How Avenue Found Success With Nonbranded Search Traffic
Julie L. Daly, president of the e-commerce division of Avenue, a cross-channel retailer of plus-sized women's fashion, offered attendees to her session at eTail in Boston this week a peek into how the brand increased its number of new buyers by implementing an organic search program based on nonbranded search terms.
Daly first discussed how Avenue is currently in a transitional phase, moving from a retail store-focused brand to a web-based one.
"Due to the difficulties in the retail store environment over the last few years, you'll see that in the next few weeks Avenue will be shifting from having a 500 store presence to just over 300 stores," she said. "This puts the growth of the web as a business-critical directive, focusing web contribution at close to 30 percent."
As a result, Avenue is constantly trying to grow its web traffic and generate new revenue, Daly said. A key tactic in its marketing arsenal is search engine optimization. After all, by using the most appropriate and popular keywords, it's possible for SEO to drive a large volume of traffic to Avenue's site for minimal cost.
What's more, organic search generates intent. "It allows you to attract buyers before they've finalized their business decisions," Daly said. "It helps searchers determine what they need and from which supplier to buy from."
However, Avenue has found out that SEO isn't perfect.
"For starters, it isn't free," Daly said. "Best practices are great, but SEO projects using consultants, in-house experts or an agency are expensive, and it's difficult to tie results back to the spend and resources required."
The bottom line, Daly said, was that Avenue wasn't doing a good enough job figuring out how much traffic (i.e., revenue) was going to its competitors. As a result, it turned to an organic search marking company called YourAmigo and its Spider Linker technology to improve its SEO program.