Better Than Par in Competitive Ecommerce

 

Better Than Par in Competitive Ecommerce

The Challenge 

The online golf retailer space is becoming more and more competitive every year. There is also a growing market for golf equipment. Golf Datatech states, “According to the 2019 report, the golf equipment business grew by 4.1 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, reaching $8.41 billion.” With so much opportunity, but so much competition, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. Our challenge was to help one of the top golf retailers in the country continue to grow despite new online golf retailers popping up seemingly every day. To beat the competition and get a larger share of the growing pie, significant effort and granular focus was given to both SEO and Paid Search strategies.  

The Objectives

 

Objective #1: Increase SEO traffic by 5% year over year

Objective #2: Increase SEO transactions by 15% year over year

Objective #3: Increase SEO revenue by 20% year over year

Objective #4: Increase PPC spend while maintaining a 6 ROAS or better

Nominee - Best E-Commerce Campaign of 2019

Target Audience

Golf & Tennis Players & Enthusiasts, Friends/ Family of Golf/Tennis Players

Strategy

Our SEO & PPC teams worked with this online sporting goods retailer in the areas of both SEO and Paid Search. SEO: Focus efforts on optimizing product pages and structuring new products in SEO-friendly ways. Paid Search: Invest effort in the data feed to improve Google Shopping Ads. Continuous manual oversight was applied to produce strong results that justified an increase spend. This included consistent testing of ad copy, significant bid adjustments based on product popularity and profit margin. Use of in-house developed AI to make bidding decisions based off performance of products, audiences, devices, locations, and more to make the best use of media spend. This resulted in consistently surpassing our goal of a 600% ROAS while continually justifying increases in ad budgets and adapting to a dynamic product line.

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Increase in SEO Traffic

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Increase in SEO Transactions

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Increase in SEO Revenue

Implementation

On-Page Optimization, Existing Pages:

  • The SEO team focused extensively on optimizing current product pages in order to gain high rankings, generate more traffic, and increase sales.
  • Significant focus was given to the on-page product descriptions, H1 tags, meta descriptions, title tags, and alt text for images.

On-Page Optimization, New Pages:

  • The SEO & Content teams assisted with new product pages, creating a structure for the client to follow with content wire frames. This process helped the client differentiate their product descriptions from other golf retailers and ensure SEO best practices.
  • The content team also helped the client build and structure multiple special pages, such as a general gift page, ‘Cyber Monday’ and ‘Black Friday’ Page, in order to increase sales for different queries and holidays.

Additionally, the SEO team made multiple technical recommendations including:

  • Unblocking Google Mobile Bot Smart Phone user agent. The following user agent was being blocked, and unblocking it resulted in more mobile traffic: (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; Nexus 5X Build/MMB29P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/41.0.2272.96 Mobile Safari/537.36 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html))
  • Redirect mapping for site migration
  • Performance testing for site migration

The Results Were Amazing

 

This major national golf retailer saw huge increases in revenue through organic search. Additionally, despite early concerns that increase Paid Search spend would significantly reduce the ROAS, we were able to maintain a 6 ROAS with increased spend. This is a highly competitive space, with power brands like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Amazon, and Golf Galaxy. All these brands have huge budgets for digital marketing. We were able to not only compete but win market share in a highly competitive space.

 

 

 

  • Objective #1: Increase SEO traffic by 5% year over year: We increased sessions by 19.59% (from 3,191,012 to 3,815,999)
  • Objective #2: Increase SEO transactions by 15% year over year: We increased transactions by 32.93% (from 33,801 to 44,932)
  • Objective #3: Increase SEO revenue by 20% year over year: We increased Revenue by 36.11% (from $5,630,770.69 to $7,664,156.25)
  • Objective #4: Increase PPC spend while maintaining a 6 ROAS or better:
    • Spend for 2018 was $1,292,967.96 and revenue was $7,800,385.92 for an ROAS of 6.03 (This includes Bing)
    • Spend was increased by 27%

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Local Search for Retail

Local Search for Retail- Cavender’s

The Client Story

Cavender’s is a large regional western-wear retailer with 54 physical locations, as well as an Internet Retailer 500-sized web commerce operation. Privately owned, Cavender’s has grown to become the second largest seller of western-wear nationally and are strongly challenging the much larger chain Shepler’s.

Cavender’s worked with Apogee Results and achieved strong success in running profitable SEO and PPC engagements. Our work allowed them to outrank Shepler’s nationally on some incredibly challenging category and industry keywords such as “western wear” despite being outspent more than 5-fold by their larger competitor.

The Challenge

Although Cavender’s core online operations were performing strongly, the individual 50+ retail establishments were not getting visibility within Google Places for keywords other than the Cavender’s brand, therefore missing an opportunity to reach out to the millions of potential customers searching Google for a retail establishment where they could buy products such as “cowboy boots”, “western shirts”, and other similar items without the branded term “Cavenders”.

The Solution

Apogee Results worked with Cavender’s teams, both marketing and retail operations, to reconfigure the Google Places listings for each store, and also worked with the store locator pages on the main Cavender’s web properties. Our work included on-page efforts, link and citation building designed to give the Google search engine the appropriate credibility signals to display Cavender’s more frequently, and also some training materials to help local store operations encourage customer ratings and reviews at the local level, which is an important component of the local search algorithms.

Rapid Results

Cavender’s retail stores, within a very rapid time frame, saw their local listings show up in Google search for a broad range of desired product categories beyond simply the Cavender’s brand. These enhanced listings helped the retail / divisional executives at the company have trust and confidence in the corporate marketing team running the online campaigns, where before there had been a concern that the online group was possibly in competition with, and certainly not in full alignment with, the physical stores.