March 23, 2010, 12:00 AM

Road Runner Sports increases its traffic and sales by focusing on SEO

Road Runner Sports says it has increased sales on some types of shoes and boosted traffic from search engines 30% by changing its site search and making its site more search engine-friendly.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Road Runner Sports says it has increased sales on some types of shoes and boosted traffic from search engines 30% by changing its site search and making its site more search engine-friendly.

Road Runner Sports, No. 176 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says it used site search analytics data to discover popular items consumers were searching for that it did not carry. It then was able to program its site search to display similar items to decrease the chance that a consumer would abandon the site when she didn’t find the item she searched for.

For example, using site search analytics Road Runner found that many consumers were searching for MBT Toning Shoes, which the retailer didn’t carry. A toning shoe claims to tone a wearer’s leg muscles while he walks. However, Road Runner did carry toning shoes from Easy Tones and Skechers Shape Ups. It reprogrammed its site search tool from vendor Celebros to show such shoes when a consumer searches for MLB shoes. As a result, it sold more than 1,200 pairs of toning shoes in two weeks, says Dan Kelly, Road Runner Sports` vice president of information technology.

In order to further improve its search engine ranking, Road Runner Sports deployed Popular Search Pages, a feature from Celebros that enables retailers to highlight the results from popular search queries such as “mens stability” or “womens apparel.” Road Runner Sports reports a 30% increase in search engine traffic since it added the feature. The Popular Search Pages are managed automatically by Celebros and are updated as the store`s catalog changes.

"We experience an increase of search engine-originated traffic each time our catalog is updated," Kelly says.

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