Washware Essentials: a 20% Increase in sales

Washware Essentials Logo

Washware Essentials is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of commercial sanitary ware, equipping schools, public buildings and office blocks with urinals, wash fountains and all manner of washroom accessories.

When their website wasn’t performing well, they contacted us for expert advice. This is how we helped them achieve record monthly sales within three months of implementing our strategic SEO and content marketing campaign.

Key Achievements:Washware Essentials Screenshot

  • Year-on-year sales are up 20% for many key products
  • A ROI of 652% across four months of marketing spend
  • A 26% average increase in unique users in four months
  • 90% + of web pages are now being regularly indexed

 

If you have a web development team in place, whether in-house or outsourced, it’s easy to assume that everything is ticking along nicely, running in the background to ensure your website performs to its full potential.

However, there are a multitude of elements to consider when it comes to onsite optimisation, and even the most experienced SEO professional can miss red flags that hamper search engine performance. As a result, numerous businesses, both large and small, suffer with lower rankings than they perhaps deserve.

You can invest in the most compelling offsite marketing campaign known to man, but if your own little corner of the Internet isn’t up to scratch, you’ll find it hard to gain traction in organic search listings. This is the position Washware Essentials, based in the South West, found themselves in, which is why they were on the lookout for a Bristol SEO specialist.

Paul Thorn, Managing Director, comments:

We’d dabbled with a couple of SEO agencies over the years, but didn’t agree with the way they did things – it was all smoke and mirrors, and we’d just end up with a load of dodgy links to our website. As soon as we found out what was going on, we put a stop to it. I was put off the idea of SEO for a long time.

However, towards the end of 2016, we knew we had to do something, so I approached 10 local SEO companies. Some came back to us with a very basic SEO report, nothing more than what we could have produced ourselves by entering a few details into a website. Magnus, on the other hand, really took his time to understand our business. He spent an hour on the phone with us before even attempting to look at our website. He then sent over an in-depth analysis.

Everything he said made sense, going into specific detail about our website rather than making generic statements. It was a thorough audit, and a thorough proposal of what we should do, backed up with examples of exactly how each step would work and what we could achieve.

Much has been written about the blackhat SEO tactics that Paul had previously experienced, and many companies have fallen victim to Google penalties as a result of bad links. Unfortunately, it is common for unscrupulous marketers to manipulate search engines by generating backlinks on hundreds of unrelated, untrustworthy websites.

The theory being that search engine bots considered backlinks as recommendations, so the more you have (no matter where from), the more ‘recommended’ you appear to be, and the higher you’ll rank. However, after several link focussed updates, the search algorithms are now much smarter, detecting the authority and relevance of each citation link. As such, it’s no longer a numbers game, and quality link-building is always preferable to quantity.

We took time to fully evaluate the Washware website, reviewing every single page and suggesting a series of onsite improvements before proposing a comprehensive online marketing strategy.

Expert SEO services

Our thorough analysis revealed that Washware’s online presence was beset by a number of duplicate content issues; both the ‘www’ and ‘non-www’ versions of their website were running as separate entities, rather than one redirecting to the other, and their development site (used to test updates, etc.) was still live and being indexed by Google.

Thus, essentially they had three versions of the same website competing with each other, hampering SEO efforts. Plagiarism is also seriously frowned upon by Google, and by effectively plagiarising themselves three times, they were racking up plenty of penalties, damaging rankings even further.

Paul continues:

It was quite enlightening and we suddenly had a moment of clarity that explained why we weren’t ranking as highly as we should. Nobody else who had supposedly audited our website came back with any duplicate content issues – this was the first time it had ever been mentioned.

It was all stuff that we would never have found ourselves, and when we received Magnus’ report it was so in-depth that it outlined exactly what we needed to do and how to do it. We were able to implement some changes ourselves, and there were other tasks that we had to pass onto our development team.

Almost immediately, we started receiving enquiries for products that nobody had ever contacted us about before. We had resigned ourselves to thinking they just weren’t very popular, but now we realise they simply weren’t showing up in search results.

In fact, of the 400+ web pages on Washware’s site, only 66 were being indexed by Google. Now, within a few weeks of making our suggested edits, over 90% of them have been indexed, making the customer journey much more efficient.

Once the website had been refined, we could then move onto the next step of our content marketing plan; optimising product pages with quality copywriting, improving onsite content with informative blog posts and detailed how-to guides, and reaching out to industry-specific publications to submit guest articles.

Paul has been very happy with the work produced so far, saying:

I know sanitary ware inside out, and I could probably write a technical page, but I know my limitations and I can’t write a blog post or article that somebody would want to publish in a magazine.

The content that Bespoke has produced has really put a smile on my face. I often think ‘I haven’t wasted my time reading that,’ and that’s what you want when approaching industry magazine sites – to say something interesting that won’t bore the hell out of your audience.

If you can impress with your written content, it will only reflect well upon your brand and, hopefully, encourage potential customers to click-through to your site.

That’s what good outreach campaigns are all about; engaging with target audiences, showing Google that you’re active in your marketplace – giving you a natural bump in the organic search listings rather than having random backlinks from meaningless websites.

By publishing useful articles, such as ‘Choosing the right urinals for your workplace’ and ‘Drinking Fountains: Dispelling The Myths’, on industry-related websites, we’ve helped Washware achieve fantastic results.

Quality Content + Sophisticated SEO = Marketing Success

In the first three months after the onsite optimisation was completer, from January 2017 onwards, there’s been a marked improvement in visitors to the Washware website, as evidenced in the below graph.

Washware Essentials - Website Analytics

In fact, the increased traffic has led to a bumper month, as March 2017 was Washware’s most successful period since they started trading in 2011, with sales up 20% year-on-year.

Paul concludes:

Usually, July and August are our busiest months, because that’s when schools order new products to install over the holidays, so the fact that we’ve already beaten our best month and it’s only March definitely bodes well for the future.

We’ve had plenty of orders and phone calls coming through, and have been so happy with Bespoke’s work that we’re now enlisting them to write copy for our new products, while also continuing the outreach and SEO campaign.

What we’re doing today will still be valid in five years’ time, whereas other agencies were offering more of a short-term fix. Investing in the quality and expertise of Bespoke is already paying off and we’re excited about the future.

If you’d like to hear more about our free SEO analysis and how we can help you climb the organic search results in a Google-friendly way, please give us a call or email magnus@bespoke-digital.co.uk today.