David Austin Roses – eCommerce Migration SEO Case Study

Brand

David Austin Roses

Industry

Lifestyle

Services

Migration

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Foreword

Who are David Austin Roses?

David Austin Roses are one of the most renowned and well known brands in the Rose industry. Since the early 1950s David Austin set out to create a more beautiful rose. Sixty years on, this simple objective remains.

The challenge.

David Austin Roses was migrating from an old Magento 1 set up to Shopify Plus. Standard migrations are complex and challenging projects on their own but David Austin was a new level of migration:

  • 5 international websites all migrating with 3 of which switching to subdomains
  • Each site had a huge amount of pages indexed which was causing massive bloat and an unnecessary large website, close to 10x increasing the complexity of the project
  • David Austin Roses dominates some of the biggest and best rose related terms. They are a true market leader so we needed to ensure the migration was perfect to mitigate any losses, even a drop from 1st to 2nd would have a big impact on traffic
  • Over 60% of traffic was coming from SEO so if the migration failed that would be a huge loss to a family run business
  • Due to migration development delays the migration took over a year to complete meaning we were dealing with a constantly changing eCommerce website which was moving between 4 different seasons which was naturally changing the importance of pages, content and the top level site architecture

Our strategy.

Working closely with our eCommerce partner agency Vervaunt we had to take a more strategic approach to the project:

  • Counter-intuitively we decided to SEO the magento 1 website, despite us migrating in a few months. This decision was made on the basis of the mass amount of ‘junk’ on the M1 website. Our hypothesis being we did not want to take this junk over to Shopify and therefore needed to remove and clean up asap so Google could process ahead of migration time
  • In line with the above we also decided to implement basic SEO title tag improvements to mitigate any loss from the duplicate pages which were ranking for terms due to David Austins industry reputation
  • Midway through the project the decision was made (inline with SEO data) was to close down the French and German websites and just have 1 European store. We consulted on the best approach and provided data to understand the potential loss from no longer having geolocated pages
  • Due to migration development delays it was also decided to update the hierarchy of the domain which we consulted on and support to mitigate any impact post migration as well as putting David Austin Roses in a good place longer term and not just a stop gap for the migration only

The results

  • In total, we manually mapped over 500,000 URLs and implemented the redirects into Shopify.
  • Maintained rankings for their biggest, most competitive terms.
  • Successfully migrated with minimal SEO impact and only minor 404 clean up work which is natural when migrating massive Magento websites.

David Austin Roses Successful SEO Migration from Magento to Shopify

[Note: numbers above are hidden to protect the data and rights of the brand, growth uplifts and percentages are representative of this case study. Visibility data has been taken from external tools Sistrix and do not represent real traffic numbers]

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