SEO case study: strategy to overcome seasonality, PPC competition and niche crisis for local ecommerce business

image with text "our marketing experience in the local ecommerce business"

In this SEO case study, we will be discussing a strategy to promote a local e-commerce business in Canada that is facing three major challenges: seasonality, intense PPC competition, and a niche crisis due to a decrease in search volume. We will be sharing a step-by-step approach to overcome these challenges and drive traffic to the website through SEO tactics. This article will provide valuable insights for e-commerce businesses struggling with similar issues and looking for innovative solutions to boost their online presence.

About Deck Toronto SEO case challenge

The Decks Toronto project is an online ecommerce store based in Canada, operating on the Laravel framework. The business focuses on delivering goods across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), but also offers delivery outside of the area. The client was looking to increase their visibility in cities such as Toronto, Ontario, Markham, and Barry.

One of the strengths of the project is its domain name – Deck Toronto, which allows it to rank well for geo-targeted searches containing “toronto.” Additionally, the site has an advantage due to its age and reputation, which makes it easier to rank new pages in the top 30 results for low or medium frequency queries. The site also had good behavioral factors with an average time of 1.5 minutes and 2 page views per session.

However, the site does have weaknesses, particularly in the lack of a full-fledged product catalog with filters, making it difficult to promote brand collections and product pages effectively.

Unraveling the tangle of seasonality, PPC competition and niche crisis issues

We faced a tangle of challenges that threatened our growth and profitability. The first issue was the general crisis affecting our niche, which had led to a steady decline in demand for our goods. At the same time, traffic was strongly affected by seasonality, when demand for a product is very low for half a year. Additionally, we faced fierce competition from other vendors and numerous PPC ads that often diverted traffic away from our site. 

Our main goal was to develop a comprehensive strategy that could help us overcome these challenges and achieve sustainable growth. Our strategy was not solely focused on improving traffic but rather, we aimed to achieve three key objectives. First, we wanted to surpass last year’s traffic levels. Secondly, we wanted to increase our visibility for brand-specific transactional keywords and boost existing rankings. Finally, we aimed to reduce the impact of PPC ads on our transactional requests and ensure they don’t take away valuable traffic from our site. 

With a well-thought-out strategy, we believe we have successfully navigated the challenges of seasonality, PPC competition, and niche crisis, and emerged stronger and more profitable.

Strategy for ecommerce local business SEO promotion

A strong SEO promotion strategy is essential to successfully overcome the challenges of seasonality, PPC competition, and niche crisis for a local ecommerce business. The first step towards achieving this goal is conducting a thorough analysis of the niche and target audience. This analysis will enable us to identify the most effective keywords, content topics, and promotion channels. The focus should be on creating high-quality, engaging, and relevant content that meets the needs of the target audience while providing them with value. Social media platforms, email marketing, and influencer outreach are effective channels to promote our content and drive traffic to our website. Additionally, optimizing our website structure, metadata, and on-page content is essential to improve our search engine rankings and visibility in search results. By implementing these strategies, we can enhance our traffic, visibility, and keyword count year after year while minimizing the impact of PPC ads on our transactional requests.

Collecting data

To develop a highly effective SEO strategy, our team began the process by conducting a thorough data analysis from various sources. We used a combination of tools such as Google Analytics, Search Console, and Google Trends to gather valuable insights about the website’s performance, user behavior, and search trends. Additionally, we utilized more advanced research tools like SpySerp, Ahrefs, Serpstat, and Screaming Frog to gain crucial information on our competitors’ keywords, technical condition, backlinks, and website structure. This allowed us to have a comprehensive understanding of the market and identify areas for improvement. By pooling insights from these diverse sources, we were able to identify opportunities for improvement and devise a comprehensive plan to surmount the challenges of seasonality, PPC competition, and niche crisis for our ecommerce business client.

Basic technical optimization

As part of our comprehensive SEO strategy for Decks Toronto, we undertook basic technical optimization on the website to address critical issues affecting its performance. We identified and fixed problems such as 404 error pages and slow download speed, which impaired user experience. Moreover, we used best practices such as installing last-modified headers and adding structured data markup such as LocalBusiness, Breadcrumbs and Product schema. These technical improvements served as a solid starting point for further optimization efforts and helped boost the website’s overall search engine rankings and performance.

