CFO World

How an SEO and organic traffic strategy is driving ecommerce conversion at T2

Location issues see T2 engage Impressive for a better strategy

T2 has enjoyed amazing growth since its first store opened in Melbourne in 1996. Now in seven countries, with multiple ecommerce sites, T2 needed to evaluate its ongoing ecommerce strategy, particularly around organic traffic and SEO, and the location issues affecting these.

To this end, at the end of November last year, T2 engaged Impressive, and while the rollout is ongoing, T2 has already received – pardon the pun – impressive results.

T2 global head of digital and ecommerce, Manik Godhwani, told CMO attracting online traffic has been more challenging for the brand since it went global. So it engaged Impressive to help with an international search engine optimisation campaign, covering the organic website performance across Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, and South West Asia.

Thanks to the global SEO marketing strategy, the past four months have seen organic traffic rise across the globe from 2.67 per cent to 28.55 per cent and an improvement in ecommerce conversion rates from 2.98 per cent to 15.03 per cent, compared to this time last year.

The objective was not to simply increase the volume of organic traffic, but to also increase the quality of traffic to T2's ecommerce sites to increase conversions.

“Organic traffic is the best kind of traffic one can hope for,” Godhwani said, “because it’s free and also because it goes well. We run our business in seven countries and each country has a different region, different SEO trends and keywords, and different terms people search on Google. So it was very important to get a local strategy while still having a global platform.

“Also, Google keeps changing its algorithm, so we needed to maintain our position and have our metadata and metatags updated. We also keep launching new products every three months, so we need to get the word out about those.”

However, before the organic traffic strategy could be implemented, Impressive flagged a number of website issues that needed to be fixed. For instance, while each country has its own website for online orders, there were technical issues that negatively affected both organic rankings and organic traffic: each website tried to automatically identify the location of each user using hard-coded site files.

Unfortunately, this meant search engines would often confuse the different sites so the non-American versions of the site were often ignored, even if a specific country website was more relevant to a user.

“We had a strategy, but it wasn’t giving us the growth we required from our channels,” Godhwani explained. “So we started last November using Impressive, and we are still rolling it out, updating all the copy, and seeing where we can improve it. It’s an ongoing thing, not a one-time thing.

“But we have fixed many of the issues in the website and we’ve seen good organic traffic growth so far, and this is why we will continue to do it.

“In the last six months, we’ve seen an uplift of 30 per cent in our conversion rate globally. Some countries saw an uplift of more than 30-40 per cent.”

Thanks to the global SEO marketing strategy, the past four months have seen organic traffic rise across the globe from 2.67 per cent to 28.5 per cent, and an improvement in ecommerce conversion rates from 2.9 per cent to 15 per cent, compared to this time last year.

Comparing website progress from October 2018 to February 2019 against the same period last year, T2’s international websites saw increases of organic traffic ranging from 2.6 per cent to 45.9 per cent across the globe.

Corresponding with the traffic increases, ecommerce conversion rates improved by 12.3 per cent to 43 per cent and, in the case of Singapore, 277.6 per cent. This produced large increases in transactions and total revenue from all sites involved in the campaign, with the exception of the USA website, which performed similarly to previous years as it had not been hampered by the location issue.

Moving forward, Godhwani said next step would be to ensure all tech fixes have been implemented and they have all the content up-to-date.

“Post that, we need to see the change in organic traffic for each country and its impact on revenue,” he said.

“While running a global business, it's important to understand keywords for each country. Also, SEO is not a one-time job, it needs to be monitored regularly.

“We are measuring traffic and conversions of organic traffic to begin with. Also, in parallel, we need to see the indexing and rankings of key pages.

“We do run A/B testing, but this is just one part. We also spend a lot of time talking to our customers about their pain points, and check on social handles what they are complaining about, this customer feedback is very important to us. We also run deep match and map user journeys on our website to see what the customer behaviour is.

“We create new segments, to see where the orders are coming from. We like to start from scratch with our orders, then build lookalikes and new audiences, map it with campaign targets around Australia Post data, to see if there is a potential audience somewhere. So if we don’t have a store in a location, maybe we can target them online. Then we hit social and target lookalikes to get a better impact and a better ROI.

“We want to have the right mix of ecommerce on our website, and we have a brand campaign being launched soon, so we can communicate what we stand for, how we are different, and give our customers what they want.”

Moving forward the objective will be to have one default .com website accessible the world round, with language tags automatically showing a specific country-variant of each site where possible, and the default .com site at other times. In the coming six months T2 will roll out more content and keywords, which will ensure further growth. 

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu