Conquering the biggest data challenge

Rituals launched in 2000 and has grown into a must-have Home & Body cosmetics brand over the years. The goal of its campaign stems from its ambition for continuous growth: increasing revenue in its primary markets, namely the Netherlands and Germany, all the while growing in all other countries where Rituals resides (Europe and the United States).

How? By partnering with DEPT® and improving their organic findability.

Duplicate pages: a true conversion killer

Each market has its own Rituals website, which is needed in order to ship the products to various countries. As a result, there are no less than 22 duplicates of the English website alone!

That is not great in terms of SEO when one considers the large amount of duplicate content, significant fragmentation in authority and waste of crawl budget with more than one million pages.

To give you an example, this is what happened in practice: people in France that used French search terms in their search would sometimes end up on a website that was in French but for Luxembourg. That was due to duplicate content and incorrect hreflang tags which resulted in the wrong indexation. As a French person, however, it wasn’t possible to check out on the Luxembourg website version. In addition, if you switched countries on the website (e.g. to France), the content of your shopping cart wouldn’t automatically switch to the website version of your domestic country.

Instead, you ended up with an empty shopping cart: a true conversion killer.

The goal: increasing revenue in primary markets while growing in all other countries

In an attempt to solve this problem, we started a thorough rationalisation of all Rituals websites. This entailed an extensive migration of all individual websites to one .com domain, focusing on “indexability”, “crawlability”, “authority” and “usability”.

We kept the deadline of fall in mind, so the rewards could be reaped in the winter season: the ultimate gift-giving season for Rituals.

Combining similar website pages

Besides rationalisation, the right international tagging (“hreflang” and Search Console), languages and currencies had to be added. Because of the large number of pages and duplicates, Google failed to pick up on the pages in the way that it should have. The choice was made to make one version indexable per language/currency. The following considerations were taken into account:

  • The link value of the duplicates could not be lost, which is why 301 redirects were moved from the duplicate pages to the main page.
  • The pages that were to disappear still needed to be available for campaigns and checkout, which is why duplicates of those pages were created. However, these duplicate pages aren’t visible in search engines. Consequently, a ‘disallow’ in the robots.txt (crawlability & indexability) and, for completeness, a ‘noindex’ were added to the “new” duplicate pages.


The migration to only one rituals.com domain led to several positive results:

  • Greatly improved indexation
  • Crawl budget much better spent
  • Increased authority
  • Check-out on the website the customers entered organically
  • Revenue increased with 186% before Rituals peak season (winter)

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Managing Director NL

Jeanette Kerssens-Kox

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