1. Improve Site Quality
Before you start trying to improve a specific page, what if there’s a single change you could make that impacts 30% of the website? Or even 100% in some cases?
This is what we call our site quality stage.
Now for Yard Butler, this is less drastic than some of our other clients. They had about 15 collections, so minimal accidental issues. But we still found some opportunities.
They had 50+ blog tag pages. That’s a high proportion of low quality pages for such a small site.
And every single product internal link was pointing to a canonicalised URL:
They also weren’t properly leveraging their products for internal links, like breadcrumbs:
These are a huge ranking factor. Now every product has an internal link to at least one collection, an easy win with programmatic SEO.
Similarly we added these tag style links that programmatically links to every collection that a product is part of:
There were also 10-20 old blog posts that had no keyword research and no traffic, that we removed from the site to keep the quality high i.e. content pruning.
Beyond that, it was your typical SEO clean up work. Redirecting 404 pages, fixing internal link issues, and addressing keyword cannibalisation such as the “Garden Hose Reels & Storage” page overlapping with the “Garden Hose Reels” page.
The impact of this is difficult to measure independently as we made other changes simultaneously, but we’ve consistently found that better internal linking structures have performed exceptionally well for our clients.
2. Expand Bottom of Funnel
Now the site is rocking, it’s time to add real opportunities. What keywords are missing? As in, what are people searching for that your website doesn’t target as keywords?
After discussions with the Yard Butler team, we mutually decided that garden hose reels were the best focal point for their campaign. Their hose reels have an average retail price of $194, it’s their best selling product type, and as keywords they represent tens of thousands of monthly searches.
What we do is extrapolate this single topic into many different searches.
For instance, on a single page someone may search for “garden hose reels” or “hose reels”.
But other searches may be more specific, requiring another page for optimal SEO:
- Wall-Mounted Hose Reels
- Heavy Duty Hose Reels
- Portable Hose Reels
Creating additional collections for these allowed us to properly target them and achieve rankings like top 4 for “heavy duty hose reel” with 900 monthly searches and #2 for “hose reel parts” with 600 monthly searches.
3. Optimise Bottom of Funnel
At this point, we’ve improved the overall site quality and expanded the SEO potential by adding new pages. But that really isn’t going to drive significant growth for their main keywords. And their main keywords showed serious potential.
- “Hose Reel” has 56,000 monthly searches.
- “Garden Hose Reel” has 26,000 monthly searches.
- “Hose Reel Cart” has 9,900 monthly searches.
Don’t be mistaken, the competition for these keywords was David and Goliath level difference. The “Hose Reel” keyword is dominated by Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, Walmart, and other big box retailers.
But there was one shining light, somehow Eleys were pulling off a first page ranking. If they were pulling it off, we could too.
To pull this off, we needed to show Google that we are an authority on hose reels. That means content on the collection pages:
It also means content off the collection pages. We published a lot of it, each time linking back to the hose reel collection:
- How to Repair a Garden Hose Reel
- How Does A Hose Reel Work
- Hose Reel Parts
- How To Set Up A Hose Reel
- How to Install a Hose Reel
The point here isn’t to necessarily rank this content, though some of it did, the point is we need this topic to show topical authority, which then allows the main collection to rank.
Did it work?
On the 18th June 2023, we finally hit page 1 for “hose reel”. “Garden hose reel” was slightly quicker, hitting the first page on 3rd June.
Both of these keywords went from position 40+ when we started, and now competing against some of the biggest retailers in the world.