Kouboo is a family-owned online business based in Los Angeles, USA. They are dedicated to bringing exotic one-of-a-kind home décor items from various regions of Southeast Asia into contemporary “Western” homes. Among their core values is sustainability and fair trade, which manifests in outsourcing primarily authentic and traditionally crafted artisanal products.
Their collaboration with Scandiweb began when the Kouboo team was making arrangements to step away from Magento 2 and migrate their eCommerce store to Shopify instead. In this scope, they were looking for a competent agency to take care of the website’s SEO during the re-platforming. Our team stepped in and provided the necessary backup to assure smooth migration, after which the partnership between Kouboo and Scandiweb evolved into a full on-page SEO program for kouboo.com.
Since the migration had to take place between two discrete eCom platforms – Magento 2 and Shopify – the original site had to be fully restructured to accommodate for the new setup.
This type of drastic change has a typical drawback of bringing down the website’s organic traffic as well as rankings after the migration. Thus, our first challenge was to devise and implement an SEO strategy that would secure the pre-migration levels of both traffic and sales after the transition.
On-page SEO challenge
At the start of this project, we found kouboo.com to be a small niche online store, managed primarily by the owners, and relying heavily on paid campaigns as the main source of their incoming traffic.
The website offered a limited number of products, the PDP and PLP descriptions were scarce, it had a minimal backlink profile and an overall modest level of optimization. This would require careful planning and coordination of the work of several Scandiweb divisions, including SEO, copywriter, and developer teams.
Project objectives included:
- Provide SEO support during migration from Magento 2 to Shopify
- Eliminate traffic and ranking drop after re-platforming
- Draw more organic traffic
- Improve product discoverability in SERPs.
April 2020: Our SEO team onboards the project
The migration of kouboo.com from Magento 2 to Shopify was scheduled for early May 2020. There was a 3rd party developer team involved, to whom the technical part was delegated, and with whom we remained in touch and coordinated our actions.
Onboarding the project well in advance gave us an opportunity to perform an exhaustive analysis of Kouboo’s existing SEO setup, and outline our further steps to anticipate the migration in minute detail.
What we did
- Conducted a thorough examination of the website, and documented the existing SEO configuration.
- Reported the discovered technical issues to the developer team, to have those fixed prior to migration.
- Conveyed analysis of the market niche we intended to target, and performed initial keyword research.
- Developed detailed migration guidelines.
- Consulted the developer team about transferring the existing SEO best practices to the new platform.
- Prepared 301 redirect mapping for the entire site to accommodate for the difference in URL structure between Magento and Shopify.
- Migrated all metadata from Magento to Shopify.
- Conducted an in-depth technical SEO audit of the pre-live platform ahead of migration.
May 2020: Migration goes as planned
Go-live support & Post-Go-live monitoring
Thanks to the extensive preparation work, kouboo.com arrived at the Go-live well equipped, with every step of the migration outlined and monitored. Following the Go-live, we re-examined all the crucial SEO elements to rule out any potential errors resulting from the DNS change.
For this step, we received support from the Scandiweb developer team, who joined on request to do the necessary fixes on the fly.
What we did
- May 6th, migration day: all redirects applied.
- Post-migration technical clean-up, to make sure the website’s SEO is correctly configured:
- Fixed mobile image styling.
- Fixed broken structured data.
- Ensured all products had metadata attached.
- Fixed H1 tags.
- Resolved internally linked 404 pages.
- The website was successfully re-platformed from Magento 2 to Shopify and fully prepared for the next phase: on-page SEO.
- Following the migration, organic traffic dipped only 8-9%. The values fully recovered within a month, and have kept improving since.
June/July 2020: Segue to on-page SEO
SEO-friendly content development
Kouboo.com, as we found it, had a neat cozy appeal to it. Yet, the site was seriously lacking in optimization, a lot of which had to do with scarce and non-SEO-friendly PDP and PLP content. We chose to address this as the first step to building an effective SEO strategy.
During June/July we developed and updated the first batch of product pages with SEO-friendly content, starting with the pages most important in terms of traffic and sales.
