The Bed King is a well established bed retailer in South Africa, which sells an impressive range of beds, mattresses, pillows, sleeper couches, bunk beds and bedroom furniture. Over the years they’ve also built up an enviable reputation for incredible customer service right from the shop floor, all the way through to the delivery of the merchandise, and their website has more than enough testimonials from satisfied clients to prove it.
Our WSI team in Cape Town has been involved with The Bed King for a number of years now and we’re well into their 3rd generation website. We first helped them to move on from their original site, which although visually appealing, the site architecture and on-page SEO was so poor that there was no chance it was going to rank for the competitive phrases that drive massive traffic in this industry. Over the next 2 years we steadily moved The Bed King up to the top 3 positions for well over 50 key traffic generating phrases, including beds, mattresses, sleeper couches, bunk beds, simmons, restonic, serta and many more. The second website helped Bed King to move forwards with their first implementation of an e-commerce site, maintained the search engine rankings seamlessly and started to get online sales moving.
Several years down the track it was time for the 3rd website, but this time the team at Bed King requested considerably more custom functionality and we agreed it was time to bring in a third party development team that specialises in custom development for ecommerce websites to facilitate the development of a range of tools that could help clients to choose a mattress online, otherwise known as “mattress wizards”. Sounds great… but website owners beware… this can be the start of a challenging road.
We have learnt that custom ecommerce platforms often introduce a number of technical ecommerce SEO challenges. You name it, this platform introduced it, mainly in the form of mass duplicate content as a result of pagination, search query pages, dynamic filter pages, product ordering pages, url re-writes in the htaccess file and much more. At some point, the site had over a million pages being indexed by Google, the bulk of which were serving up duplicate content, thanks to the htaccess file. Many a SEO company would have told their client to move on and find another platform… but not so at WSI. We dug deep, working with the development team to get to the bottom of it.
Since identifying the route cause, we have got the URL count back down to less than a 1000… one url for each content page and just one url for every product page, no matter how you access it… because well, that’s what is optimal for users and therefore what Google wants too. Trust us, it’s not the first time we’ve identified and worked to resolve these kinds of issues… and yes even the websites of some of the world’s top brands need to have these issues addressed. The upside however, is that once fixed, the jump up the ladder on search engine results pages are dramatic.
Our team is keeping a firm watch on The Bed King’s rankings, already they are back on 1st page for mattresses, sleeper couches, bunk beds and many more, and as we increase our clients offsite content syndication, we expect to see not only rankings improve in the new year, but also online and offline sales at The Bed King’s growing network of bed stores, which now service Cape Gate, Claremont, Tokai, and Northgate in Cape Town, and Boksburg, Fourways (Johannesburg) and Pretoria in Gauteng.