Australian E-commerce SEO Case Study with Traffic Growth of 200%

Find out how Miromind delivered 200% traffic growth in one year to the Australian national store selling golf apparel and equipment.

About Project

Today e-commerce is a lucrative business in most countries worldwide, with projected e-commerce sales of over $25 trillion by 2020. The industry will continue growing and most top brands make their products available not only at their brick-and-mortar stores but online with door-to-door delivery.

Having a user-friendly website is important, however, to get sales you need customers to be able to find your website via search engines. Miromind’s case study of SEO for e-commerce website will demonstrate the best strategies and approach to optimizing e-commerce website for search engines and growing your sales.

The Evaluation

The website is an Australia-wide online store, selling golf apparel and clothes for men, women and children. Upon presentation, the website had poor onsite optimization and low organic search visibility (considering the overall potential of the niche). The website was missing out on plenty of niche keyword opportunities with commercial intent. It was evident that to ensure traffic growth, keyword expansion had to be performed along with on-site SEO and off-site SEO strategies.

Audit 

Before we implement any new changes, we need to make sure that all the pain points on the website are identified. Moreover, during the website audit, the strategy and processes are finalized. The audit should be performed using SEO tools backed up by manual checks.

Once the audit is done, it is important to eliminate the most critical issues both onsite and offsite. Although it might not be possible to fix all the issues, there is a huge variety of technical problems that can be fixed right after or in some cases during the audit.

During the audit, we have discovered plenty of issues, both from technical onsite and content point of view. The website had duplicate content issues, no optimized subheadings, poor on-site SEO, unwanted pages indexed by Google.

After the audit was completed and some critical issues (like duplicate content) have been fixed, we started the keyword research.

Keyword Research 

Everyone has heard of ‘keyword research’ and to those who do not have experience with SEO it seems easy – just check some popular keywords using the tool and that is it. However, this is not that simple.

The golf website structure was fairly standard: shoes/clothes and men/women. At first, we evaluated the products the website offers. When doing the keyword research, website restructuring, keyword diversification and content writing, it is crucial to gain in-depth knowledge both of the website and the niche itself.

To analyze the niche we performed competitor analysis. We identified top stores selling golf gear in Australia:

  • The keywords they are ranking for?
  • Are there any top giant stores ranking for golf-related keywords? High search volume keywords can be lucrative, but if you are competing with Amazon, Nordstrom or Macy’s for the same keywords, your chances of outranking are very slim. And as we all know:
  • What does their backlink profile look like? What anchors do they use? This helped us plan a backlink strategy of our own.
  • And most importantly: what does their website structure look like? How is their website organized, what categories do they have, how much text do they use and how is it optimized? All this will help imminently when you start your actual KW research process.

In our case, the keywords of interest had no real giants to be competing with, however, we did have other well-established e-commerce stores selling golf apparel as a competition. However, the good news was that the competition is fair and we will be able to compete for the most high-search-volume relevant keywords on Australian national search.

Once we were done with all the research, our heads were full of ideas for the best structure and targeting. And here starts the most interesting but the most complicated part: actual keyword research and clustering. You can use pretty much any tool for the keyword research. We prefer to use various tools plus our private keyword databases (no SEO specialist will ever reveal intricate details of their processes, sorry).

However, here is what you have to keep in mind:

  • Avoid keyword overlaps: each page should target a specific set of keywords. It makes no sense to have 20 pages targeting ‘golf shoes’. Firstly, you are confusing Google, secondly, your pages will be competing against each other bringing your rankings down. Thirdly, keyword cannibalization is still an issue!
  • Do not avoid low search volume keywords: for example, we noticed that there are searches in Australia for ‘winter’ golf shoes (Australians do play golf in winter). All of the keywords were really low search volume: winter golf shoes for women, winter golf shoes for men, golf shoes for rain etc. Separately, we might disregard these keywords. But when combined, these keywords can deliver a really targeted set of leads. These targeted leads are very likely to convert. Thus, creating a category for winter golf shoes with an optimized title, subheadings helped us bring in a fair share of highly targeted traffic with low-search-volume keywords.

We created a huge amount of golf-related clusters based on: brand, weather, gender, material and more with total search volume for each cluster. Then we went over the clusters, identified those that would deliver the most value (search volume is not always the deciding factor) and started working on the on-site spreadsheet and website wireframe.

Onsite Implementation 

Every SEO specialist has a different process. But here is how we did it.

We started drafting the wireframe during the audit/research stage. By the time we were done with keyword research we already had a finalized wireframe.

What is a wireframe? It is a diagram that demonstrates the recommended website structure. Every ‘page’ on this diagram has a set of keywords (this helps us avoid keyword overlaps).

Then we built a table which would contain current/recommended pages. Each page has to have a title and subheadings based on keyword research.

Once all this was done, we started implementation. At first, we optimized the existing pages with the recommended titles/subheadings, getting rid of the issues (multiple h1’s, non-SEO h2’s was the problem in our case).

At the same time, we started preparing unique descriptive content for the new pages, launching the new categories one-by-one. Categorization of products and niche targeting of problem/solution was the approach that we decided to go for.

The website is based on Shopify, so we ran into the issues that probably most Shopify users have (duplications, overlaps, indexing of unwanted pages). So to avoid having to fix these issues on the ongoing basis and negative impact on our work and progress, we developed a custom Shopify plugin that would automatically get rid of these issues.

Offsite 

We developed a strategic offsite plan, with diversified keywords and got rid of the toxic backlinks that we believed were doing more harm than good to the rankings. Offsite is an ongoing long-term process which does not deliver the results right there and then.

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Conclusion

The rankings and organic search visibility started improving right after stage one when we eliminated the most critical issues after the audit. Throughout the implementation phase, when we were gradually optimizing the pages, removing the overlaps and errors and introducing new categories for golf apparel, the rankings started climbing.

When the onsite optimization was complete and we started with the offsite strategy, we started seeing certain keyword combinations that the site has never ranked for appearing in top 10 results on SERP.

With the ongoing work, testing, tweaking, keyword expansion, the e-commerce store is experiencing confident growth: the website is ranking for more keywords while the website ranks in top 5 and 10 for the high most relevant high search volume keywords.

E-commerce is a unique niche which in our experience benefits from highly targeted product categories and in-depth keyword research with keyword clustering. Optimizing the website both for high-search-volume keywords as well as creating niche highly targeted product categories (which ultimately can display the same sets of products), delivers considerable traffic growth and high ROI.

Before we started working on the website, the most sales came from paid search. Currently, most of the website’s traffic and sales come from the organic search (55.4%):

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