SEO Case study – Salt-Watersandals.com
By Dina Akhmetzhanova
Sunsansandals.co.uk is the UK wholesale and online retailer of the American heritage brand Salt-Water Sandals offering a range of sandals for women and children. Over the years the site has built domain authority of 29 (out of 100) and some limited visibility for terms related to Sun-San range and children sandals. However they have to face fierce competition from other Salt-Water sandals distributors.
Sunsansandals.co.uk wanted to appeal equally to adults and kids and reposition itself as more grown up retailer. In 2014 they commissioned Diligent to build a new e-commerce site and develop online marketing strategy to help them with their objectives on a new domain Salt-watersandals.com. However Salt-Watersandals.com had no prior history or backlinks and those had no domain authority or visibility in search.
Only 6 months into the campaign the new site enjoys higher visibility in Organic search than the old site or nearest competitors. Salt-watersandals.com ranks for hundreds of high search volume generic keywords. The site traffic grew by 33.4% year on year overshooting the target of 25%. It has already generated 64% more in revenues than in the whole of the previous year mainly through Organic traffic.
- Minimise the negative effect of re-launching site on the new domain name.
- Build up the domain authority of the new site to at least 29 by March 2016
- Increase Organic Search Visibility
- Get it ranked for a wide range of relevant product keywords
- Increase the FB followers to 3677,
- Increase Intstagram followers from 621 to 14,000
- Build up client’s email database
- Increase the traffic to the new site by 25% year on year in the first 6 months
- Increase revenues by 50% by March 2016
Diligent conducted thorough competitor analysis and identified the list of target keywords relevant for new domain and Salt-Water product range. In order to avoid sharp drop in visibility and traffic Diligent recommended launching the Salt-watersandals.com as a blog on the current Sunsansandals.co.uk, while the new site design was developed. In the 3 months prior to the launch of the new site on Salt-watersandals.com we managed to increased its domain authority to 19 and started ranking on 3rd and 4th pages for a wide range of sandal related terms.
At the launch of the new site Diligent migrated the blog without changing it URL structure. We also created and implemented 1 to 1 redirect for all the listing pages and product pages on the old site. We identified and manually transferred all the valuable sunsandals.co.uk backlinks to the new site.
The new site was optimised for target keywords and followed all the best SEO practices to ensure site accessibility and prevent duplicate content issues.
Post launch we supported our on-page and technical optimisation by blogger outreach and social media campaigns to help ranking for selected target keywords. Social and Blogger outreach also fulfilled important function of increasing brand awareness, driving traffic and growing client’s social media following and email database.
Among other things Diligent recommended and helped to form strategic partnerships with kindred brands like Marine Conservation Society, Wilderness Festival to capitalise on these brands social media following and form positive brand association. Diligent also used content marketing by creating and curating editorial content on Salt-watersandals.com site and social media.
To capitalise on the traffic of new visitors from editorial and social activities we used retargeting display and Facebook advertising. The customer acquisition campaign was seamlessly integrated into tailored personalised email campaign to target newly acquired visitors and turn them into paying customers.
6 months from the launch of the campaign Salt-watersandals.com achieved incredible domain authority of 33 overtaking some of their closest competitors and the domain authority of the old site. It ranks now for over 300 generic sandals related terms. The new site received hundreds of new backlinks and social shares. We added several thousands followers to their Facebook, several hundreds to Twitter and Instagram. As the results of our engagement campaigns we added hundreds of new contacts to their email database. The high opening rate, zero unsubscribes and conversion rate from the tailored email campaign targeting new subscribers indicated high quality of the mined data.
Despite wetter summer, negative impact of migrating the site to new domain Diligent managed to achieve and exceed clients’ expectations and set objectives. With only modest budget for retargeting and Facebook advertising we not only achieved increasing brand awareness and driving new consumers to the site we turned these new leads into loyal customers.