eCommerce SEO Case Study: How We Increased Sales by Over 5400%


Hey, thanks for stopping by! I’m so excited to share this case study with you!

It’s always great to work with great companies, great people and achieve great results, right? This case study is going to be about it. 

I worked with this client (I’ll tell you everything about it in a minute!) as part of Delta Growth – a digital marketing agency based in Toronto. Part of my role in the process was a strategy but the biggest part was planning and implementation. 

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • What we achieved for the client with SEO
  • What exactly we did to get there
  • What you should think about first if you need to get results in SEO

Let’s start!

The Client First

Website: https://www.bargainsgroup.com/

Website type: eCommerce store (but in order to complete a sale one needs to submit an inquiry form first)

Industry: Wholesale products for not for profit organizations; promotional products

Summary

Over the course of a few months, we managed to achieve a 490% increase in visits from Google YoY to the Bargains Group website! And a 5,433% increase in the form submits. And we didn’t even create any new categories to get there!

Organic traffic growth for eCommerce website

Now, this is not a typical result, and there are many factors that contributed to achieving it, including the authority the website has acquired over many years. But this does not mean that you won’t be able to benefit if you implement the same techniques on your website. They’re guaranteed to help you, just the growth percentage might differ.

A Few Words About Bargains Group

In order to better understand the challenges that Bargains Group was facing, you will need to know more about their story.

Bargains Group was founded in 1988 (wow!). Their main passion is helping charitable programs across Canada by providing wholesale supplies at low prices. It’s expressed in the mantra of the Bargains Group founder – Jody Steinhauer:

Giving back makes good business sense

Bargains Group has helped such organizations as the Salvation Army, Red Cross, Canadian Mental Health Association, Crime Stoppers, Habitat for Humanity, Raising the Roof and hundreds more. 

Pretty cool, right? 

The Challenges Bargains Group Faced

Multiple unsuccessful website redesigns

Bargains Group came to DG because their traffic just tanked at some point. They had had a few redesigns, and after the last one, they lost almost all traffic from Google.

No process around adding new categories and products

One more important thing was that the website was evolving over time, many people were working on it and there was no specific process around adding new categories or products. As a result, many categories looked the same as if they were twins (hint: this is absolutely not good for any website). 

An extensive amount of duplicate content

To make things worse, there were also full duplicates in the form of categories for different kinds of businesses: one-third of the website was around wholesale products and one-third of the website looked almost the same but was around wholesale products for not for profit organizations.

What About the Goals?

The goal was to increase traffic from Google by 400% year over year.

But it’s not only about traffic, right? So the main goal was to increase the number of inquiries to 5 per day.

I’ll go ahead and just tell you that we didn’t only reach both targets, we multiplied them! So stay with me here and you’ll learn how exactly we did this. 

Yes, I want to get eCommerce SEO Tips Right in My Inbox!

Let’s Get to the Secrets, Shall We?

This will be the most interesting part. Now you know ‘WHAT’ has been achieved. And here I’ll show ‘HOW’ it was achieved.

But first… let’s be honest. There are actually no secrets or secret sauce that helped achieve these results. It’s rather a good plan and proper execution. As they say, behind all overnight success there are several years of hard work. I couldn’t agree more.

We did 2 major things:

Content optimization
Fixing technical SEO issues

More details? Glad you asked!

1. Content optimization

! found that the title tags on the Bargains Group website were not optimized. They neither answered users’ questions nor showed Google what the pages were about. The title tags were something automatic like “Socks Archives”. Well, not many people would search for that (khm, nobody does).

So the first step was to complete keyword research for the main categories and update title tags with relevant information. As an outcome, instead of 

‘Socks Archives” 

it will go 

“Wholesale Socks for Men in Canada”. 

‘Yeah, this is obvious’, you might think. But let me ask you a question: why I still see so many companies not doing the obvious things? (Exactly!).

This change alone has massively contributed to the final results.

2. Fixing technical issues

The main challenge I outlined above was that Bargains Group had many identical categories. This happens to many eCommerce stores actually. The most common case is when you can navigate to the same category through different paths, e.g.:

Wholesale Supplies -> Women’s Clothing -> Socks for Women

Wholesale Supplies -> Socks -> Socks for Women

That is exactly what was happening on the Bargains Group website.

I created a list of all the duplicates, analyzed traffic to them and identified the variations that should be treated as canonical pages (i.e. Google will treat a canonical category as the main category and will ‘glue’ its variations to it). 

The outcome was a canonicals map which looked like that:

Category URL

/wholesale-products/men/socks

/wholesale-products/socks/men

Canonical target

/wholesale-products/men/socks

/wholesale-products/men/socks

The Achievement… and Issues

All these actions have helped a lot!

And everything was nice and great. But! All the keyword research and writing custom title tags for each individual category took lots of time and resources. There should have been a way to optimize it to recommend and implement the needed changes faster. 

That’s when we came up with the idea of writing the title tags in a more scalable way. Based on the previous research, we created the templates and quickly updated the remaining pages based on these templates.

It worked like a charm!

And all of This While Removing One-Third of the Website…

As I mentioned above, there was one huge thing: the Wholesale categories (which started doing really well) had full duplicated – Wholesale categories for not-for-profits. The client also didn’t want to keep both these sections. So we removed one-third of the website.

Before doing so, I create a map with all the pages that were going to be removed and found the best possible

NOTE: The canonical targets should be the same as the targets in the main category. For example:

Now the Results

eCommerce SEO case study
  • 490% YoY growth of organic sessions
  • 657% YoY growth of users from Google
  • 5400% YoY growth of inquiries per day from Google

We’ve noticeably increased the traffic and revenue for this client!

But most importantly, we experienced and came up with a more scalable and faster solution that helped solve the limited resources issue. 

Improve your traffic and revenue from SEO within 60 days!

Next Steps

A few months have passed. We did some more things like removing a third of the website without losing any traffic… that’s another story for future posts.

But for now, there are many things in the pipeline, including: 

  • categories content
  • product pages optimization
  • Navigation optimization
  • conversion rate optimization. 

The Takeaways

  • Best practices really work for eCommerce stores (and for other websites as well!)
  • Having a consistent process of adding new products and categories goes a long way

In many cases, opportunities are hidden in basics. But you should REALLY (I mean it) take time to work on them. It’s like with healthy eating and exercising: many people know what to do but not many actually do it. And even fewer people do it right. That is the thing, that’s why it’s always good to have somebody to guide and help you throughout the way. Or just do it for you (well, with SEO I mean, I can’t squad instead of you, sorry).

Yes, I want to get eCommerce SEO Tips Right in My Inbox!