SEO promotion of a flash-sale project in the clothing niche

A case of how we have increased SEO traffic 2.4 times on a large project in 2.5 years.

Results:

  • 60% of keywords got the top 10 google
  • growth of organic non-branded traffic by 4.2 times
  • the overall growth of SEO traffic by 2.4 times

To be able to publish specific data we hide the name of the project by agreement with the company’s management

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Project: flash-sale clothes and household goods online store

Working period: July 2015 – November 2017

What was at the entrance:

  • site with a lot of branded traffic
  • 134.7 thousand branded organic traffic
  • 238.6 thousand total organics
  • promotions-sales pages that quickly go to the archive

What was the result:

  • static category pages that collect SEO traffic
  • 145.3 thousand branded organic traffic
  • 582.8 thousand total organic

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What was the task at the beginning:

At the beginning of the work, the project changed the model of attracting traffic from “fast and short-lived” pages of promotions-sales to a static catalog, like a regular online store, which could constantly generate SEO traffic

The main difficulties of the niche:

Google’s top is occupied by big competitors, who have entered this niche before us
The main traffic can be received by low-frequency queries, but you need to implement high-quality SEO filter optimization

What has been done during this period:

1. Semantic core and content

  1. Collected full semantics for all product groups

We collected semantic core iteratively, 20-30 priority categories in each month. After collecting semantics, we wrote meta tags and new texts. In this way, new optimized content was added to the site every month and there were no pauses in implementations.

Also, we removed or made unique duplicate categories.

  1. Created new categories for the site based on the collected semantic core and the selection of new clusters.

For example, if earlier there was only a “shoes” category, then after a detailed analysis we made such categories as “loafers”, “slip-ons”, “espadrilles”, etc.

  1. Optimized and opened for Google indexing filters that bring traffic

We optimized filters for colors and brands. Other filters remained closed for indexing not to waste the crawling budget and dilute the relevance of the site.

  1. Added additional interlinking.

Now the system automatically offers the user to buy a bag for shoes or a scarf for a hat. And we get an additional distribution of links mass on category pages.

  1. Rewrote or wrote texts for category pages

Experiments have shown that in the clothing niche, texts significantly increase the relevance of site pages and make it possible to reach the top for low-frequency queries. Texts were written for all categories of the site, and they received Google top positions

  1. Ukrainian version

We have collected Ukrainian-language semantic core, translated and adapted the meta-tags and texts, and also implemented the markup of the language versions through the hreflang meta-tag.

2. Internal optimization

After a technical audit, we found and fixed a whole list of problems:

  • errors in the implementation of the Ukrainian version: setting up hreflang, fixing the implementation through a 302 redirect, identifying incorrectly working language formulas
  • search and elimination of 404 pages that constantly appeared due to the peculiarities of the site implementation
  • writing technical specifications for the site filters, checking the task implementation by programmers, identifying emerging errors, and writing reports for their elimination
  • writing meta-tag templates for different types of filters and their intersections (in total, it was necessary to implement about 30 different meta-tag formulas, depending on the categories, selected filters, and language version)
  • search for constantly appearing duplicate pages with get-parameters, removing them from Google indexing through the robots.txt file and the meta-robots tag
  • check the site speed (google pagespeed, first byte), check the weight of images, and control the elimination of these errors

The main difficulty of this project was that each point of SEO optimization had to be constantly monitored and refined since errors often occurred, edits were not applied on the entire site, some improvements could “disappear” or not work. 

So technical audits often contained new iterations of improvements on the same points. In addition, it was important to change the methods of eliminating current errors on the site, depending on whether programmers could implement that specific task or not.

Working on such a large and complex project requires active and well-established interaction with programmers and the ability to change ways of solving problems.

3. External optimization

Since the project had good PR support, the main link mass was built naturally due to collaboration with the PR and content department. We created a plan for landing pages for links and anchors, and pass it to the content department, and we controlled the placement of links in articles and then on donor sites.

We also posted article links on high-quality donors, if we needed to build more links to specific internal landing pages.

At the very beginning of the work, we also posted links on thematic forums, but later we denied this practice since it was impossible to find high-quality, spam-free sites of sufficient quality.

We did not deal with direct outreach links, since all direct placement was implemented jointly with the PR department.

Conclusions on the project:

The best SEO result can be obtained in projects where there is a productive interaction with the client and where the client’s team develops the website and other marketing channels.

Note that the “success formula” in this project was:

  • active CMO work for project development and connection of all traffic channels, which contributed to an increase in brand traffic and site trust
  • well-coordinated work with programmers on the client side
  • the ability to add SEO links in high-quality and interesting informational publications of the client, which could not be got only with conventional SEO methods
  • implementation of optimized filters, adding new categories, and interlinking, which allowed us to create many landing pages that attracted additional SEO traffic
  • implementation of the Ukrainian-language version of the site, which allowed to get a significant increase in traffic with minimal effort

What was not implemented in this project (it is also a development zone for this and similar projects)

  • create a blog and systematically write blog content
  • start permanent filming of video content due to expensive production and delayed results
  • to implement individual filters for each type of product (for example, skirts – mini, midi, maxi, flared, narrow, etc.), they were only universal for all typical categories.

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