Domain & SEO migration to drive organic performance & sales of 'off the peg' wedding dresses

  • +30 Positions in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
  • +327% Local search
  • +6,375% Monthly visitors

Project overview

In 2016, Herd were appointed to help with SEO and digital strategy.

WED2B wanted to achieve greater visibility in organic search to match their offline presence.

As the business expanded its brick-and-mortar store offering, ongoing consultancy was required to provide regular input in developing WED2B’s online proposition for ecommerce and click-and-collect functionality online.

The initial goal was to mitigate risks around a domain migration, ensuring WED2B outranked major competitors to achieve position 1 in Google for key terms in the bridal sector.

Herd achieved organic position 1 for 'wedding dresses' within nine months of starting the project, and have successfully maintained this position since 2017, whilst growing the brands organic search footprint in the UK and Europe.

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The brief

WED2B wanted help to achieve top organic search positions for competitive keywords like 'wedding dresses'.

Despite being the UK’s largest bridal retailer with over 26 stores, WED2B were making slow progress. In a crowded sector, WED2B were unable to achieve organic visibility that matched their offline presence.

Whilst they had a fantastic offline proposition, they were not realising their online potential. They were outside of the top 50 results of Google UK for the majority of target keywords.

How we did it

Before engaging WED2B as a client, Herd undertook a detailed review of their performance to date.

Numerous issues that were severely hampering organic visibility were uncovered, such as poor site architecture that made it difficult for search engines to crawl the website.

Furthermore, there was duplicate content, competing websites owned by WED2B, an indexed test site, and a blatant violation of local search guidelines.

Based upon the findings and opportunities uncovered, Herd was confident that WED2B’s organic profile could be greatly improved. Because of this, we provided a forecast to meet the objectives set within a 12-month period.

Issues to tackle were prioritised from high to low. This ensured tasks that would provide the largest possible improvements to organic visibility were completed first.

Unsurprisingly, much of the initial work was geared towards ensuring WED2B had an optimised website from a technical SEO perspective, but this has expanded to extensively include content, international SEO, and digital PR.

The primary objective, to achieve between position 1-3 for the highly-competitive search term 'wedding dresses' was achieved within nine months.

“Quickly grasping the nature of our fast-moving business, Herd identified key areas that needed action to achieve our goals, lifting us to Position One for organic search phrases such as ‘wedding dresses’ within nine months. Placing us above companies such as David's Bridal, which has 300 stores in the UK, US, and Canada, and high street retailers Debenhams."

Mary Brandom Website & Search Manager, WED2B

Final-worthy work

Our team's incredible efforts to boost the global stature of WED2B have twice been recognised with award finals.

We were shortlisted for Best Use of Organic Search at the 2017 The Drum DADI Awards and were among the finalists for Best PPC Campaign at the 2021 Northern Digital Awards.

Project highlights

Moving to a resilient hosting environment that future-proofs the website for growth.

22 high-priority technical issues resolved to improve crawl ability, user experience and keyword targeting via optimised filters.

Consolidating WED2B’s properties, such as Wedding Dress Factory Outlet, with the main website.

A server migration to a resilient environment that would deliver considerably faster load times and cope with increased demand as marketing activity increased.

We established a strong store presence through Google My Business optimisation building store citations with syndication to local directories.

With optimisations to the store directory, we helped the site achieve top positions for top terms on local search engines and appear in top positions in the map pack.

With WED2B operating in five territories and four languages, it is very much about managing content efficiently at scale through methodical audits, optimisations and process.

Input extends to ideation, reviews and content strategy recommendations supporting SEO and user experience.

A core part of WED2B’s expansion plans has entry into Europe with the launch of local territory websites.

Our approach to localisation means that we utilised our skills in SEO in conjuction with our in-house translator and local native language expertise to tailor content to ensure it was culturally relevant, and also targeted localised searches.

Acquiring brand exposure and high-quality media coverage, with digital PR activity supporting WED2B campaigns such as the annual wedding survey and outreach in terms of local link building.

We have also gained local coverage in support in launches of new stores and competitions.

We have provided strategic support and recommendations for ongoing paid media strategy.

In 2020, we implemented a display campaign utilising new functionality within the GDN, primarily within Custom Intent audience lists and targeting users with an existing affinity to our competitors.

As a result of the campaign, WED2B NL and BL enjoyed a significant increase in calls and store visits.