Case Study: SEO Campaign Boosts Lenovo's Brand Awareness, Revenues
PROBLEM: Despite being a global leader in the sale of PCs, Lenovo, a personal technology retailer, didn't have strong brand awareness, in large part because it wasn't ranking highly in organic search.
SOLUTION: Launched a global search engine optimization campaign with the help of a search marketing agency.
RESULTS: Since launching its SEO campaign in April 2012, Lenovo has realized a 40-plus percent increase in U.S. revenue from SEO year-over-year. In addition, Lenovo's SEO traffic increased year-over-year by 40 percent in the U.S., 54 percent in the U.K., 48 percent in Germany, 110 percent in India and 10 percent in Japan.
With demand for "PC plus" products (e.g., smartphones and tablets) growing by the day, Lenovo realized it had a tremendous opportunity at hand to capture market share. The problem was the brand suffered from a lack of awareness within the PC industry, with companies like Dell and HP top of mind for most consumers.
To address this problem, Lenovo invested time and resources into improving its SEO. The strategy made sense, as SEO had the highest return on investment when it came to affecting the brand — i.e., driving more awareness consideration that elicited quality traffic.
In April 2012, Lenovo launched a global SEO initiative with the help of Covario, a search marketing agency. The move signified a sea change for the technology retailer.
"Before we had a semi-strategy with limited resources and skills internally," says Donna Bedford, Lenovo's global SEO manager, in regard to the brand's previous SEO efforts. "Now we have a strategy, we know what's worked this year, we've seen how well some of our emerging countries have picked up. That's a big focus for us because we know we can get ahead of the curve in those particular countries."
A 'Targeted' International Program
Lenovo is a global brand, operating in more than 160 countries. In-house research indicated that Lenovo's top competitors, Dell and HP, were losing market share in some emerging markets — China, India and Brazil, to name just a few — opening the door for Lenovo to cash in. To capitalize, Covario provided Lenovo with relevant keywords within those countries that it could rank highly on.
Those relevant keywords often focused on pushing Lenovo into the PC-plus era, expanding beyond its traditional notebooks and desktops. In addition to focusing on branded keywords and link equity, Lenovo is capitalizing on specific categories such as tablets and smartphones.
"We went after keywords like 'ultrabooks' and 'convertibles,' things that were starting to pave the way in an era where it was getting beyond the standard laptop/desktop scenario," says Rick Medeiros, executive director, global web, at Lenovo.
Lenovo executed aggressive on-page and off-page SEO tactics in all markets. On-page efforts included creating landing and content pages for new category and product launches (e.g., ultrabooks) as well as optimizing existing assets, while off-page efforts focused on content marketing and infographics.
In addition, Lenovo worked to fill content gaps for high opportunity, upper-funnel search queries. The retailer also leveraged performance insights from paid search and applied them to SEO, helping to improve its clickthrough rate dramatically. Lenovo's off-page SEO efforts focused on creating and distributing infographics, implementing rich snippets, and consulting on video, social and mobile SEO.
Lenovo is planning to expand its SEO strategy out to more countries going forward, as well as look into local SEO. "Right now we do a lot of national and nonbranded terms," says Bedford. "We want to see if we can do some local stuff, maybe across different partnerships. It's going to be very much like how you do geo-targeting with paid search."
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.