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Competing for Organic Traffic: Mono Brands vs. Large Marketplaces in the US

Entertainment, Sports, Leisure & Lifestyle
client

3D Construction Set for Children

tools

Ahrefs

Google Search Console

client

3D Construction Set for Children

tools

Ahrefs

Google Search Console

content

Client

The brand of 3D construction sets professional engineers design mechanical models that are moveable after the assembly.

Challenge

To attract more users to the website and increase organic traffic in the target regions of the United States.

The case study reveals our approach to search engine optimization (SEO) of a 3D construction kit website in the US market. The Client’s name is under NDA.

We implemented all stages and steps mentioned in the case study.

Initial Data

In the US market, a mono-brand 3D designer needs to compete with large marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and Walmart rather than individual brands or companies.

On large e-platforms like these, potential buyers often scatter their attention: they may come to buy a definite product and end up purchasing another item.

Large e-platforms are not interested in delivering traffic to a single seller, so they distribute it among various brands.

The Client's goal is to attract more users to their website, increase organic traffic, and boost sales.

Solution

Tech SEO played a key role in the project.

To compete with the market giants to earn more online users, a mono-brand website should be perfect in the eyes of search engines and users.

We started with auditing core web vitals.

We developed the Work Plan with the consideration that the Client’s website is based on Shopify with all its pros and evident restrictions.

The pros entail a large platform that mitigates the possibility of tech SEO mistakes. Among the restrictions is that the platform limits the implementation of custom solutions.

Tech SEO

What we've done:

  • Fixed the HTML markup
  • Expanded the site structure
  • Optimized catalog filters
  • Added micro-markup
  • Formed the logic for the improved website version that will operate on the European market. We gradually increased the external link profile.

Fixing HTML Markup

Issue

Slow website loading speed. Google Bot did not recognize priority elements for display, so they were not ranked.

Solution

To display the Client’s website in search results pages for relevant search queries, Google should correctly read the content posted on the web resource. This is where HTML markup comes into play. We analyzed the Client's website and created a new markup template to show the priority elements to Google Bot. This solution helped us to increase the loading speed for the Client’s website.

Updated HTML markup

Expanding Site Structure

Issue 

The Client’s website was not ranking for a large number of relevant search queries.

Solution

The quality of website rankings directly depends on the structure of the web resource and the time users spend on it. The more extensive the site structure, the more time users spend on the site, and the more likely they are to find the best answer to their queries.

Further, we analyzed the current structure of the Client’s website, identified the missing queries, and added them to the semantic core.‍

Optimizing Site Filters 

Issue

Google does not identify a website as a high-quality one because of its pages that are not demanded by users or have an unclear (non-friendly) URL. 

A user-friendly URL features the URL path of a page that reflects its content and is clear and comprehensive to a user.

Solution

We decided to find and install the plugin that would identify all problem pages and enable certain URLs to collect behavioral factors.

The activated plugin helped certain search queries like "3D animals" with separate landing pages to optimize and collect positive behavioral indicators, which ensured ranking priority.

Micro marketing

Google applies a plethora of internal services. To ensure their correct functioning, the website should have correctly implemented micro data to ensure the display of product cards in Merchant Center, a free Google tool.

The Merchant Center allows you to upload product data and then display it in the shopping ads and other Google services.

The introduction of micro-markup helped us display product cards more favorably and add full data.

Removing Thin Content

Thin content entails web pages that mostly duplicate the content of other pages on the site or do not contain quality information, and therefore bear no value to users and search engines.

Prior to the Google Spam Update in December 2022, the presence of thin content pages was ignored by the search engine and did not affect website rankings. Today, these pages have a considerable negative impact on the search engine results. That's why we also analyzed the Client’s website per this criterion: we identified and removed uninformative pages on the Client’s website.

Developing Site Structure for European Users

One of the key tasks posed by the Client was to prepare the website for the European market. To scale the Client’s business, it was important to expand the capacity of its current website platform towards the European market.

Since the tech capacity of the Client’s website did not allow us to create a website for each country within the same domain, i.e. www.brandname.com/fr/, we decided to create subdomains. 

In the Client’s case, the site is identified by Google as a separate resource and does not receive any benefits from the main domain. As a result, we got pages whose URL was built as ue.brandname.com/fr/

Following the first five months of publication, the new site began to gain positions.

Outcomes in the first five months of work. Source: Ahrefs

Outcomes in the first five months of work. Source: Ahrefs

Building an External Link Profile

The link profile is a basic component of search engine optimization when it comes to ranking a website in Google. A large amount of links from reliable donor sites allows you to improve the visibility of your site and its ranking, and attract more targeted traffic. 

We divided this work into three processes: 

  • Search for authoritative resources with thematic traffic
  • Search for sites that review products related to our topic
  • Crowd marketing.

Given the Client's budget, we placed an average of 6-10 links in guest posts and 10-15 links a month on forums, in comments, and reviews.

Results

In the first stage, search engine optimization for the client's website lasted six months. Over this period, we managed to increase English-language traffic in the target regions and the number of queries that ranked the site in the top 5 positions from 14% to 30%.

as compared to the same period

Efforts aimed at increasing the external link profile led to the growth of domain trust and traffic.

Source: Ahrefs

Why the Case Study is Strategically Important

The completed Project proves that every detail is important when it comes to traffic acquisition. Coping with tech issues and growing quality external links is the background for solid traffic growth. Dmytro Kotylevskyy, SEO Team Lead at Promodo.

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