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Smartwool: Developing SEO Governance


Overview

After an initial site migration project, the Smartwool team was looking for recommendations to improve their brand awareness and product offerings. They knew their site needed SEO improvements but did not have the bandwidth to devote to this initiative. Smartwool turned to Blast Analytics and Marketing team of expert Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultants for fresh ideas.

Challenge

In addition to the new site platform and bandwidth challenges, cross team collaboration is needed for SEO recommendations approvals and implementation. These decisions can affect multiple aspects of product marketing, and the multiple Smartwool teams were siloed, focusing on their respective disciplines.

Solution

The SEO partnership began by conducting a Content Audit to understand the state of optimization and Technical SEO Audit to fix any back-end issues of the Smartwool website. Following the audits, Smartwool was presented with a prioritized action plan, including step-by-step guidance for fixing identified issues.

Blast also created a Content Theme Strategy that identified in-demand keywords and themes to target, and acted as a roadmap for content development moving forward.  

To help the whole Smartwool team understand the value of SEO, Blast conducted cross-functional SEO trainings for all Smartwool departments, to communicate the following:

  • Why SEO matters
  • How SEO works
  • How Blast’s recommendations will affect their organic search performance
  • How SEO and the Content Strategy could benefit all Smartwool marketing channels

Following the training, Smartwool realized that cross-departmental processes and governance would be essential for quickly reviewing, approving, and implementing recommendations. Examples of this include:

Branding Team

The branding team controls how products are referred to within the website, as well as the packaging, etc. Blast worked with this team to update/develop new product names based on customer demand.

Design Development Team

Recommended that they move away from an image-based design to a keyword-rich, text-based design. This ensured that content satisfied the needs for both customer and search engines.

Before

After

Content Development

Due to the above changes, Smartwool hired a full-time SEO specialist, as well as writers, to develop quality content consistently and at a faster rate. They also reactivated their blog, which was a powerful, brand-building tool.

Results

Working with Blast to implement SEO recommendations, Smartwool saw fast results. Multiple departments and facets of Smartwool had successfully integrated the recommendations into their workflow processes leading to increase in both organic revenue and organic traffic.

graph representing the increase of organic revenue and organic sessions in 2017

In addition to helping Smartwool understand the priorities needed to improve their organic performance, Blast also helped them understand the resources needed within their team. They have the necessary resources to support recommended SEO initiatives and Blast continues to train new Smartwool team members.

Furthermore, Blast helped establish content production and overall marketing processes that coordinates with multiple departments and involves all key stakeholders. These processes are a more strategic approach that focuses on long-term success. 

We were rolling down the hill fast in regard to loss in organic traffic and revenue after launching our new platform. Blast not only stopped the degradation, they were key in educating and developing a SEO-first mentality within our organization. We are back on track and out pacing our targets.

Sarah Seifert, Director of eCommerce
Smartwool


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Project Overview

Goals

  • Improve brand awareness and organic search revenue 

Approach

  • Conducted a technical SEO audit to review and fix any back-end issues of the website
  • Created a content theme strategy that identified high volume keywords to target
  • Cross functional SEO trainings to educate Smartwool team members 

Results

  • Increase in organic sessions and revenue 16% and 17% respectively
  • Content production and overall marketing process now focuses on long term success

Services

SEOSearch Engine Optimization

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