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Pastreez is a French Bakery where you can buy macarons and crepes online. It is owned and operated in California by a French couple, both chefs from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. The macaron delivery service is available for the entire United States. Yami and Anthony handcraft their French pastries daily in small batches.
Pastreez started in 2017 with a French couple’s desire to move to California and a dream of opening their own macaron bakery. But it wasn’t going to be just a local bakery - Yami and Anthony Rosemond were going to deliver authentic French macarons all over the United States.
For them, it meant two things:
1. They needed to build a strong online presence with the majority of orders coming from organic search.
“To me, organic acquisition is the basis of an online business. The recent iOS 15 update has shown how fragile paid advertising can be. Organic, on the other hand, reflects the reality: you cannot fake testimonials and reviews, you’re being transparent with your customer. Any healthy business that is going to last should make it a priority,” Anthony explains.
2. Before making the big decision, Yami and Anthony Rosemond needed to assess the U.S. macaron market, the demand for the goods, and the direct competitors.
Yami’s passion for baking and Anthony’s side hustle in digital marketing were a good cornerstone for the future business but neither guaranteed success unless there was a demand and the right market conditions. The couple was looking to explore all of those from Paris, before making the big move.
Anthony started by researching the niche market he was going after. To determine the market size, he found the average monthly search volume for the main seed keyword - “macarons near me”. Anthony made sure to include a direct buyer intent to only estimate the users who were ready for purchase and exclude any informational searches (definitions, recipes, etc.).
He did this by putting the keyword into the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool and setting the search database to United States:
The tool showed good search volume, low average keyword difficulty and low Cost Per Click - just the right combination of metrics for entering the niche!
Spoiler alert: “macarons near me” soon became Pastreez’ top revenue-driving keyword and the key to their business growth. But more on that later!
“At the same time we saw the world-famous macaron maker Ladurée enter the American market which confirmed our theory and proved we were not crazy in our dream. Luckily, they didn’t offer direct shipping,” Anthony says.
Next, it was time to find out how many companies were competing in the macaron market.
Anthony started by putting in his seed keyword into the Semrush Keyword Overview tool and looking at who was ranking for it.
He then clicked on each competitor’s URL which took him to their Organic Research - the tool showed other keywords those companies ranked for.
Anthony collected those keywords, grouping them thematically, and started going after them by building better pages in terms of SEO optimization and site speed.
Now that the groundwork was done and the theory confirmed, it was time for the big step: moving to California and doing the field research. Anthony and Yami started by selling macarons at local farmers markets, talking to customers and noting their favorite flavors. Anthony used that feedback to build the company website. The farmers market sales became Pastreez’ first income source but didn’t stay the only one for long.
Next, Anthony ordered macarons from several of his direct competitors. This way, he learned more about their shipping options, product and packaging.
He made a second order a month later and compared the order numbers to find out their monthly order volume. He used the collected data for future benchmarking.
The Pastreez website was launched in September 2017 with only 3 product pages. As he was collecting Semrush data and farmers market feedback, Anthony distributed the core keywords (“macaron gifts”, “buy macarons”, etc.) among the existing and new product pages.
Thanks to his efforts, the quick and optimized website started ranking on Google’s first page within 3 months - just in time for the Christmas demand peak. At the time, organic non-brand search traffic was bringing in 85% of all orders with the rest coming from referral traffic.
Within 6 month after launch Pastreez ranked #1 for “macarons near me”.
“It was the key to our growth. We had a hard time keeping up with the orders. We were #1 before Yelp and other big websites,” Anthony shares.
As the time went by, more and more big players were entering the SERP and now it takes much more effort to stay on Google’s first page but 4 years later Pastreez is still a strong top-10 player.
While ranking well for the core keyword is a great accomplishment, Anthony acknowledges that having such a significant traffic share depending on one keyword is dangerous. In 2021, he started diversifying Pastreez’ keyword portfolio through blog posts.
Each Pastreez blog post targets a specific keyword. When researching keywords for an article, Anthony types the seed keyword in the Keyword Magic Tool looking for its variations and questions people ask around it. He filters the results by keyword difficulty and sets it up to 30, so the results are reachable.
The tool allows filtering keywords by questions and sub-categories. In the case of macarons, it may be a color, occasion, gift type, etc. Even if it’s a niche keyword with a volume of 3000-4000 searches a month it still pays to answer this question with an article in the long run.
He went on to research other occasions that entice people to buy macarons and came up with keywords like “gift baskets”, “gluten free” “wedding”, “baby shower” and others. Their combinations then become blog post titles, for example: “5 gluten free gift basket ideas”.
Anthony collects this data for content briefs which he hands it over to a freelancer.
Pastreez recently started offering French crepes, which has brought a new set of keywords to target. Anthony applies the tried and true “macaron” strategy to the new product.
For a better chance of ranking for the new keywords, Anthony started a link building campaign. To find relevant and achievable link sources, he checked which domains were sending referral traffic to all of Pastreez’ top competitors. For this, he ran each of the competitor websites through the Semrush Backlink Analytics tool. He then filtered the domains by authority score to get a list of high-quality sources that would encourage Google to trust the new Pastreez website and improve its site score.