How Brave helped their client turn around the decline in web site traffic, to boost sales, improve online and door sales and break all past performance records.
1. Executive Summary
In 2019, when Rose Sales Online saw a sudden downturn in sales, it was already too late. The decline in web site traffic was an early sign that contributed to declining sales eventually leading to a 25% loss in turnover. Ironically, the key to a recovery would be found in the historical data.
Not only did turnover recover, but a massive boost to sales was generated via continuous improvement by the retail team at BRAVE.net.au. Online and door sales broke all past performance records by 300%.
2. About the Client
Originally named Silkie Gardens Rose Nursery and Café at Kilmore, this family owned business was established 35 years ago and now operates as Silkies Rose Farm / Rosesalesonline within 1km of the Clonbinane interchange on the Hume Freeway, 60kms north of Melbourne CBD.
Since 2012, Graham & Diana Sargeant have established extensive rose gardens at their Clonbinane property where the public are welcome to walk when they visit to purchase beautiful roses for their own gardens – those who don’t have an opportunity to visit can order roses online to be posted year-round through Australia Post.
3. The Challenges
Significant drop in sales – 29 Sep 2019
The figure 1 chart shows the decline of weekly orders on the Rose Sales Online.
A combination of badly managed product data (pricing) and web site mistakes lead to an overall loss of 25% in turnover. This was due to a lack of technical knowledge by the client’s previous web development contractor. The client was frustrated by the limited response of the contractor which impeded the client’s ability to execute any business action to resolve the loss in business. The contractor failed to diagnose the issues nor report on the scale of the problem.
Our objective is “to regain the lost traffic and sales.”
Many ecommerce businesses do not know how to interpret the web traffic reports or have the time to fully understand the implications.
The Google Search Console is a web developers tool that offers insights to finding the moment of change in our client’s search engine ranking positions (SERPs). Brave was quickly able to determine the missing links that disappeared from the search engine Google.
4. The Solution
3 Key Strategies :
- To identify & focus on the high traffic URLs.
- Reset and reclaim.
- Track and measure.
Using industry standard tools such as Google Search Console, it was possible to obtain the historical data of all URLs that are indexed by the search engine. The data records include search engine click through rates, ranking positions and impressions.
This data was exported and analysed using our link analysis software to find the pages that had generated traffic but no longer ranked and/or missing from the search engine index.
A list of web page titles and URLs was matched up with the existing online product catalogue to find the product links that needed to be reset. The page links were then resubmitted to the search engine for reindexing.
Google analytics software allows the tracking of traffic to these reindexed links. The BRAVE team created regular reports to monitor the level of traffic to these web pages. Brave also consulted with the client to identify the products that should be selling (higher traffic web pages) and monitored the sales of these products in the ecommerce admin software in conjunction with the traffic reports from Google Analytics.
The client would have sustained a greater loss in sales if the search engine rankings had not returned within a short period of time. As a result of reclaiming the lost indexed pages, the traffic returned to levels which lead to a recovery in sales.
In order to take advantage of the returning traffic, the Brave team also recommended and created themed promotions based on events such as Valentines Day. The advertisements used on homepage banners and weekly newsletters provided an additional boost in sales, a positive impact on the customer’s business to help them achieve their goals.
Month-over-month, the client has seen a 33% increase in orders, a 53% increase in units sold, and a 56% increase in revenue. The top competitor holds approx. 50% share of the traffic in the market, therefore the client is excited about the potential to grab more market share. The Brave agency team has created and applied marketing strategies to sustain growth that will continue into the year. The strategies include improvements to web site design, software, product review management and low cost advertising.
The following chart (figure 4) shows the return of traffic in early December 2019.
The drop in sales began in late October 2019. The return of sales began mid December 2019 and has continued to increase into February 2020 as seen in figure 5.
“Thanks Mike and your team for turning our business around from very negative previous IT management – yes, it’s taken some time but together we’ve achieved magnificent results and we’re so pleased that we will move forward positively despite the challenges of Covid-19. We very highly recommend your business.”
Graham & Diana Sargeant
7. Key Highlights
Optimising the website content is like investing to generate wealth. If you do not take advice from the right people or apply incorrect techniques, you may lose everything and left with very little. Google’s updates are a lesson for people to heed advice and learn from.
Web sites take time to build credibility and authority just like any financial advisor. When a website is created, it will have only a few rankings. Brave worked on the content and page elements in the clients web site page to help improve the rankings.
Getting a website on Google’s first result page requires work and can be achieved when the right things are done in the right order. Figure 6 shows an improvement over 6 months with the number of keywords and page rankings in the search results including the top 10 listings (1st page). To achieve this we made sure to follow on-page best practices by optimising title tags, alt tags, meta descriptions, headers and body content.
We use the Google Search Console (figure 7) to keep tracking of the average page rankings to ensure that the reports from our online tools are matched by Google’s own tools. An increase in the average page rank will result in more clicks / web traffic. According to the stats (figure 9) you can see position 1 will get most traffic (20.5%), however the traffic growth showin in Figure 8, was also due to obtaining more listings on page 1 – no matter what position.
WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020. The following week saw online purchases up 28% Year On Year across Australia, before continuing to climb and hitting a peak of 135% YOY in the week after Easter. In the same time, Rose Sales outperformed the market with a massive increase of 300+% across orders and revenue!