Sex Toy Retailer SEO Case Study: PinkCherry

Gaining ground in organic search and driving business results with SEO strategies

PinkCherry offers a diverse array of sex toys, adult novelties, erotic apparel, and sexual health & wellness products to Canadians from coast to coast. With a powerful e-commerce website and best-in-class customer service, PinkCherry holds a strong leadership position in a highly competitive marketplace by providing a convenient, secure, and discreet shopping experience.

Client Challenges

Within Canada, cultural acceptance of sex toys has expanded greatly over the years. What was once considered ‘taboo’ is now commonly understood to be a normal part of our lives, and demand for sex toys, adult novelties, and other types of sexual health & well-being products has surged. This growing demand has been met with many retailers offering a broad range of sex toy products through convenient e-commerce storefronts. PinkCherry is one of Canada’s largest online retailers of sex toys and adult products, and faces stiff competition for the top spots on search engine results pages across an expansive range of keywords.

In 2017, PinkCherry began to experience declines in organic search traffic to their website, and by late 2018 these declines had reached nearly 30% year-over-year. It was at this time that PinkCherry began working with WMT’s team of SEO experts to reverse the trend, gain back lost ground in organic search, and rise in the ranks for an extensive range of keywords. A comprehensive SEO plan was needed that would address multiple on-site optimization tasks, as well as include a robust ongoing content strategy, and tactics to counteract off-site factors that were negatively contributing to the current organic search trends.

Campaign Objectives

After conducting a comprehensive site audit, WMT created a plan to help PinkCherry improve their organic search campaign objectives, focused on these essential strategies:

Full SEO site audit to identify and prioritize all organic search related issues

Complete optimization of the PinkCherry website to build a solid SEO foundation

Ongoing creation of SEO-focused content to boost rankings & influence purchases

Scope of Work

The top priority at the onset of the project was performing a complete end-to-end SEO audit of the PinkCherry website. This deep-dive analysis helped to clearly define exactly what optimizations were needed, what areas were working well, and which elements were having a negative influence on SEO performance.

The audit covered all on-site and off-site SEO factors, and provided the roadmap for all other optimization efforts moving forward. In conjunction, a comprehensive keyword list was generated to provide a reference for the most critical keywords to be used throughout the website, as well as for ongoing content creation efforts.

With the roadmap created from the SEO audit, and a complete keyword list now established, optimizations proceeded at full-speed across the PinkCherry website. WMT provided clear direction to the internal marketing team at PinkCherry for optimizations that could be handled internally, while other optimizations were performed directly by the WMT SEO experts.

After the initial phase of SEO fundamentals were completed, WMT helped develop an extensive content marketing strategy to build on the recent SEO optimizations and gain momentum on valuable keywords across many different product categories.

Strategies, Tactics & KPI's

Planning & Strategy

For PinkCherry, the following search engine optimization strategies were put in place.

  • Beginning with a complete SEO audit, overhaul the existing website with an SEO-first approach by implementing established SEO best practices across all back-end and on-page elements, as well as off-site factors such as backlinks.
  • Initiate a strategic content marketing plan, creating long-form web content focused on core SEO keywords and phrases that will deliver educational value, influence purchases, establish trust, and boost search engine authority.

Methods & Tactics

SEO Tactics:

  • Creation of keyword lists, broad/core & product categories
  • Technical optimization within the constraints of Shopify
  • Complete sitewide refresh of META titles & descriptions 
  • Optimization of on-page copy, expanding and creating
  • Link profile review, disavowing "bad" links as required

Content Marketing Tactics:

  • Identifying high-value content topics and areas of interest
  • Ensuring editorial calendar included appropriate SEO content
  • Final edits and optimization of articles and other site content
  • Providing recommendations for core content improvements

KPI's - Measuring Success

As SEO changes and optimizations were implemented across the PinkCherry website, close attention was paid to the impact on organic search performance to ensure that things were headed in the right direction. Although SEO improvements can take substantial time to start showing a positive shift to organic traffic, PinkCherry achieved SEO traffic significant growth in less than a year.

  • SEO traffic was closely monitored, and upward trends in organic traffic were first observed in just two months after the SEO project was initiated
  • Organic new user growth was closely monitored to ensure that optimization efforts were attracting a greater ratio of first-time shoppers
  • Organic search revenue was monitored to confirm that customers driven to the site from SEO efforts were positively impacting sales performance

Performance Results

As a result of WMT’s optimization efforts, organic search performance for PinkCherry has shown significant improvement across these KPIs in just one year. These numbers demonstrate the real impact that a well-planned and well-executed SEO strategy can have on an e-commerce business, and provide a shining example of how WMT works to drive real business results for our clients.

Organic Search Growth Trend - 2017 to 2019

The downward trends that began in 2017 before WMT was involved were successfully reversed, and by December 2019 the WMT SEO strategy had increased organic search new users 97% year over year.

  • Organic Traffic

PinkCherry - In Their Own Words

“Competition in the adult toy industry is quite fierce, and being number 1 on the Google results pages is extremely important. With so many products available across so many different categories, it’s a big job to try and rise in the ranks for all of them. Our search engine traffic started declining in 2017, and we needed help to fix this problem the right way.

Since WMT started helping us at the end of 2018, we’ve seen the impact that a solid SEO strategy can have. Our rankings have risen, our traffic is growing, and our revenue is going up. There’s no question that we are stronger now than we were before WMT began their work. WMT has been an essential factor in our success online. ”

Lana Morley - Director of Marketing


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