Note: Our first year working with the British Heart Foundation coincided with the global coronavirus pandemic. This resulted in furniture collections (the biggest source of conversions) having to temporarily stop. In accordance with our ethos on transparency, we've nonetheless included top-line booking figures along with an explanation below on how these numbers have been affected by the pandemic.
When the British Heart Foundation started working with Tilious their organisational structure meant different teams were working on similar content in silos.
The goal for Tilious was clear, to take a step back and view the website as a whole. There was no shortage of content being produced, the key was to provide direction and connect content across the website in order to provide maximum value to searchers.
Actions and Solutions
Naturally, the British Heart Foundation has an extensive team covering a wide range of disciplines, so while we certainly contributed to SEO outcomes we can't take all the credit... or blame! 😛 It's worth pointing out, there is a good explanation for the decline in bookings at the end of this case study.
With such a powerful website, it was clear the main opportunity lay in identifying search topics that were not featured on the website or not covered in enough detail. The strategy was less about content volume and more about matching content to searcher intent.
The following tactics were key drivers of SEO growth for the British Heart Foundation:
Emerging Trends: Just over halfway into our first year working together, the global coronavirus pandemic dramatically shifted how people were searching. The British Heart Foundation team were quick to generate relevant content guided by search data on emerging trends. By quickly reacting to a sudden change in the landscape the British Heart Foundation was well positioned to accelerate organic search traffic growth.
Content Hubs: Due to the size of the organisation, relevant content was being created across the website but needed to be brought together for a cohesive user journey. Building content hubs, or clusters, around topically relevant resources increases the authority of the website for the target topic and, in turn, each individual piece of content within the hub. Like a good book, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Content Formatting: Not all optimisations for organic search are complex. Making simple changes to how content is formatted can make it easier for search engines to digest and provide a more clickable listing within search results. For example, jump links allow website visitors to jump to a particular section of content within a long article. These jump links can also be shown in organic search results, providing searchers with additional opportunities to click-through to the website.
In the first 12 months working in collaboration with the British Heart Foundation organic search traffic rose +28%. Growth was also on an upward trajectory with the charity quick to react to changing search demands related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite a strong first 8 months, conversions/bookings hit a brick wall in month 9 due to the global coronavirus pandemic which saw fundraising events cancelled and the closure of 750 charity shops. Collection bookings for furniture and electrical items were the primary source of conversions and also stopped from month 9 onwards.
Sidenote: We always report figures for the first 12 months of our client relationships in case studies. We believe this is the most transparent way to judge real returns and eliminates many of the ways data can be misinterpreted, such as seasonality. However, just for fun and given the circumstances, if we were to review performance over the first 8 months of our engagement organic search traffic increased +23% and bookings +14%. Just saying. 🤷