The case author: Evgen Gnedash, Leading SEO Specialist at ADINDEX
Service: Comprehensive SEO promotion
Client: Arhome.com.ua, an online store with a network of offline stores of designer furniture and home decor from Europe.
Task: Traffic and sales growth
Period: 8 months from March 2021 to October 2021
About the project (about the niche)
Arhome.com.ua is a store that offers exclusive products for modern home design helping to make it personal and unique. Arhome product range includes everything necessary to create a harmonious interior, such as lighting fixtures, designer furniture, decorations, carpets, interior textiles, and bedding. Direct deliveries from Europe allow the company to maintain a loyal pricing policy. Textile materials are manufactured in Ukraine. Arhome has its brand showrooms in Dnipro and Odessa.
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During the website analysis, we discovered that the main problem was the imperfect website structure. Not all the niche features were taken into account during the website development and, as a result, landing pages could match several queries simultaneously. Due to the fact that several queries “competed” on the same page, the search engine could not correctly understand what the page was about and for which query it had to be ranked. As a result, the main website categories were displayed at low positions and did not bring traffic.
Example. The “Decorative Mirrors” category simultaneously contained the “Designer Mirrors” and “Decorative Mirrors” keywords in its content.
As was said before, it is very important to understand the search query intent, i.e. how the search engine determines the user’s need and the query meaning. Queries and definitions, which at first glance may seem identical or similar in the user’s eyes, may be considered completely different by the search engine. This is exactly what happened in the Arhome’s case. The search engine distinguished the “Home Design” and “Home Decor” as different concepts and, as a result, formed different output for the respective queries. Example of search results for two different queries:
Based on the above, we proposed a strategy for the website structure optimization that provided for separating the “Design” and “Decor” concepts with different landing pages.
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Risks and difficulties:
The start of any new project is usually associated with more or less the same difficulties, such as certain distrust of proposals, especially if they relate to website restructuring. For the client, such improvements mean a need for making new investments and introducing changes to what already seemed ideal.
Therefore, it is reasonable to explain any proposed changes in figures. For example, what traffic growth the client will get if certain changes are made.
In our case, we saw that the client was losing a lot of output and traffic with landing pages simultaneously set for two search queries, “decor” and “design”. Therefore, we proposed to separate these two categories.
Fortunately, the client did not question our arguments on the search engine logic and accepted our proposals on website optimization, and we further reinforced our theory with specific forecasts of traffic and position growth, as we had confidence in our approach and were not afraid to take risks and assume the responsibility.
The result was triple growth of sales!
Having agreed on the proposed approach with the client, we got to work. What was done?
- Semantic core determination
Since our main strategy was to change the website structure, we followed a logical approach and started with a full determination of the semantic core. After that, we determined which categories need to be divided into separate directions. Afterwards, keywords served as the basis for forming a friendly URL, elaborating the content and creating relevant meta tags on the website pages.
- Website structure optimization
The work on the website structure optimization was performed in several stages:
1. Creating new landing pages
We elaborated the logic of differentiating search queries between old and new landing pages in the website structure, being guided by a simple principle of not breaking mechanisms that are already working. For the pages to be separated, it was decided to preserve queries with better positions unchanged and to direct queries with lower positions to a new landing page. This approach allowed us to minimize the risks when making global changes to the website.
An example from this project:
Initially, the page ‘Decorative and designer mirrors’ – https://www.arhome.com.ua/zerkala – was ranked better for the query “Decorative”. Therefore, as was already said, we decided to leave these queries on it. As a result, we got 2 pages:
- https://www.arhome.com.ua/dekorativnye-zerkala (URL was updated to include key entry and made a redirect from the old URL https://www.arhome.com.ua/zerkala)
- https://www.arhome.com.ua/dizaynerskie-zerkala – new page for the “Designer mirrors” query
2. Content and metadata optimization.
In terms of content, we also divided pages for different categories and made efforts to increase the relevance of the pages for search engines. For old pages that were left for the particular category, we rewrote the content, and for new landing pages, we copyrighted and created unique texts.
In total, we created 12 new texts for the new categories and rewrote 8 existing texts. We had to cover almost all the key category website pages, but it was worth it.
The same logic was followed with metadata. We created new unique meta tags for the new pages and edited meta tags for the rest of the pages in order to remove everything unnecessary.
3. Tracking the results.
In order to understand what effect was made by our actions on the website dynamics, we carefully tracked positions and traffic during the first few weeks after the website structure optimization.
Over this period, the website’s average position for tracked queries increased from 80 to 54.
What else was done?
In addition to our main idea of separating queries for different pages and optimizing the website structure, there was something else worth noticing, namely, our systematic approach, comprehensive work on the website and focus on results, which helped us to achieve the best results.
To sum up, the following was done:
- Technical website errors were fixed, including the elimination of duplicate pages on the website, configuration of basic redirects, optimization of pagination pages, hiding service pages from the search bot, increasing the website operation speed, optimization of images by adding Alt and Title tags, elimination of 404 errors, and optimization of the sitemap.xml file.
- We also connected external promotion to increase the backlink mass. Since the project was quite young, we focused our efforts on increasing the project trust and number of brand mentions on the Internet.
- In addition, we launched an information section (blog). We started writing articles on related topics for increasing the niche expertise and attracting the target audience by information queries.
- Also, the usability of category pages was optimized and product card functionality was expanded.
- A new mechanism for handling customer reviews was implemented on the website.
8 months later, after the project start in March 2021 and completion of a number of works, a 126.73% increase in traffic and a 100% increase in sales was achieved. At the same time, the average website failure rate decreased by 85.4%.
To exclude the effect of seasonality, we also compared the given period to the same period of last year.
For the given period, we managed to bring part of queries to the TOP.
Afterwards, the website’s positions continued to grow and as of June 2022, they increased from the 80th to the 35th position for tracked queries.
With the new optimized website structure and additional landing pages, the keyword coverage was significantly increased.
We also note a positive increase in the number of domains and links referring to the website.
In conclusion, we would like to give the following recommendations:
- Elaborate the website structure carefully during the development and launch of the project. This will save money in the future and accelerate the achievement of desired results on the project.
- Examine your niche and search query intents to understand how the search engine understands and interprets them. Perhaps you will be able to found out an unexpected growth potential for your project.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment and find non-standard solutions that will allow your business to grow.
- The best way to substantiate your ideas before the client is to demonstrate the expected results that can be achieved in the future.
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Project Manager’s comment
The SEO team that worked on the project