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Known for JustBats, JustGloves, and Routine, Pro Athlete, Inc. entered the world of pickleball, launching their newest e-commerce brand, JustPaddles, in early February 2021. When JustPaddles launched, the business strategy was simple: get the perfect paddle for the customer on time, every time, exactly as promised. JustPaddles not only provides the customer with pickleball paddles, but also a winning experience like no one else.
As a new to market e-commerce brand, the goal was simple: grow. By growing their presence on search engines, JustPaddles would begin to increase visits to the site and start to experience the competitive positioning the team has created with their other e-commerce sites JustBats and JustGloves.
From the initial challenge, the following organic KPIs were set with the overall goal of creating qualified traffic to the site:
JustPaddles chose organic search as the top area of opportunity to capture visits given the infancy of the sport, as well as the teams desire to create a solid foundation for future brand growth. With this in mind, the JustPaddles team split the campaign into two key areas - keywords and backlinks, and then identified six optimization tactics to tackle the objectives:
Keywords (March 2021 - Present)
1. Conduct competitor research
2. Identify keyword opportunities
3. Run Keyword Gap Analysis for top keywords
4. Optimize category pages and create new blog content
Backlinks (July 2021 - Present)
5. Explore link-building opportunities and reach out
6. Set up structured reporting to track KPIs
First, JustPaddles used Semrush’s Domain Overview tool to research their domain and to look which organic keywords they rank for, backlinks they have directed at their site and any other ranking factors that are helpful.
Next, the team used the Organic Research tool to identify the site’s organic competitors based on the shared keywords:
Once JustPaddles identified the top organic competitors in the Pickleball space, the next step was to determine the keywords to target.
Using the Organic Research tool, JustPaddles took it one step further by viewing which keywords each competitor ranked for. The Organic Search Positions tables show you each keyword, their monthly search volume, and which pages from the competitors’ sites are ranking for those terms.
An example of competitors’ rankings
From there, JustPaddles selected the boxes on the left to save to their keyword manager and began running keyword analysis for those keywords.
Next, JustPaddles used the Keyword Gap tool to identify target keywords with the biggest potential against the identified organic competitors.
The Keyword Gap tool allows the team to switch between the Shared, Missing and Weak keywords for the domain and look up the key metrics for each of them.
Keyword Gap analysis between JustPaddles and its top competitors
Once the target keywords had been identified, came the fun part: content strategy!
JustPaddles used the Keyword Magic Tool to identify questions around the target keywords. The copywriting team then wrote content across the site and produced blog posts to cover all major keywords and goals.
When researching the future blog topics, the JustPaddles team made sure to filter the results by questions.
While the copywriting team was hard at work with content production, JustPaddles turned their focus to backlinks - another top-ranking factor for Google.
First, the team gathered a list of relevant domains that linked to their competitors to try and receive a link from them as well. They did so by entering competitor’s domains in Semrush’s Backlink Analytics tool.
To have a more granular view, JustPaddles filtered the results by domain authority.
A competitor’s referring domain list
The resulting list became a great starting point for the outreach campaign. For an easy and transparent outreach process, the team used the Semrush Link Building Tool. The tool suggests backlink prospects, automates email outreach to the chosen domains, and helps track the status of the link-building activities.
An example of Link Building progress report
The results were simple. JustPaddles was able to quickly build credible backlinks to the site.
JustPaddles’ backlink profile
The last piece of the campaign was developing the reporting structure. Since JustPaddles was the newest brand, there were no reports set up.
Using Semrush’s My Reports Tool, JustPaddles set up reports that automatically sent out weekly updates on where the site ranked for top keywords and the overall number of backlinks obtained. All the team had to do was drag and drop the needed widgets (from the column on the left as shown in the image below) that displayed the data from various Semrush tools. This allowed for easy tracking and constant monitoring of progress.
In the nine months of running the campaign (March-October 2021), JustPaddles was able to: