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Staff: 110
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Abigail Ahern
Virgin Wines
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SEO strategy supports long term growth

by Matthew Ahern

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

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

Specifically, our 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 minimises 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 optimising copy for 40 key category pages that had been sent to us 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 optimised for search. Our job was to make the copy work for a UK audience and ensure that it would perform well in search.

We 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 us 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 our success in optimising the content, we 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 optimisation, we carried out our own competitor gap analysis to see where competitors were outperforming Clarins. From this analysis, we identified 59 pages that could be improved, many of which had not been looked at in the previous optimisation work.

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

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

The Results

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


SEO Agency
SEO strategy