With the changing lifestyles and the adaptability to social drinking, almost 65% of Americans drink alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and distilled spirits.
Alcohol sales at retail locations in United States, reached an all time high of $25.2 billion in 2016, after continuously trending upwards for the past seven years. Rising by 2.4%, the spirit industry alone has ended up claiming 39.9% of the total alcohol market share, while the breweries – beer and wine, claimed 47% and 17.1% respectively.
The stats are promising for both in-store and online liquor retailers. Infact alcohol ecommerce in United States is slated to hit $15bn in the next few years.
This is due to several factors like the expansion of drinking-age consumers, the emergence of liquor store delivery services, as well as the increasing number of retail chains that allow customers to pay online, but pick the order from in-store.
The ecommerce trend has also prompted the online liquor retailers to compete against each other, and adopt various tools and practices to gain maximum visibility for their brand and boost their sales.
The following case study is about one of our clients, who is one of the best liquor and wine providers in the greater Los Angeles area. This client has been in the alcohol retail business for over 10 years and deals with hundreds of liquor brands and unique offerings – from around the world.
Their product-range includes domestic and imported beer, red or white wine, champagnes, spirits and liqueurs. Apart from that, non alcoholic beverages, bar accessories and gift baskets are also sold on their site. The client has shown great commitment to their customers by expanding some of their stores to include wine tasting room and a ‘Freeze Room’ as well.
But despite a flourishing business, and well designed website complete with friendly navigation and reasonable filterings, they were dissatisfied with the way they were appearing on Google searches.
The client then approached Ebizon – with an intention of getting a higher search-engine ranking for their website. And that’s when we sat together to clearly understand the problem at hand and their actual objectives.
During the brainstorming session, the client provided us with the demographics and a list of their competitors. They also handed us their list of desired keywords (for ranking on Google search engine), and gave us access to Google webmaster and Google analytics for research & analysis.
Our Initial Findings
We found that the client had an ecommerce site for selling several type of alcoholic beverages, and was built on Magento. The site had low organic traffic and was currently ranking 3rd onwards on the Google search engine pages.
The client wanted to rank higher on their ‘product names’ and also gave us a list of suggested products to target for SEO.
We even got the name of their key competitor.
Research & Analytics (Before SEO)
We initially needed some data to compare our final results. So BEFORE making any seo changes, we performed a few site ranking tests to get the current status of the client’s website.
This is what we found –
(Note : These tests were done in February 2017).
For analysing the best keywords – we first checked and made a list of ‘current ranking position of all the organic keywords’ on the client’s website, using the Ahref tool.
We also created a separate list of ‘low competition keywords’.
We then combined and recommended the best keywords coming from these two lists – to meet the required goals.
Initial Activities –
To optimize the on-page seo, we first took a detailed overview of all on-site issues, landing page issues, page-loading speed, most popular pages as well as mobile optimizations.
We discussed with our experts and used SEO tools for keyboard optimizations. We even spied on the client’s key competitors to analyse what kind of keywords were working for them.
For internal link optimization, we analysed the link text (anchor text used to link a site), page authority (how well a specific page will rank on search engine) and the landing page (how effective they are in motivating the visitors to perform an action).
We also performed a technical audit for any coding issues or crawlability and indexability of the site.
Once we were done analysing, we started working on the shortcomings of the on-page seo and took some steps –
1. The keyword analysis helped us to find keywords with ‘high monthly search volumes on Google as per products’. We then used them to update the Meta titles and Meta descriptions on both, the homepage and product pages of the client’s website.
2. We installed Google Webmaster Tools to identify whether the site was infected with malware or if it had other issues.
3. We solved WWW errors so that search engines do not treat the site ‘with www’ or ‘without www’ as separate entities. We also checked the working of Robots.txt file – that controls how the search engine spiders see and interact with the webpages.
4. We created xml sitemaps for the client’s website, as they help the search engines to easily find the site pages.
5. We searched and removed all the HTTP 404 error pages from the client’s site.
6. Following the internal link building analysis, we rectified the broken links, H1/H2 tags, alt image tags and optimized all the URLs of the client’s site.
While On-Page seo ensures smooth navigation and high performance of a site, Off-Page seo provides visibility. It kind of signals the search engines that the site contains popular and freshly updated content – and hence results in higher rankings.
Since Off Page SEO is more about grabbing the attention of the search engines, it requires more work. It typically involves Directory submission, Article Submission, Forum Commenting, Guest Posting, Blog Posting, Infographic Submissions and Link Building.
Directory Submission (submission of website URL along with other details of a website to the most appropriate category in the web directory) is typically done to ‘improve link popularity’ of a website.
Backlinks on the other hand, indicate the popularity or importance of a website. Google or other search engines give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks and rate them better.
It is usually achieved through commenting on forums with your site link; creating relevant and interesting blogs and articles for your website that other sites may be tempted to use; or writing guest posts for other popular sites.
Power Page is another type of ‘special’ content that stands out and is capable of attracting traffic attention and social shares, and most importantly used for generating links.
Ebizon follows the standard white hat practice for Link Building –
1. For our client, we first identified the relevant websites to target for link building and got their contact details. If they agreed to our backlink requests, we would proceed further.
2. Once our request was approved, we then helped in creating Power Pages for the client’s websites for outreaching. We suggested ‘personalized infographics’ that could generate more number of backlinks.
3. We also helped in creating unique content to be sent along with each infographic to the agreed websites, and added the page link in the desired anchor text of the content.
The entire process helped the client’s site to get more number of backlinks.
Built Mobile APP
We used Mofluid – our mobile-app builder to create a native app for the client site as well. The app helped in enhancing the shopping experiences of their customers, and gave a boost to their online sales.
It simplified the login process with a single click and made it easy to browse, filter and add products to the cart. The checkout process provided multiple payment options to their customers.
The push notifications within the app provided the client a great way to communicate with their customers. They could send real time messages containing deals and special offers, or even remind them about their abandoned carts. This helped them to increase their conversions.
The mobile app also helped in making their site accessible while on-the-go and even when there was no internet connection.
We saw positive results in almost all the parameters we had analysed earlier. There were considerable improvements in the backlink profiles, domain authority, overall traffic and the most essential – Google rankings. The most noticeable thing was that traffic from relevant traffic increase that lead to increased conversions.
(The final results were based on tests conducted in June 2017).
The online revenue rose by flat 50 %.
The SEO ranking of the products also improved on Google. 170 products attained the top 3 positions, followed by 461 products getting placed between top 4-10 positions. Over 7634 products managed to stay between 11 to 50 positions.
Before the SEO was implemented, the revenue generated in the month of Feb was only #########(Under NDA).
Following the site optimizations made by Ebizon – the client observed almost 50% increase in their revenue generation in flat 6 months – making approximately ########(Under NDA) in the month of June!