What’s the logic behind this approach?
The main reasons are as follows:
- Sufficiently optimized content would serve as the foundation for higher-level SEO techniques in the future.
- The organic performance was very low since kouboo.com had mostly relied on paid campaigns and had an insignificant backlink profile. The goal of SEO-optimized content was to compensate for this and start driving organic traffic ASAP.
What we did
Detailed keyword research
It allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of Kouboo brand specifics, identify top-performing pages, and analyze trends across the industry. We took an Iterative product- and niche-specific approach and kept referencing and updating the findings throughout the project.
This helped determine the following:
- Trends across the industry.
- A prioritized list of kouboo.com pages due for optimization.
- Primary keywords to use as the basis for copy creation.
- Directions for further optimization.
Based on the results, a set of requirements was created for the content team, briefed to develop SEO-friendly descriptions and metadata for key PLPs. The new content was applied, monitored and, when necessary, updated to adjust its performance.
Custom Google Data Studio report set-up
Both the team and the client had access to the same project-specific analytics dashboard. This helped us track critical KPIs and identify new improvement opportunities, as well as simplified project communication.
- The updated pages begin demonstrating a consistent increase in performance, despite having few to no backlinks.
- “Woven baskets”: +10% organic traffic
August 2020: results are clocking in
Content updates done in the previous months brought solid improvements across the board. We registered an overall organic increase, with select pages’ performance really picking up the pace (see below).
In the meantime, we kept working on another batch of updates, applying the same approach as previously.
What we did
- Used the accumulated research and feedback data to inform further content updates.
- By the end of the month added SEO-optimized content and metadata to the next set of pages.
- +15% organic traffic
- +170% revenue
- +42% organic traffic
- Overall good performance, given the low domain rating (DR) and zero backlinks
- +34% organic traffic
- Another page with no backlinks, that demonstrated great performance
September / October 2020: ready for the next step
We continued seeing improvements resulting from the content work we had done in the previous months (see below).
Organic traffic was now consistently growing, and we proceeded with the next step in our SEO strategy: building a kouboo.com backlink profile.
What we did
- Investigated opportunities for placing relevant backlinks, focusing on free resources. One of the bigger challenges was improving rankings for Rattan furniture: a high difficulty page, it required a solid backlink profile to achieve decent results.
- Note: As of writing this, backlink building is a work in progress. If you are curious to find out concrete results, please check back at a later date.
Improvements based on SEO-friendly content development:
- “Hampers”: +62% organic traffic, and growing
- “Rattan furniture”: +19% organic traffic, and growing
- “Capiz chandeliers”: +40% organic traffic, +21% revenue
It is important to note that Capiz chandeliers, prior to our SEO program, was hardly generating any traffic at all. With our help it has seen the biggest increase, and is currently among the top-5 performing pages on the website.
Migration from Magento 2 to Shopify
With the help of Scandiweb, prior to the migration, every SEO aspect was prepared, monitored, and fixed if necessary. Kouboo.com arrived at the Go-live fully equipped, which made re-platforming effortless.
We managed to minimize the post-migration traffic drop. The website has experienced a mere 8-9% organic decrease, which fully recovered during the first month.
Closely in touch with the client, and in collaboration with the Scandiweb copywriter division, our SEO team has developed and implemented an on-page SEO roadmap for kouboo.com. Building from the ground up, we began by updating the most crucial PLPs with SEO-friendly content, followed by relevant backlink building.
As of writing this, the website has received four-months worth of continuous optimization. Within this timeframe we managed to increase organic traffic by 72%, significantly improve rankings and drive revenue by 107%.
Updated pages: organic traffic performance dynamics
- Total organic traffic (YOY): +72% (Google Analytics)
- Visibility rate (since migration): +100% (Sistrix)
- Total clicks (YOY): +32% (Google Analytics)
- Total revenue (since migration): +107% (Google Analytics)
- Top-3 ranking keywords (since migration): +138% (Ahrefs)
- Major keyword SERP ranking increase for the updated pages.
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