SERP for the long-tailed keyword "trex composite decking price" where decks toronto in the featured snippet

Winning PPC: add missed semantics for deck collections

Winning at PPC advertising was a crucial aspect of our SEO strategy. PPC cannot be overtaken in SERP, the presence of contextual advertising reduced the likelihood of users seeing our site in the search results, even if we ranked on the first page but in 7th-9th position.  However, PPC ads tend to focus on short-tail keywords with high search volume, so we considered targeting long-tail keywords that are more specific to our local e-commerce business. So we decided to win a competition for long-tail keywords and get visibility on featured snippets. So, we used Ahrefs to identify long-tail keywords that have a higher chance of triggering a featured snippet and created high-quality content that provides clear and concise answers to common search queries. We made accents on adding tables and lists and using semantic tags to make our page structure understandable for Google bots. This approach helped us increase our visibility and drive traffic from low-volume keywords to the website, giving us a competitive advantage in the PPC landscape and attracting high-quality leads.

page traffic dynamics

Overcoming seasonality: apply strong content marketing strategy for blog

To overcome the seasonal challenges faced by the deck-building industry, we implemented a robust content marketing strategy for the Decks Toronto blog. Following Google’s recommendation to create high-quality content, we focused on crafting comprehensive, engaging, and informative blog posts that provided valuable insights and addressed common industry questions. When compiling topics for the blog, we used Google Trends to select those that maintain high demand dynamics out of season. In addition to optimizing the blog, we also rewrote all the content on the catalog pages and gave an extended description for the product pages. By doing so, we succeeded in positioning the Decks Toronto as a trusted and authoritative source of information on deck-building, driving more traffic to the website. With a consistent and targeted content marketing approach, we were able to overcome seasonality challenges and establish Decks Toronto as a leading player in the industry.

Way out of a niche crisis: link building strategy

A link building strategy can be an effective way out of a niche crisis for a business.

Growing positions for "azek" group of queries

By acquiring high-quality backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites, a business can improve its search engine rankings and increase its visibility in the industry.

We’ve focused on building local backlinks that could help improve our local SEO by signaling to search engines that our site is relevant to the local area. We reached out to local bloggers, publications, and businesses to build backlinks to our local e-commerce site. We built a link profile not only for the main page, but also for brand catalog pages. Uniform distribution of link weight across the site, the ratio of anchor and non-anchor links of 20:80 and regularity allowed us to maintain a stable growth of traffic to catalog pages even with a small budget.

compare traffic to competitors

As a result, after six months, we were one of the few sites in the niche that survived the year without a drop in traffic and the number of keywords.

overall traffic on the site

Summary: what to do for local SEO promotion of e-commerce websites?

To overcome seasonal obstacles, competition in pay-per-click advertising, and niche crises, an ecommerce business like Decks Toronto must adopt a comprehensive SEO approach. This approach involves optimizing the website for relevant keywords and improving the user experience. It also requires leveraging PPC advertising to gain visibility, utilizing content marketing to establish the business as an industry authority and drive traffic to the website, and implementing a strong link-building strategy to improve search engine rankings and overcome niche crises. By combining these tactics and continuously monitoring and adjusting the strategy, the business can achieve sustainable growth and success.

image with text "schedule your seo audit now"

Get a SEO audit and grow your visibility in Google

Don’t let your website fall behind in Google’s search rankings! Book our comprehensive SEO audit today and get the insights you need to boost your visibility and drive more traffic to your site. The IM4U Digital Marketing Agency team of experts will analyze your website’s performance and provide customized recommendations to optimize your SEO strategy. Don’t miss out on potential customers – schedule your SEO audit now and take the first step towards dominating the search rankings!


Oleksandr Yaremenko

31.05.2023 87

Why choose WordPress for web development – 12 benefits of WordPress websites

Unearth the 12 pivotal advantages of WordPress for...

25.05.2023 108

IM4U visited Interpack Dusseldorf 2023 exhibition – our main insights

Explore our main insights from Interpack Düsseldo...

04.05.2023 321

Top SEO trends to rank your website

Uncover the top SEO trends and expert insights to...

24.04.2023 158

SEO case study: strategy to overcome seasonality, PPC competition and niche crisis for local ecommerce business

Discover how a local ecommerce business conquered...

13.04.2023 227

The Impact of ChatGPT on Marketing, Advertising, SMM, and SEO

Discover how ChatGPT technology is changing the ga...

03.04.2023 274

How to find your target audience for your business

Discover how to find your target audience for your...

17.03.2023 211

9 marketing challenges and how to overcome them

Discover 9 Common Marketing Challenges and Effecti...

13.03.2023 442

6 best e-commerce CMS for online store

Which are the best e-commerce platforms available...

06.03.2023 334

6 free calendars to make your SMM promotion better

The article provides a brief overview of each cale...

24.02.2023 494

How to improve your PPC Ads – 8 advice you didn’t know

Are you looking to increase your visibility and gi...