May 19, 2009, 12:00 AM

Optimization lifts organic search traffic from Google by 45% for e-retailer

Beauty products marketer Profound Beauty has increased its conversion rate on organic search by 1.5 percentage points and its average order size from organic search traffic by $6 to $7 since implementing a new search optimization program.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Beauty products marketer Profound Beauty has increased its conversion rate on organic search by 1.5 percentage points and its average order size from organic search traffic by $6 to $7 since implementing a search optimization program designed by search engine marketing firm MoreVisibility.com, according to Anne Hogan, vice president of marketing at Profound Beauty.

The web site, which the company launched recently after selling its products only in salons for the past five years, also has experienced a 45% increase in organic traffic from Google and a 60% increase in organic traffic from Yahoo since implementing the search engine optimization program in January. Hogan adds that direct web site traffic–coming from visitors who type the site’s URL in directly rather than being referred by a search engine–is up by nearly 30% and average page views per visitor is up by 26%.

Hogan says that after reviewing the Profound Beauty site, MoreVisibility developed reports including step-by-step instructions for optimizing the site, which were then implemented by the retailer’s marketing and information technology staff.

“One of their biggest challenges when they came to us was that they hardly had any crawlable text on their pages. Most of their content was image-based,” says Danielle Leitch, MoreVisibility executive vice president. Leitch explains that text embedded in image files isn’t visible to search engine spiders, which read the entire file as an image. “We helped them remove all of that text from images and made it text that the search engines could find,” she adds. MoreVisibility also recommended strategies for targeting the right keyword to optimize for search on particular pages, and how to adjust keyword density on the page to move up in search results.

With tracking the behavior of site visitors on pages key to gauging the success of optimization, MoreVisibility, a Google Analytics authorized consultant, also helped Profound Beauty’s SEO efforts program by linking the site up correctly with the free tool. While Google Analytics can be set up relatively easily to pull basic data, it also offers advanced features that many businesses don’t use, Leitch says.

“Linking us up with Google Analytics has been huge,” says Hogan. MoreVisibility provided instructions on how to take advantage of more tools offered by Google Analytics. In fact, the vendor`s initial review revealed Profound Beauty had been missing some key data, the retailer says. An interactive Flash marketing feature on the site, for example, was designed to help visitors better select relevant products, but the company’s analytics hadn’t been catching the items shoppers then placed in their carts after engaging the feature.

“We were thinking, they’re going there, but they’re not buying,” Hogan says. “The reality is they were–we just weren`t capturing it properly.”

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