At Salience, we offer free annual reports on the digital strength of sites covering pretty much everything that can be sold online from art to watches, log-burners and everything in between. One of the sectors we keep a close eye on is the online eyewear industry which saw a 14% increase in overall visibility from 2021 to 2022.
One of the biggest winners from this industry has been SmartBuyGlasses, which has seen a massive 126% visibility gain, jumping 9 places to break into the Top 10 most visible online eyewear brands. With Covid restrictions ending across the UK, one of the major questions is how online brands can continue to see growth in their digital activities now physical shopping is open again.
At Salience, we have been eye-witnesses to SmartBuyGlasses’ growth and we take a closer look in this article at how they have shown themselves to be a highly reliable site that has become an authority in the eyewear space. Read on to discover more and find out what you can do to help boost your online visibility.
Trust, Trust and more Trust
2018 saw the introduction of Google’s infamous Medic core algorithm update and the emphasis on Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT for short) – a concept from Google’s Search Quality Rate guidelines used to assess the overall quality of a website or page. As you would expect, quality is crucial in determining where pages will rank in the results pages.
Resultingly, much emphasis has been made in the search marketing world to improve trust signals – ways we can indicate to Google that your site is trustworthy and therefore high quality.
SmartBuyGlasses have been attentive to this and are studious pupils of Google’s advice as they have a plethora of trust signals across the site.
Trustpilot is a Google Review partner meaning that Google recognises Trustpilot as a trusted source of legitimate customer reviews. Google will, therefore, use these reviews within its search results to help customers make informed, reliable and confident buying decisions. Always remember that Google’s raison d’être is to best help the searcher with whatever they are trying to achieve. If they want a new pair of glasses, Google will put first the result that it thinks will best serve the intent of the user.
SmartBuyGlasses have been smart to integrate their TrustPilot reviews onto their site to signal to Google they are a reliable and trustworthy site and should rank accordingly. With a TrustPilot score of 4.6, with over 11,000 reviews in total, they prove just that. Whilst we just deal with organic data in these reports, TrustPilot reviews also help you achieve Google seller ratings. These appear as stars on Google Ads campaigns and improve click-through rates by an average of 10%.
Continuing on the review theme are the individual product reviews available across their entire product range. Not only are SmartBuyGlasses showing the brand, service and experience are reliable, but the products are too. Having these product-specific reviews adds relevant content to your product pages which helps users make better decisions. Remember the ultimate purpose of Google!
Product reviews also allow you to have richer results when customers perform a product-related search e.g., “tom ford ft5294 glasses”. Adding this type of review markup can provide detailed product information as a rich result in Google search. The golden stars you see on results pages are a direct result of this e.g.,
Having review stars in search can improve your click-through rate by as much as 35%. This is because users love the visual, easy-to-digest appearance of rich results which endears them to click, generating higher CTRs that search engines reward with boosted rankings. It’s no coincidence that products with rich results usually sit at the top of the SERPs.
The combination of service and specific product reviews has allowed for a two-pronged assault on increased visibility:
- Brand-wide service reviews help signal to Google that SmartBuyGlasses are indeed a smart choice as an eyewear retailer
- Product reviews have allowed for richer organic results which improve CTRs and so boost rankings.
Topical Authority and the Optical Centre
We have already outlined how SmartBuyGlasses have been tactful in how they have displayed trust signals. However, SmartBuyGlasses also have a load of selfless content which help educate users to buy glasses online. This targets the authority of the EAT algorithm, a function of website quality.
As traditionally, the glasses buying process has been based around opticians and in-store experience, migrating this experience online requires tools and content that aid the user to purchase glasses without direct consultation with an eyewear professional. This is where their Optical Centre help hub comes in: https://www.smartbuyglasses.co.uk/optical-centre
The Optical Centre houses a host of content covering anything and everything on eye-related matters from discussing bloodshot eyes to the benefits of polycarbonate lenses. Covering both breadth and depth of content signals significant topical authority to Google. Topical authority is a term describing a site that is seen by Google to be an authoritative source of information in a particular niche, in this case, eyes. Simply, if your site has better authority and relevance on a particular subject, the higher it will rank for a related query.
Topical authority has been a crucial ranking factor since 2013 and the Hummingbird Google algorithm update. This update revolutionised Google’s understanding of search queries. Whilst before Google treated each word in a query as a separate entity, now Google can understand the context and semantic relationships of words in a search query. Instead of ranking purely based on keywords and links, Google could now rank for relevancy to the query. Because of this, sites that cover the topic in the most detail will own the traffic flow for related searches.
SmartBuyGlasses rank for over three thousand keywords demonstrating the vast array of content on the optical centre subfolder. They also rank on the first page of Google for just shy of 400 keywords, demonstrating the reward i.e., higher rankings, of having deep and quality content. This helps to pull in approximately 5.3k monthly organic sessions.
Whilst the on-page signals of high-quality content are the most important aspects of topical authority, off-page signals can help supercharge it. Showing Google you’re an authority is one thing, but other sites referencing your site as trustworthy attests to your topical authority claim. The Optical Centre itself has 501 backlinks from 65 referring domains. This not only helps to verify the pages within the Optical Centre itself but also improves the strength of the root domain and improves the ranking ability of any page that falls off this domain, notably revenue-driving pages such as category or product pages.
In sum, providing a breadth and depth of supplementary content has a range of benefits:
- It helps to target a range of long-tail keyword queries that have significant search volume that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to target
- In-depth, quality content builds topical authority which improves the ranking of related pages
- This content can help build backlinks to improve the strength of your root domain and all pages that fall off it.
This kind of supplementary material is something we encourage all our clients to do, as it helps give a lot of inherent authority, as well as a great opportunity to lead customers into other sales funnels that they may not have considered at first.
SmartBuyGlasses have seen impressive growth over the past year jumping into the top 10 most visible eyewear sites. Through two critical factors, trust and content, SmartBuyGlasses have highlighted to Google that they are a high-quality site that not only delivers a reliable product but that SmartBuyGlasses are also seen as experts in the eye and eyewear space.
For this reason, they make a great case study for anyone interested in SEO strategy and understanding what makes an eye-catching site.