Douglas’ goals as a leading online retailer for perfume and cosmetics are clear: to consolidate and expand its number one position in Europe, and to be the largest marketplace for beauty and lifestyle in the online sector by 2030. From 2014 to 2019, Douglas regularly relied on the selective support of our SEO experts. Since 2019, Douglas and DEPT® have been working closely together on the structural, technical and content-related optimisation of the e-commerce shops and the outreach activities in numerous countries.
Central control, international market
At Douglas, SEO for all markets is managed centrally from the headquarters in Düsseldorf. The in-house team is responsible for a large number of websites with different requirements, and handles the technical platform, the progress of previous SEO optimisations, the competitive situation, and the available budget.
In order to standardise and simplify the processes while at the same time taking into account the market-specific conditions, Douglas was looking for a competent and trustworthy partner who has experience in managing large international SEO projects and can offer services in many languages.
At the beginning of the partnership, organic search was the problem child of the traffic channels. The challenge was to identify and address the greatest SEO potential for a long-term increase in performance per country. In addition, cross-national synergies were required for up to 14 different markets.The primary goal was always to generate more website hits and net sales via organic search.
Additional goals included:
- Break down the silos between SEO, content, technology, UX/UI and data.
- Increase visibility to rank ahead of the biggest competitors for important keywords.
- Optimise the shop structure as well as the crawlability and indexability of the websites.
- Increase presence in the informational keyword area.
- Support the upcoming relaunch to a new technical platform.
- Improve the user experience.
- Improve the composition and quality of the backlink profiles.
Audits and analyses
To achieve the ambitious goals, we carried out technical SEO and content audits, logfile, pagespeed and competition analyses, as well as structural analyses of the brand and category tree. These audits and analyses served to define the status quo, helped to identify necessary technical optimisation measures, and highlighted where to expand the keyword sets for a more targeted approach.
Based on the collected data, we developed a country-specific strategy together with Douglas, including prioritisation of the necessary measures according to the available budget, the competitive situation, and the technical platform.
From quick wins to comprehensive measures
By identifying and optimising quick wins for on-page and off-page SEO, initial success was quickly achieved. We then focused on more comprehensive measures, and succeeded in improving performance sustainably. Across all countries, we optimised and expanded the category tree, made strategic adjustments to internal linking, implemented indexing logics to improve index hygiene, and conducted active outreach. In addition, an automated website monitoring system was set up to enable Douglas to identify bugs at an early stage. Last but not least, Douglas also mastered the relaunch to a new technical platform together with our SEO experts.
Focus on the users
In addition to the technical measures, a major focus was on optimising and creating user-centred content for category, brand and product detail pages, in order to better exploit the ranking potential.
High-quality, informational marketing content expanded the visibility of the brand and confirmed Douglas’ standing as an expert in beauty and lifestyle. We illustrated some of the content pieces with matching infographics in the consistent look and feel of the brand.
In order to ensure the greatest possible efficiency, Douglas has an overarching project lead team, and an overarching team for technology and strategy, plus SEO experts with primary responsibility for each country. These teams focus on identifying and creating cross-market synergy effects in the areas of project management, content, technology, outreach and strategy.
Douglas also relies on the expertise of DEPT® in other disciplines such as UX/UI and data, so for optimal implementation of the measures, a regular internal exchange happens between the relevant departments and whenever and wherever appropriate, our specialist teams work together to continue to create the best possible experience for Douglas and its customers.
From silos to synergies: that was one of the success factors in pushing SEO at Douglas. DEPT® is a reliable partner in this regard. For optimisations in tech, on-page and off-page SEO, I can always rely on the expertise and high quality of the DEPT® team
Jakobus Müller, Head of SEO, Douglas
SEO Consulting Lead
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