An SEO campaign to launch B
Our task was to launch a new domain for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank’s new digital banking proposition – B, a current & savings account and money management app – and to quickly attract traffic to the new website.
To succeed in building the brand, we needed to quickly build the authority and visibility of the B domain. We understood that in terms of SEO, the successful performance of the domain hinged on three areas; the technical health of the website, building high quality links and getting the website ranking for as many relevant terms as possible. This scenario was particularly unique in that Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank – a well-recognised brand – was launching a new brand within its current account offering. This would present a real challenge to quickly lay technical foundations of the website that would allow B to establish itself as one of the brands primary current accounts.
The big number
Hitting 'Position 1'
Our work pre-launch focused on keyword targeting for important landing pages and post-launch, we acquired high quality links from authoritative domains such as The Scotsman and The Huffington Post. With the launch of the publicity campaign for B in June 2016, the volume of organic traffic to the site increased by 920% compared with May 2016. Our work ensured that brand keywords were occupying top organic positions within search engine results pages. The effectiveness of our efforts to build brand awareness were highlighted by the fact that the domain started to rank at position 1 for the term ‘b’ within a few weeks of the official launch. In addition to this, our clear site structure and optimised pages ensured that the site conversion rate was high, with 8% of organic visitors signing up for a B current account.
Understanding the structure
We understood that if B was to hit the ground running, it all had to start with the technical structure of the site. Every aspect of the site was optimised with the aim of allowing Google to crawl, assess and index each page with ease. This involved ensuring that the URL structure, title tags, sitemap and internal linking was as conducive as possible to Google’s crawler bots and we also knew that using structured data would allow Google to better understand the content of the site.
To 'B' or not to 'B'
Although this was a product produced by Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, we knew that we were essentially creating a new brand in its own right. The main challenge that this project posed was how to build brand awareness and a strong organic presence for a single letter term – ‘b’. Our idea was to capitalise on the brand linking opportunities that we knew the brand launch publicity campaign would generate. Building links from pages discussing the launch of the B brand and product would help us to build the authority of the brand and thus quickly improve brand rankings. However, for the brand to be a success, consumers in this market would also have to be able to understand immediately what values B stood for as a product. Our main vehicle for achieving this goal was the B blog. The blog was used to discuss a wide variety of topics that included features of the app, day-to-day money saving tips and how to manage money for major life events. This idea served a dual purpose of not only giving the user a clear message of B’s values but also served as a useful tool for targeting money management keyword terms that we knew the B target audience were searching for. The blog was also used as an outreach tool to obtain high value resource links that would further positively affect rankings for money management terms. These ideas were central to building B’s organic presence in the face of strong competition from the likes of Monzo and Atom.
Our use of keyword targeting in the blogs allowed the B domain to increase the number of non-brand keyword terms ranking for the B domain. For example, the number of non-brand keywords ranking doubled in July 2016 compared with June 2016 as blog posts on topics such as holiday saving tips began to occupy first page positions and drive traffic to the site. The link building campaign to support the brand publicity launch was hugely successful and all the links built in June had an extremely high average DA of 74. Keyword targeting on product pages also made huge progress with the average position of the domain for the term ‘debit card’ improving 130 positions by August 2016. The expansion of the keyword pool coupled with solid technical foundations allowed a steady volume of traffic to be driven to the site well after the initial publicity campaign had ended – with 470% of forecast being achieved in the four month post site launch period.