La La Land

We caught the owner of a UK-based online fashion boutique named “La La Land” lamenting on Reddit that their SEO rankings had been killed by the release of the Oscar-winning, Hollywood Blockbuster of the same name. And she was desperate for help, as traffic to her site was steadily declining. To help her out, we gave a brief teardown to provide feedback on her social and search strategies, as well as some recommendations on alternative methods she could generate traffic to her site.

So I have a shop called the same name as the new big budget RyGo musical film. Before this film started getting mentions online, my shop came up first when the name was typed into google. Now it still appears, once on the front page of results, but it is buried completely. I have definitely noticed less traffic, and I am beginning to become very concerned. I can’t compete with the film. Even though the shop name was a phrase that was widely used before, the google search results used to mainly be from my shop for pages and pages. Now, I get one or two mentions. Should I rebrand?? Will the search results go back to what they were like previously once the excitement around the film dies down?? If anyone has any experience with something similar, I would love to hear from you!

If all your traffic comes from one source, that’s a problem.

The core problem was obvious to us – Sarah was too reliant on her search engine ranking for the term ‘La La Land’ for driving traffic to her site. In this scenario, even if the film didn’t come out, she was still only ever one Google algorithm away from being bumped off the front page. It’s a huge business risk and, as Sarah saw, when that risk becomes reality, it can have a pretty serious impact on your business.

But here’s something to keep in mind:

When you’re getting 10,000 visits a day from Facebook, it doesn’t matter where you show up in Google

There are a lot of different ways to generate traffic online, and using search engines are just one of them.

Your SEO Strategy Sucks

There’s something broken if your entire SEO strategy is based around people finding you when they Google “La La Land”.

First of all, this rarely works as a growth strategy. If people are google’ing you, they already know who you are. Unless you’re getting traffic simply because people google “La La Land” randomly and end up finding your store. That’s not a viable long-term strategy.

Secondly, you need to utilise your blog. The more content you write, the more information there is for Google to decide what your site is about, so that it can show it to people that aren’t just searching for “La La Land”. Write about gift ideas for people from Glascow, write about unique gifts for dog people, etc. There are billions of SEO resources out there, go read some.

Your Social Media Strategy Sucks

Why are you posting the exact same posts to Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter? Stop using IFTT, it’s not just lazy, it’s ineffective.

Like, take a look at your Twitter posts – the text doesn’t even fit on the damn post. Your tumblr posts just link to your Instagram feed, which means to get to your website people need to click twice. You need to create content that’s crafted for each platform that you’re marketing on. Go read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook for a basic overview of this idea.

Instagram

  • Your Instagram feed should have videos on it
  • Why are you not using Instagram stories? This would be a great place to showcase some of the behind-the-scenes of creating your products.
  • Are you just dumping photos, or are you sticking around to engage users on Instagram? How much time are you spending each day browsing Instagram and engaging with other accounts?
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Twitter

  • 1-2 hashtags per post (currently: 0). Once you stop auto-posting you can fix this.
  • Similarly, spend 10 minutes a day tweeting stuff that isn’t photos of your products. Engage with other accounts.

Facebook

  • Consider re-sharing a few bits of social media content that are relevant to your consumers (ie, stuff that’s gone viral that you’ve seen in your feed). (I don’t mean download + reupload, I mean ‘share’)
  • Consider creating content similar to the above. What sort of stuff do you see popping up in your personal feed that you think you can replicate within context of your store? Maybe you can do a time-lapse video of you creating some of the art you make
  • Try not to have just an entire feed of product photos. Look at your content mix, think about other types of posts you could make that are relevant to your audience.

You don’t have an on-site content strategy

There’s nothing on your website that you can use to lure people to it.

Go on your blog right now, and write a 500 word post ranting about <some subject relevant to your customerbase>, with a headline that is interesting enough that might get them to click the link if you post it to Twitter. Have a think about the different type of content you could produce that would appeal to your buyers. Is it an infographic, is it instructions on how to choose Christmas gifts for spoiled millenials, this sort of stuff.

You want to create the sort of content that when you post it, people will click “share”.

Response

Sarah was a bit reluctant to acknowledge that she was too dependent on SEO. In fact, her initial reply to us said that she was getting national press through her PR company, that she had strong social game and that she was working with bloggers all the time, “But the links to those results are ALL being pushed back by the film and their reviews, articles social etc.” … wait, the links to those results? On Google… right?

Once we provided a full teardown, she started to understand what we were talking about and had this to say:

THANK YOU! I totally agree with everything you said. I’m going to implant your suggestions ASAP!!! 🙂

The Aftermath

Sometimes you can feel like you’re doing everything right, and that it’s external forces that are affecting your success. First of all, you need to realise that there’s nothing you can do to change external forces, all you can do is change your approach once circumstances change. If you used to rely on being on the front page of Google for your keywords, and something bumps you off the front page, then you either need to work out how to get back there, or you need to start finding another way to generate traffic.

And sometimes you can’t see the things you could change. That’s why it’s important to get someone external like us to give you a teardown, to see those things that you’re too close to see, and to give you the brutally honest feedback you need, that your friends and family aren’t nice enough to give you.

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