July 2023 -
Founded more than a century ago, New Balance is one of the world’s leading footwear manufacturers. A brand trusted by both athletes and amateurs across the globe, the company enlisted Brave Bison to build a milestone destination to help boost SEO through engaging, informative content.
While Brave Bison had a longstanding relationship with New Balance, our work has traditionally focused on reporting, technical audits, implementation and the creation of on-page content. However, seeing an opportunity to take performance to the next level, we proposed the creation of a dedicated hub for SEO-rich, running-focused content.
Designed to educate, inform and inspire, the hub sits at the centre of New Balance’s retail strategy, combining best-in-class content with expert-led SEO to drive impressions and boost sales.
The importance of user experience
User experience is a vital part of any website. But it’s not just an important factor for engaging visitors once they’ve clicked on that link, it’s also becoming an increasingly significant ranking factor too.
At the heart of any successful SEO campaign lays an effective content strategy, one that serves up engaging and thought-provoking articles and blogs for consumers. At the most basic level, a website should provide an expert level of knowledge in order to meet Google’s quality guidelines. But no matter how good landing pages are there’s a finite keyword set that constrains the website’s ability to perform.
So, to provide a tool that would dominate SERPs and outrank the competition, New Balance needed a way to expand the breadth and depth of their content.
Engagement and impressions
Brave Bison built New Balance’s Running Hub to provide a place for engaging content that helps to improve user experience, encourage visitors to return and establish the website as an authoritative source of information.
With a greater breadth of content, the hub increases the opportunities to rank for a greater number of keywords leading to increased traffic and additional touchpoints in the search engine results page (SERP). To build on this we defined an internal linking strategy to reinforce the link value distribution from the blog to the main site and vice versa opening new customer journeys and driving revenue.
In order to maximise opportunities, the SEO team carried out a thorough analysis to propose the best structure for the hub and its content. Customer behaviour was analysed to identify search activity that related to New Balance as well as the wider “running space”. This insight was then used to classify topics that should populate the content hub and benchmark traffic and search visibility for each topic.
The content itself was then built to make the most of SEO opportunities. Briefs were produced with clear details on the structure the content should follow as well as best-in-class recommendations including the URLs, metadata, headings, and breadcrumb structure.
When combined this created content that drove impressions and put consumers on the path to purchasing. The ideal combination of engagement and impressions.
“Working with the Brave Bison Team has been an absolute pleasure! Their hard work, attention to detail and ongoing support throughout the whole project – from the initial copy briefing to the final building and implementation of the blog & QA - has been tremendous.”
- Teresa Bovo, E-Commerce Operations Manager, New Balance EMEA
Designing the consumer journey
Just as important as the content and the strategy behind it, is the environment in which it sits.
Design was a crucial consideration and the Brave Bison team had to work around the limitations of existing digital infrastructure to create a foundation on which the SEO-driven content could be built.
The team set about building a range of versatile templates for the homepage, category, subcategory and article pages so that the SEO content could be brought to life on the screen. They also worked tirelessly to ensure the user journey was as optimised as possible, ensuring that visitors to the page continue down the digital rabbit hole to explore more of New Balance’s content and ultimately travel towards an eventual purchase.
A milestone achievement
“This blog represents a great milestone for NB Running & EMEA,” says Robbie Ashton, Account Director at Brave Bison. “It’s a leading example of how New Balance can grow authority in the running space and build its credibility with new as well as existing customers.”
“While it may seem simple in principle, the effort required to plan, build, write, launch and fine-tune a blog with engaging SEO-focused content is simply enormous,” Robbie added. “It’s been a pleasure to help New Balance achieve this milestone and I couldn’t be prouder of the work the Brave Bison team have done. We look forward to seeing the results as we start planning our next project!
- Robbie Ashton, Account Director
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