Founded in 1810 and known for its unique offering of premium, expertly crafted furniture, Heal's is a stalwart of the British home interiors industry. As the market has become increasingly competitive and moved more to online, Heal's has had to adopt a more digital approach. This has paid dividends in recent years, but in late 2019 Heal's online growth stalled, largely due to a drop in organic traffic visiting its website.
What position was Heal's in at the start of 2020?
In the early part of 2020 and pre-pandemic, Heal's was faring poorly in terms of organic traffic. According to David Kohn, Customer & eCommerce Director, "Heal's replatformed in 2015 and lost lots of natural search traffic". In fact, the poorly executed transition from one website platform to another saw the retailer lose up to 40% of its natural search traffic. The next few years saw Heal's recover much of this traffic through a series of initiatives, but in the latter half of 2019 things went into reverse again. With organic traffic falling Heal's decided to take a new direction.
How Heal's grew its online traffic
The new direction saw Heal's move away from their existing SEO agency and enlist the services of a Search Engine Optimisation Growth Advisor and Consultant. Amine Dahimene says, "We took a four-pronged approach to improving Heal's organic traffic. This involved tidying up the website structure, creating clearer indexation policy, focusing on web content and targeting customer intent more effectively." All activities were prioritised based on rigorous analysis of the search market and where the greatest opportunities could be found for Heal's to improve its rankings and traffic.
Alongside the specific SEO initiatives Heal's also put significant effort into improving its online user experience. A range of initiatives were launched including rehosting the website to improve speed on mobile devices and desktop, a site redesign to keep the site fresh and in line with Heal's brand values and the introduction of a new, more reliable payment gateway. Heal's also built on its existing relationships with innovative technology suppliers such as the augmented reality platform Cylindo, and the store-based live chat solution Hero.
The combination of SEO and user-experience initiatives meant that when users did start coming to the Heal's website in greater numbers, a larger proportion were likely to engage with the site and convert.
Where Heal's stands now
By the end of 2020, Heal's had seen a huge transformation in its website's traffic. In the first quarter of the year natural search traffic had been down on the previous year by as much as 40%. Just six months later and this position was completely reversed with growth of over 50%, representing a positive swing of more than 90%. Whilst some of this growth came from an increase in market search volume due to the lockdown, most came from higher visibility on, and better rankings with Google.
According to SimilarWeb, almost 55% of all Heal's traffic now originates from search, where paid advertising makes up the rest. The company is now ranking in top positions for more keywords than ever before. Similarly, search rankings for non-branded terms have seen a massive spike.
The below chart demonstrates how the total number of visits to heals.com have continued to increase over the last 6 months. The business has seen continued growth on both desktop and mobile devices.
*Data from SimilarWeb
As the New Year kicks off, eyes are peeled to what improvements Heal's will make in 2021.
Heal's has been designing, making and selling quality furniture for more than two centuries. Starting out as a mattress maker in 1810 and later embracing the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement, Heal's has a long history of collaborating with prominent designers. Heal's is as passionate today as it's always been about introducing new ranges, discovering stars of the future and pushing the boundaries of outstanding contemporary design.
Heal's. Where Design Lives.
For press enquiries, please contact the Heal's Press Office via POffice@heals.co.uk