When it comes to SEO, it’s important to be switched on and aware of how your site is doing against its competition. If you aren’t you could be left in the dark. This is particularly true within the lighting industry which was covered in one of our recent sector reports.

Many brands were doing fairly well on the search engine results pages. However, some were tumbling down fast. One such site included Lightbulbs Direct. Previously, they had a visibility of 4584 but have since diminished to a smaller 1896. That’s a drop of 59%. With a drop that severe, something definitely needs changing and optimising…

With that in mind, we decided to put our skills and knowledge to the test to see exactly what was happening with Lightbulbs Direct and their SEO strategy. The challenge was set to see if their ranking drop could be reversed.

Technical analysis and content discovery were performed on the site to see what could be done and if it could be rescued therefore sending it in a positive direction up the SERPs.

If you want to see what could be done to rescue Lightbulbs Direct, and possibly how we could audit your site and show you where the opportunity lies, continue reading on.

Category Structure Revamps

One of the key issues present in a lot of ecommerce sites is the category structure. More often than not, the site structure on an ecommerce site is a little random and categories aren’t being used to their full potential to create topical relevancy and depth. This happens to be true for Lightbulb Direct. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. With a few small changes, their site could be shooting up the SERPs in no time.

Neaten URLs and Categories

The first thing Lightbulb Direct (LBD) should begin with is optimising their URL structure. At the moment, a lot of the URLs and categories are unoptimised. For example, for the ‘light bulbs’ category, the URL/category is listed as /product-type/ and this isn’t even the main category that’s being used as the doorway page (explained later).

The best practice here would be to change the main category to /light-bulbs/ or just /bulbs/ and let that be the main category for the top-level doorway page. Additionally, the new structure would include all associated sub-categories hanging off that one subfolder.

Why Care About Categories? If Users Can Find Them, It’s Fine, Right?

Unfortunately, although many consumers may be able to find LBD’s categories, it becomes a nightmare for bots and crawlers (particularly Google) when they’re indexing the site. Unless there is a clear, obvious folder structure, crawlers are going to have a difficult time getting to all the site’s pages efficiently. So, making sure the structure is linear and optimised for crawlability ensures all the pages are found and indexed. 

The intangible benefit of optimising for crawlability is improved rankings. This is because by aiding the crawlers you allow link authority to travel through the site more efficiently, helping category pages and associated articles rank better. However, for maximum link flow, you need to have a tight internal linking structure too.

Category Enhanced Copy and Internal Linking

At this current point, LBD doesn’t have any enhanced copy on any of its category pages. This is shocking considering they have so many, even more so since many of the head terms have a high monthly search volume.

There are a number of problems associated with missing category copy: contextual internal linking and greater keyword focus.

Keyword Focusing and Copy Enhancements

Adding category enhanced copy is essential if you want to boost the page’s ranking potential with additional context. Through adding a few hundred words to the bottom of categories, you can significantly boost rankings and target the main keyword more effectively.

Moreover, the new enhanced content on the categories could be created to be informative and educational, helping potential consumers to make an accurate buying decision. In our previous experience with clients, adding enhanced copy drastically improves rankings.

Internal Linking and Missed Opportunities

Once enhanced copy has been added to category pages, there will be opportunities to internally link to adjacent pages and help bots and crawlers find important pages quicker. Additionally, internally linking from the enhanced category copy means other categories can be linked to via contextual anchor text. By doing this, you can accurately tell Google what the page is about and give the links more context, again, helping with rankings.

If some of your category pages or blogs have links pointing to them, internal linking via contextual anchor text is a great way to help associated pages without inbound links to get link juice. As you have complete control over the anchor text also, you can boost rankings for specific keywords.

Doorway Page Development

Another noticeable factor missing from LBD is doorway pages (sometimes referred to top-of-funnel pages) which address user intention opposed to just showing the series of random products they may or may not be interested in. Doorway pages offer a filtration process that allows consumers to select the specific products or category they’re looking for. By doing so, it is common to see increases in dwell time, decreases in bounce rate, and a boost in conversions.

LBD does have a doorway page for their light bulbs main category but lacks them for the rest. Through implementing more of these pages, LBD would have a significant boost in user experience metrics and indexability, which all have the effect of increasing ranking potential.

Category Keyword Gaps

As with any site, there are a significant number of keyword gaps and opportunities that LBD is missing out on. With the simple addition of a few extra categories targeting alternative keywords, LBD’s visibility could dramatically increase.

A quick look at their competition leads to the identification of a number of opportunities. One such opportunity is the ‘lights by occasion’ category which would target keywords such as ‘party light’ which received a monthly search volume of 1.6K.

Other opportunities revolve around lights by room. Keywords like ‘bathroom lights’ and ‘kitchen lights’ receive thousands of searches a month. With this volume of monthly searches, a separate category is a necessity.  

Meta Data Corrections

A short scrape of their site via Screaming Frog found that LBD had a series of metadata errors. Many of their pages didn’t have meta descriptions or were missing H1s. Although metadata is a smaller piece of the puzzle, it is still considered best practise to fill it in to ensure Google knows exactly what your page is about. This is particularly true with H1s.

If LBD is to recover their lost rankings, these smaller technical problems will need to be fixed asap.

Website Speed Optimisations

As with the majority of the sites we analyse, LBD has a number of speed issues which are hindering its ability to climb the SERPs. Page speed is a ranking factor in Google’s Algorithm so making sure your site is adhering to the best practises in terms of speed is essential.

At the time of this analysis, LBD is scoring 21 for mobile and 61 for desktop. These numbers are low, especially for mobile. Considering 70% of internet traffic comes from mobile, optimising your site for mobile speed is a must.

A quick glance at the possible causes leads to the conclusion that there are unoptimised images and render-blocking resources that need eliminating. If executed correctly, this site could drastically improve in rankings.

Summing it all up

LBD used to have a good visibility score. Unfortunately, over the last year, it has dipped dramatically and has lost a good portion of its online visibility. After a quick audit, it is apparent why this drop has occurred. Through a series of category fixes and other optimisations, visibility would steadily increase.  

If you’re interested in seeing how your site could be improved to help you rank and pull in more traffic, book some time in our digital diary here.