How Pottery Barn Sites Got Noticed
“For a company like ours that has very strict ROI goals and standards, it was really important for us to be in there with natural search,” says PotteryBarn.com Marketing Manager Karen Shea, explaining how the company’s PotteryBarn.com, PBTeen.com and PotteryBarnKids.com sites reevaluated their natural search optimization performance last year.
When its sister brand Williams-Sonoma drew positive results from a natural search solution, Pottery Barn’s marketing team began considering its own program.
Pottery Barn came up with four goals:
1. Dramatically increase indexation levels on Google and other major search engines.
2. Increase total search traffic to each of the three e-commerce sites.
3. Increase total natural search revenue.
4. And give the marketing team more control over the sites with less dependence on IT resources.
“We were able to dramatically increase the number of pages that were indexed and were able to impact Pottery Barn’s total revenue,” says Stuart Larkins, vice president of search at the Performics marketing division of Doubleclick, which worked with Pottery Barn on its NSO program.
Larkins says the key to the program is two-fold: getting a client’s site crawled, then optimizing the site to get higher rankings on search engines like Google. “Statistics say 80 percent of consumers look at the first page,” he points out.
While Shea of PotteryBarn.com says it was “exciting to play around on Google and see us come up on the first page,” she says that Pottery Barn’s goals went beyond that. “ROI is always first and foremost the most important thing to us,” she notes. “We’re not that interested in simply driving traffic to the site. We were more interested in driving highly qualified traffic — traffic that would convert.”
Performics’ program manager of natural search Chris Keating says that his firm “tracked a lot of indexation all along. We were also tracking rankings for the key words we were targeting,” he says. “Additionally, we were looking at traffic numbers and conversions. That created a feedback loop so we could go back and do a better job of optimizing the content elements.”