As the leading online retailer of perfume and cosmetics in the European market, Douglas‘ goals are clear: to consolidate its top position and to be the largest marketplace for beauty and lifestyle in the online sector by 2030. From 2014 to 2019, Douglas frequently relied on the support of our SEO experts for selected projects. Since 2019, the retailer and DEPT® have been working closely together on the structural, technical, and content-related optimisation of their ecommerce shops, as well as on outreach activities in numerous countries.
Central management, international market
At Douglas, SEO activities are managed from the headquarters in Düsseldorf, Germany. That means that the in-house team is responsible for a large number of websites with different requirements, such as the technical platform, maintenance of SEO optimisations, ongoing competitor analysis and budget allocation.
In order to standardise and simplify processes while taking into account the individual market’s characteristics, Douglas was looking for a competent and trustworthy partner who also had experience in managing large, international SEO projects and could offer services in many languages.
At the beginning of the collaboration, organic search was the main concern when looking at the different traffic channels. The challenge was to identify and address the greatest SEO potential for a long-term increase in performance for each country, leading to an increase in website traffic.
In addition, cross-market synergies were to be created for the 11 markets in which Douglas operates.
At a more detailed level, our SEO team had the following targets:
- Breake down the silos between SEO, content, tech, UX/UI and data;
- Increase brand awareness to rank ahead of the biggest competitors for important keywords;
- Optimise the webshop structure as well as the crawlability and indexability of the websites;
- Increase Douglas’ presence in informational keyword search results;
- Support the upcoming relaunch of a new technical platform;
- Improve the user experience;
- Improve the composition and quality of the backlink profile.
Audits, analyses, conclusions
To achieve these ambitious goals, we started by carrying out technical SEO and content audits, logfile, page speed and competition analyses, as well as structural analyses of the brand and of the category tree. These audits and analyses helped define the status quo. They were also useful to identify technical optimisation opportunities and to expand the keyword sets for a more targeted approach to users.
Armed with this comprehensive data set, we developed a country-specific strategy, which included prioritisation of the necessary actions according to budget, competition, the platform used by each country and so on.
From quick wins to comprehensive actions
It didn’t take long for the first results to appear, as we started by optimising
on-page and off-page SEO for quick wins.
After that, we implemented comprehensive actions to improve performance sustainably and in the long term. We optimised and expanded the category tree, made strategic adjustments to internal linking, drastically improved the index hygiene and conducted active outreach – all of these actions took place across the 11 markets where Douglas is active in Europe.
To top it all off, an automated website monitoring system was set up, enabling Douglas to quickly identify and fix any potential bugs before they become a problem. Last but not least, Douglas and our SEO experts relaunched a new technical platform.
Focus on the users
In addition to the different technical measures outlined above, another focus area was, of course, the users.
Our content teams concentrated on creating and/or optimising user-centred content for category, brand and product pages in order to better exploit the ranking potential.
The overall strategy consisted of creating high-quality, informational content to expand the brand’s visibility in the respective areas and consolidate Douglas’ standing as an absolute expert in the Beauty & Lifestyle industry.
We illustrated some of the content pieces with matching infographics, always taking into account the look and feel of the brand.
Douglas’ SEO leads in each country coordinate with a project lead, which, in turn, answer to the overarching tech and strategy team. These teams focus on identifying and creating cross-market synergies in the areas of project management, content, technology, outreach and strategy.
Douglas also relies on DEPT®’s expertise in other disciplines, so there is often a knowledge exchange between the SEO, Content, Outreach, UX/UI and Data teams. The internal collaboration and intercompany projects ensure that we create the best possible experience for Douglas and its customers.
In the Copenhagen office, DEPT®’s SEO experts pitch in with content creation, copywriting and outreach for local markets. We create and optimise content for Douglas’ Portuguese and Swiss website (though only in French for the latter). Our goal in these markets is to build internal links and optimise the keyword profile, while providing useful information to the customer. On the Danish and Belgian websites, the Copenhagen team works on external link building and outreach, aiming at optimal page relevance for the customers and ultimately also for SERPs.
From silos to synergies – this was one of the success factors in pushing SEO at Douglas. DEPT® was and is a reliable partner in this respect. For optimisations in tech, on-page and off-page SEO, I can always rely on DEPT®’s expertise and high quality work.
Jakobus Müller, Head of SEO, Douglas
SEO Consulting Lead
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