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Agency helps Italian fashion e-commerce get 70% more clicks and impressions from non-branded search in 12 months

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About MECshopping:

MECshopping.it is an Italian e-commerce company offering clothing for women, men and children. The strength of the brand is the prices, the vast range of products available in the catalog (currently more than 40,000 products), the quality and quantity of the brands, and the fast delivery.

Business challenge: grow organic non-branded traffic to all product categories

When the Italian e-commerce MECshopping came to the Fattoretto agency, they were trying to reverse a sharp decline in site traffic, which in turn had led to falling revenue

A quick audit showed that the decline was caused by the previous platform migration and lack of SEO optimization. The site’s issues included:

  • Broken links
  • Lack of redirects and internal linking
  • Non-optimized headings, titles and descriptions 
  • Duplicate content
  • Crawl budget wasted on low-value pages
  • Slow page loading speed caused by non-optimized images, and others.

Together with their client, the Fattoretto team set out to:

  • Improve on-site SEO optimization and resolve the main technical problems;
  • Optimize the site’s internal linking;
  • Boost non-branded search engine visibility.

The work started in August of 2021. A year later, MECshopping had +70% clicks and impressions for non-branded keywords. Read on to learn how they did it!

Solution:

Site health first

The agency started by addressing the most pressing issues: optimizing the crawling budget and improving site speed.

The team optimized MEC’s menu navigation, paying particular attention to blocking pages deemed to be of low value, such as price filter or multiple brand selection, to prevent Google from crawling them. These pages were blocked using robots.txt, meta robots and nofollow links.

Next, Fattoretto ran a Semrush Backlink Audit to detect external links leading to non-existent pages (404 errors). After getting the error list, they made 301 redirects to similar content on the website.

MEC backlink audit example

Finally, in collaboration with MECshopping’s developers, the agency set out to improve all of the Core Web Vitals metrics. Semrush’s Site Audit tool provides reports on all three of Google’s metrics:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) — a metric that tracks loading speed.
  • First Input Delay (FID) — a metric that tracks the time it takes before someone interacts with a page. 
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) — a metric that tracks visual stability on the page.

The tool also offers recommendations on fixing each identified issue:

An example of Semrush Core Web Vitals report

Website content optimization

Keyword Research

Next, it was time to enrich each page with the terms MEC’s audience was searching for online. 

To optimize each category, Lorenzo Schiff, SEO Specialist at Fattoretto, created a new tree site structure with general categories and product-specific subcategories. 

For example, instead of using the simple term “Pantofole” (sandals) for the main product category, he used a more generic “scarpe aperte” (open-toe shoes), with some subcategories such “pantofole” and “ciabatte” (slippers). Each new term brought additional ranking opportunities and traffic potential.

Fattoretto also introduced new product parameters and their combinations, such as seasonality, brand, outlet, and new products.
For example, this page is a result of the women’s dresses category being filtered for spring/summer 2022. With this method, the agency expanded the brand’s keyword portfolio and improved the customer search experience. 

To find the best category and subcategory name combinations, he checked their monthly search volume using the Semrush Keyword Overview tool:

Next, they entered the chosen term into the Keyword Magic Tool to get an extensive list of related keywords to be used in product descriptions.

These two steps gave plenty of high-volume relevant keywords to work with, but the research wouldn’t be complete without checking the competitive landscape.

Competitor Research

To find the most relevant competitors, Lorenzo:

  1. Asked the MECshopping team to compile a list of competitors. 
  2. Entered MEC’s domain into the Semrush Organic Research tool and checked the Competitive Positioning Map. It gave him a list of the domains MEC was competing against in organic search based on shared keywords. 
  3. Filtered the results to the four most relevant competitors.
MEC’s Competitive Positioning Map in the Semrush Organic Research

Next, he entered MEC’s domain along with the four top competitors into the Semrush Keyword Gap tool to get a list of keywords that the competitors were ranking for but MEC wasn’t:

To get even more granular data on each competitor, Lorenzo checked their keyword profiles in the Semrush Organic Research tool. The tool unveiled the top keywords and pages for each domain.

Armed with this data, he compiled a master list of keywords and filtered to those that were relevant for MECshopping.
 

Link building

During keyword research, Lorenzo paid special attention to the search trends and identified prime months for each category. This is how he found the top products to boost during the various seasons or special events. 

He then used this seasonality data in link building—it’s important to start reach-out a few months before the peak to get the best results from a campaign. 

Keyword tracking

Once the chosen keywords were implemented in MEC’s product titles and descriptions, it was time to track their performance.

Lorenzo used Semrush Position Tracking to monitor keyword cohorts based on the product type and the date they were added to the database. 

With the tool’s tagging system, he can easily pull up stats for all women's clothing keywords, for example, or the keyword cohort that was used in the PR and link-building campaigns during a certain month:

Results

After a year of collaboration, Fattoretto and MECshopping have seen some impressive results:

  • By July 2022, MEC received +70% clicks and impressions from non-branded keywords (compared to July 2021).
  • By October 2022, the site ranked for 11,235 keywords on Google’s #1 page (compared to 4,675 in October 2021) - a 140% YoY increase.
     

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