Key takeaways from our luxury retail roundtable at BrightonSEO

Earlier in the month, we were delighted to have the opportunity to host a luxury retail roundtable as part of the bi-annual BrightonSEO conference. The roundtable saw us facilitate conversation and learning between key members of the luxury retail market which continues to grow and adapt to ever-changing conditions. We were really chuffed to have some great brands attend on the day and fuelled by a concoction of pic n mix and beer we discussed the unique challenges luxury retail professionals face across five different topics.

We covered a huge amount of ground in the one hour session and really did struggle to fit it all in! Below is a list of the key takeaways which were revealed at the session:

Market watch

The best way to track competitors is to use a combination of manual tracking and 3rdparty tools such as Moz Analytics, SEMrush, Linkdex, AnalyticsSEO and NetVibes. It was also considered important to take the time to experience your competitors yourself and see how the buying experience compares to your brand.

This summer has been particularly bad for all brands online, in some cases their sales have been 50%-60% lower.

Customer experience is a hot topic. It is hugely important for any brand to gain insight from their customers by speaking directly to them or by sending surveys to your customer database. This data is invaluable to gain customer insight.

Industry best practice

Using a specialist agency was considered beneficial as it’s becoming increasingly hard to keep on top of all the different and ever-changing areas of SEO and digital marketing.  This can help keep the ‘bigger picture’ in sight rather than focusing on granular details.

Since the Penguin update many brands have been affected, in some cases traffic has been 80% down. The process to remove bad links and penalties is very time consuming and it can be hard to communicate to senior staff with a non-digital background about a drop in traffic when black hat tactics have worked so well for so long.

It is important to use customer insight to determine what keywords are profitable when people haven’t heard of your brand. Keep testing and tracking to determine what works for your brand.

Insight and measurement

Google Analytics and Moz were considered the best tools for monitoring. If using Google Analytics, it was recommended that you regularly export monthly reports of your primary KPIs to help maintain visibility and true performance over time.

A key KPI to keep an eye on was the bounce rate from homepage. If this increases then the search results your brand yields are not relevant to the content on your website.

Financial planning

You should be flexible with your marketing budgets to adapt to market changes. If an area is performing particularly well you should be able to spend more money in this area.

Ecommerce teams are often blamed for a drop in sales in bricks–and-mortar stores. Online and offline stores should have combined targets and aim for an omni channel experience.

Key resources and allocation

SEO needs to be ingrained across the whole team so everyone is working to produce valuable content to best practice. Agencies can help to keep on top of best practice and specialist knowledge is appreciated as brands appreciate being able to take a step back and see the bigger picture.

Recruiting the right skill set is a challenge; it was felt there are a lot of ‘blaggers’ in digital. You should look for people with a blend of skills which complements your existing team.

Don’t always send internal emails to your team, go and talk to them and brainstorm. It is important to for a team to spend time together and talk not just at work so they can really understand what each role does and how they can work together.

You can download our full notes here: BrightonSEO luxury roundtable notes.

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