Comprehensive SEO Strategy to Boost Web Traffic During the COVID-19 Lockdown in 2020
Alba SEO Services helped gym equipment wholesaler Pinnacle Fitness move from selling used equipment into selling new fitness equipment brands during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, taking advantage of the boost in popularity of home gym equipment during the lockdown. This was accomplished by providing SEO consultancy for a website redesign and an ongoing SEO campaign.
About Pinnacle Fitness
Pinnacle Fitness is an online company providing home users and professional gyms with superior quality used and refurbished commercial-grade gym equipment from the industry’s leading manufacturers at the best possible prices.
As part of its marketing objectives for 2020, Pinnacle Fitness wanted to focus on extending its used and refurbished gym equipment offering by also stocking new gym equipment.
When the global pandemic hit the UK in February 2020 and the country went into its first lockdown in March, Pinnacle Fitness changed the pace of its marketing. It knew it needed to act fast and pivot to be at the forefront of what was becoming an online grab for fitness equipment at home because all gyms had closed.
Retailers were selling out of gym equipment fast. This was an opportunity for Pinnacle Fitness to maximise on the lockdown popularity of home gym accessories and capture new visitors who were in the market for smaller items such as weights and kettlebells while also doing a big push to introduce the new Blitz Fitness range and showcase its entire product line.
Alba SEO Services suggested a strategic approach that included a website redesign and SEO campaign.
The timing of the website redesign was crucial. When the pandemic hit and during the months that followed, the spike in website traffic was incredibly high. Interrupting sales and meeting that demand with the introduction of a new website was not an option at this time.
However, the redesign was an important part of the SEO campaign. Throughout September and October, a new website was built in WordPress, replacing the previous website on Joomla. WordPress offered a better platform for development and to mould and tweak the customer journey. It is also much better for being able to refine the SEO into what was needed.
Since Pinnacle Fitness had focussed solely on selling used and refurbished equipment, optimisation was necessary to show Google that it was now selling new equipment too. This involved the agency rethinking each page and category, and changing the onsite SEO to show the new equipment.
The home page was important, the most powerful page, was rewritten along with new page titles and meta tags to emphasise the company’s focus on new, used and refurbished gym equipment. The copywriter used strong category descriptions focussing on keywords like “home gym equipment”.
We advised developing a brand new category called “Home Gym Equipment” to capture all those searches that were now becoming popular as a result of lockdown, as more people searched for equipment to make a home gym.
This combined approach of changing the structure and navigation, incorporating new categories, and pushing the new equipment, dumbbells, and other key products, presented a strong signal to Google that Pinnacle Fitness could cater for these searches.
Changing the navigation ensured that the important pages were nearer to the homepage and had more authority with Google. The agency also built backlinks using content marketing to help the pages rank better.
Additionally, Pinnacle Fitness used celebrity endorsements with video clips created by Peter Andre and John Hartson. Both celebrities created video clips from their own home gyms, endorsing the equipment and services offered by Pinnacle Fitness to help the website in searches and contribute towards building trust and conversion rates.
This combined approach successfully drove traffic and sales for Pinnacle Fitness and laid strong foundations for taking the business in a new direction.
Over a period of 6 to 12 months, website traffic and sales conversion rates accelerated for Pinnacle Fitness. A Google Analytics comparison of 5th April 2021 with 5th April 2019 shows a 400% increase in organic traffic.
(Showing a comparison of 5th April 2020, when the traffic skyrocketed due to the lockdown, does not provide a true picture because the country was in lockdown during much of 2020, so the environment was not the same.)
In terms of optimising for keywords, Pinnacle Fitness experienced a clear difference in the 6-month period following the launch of the new website. The table below shows the period from 1st November 2020 until 1st April 2021, where the search term “free weights” rose substantially in the rankings by 27 positions.
Last year was an unprecedented sales year for us. At the start of last year when we were creating our marketing plans to launch Blitz Fitness, selling new gym equipment, this was a new direction for us. We thought this would be a slow build throughout the year. Then the pandemic struck and we experienced a sharp increase in website traffic with strong sales conversions to match as the trend to create home gyms took off. “We innovated with the new website and created new categories to develop strong SEO. It should have been a testbed year for us, while we laid new foundations to our business. The SEO campaign enabled us to optimise for our new gym equipment and also ensured we were optimising on lockdown trends for dumbbells, resistance bands and free weights. It was a year like no other.
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