“In recent years, the evolution of society has led to important changes in the way people relate to life. It is both about the economic crisis, responsible for the fact that people have come to reevaluate the way they use resources, but also about the level of technology; today the amount of information on any topic on the Internet is virtually unlimited. People have a lot of options. However, today they want more meaningful products and brands. They are looking for solutions to connect with in an authentic way and to enrich their lives “, a report following a market study by Mega Image says.
The Upswing & Mega Image campaign changed the SERP landscape for the online food retail industry and accelerated the growth of the industry.
The online supermarket industry was in an “introduction phase” in Romania. Industries in this life cycle have participants that tend to be unprofitable, because expenses are incurred to develop and market the offering while revenues are still low. We had extra pressure to deliver quick ROI in this climate.
The user intent in this industry is unusual. The vast majority of head terms (category/ product names) are informational queries. Therefore, we had to create a lot of content while making sure we keep a high conversion rate on the ranking pages.
Despite the challenges, our strategy and execution made our client dominate SERPs both for informational and transactional queries. We have well exceeded our traffic and revenue goals. We have gained a massive amount of first ranks against well-renowned food blogs or online culinary publishers.
Mega Image is the largest supermarket chain in Romania with a network that currently includes over 700 stores. With a wide range of branded products, special corners and concept stores that offer a great shopping experience, Mega Image aims to be the first choice of customers in terms of fresh food, product quality and unique and diverse assortments, all offered not only in an environment with an original and unmistakable character from stores, but also online.
Our main objective was to reach 3 million organic visits after one year of the campaign. The previous year, the client had 1.7 million organic visits. Because the client was reluctant regarding SEO campaigns, we had to provide ROI very quickly. We set to increase the number of transactions from organic search by 50%, from 8,5k to more than 12,7k.
Using a tool developed by us, SEOmonitor, we can create accurate forecasts for campaigns.
In order to achieve our traffic goals, it was necessary to have the best possible knowledge of the audience we are addressing. We tried to deconstruct the target audience as much as we could, because this approach was the one that would have helped us generate more relevant content. And I also knew from experience that it would have a major impact on sales growth.
Together with the client, we identified 5 important categories of buyer persona for Mega Image.
- Family feeders
- On the go consumers
- Variety seekers
- Healthy & natural
- Gourmet focus
In this industry when you search for a product/ category the SERP is full of articles. Any e-commerce shop has trouble ranking on high search volume terms with category pages. This is mainly because Romanians are not used to ordering groceries online.
This was a major disadvantage for any shop within this industry, as they had to fight for visibility with online publishers, renowned food blogs, etc.
However, we knew that the sales funnel was very compressed in this industry. For example, if you are looking for food recipes or the benefits of avocado, there are a lot of chances you would be buying the products right away, compared to other industries/ products.
We knew that if we create content that’s irrelevant, we will bring traffic, but it won’t convert. We were aware that we had to create a perfect synergy between the content and the products in order to maintain a high conversion rate and impact sales. So we put all of our bets on content.
We analyzed competitors to determine content opportunities and the size of the industry. We used Visibility Report, that automatically establishes all the relevant keywords within an industry and displays the organic visibility market share and the topics bringing each competitor traffic. We identified potential topics to generate content for.
But the VR provided data for head terms and relied solely on search volume. We had to determine traffic opportunity for the whole topic. A better metric would be visits estimates. We all know search volume alone can be deceiving when making traffic estimates for content.
For each topic, we pulled data from Topics API. It analyzes all the keywords a topic/ URL is ranking for in Google and provides traffic estimates based on its SERP position CTR.
We prioritized more than 30k topics using accurate topic traffic estimates. The next step was to determine when was the best time to tackle each piece of content on a large scale.
We extracted the search volume for each month and compared the monthly value to the yearly average.
Most queries had predictable seasonality such as “oven-baked lamb chops” (traditional Easter meal), which peaks in April. Because we did it at such a large scale, we got some unexpected results that were helpful throughout the campaign.
Next, we mapped the most relevant topics in terms of traffic opportunity versus sale funnel stage.
The strategy was to provide content each month for every sale funnel stage for mixed types of the buyer persona. This content strategy that would quickly impact sales.
We overlapped the topic opportunities, the seasonality heat map & the sale funnels content attribution per each buyer persona.
We requested special implementations from the client that would keep the conversion rate high, even though we were increasing the traffic through content. For example, we listed products used in recipes/ articles with clear CTA to add to cart.
We also fixed all the technical issues the website had so that we could improve the traffic faster. E.g: duplicate content, indexing issues, URLs format, poor internal linking.
We used our own methodology to track content health. We analyzed the average traffic estimates for position 1-3 in SERPS for a head term and compared it to the traffic an article gained last month (=health). We used Ahrefs URL organic traffic feature or TOPICS chrome extension. The health score indicates if we managed to reach the traffic goal or we had to improve the article. Because we create topic-based content, we exceeded the estimations.
The results of the campaign exceeded our expectations. We reached 4.9 million organic visits and 14,606 transactions. We managed to keep a high conversion rate even if we grew the traffic 2.8x through content.
1 March 2019 – 29 February 2020
Transactions: 14,606 (previous year: 8,550)
Sessions: 4,907,699 (previous year: 1,754,238)
Conversion Rate: 0.30% (previous year: 0.49%)
1st page rankings: 7,402 (previous year: 3,413)
Mega Image became the most visible online supermarket if we exclude emag.com, which is a Romanian marketplace.
We managed to reach and exceed our objectives due to thorough execution. We tackled everything that could impact our campaign.
We created content tailored around the client’s focus products and buyer persona. Our campaign had a quick & visible impact on the bottom line of the client. It’s a common fact that content usually has a lower conversion rate, but we managed to keep a high conversion rate by creating a perfect synergy between the content and products. We used methodologies and proprietary tools created by our Innovation department.
Our client is currently dominating the SERPs for both informational and transactional queries.