After being given poor advice from a previous SEO agency that led to a drop in search rankings, fashion retailer, Compton House of Fashion was understandably dubious about taking on another agency to help generate more web traffic. After struggling with poor Google rankings for a number of years, however, Piers and co decided to once again engage an SEO agency and approached Superb Digital in December 2017 after finding us at the top of a Google search.
With a 102% year on year increase in organic traffic, a 50% increase in conversion rate and 182% boost in enquiries, Compton House of Fashion’s two year journey with Superb Digital has been a huge success story. The company remains one of our most cherished clients.
About Compton House of Fashion
Founded in 1992 by Piers Edwards, Compton House of Fashion is a 16 strong family business that supplies stunning wedding outfits and accessories aimed specifically at mothers of the bride, as well as other special occasion wear. Despite not being a strict ecommerce business, the company has always relied on its online presence to generate enquiries and establish its brand against fierce competition from established brands like John Lewis, Debenhams and Next.
With poor performance in rankings across various important keywords for four years, the lack of web traffic was impinging on the business. The chief concerns for Compton House of Fashion was delivering cost efficiency whilst having access to genuine SEO expertise, in order to turn around their web fortunes.
The space Compton House of Fashion occupy is very competitive, the search volumes around their primary keywords are significant. Search queries such as “mother of the bride dresses” regularly receive over 90,000 searches per month and the first page of Google was dominated by well known high street brands.
With many of the larger agencies out of their budget, finding an appropriate partner was absolutely crucial if the company was to start ranking in Google. Technical expertise was an absolute must as well, with the company unable to make all the necessary changes to the website.
What was needed was a clear solution and the ability to implement it quickly and start seeing results.
Our Retail Fashion SEO Solution
After running a website audit and doing extensive competitor research, it became clear that Compton House of Fashion’s website needed a fair bit of onsite work to help it start ranking higher. There were several elements to the SEO strategy, with the audit and onsite optimisation work taking priority. These included:
Technical SEO and Site Architecture
After a number of technical fixes, including 404s, broken inbound links and crawl anomalies, we set about adapting and optimising the site architecture by introducing content silos based around their core product categories. This would be a huge boost when it came to producing new content for the site, but also in how we arranged the existing content, which we planned on optimising.
With a lot of products, page load speed was also an issue, so improvements needed to be made to the product category pages. We decided to introduce a fixed amount of products that would be displayed on the page, with more products auto loading as the user scrolled down. This allowed us to put all products on a single page whilst improving page load speed – a vital ranking signal.
On Site Optimisation (and De-Optimisation)
The primary problem thrown up by the audit and competitor research, though, was as mismatch of intent with the homepage ranking, albeit poorly, for many purchase intent search queries, whereas the competition had specific product focused landing pages for their equivalent pages. This is a common problem that we see all the time here at Superb Digital, with homepages ranking for too many product or service specific searches and not giving the potential customer the information they need straight away.
To fix this we needed to de-optimise the Compton House of Fashion homepage and redesign and optimise the site’s product focused pages, such as the main product category pages, to better fit the user intent of the target keywords. We expanded the products and information displayed, created more copy, including a guide to dress size, colour and choosing a style, as well as an extensive FAQ.
Our onsite optimisation work with Compton House of Fashion was ongoing and extensive. As well as the main category pages we set about optimising all product pages, improving individual descriptions, adding related products and optimising images. Improving all these individual products was painstaking but massively bolstered the work we’d done on the main category pages and by introducing a content siloed site architecture.
Offsite signals make up a significant aspect of how any website work, so after completing the most important onsite optimisation work (although this work is always ongoing) we began a campaign of building high quality links on relevant lifestyle and fashion blogs, all pointing back to key pages on the Compton website. Most of these have been on blog posts talking about weddings, increasing their relevancy and as a result their power.
Compton’s blog forms a central part of our content strategy with them and since beginning work for then in late 2017, we have created numerous articles, rich in images and useful information. Not only does an active blogging schedule like this, help keep the site relevant and active in the eyes of Google, but much of this content has been able to rank in its own right, further increasing the company’s online presence.
Reviews and Feedback
Rankings is one thing but click through rate is another. It was all very well increasing traffic to Compton House of Fashion’s site but we needed to help improve conversions and sales once those interested parties arrived on the site. One very powerful way to do this was through actively seeking reviews, which Compton hadn’t done until now.
We created a program of gaining new feedback from customers and displaying this feedback directly back to website visitors, further helping to improve trust and boost conversion rates.
The site now has hundreds of hugely positive reviews on its site, helping create trust in the brand from new visitors.
Using Schema markup, we were also able to show these review stars in the search engine results pages, which has seen a marked uptake in click through rate.
The results we’ve achieved in the two years we’ve been working for Compton House of Fashion speak for themselves, with a 102% increase in organic traffic year on year and a 182% year on year increase in enquiries and sales from that traffic.
As Piers has freely admitted to us, if it hadn’t been for the work of Superb Digital, website rankings wouldn’t be anywhere near where they are today and as a result they’d be in dire trouble with revenue greatly down.
Compton House of Fashion, and Piers in particular, have always been a very hands-on client and have shown an active interest in seeking our advice, as well as helping us implement changes to the site. The ongoing SEO consultancy we offer them has not only seen a dramatic increase in online enquiries and sales, but has also empowered the company to understand the SEO process and what we are doing and why.
This relationship has been fundamental in us developing a genuine partnership with Compton House of Fashion and identifying new target audiences and keywords to further expand their market. Recently this has included the growth of their clothing line aimed at events like the Henley Regatta or Royal Ascot.