Search Engine Guide Case Study: CompUSA Goes for Optimization Success

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Embarking on an enterprise-level search optimization campaign is not a task for the squeamish. CompUSA rose to the occasion and had full company support when its executives decided to pursue the benefits of full site optimization.


To increase its natural, non-branded search results, CompUSA realized it would require support internally, from marketing and technical teams up to senior management.


Branded search terms are typically the first step at the front end of a natural SEO program. The major search engines are very good at properly ranking companies for search terms containing the company name. However, acquiring "real" new customers requires taking the next steps in an optimization campaign.


When CompUSA began analyzing search traffic, executives found that 92 percent of visitors came to the site using CompUSA-branded search terms. People looking for CompUSA were finding CompUSA. People looking for computer equipment and accessories online were finding CompUSA's competitors. The company realized it needed to elevate its search engine presence to generate new customer acquisition from non-CompUSA-related search phrases.


From Range Online Media's perspective, the first step of working with CompUSA was to understand the company's business model and culture. Following that, a comprehensive technical assessment of the site at www.compusa.com and the application of a solid mix of SEO fundamentals and advanced techniques was employed.


Three of the techniques used on CompUSA.com were: proper title and meta tagging; correct internal link architecture; and optimized content creation on a per-product basis. The improved natural search program, combined with CompUSA's paid search campaign, is producing results that are driving CompUSA's business.


After 12 months, Range and CompUSA were able to drive 645,000 visitors to CompUSA.com versus the less than 270,000 from the same month of the previous year. This explosive growth in traffic was achieved mainly through non-branded search terms, while not cannibalizing traffic from branded search terms. The percentage of branded search terms dropped from 92 percent to 31 percent of overall traffic.


Another benefit was a gigantic increase in the numbers of pages from CompUSA.com listed by Google, rising from 13,000 pages to more than 534,000.


For more articles from The Direct Marketer's Essential Guide to Search Engine Marketing, visit http://www.dmnews.com/cgi-bin/artcategory.cgi?category_id=22


A PDF of the guide is available at: http://www.dmnews.com/pdffiles/semguide.pdf


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