Impression Developed an SEO Strategy That Supports Long-Term Growth for the Cosmetics Brand, Clarins

Clarins is an international creator of beauty products with almost 80 years of history.

It was founded on the twin principles of creating beautiful solutions for women, and keeping nature central to its research and formulas.

The Challenge

Clarins approached Impression in late 2020 following a surge in online demand as a result of the pandemic.

Keen to maintain this momentum moving into 2021, they wanted to focus on improving their ability to reach digital audiences. A key part of this was to ensure that translated content sent from their global team (originally written in French) would read well for a UK audience and perform well in search.

Clarins asked them to implement a strategy to work towards an end goal of growing 2020’s traffic by 20% by 2023.

Impression had a challenge in that UK e-commerce forecasts suggested that 2021 would struggle to match the pandemic boom and, after a good January, they saw the gap from 2020 widen throughout the rest of Q1 and Q2.

Specifically, the objectives were to:

  • Match or exceed 2020’s monthly traffic figures by Q4
  • Improve overall organic visibility as recorded in Sistrix, which is a good barometer of site performance that minimizes the impact of changing demand
  • Optimise all agreed focus pages by set deadlines to ensure that changes could be uploaded to the site in time to measure an impact in 2021

The Strategy

The first three months of working together were entirely focused on optimizing copy for 40 key category pages that had been sent to them from their global SEO team.

The copy had been written in French, then translated into English. However, the French tone of voice did not work for the UK market, and the copy was not optimized for search. Their job was to make the copy work for a UK audience and ensure that it would perform well in search.

Impression used a Google Sheet to track the content, created by Clarins and built out by Impression to include space for keyword metrics.

The sheet allowed them to include more information than other project management tools and was a fantastic means of ensuring that Clarins and Impression were aligned with the project’s requirements.

As a measure of their success in optimizing the content, Impression used Google’s natural language API demo to record an entity salience score for the opening paragraph of each category page, ensuring that the top entity was closely related to the page’s primary keyword targets.

Following the category page optimization, Impression carried out its own competitor gap analysis to see where competitors were outperforming Clarins. From this analysis, they identified 59 pages that could be improved, many of which had not been looked at in the previous optimization work.

Alongside the big content optimization projects, Impression also supported Clarins by optimizing their Black Friday, advent, and Christmas pages, and provided recommendations for other seasonal gift pages that should boost performance further in 2022.

Impression also carried out a full technical audit early in their time working together and supported the Clarins team as they implemented all of the recommendations that were possible to act on a UK level.

The Results

  • Impression started to meet and exceed 2020 traffic with a +6.24% increase over the course of September. A huge achievement has given the uncertainty communicated from e-commerce forecasts
  • 8.4% increase in organic visibility (Nov 2021 vs Nov 2020)

About Impression

Impression is a multi-award-winning digital agency, specializing in the delivery of high-performance campaigns across SEO, PPC, analytics, and digital PR.