Friskies Purrfects Its Organic Search Results

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The cat food maker uses rich snippets and a star rating system to raise organic search by 28 percent.
Customer Experience

Search engines continue to be the first place where many consumers conduct their online research, making it critical for brands to appear in organic search results. Friskies, a Purina cat food brand, wanted to drive more organic search traffic to its website and sought out a solution.

Through its partner media agency, Neo@Ogilvy, the company turned to Bazaarvoice for help. Bazaarvoice enables clients to optimize customer reviews on social media and websites, such as by helping brands boost their search results.

Google's search algorithm takes more than 200 elements into consideration to determine where a website shows up on a search result. It's difficult for brands to meet every piece of criteria, but there are a few standard elements like relevant content that brands can focus on, notes Tiare Helmstead, organic search strategist at Neo@Ogilvy.

"You must have relevant content for the search engines to rank you," Helmstead says. "And our research has shown that a lot of people are searching for product reviews, so the great thing about this platform is it collects and optimizes reviews." Friskies.com had customer reviews on various product pages, such as a page dedicated to "saucy seafood bake with garden greens in sauce" but it needed to consolidate its reviews to make it easier for the search engines to index the reviews.

Last year, Friskies made its reviews more search friendly by streamlining its product reviews on one page, in addition to maintaining the dedicated product pages. The company also included rich snippets (a few lines of detailed information that appear under a search result) and a star-rating system, which have been shown to further boost organic search results and improve click-through rates.

Neo@Ogilvy measured traffic to Friskies.com's product landing pages from August 1 to November 16, 2013, the period before the search-friendly integration, and from January 1 to April 16, 2014, the period after indexing and rich snippet stars were implemented.

The study showed that organic search traffic increased on the majority of Friskies pages with review content, with an average increase of 28 percent where the solution was deployed. Neo@Ogilvy also found that there was a 147 percent increase in traffic coming from phrases that contained the word "review."

"We wanted to look at people who qualify their search keywords with the word 'review' because it signaled intent," Helmstead explains. "After the platform was deployed we saw a huge increase from searches that contain this word and it showed that we were capturing demand." Purina has since used the platform to optimize the organic search results on other product pages.

One of the key lessons from the campaign is that "optimizing your pages for better search results doesn't have to be difficult," Helmstead maintains. "As long as you have the collaboration of all the involved parties, it's possible to do certain optimizations that can have a big impact on your business."

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