportunities a correct header strucutre presents-
We went through each page and updated the header structure to be correct and to also increase the overall net of relevant keywords we captured.
This also helped to establish topical relevance, reduce cannibalisation across the site and streamline the customer journey.
The Results Are In
The site’s growth has been incredible-
And that is despite the fact they have had to fight off Covid lockdowns that had a huge impact across the sporting sector.
But more important than traffic growth, is revenue growth-
Because what good is hiring an SEO agency if they don’t add to your bottom line?
Overall we are proud to report that we-
- Increased daily search traffic from 940 to 2,684
- Increased monthly transactions from 394 to 1,028
- Increased monthly revenue from £37,451 to £109,377 (£127,266 at peak)
Which especially impressive given the competitive nature of the niche and the uphill battle we faced with lockdowns and the economy.
This is a case study we are particularly proud of because of how much we had to overcome!
Wrapping It Up
So there you have it.
How to grow organic traffic and revenue in a competitive niche during a pandemic and series of lockdowns against competitors with big budgets.
We didn’t do anything fancy or complicated. We just established a solid base that both Google and Humans love through technical audit and implementation.
Otherwise please feel free to check out some of our other SEO case studies-