Our agency is structured into small, agile teams.
When we sign a new client, the managing team sits down to review the data, website and past marketing efforts.
We call these session “build ups”, where we look for ways to improve traffic and conversions immediately.
The insights from these sessions lay the groundwork for the client’s strategy and project plan.
Since we can’t record client work, we ran a “build up” strategy session for Dicks’ Sporting Goods and found a ton of areas for immediate improvement.
1. Get rid of pop ups, there’s a better way…
The first thing we see when we pull up the site are 2 pop ups. One that asks our location, the other offering a discount off a purchase.
There’s a number of reasons why we don’t like this:
- Pop ups are terrible for the user experience, especially when it’s the first thing they see when arriving to your site.
- Why serve a coupon before they’ve shown any purchase intent?
- The X to close the window is too small, especially on mobile.
2. Leverage internal links more effectively
Dick’s is a huge, nationally recognized brand. Big brands never have trouble getting links, which is apparent by looking at their top level link profile.
However, we’d want to get a deeper look at how this link equity is being passed through the site. Often times these large sites pickup links to pages that do
To do so, our consultants would run a site crawl crosswalked with internal / external link data in a Fusion Table diagram. This helps us see how pages with the most links are distributing equity to deeper pages with no links.
3. Implement a universal search strategy
Over the last 8 months or so they drastically increase their spend in paid search while their organic search rankings stagnated.
We’d love to get our hands on their Google Search Console and Adwords data to find opportunities for organic growth.
This would involve cross walking the 2 data sets:
- Find the keywords that are ranking between positions 3 and 8 in organic search
- Lookup those keywords in Adwords to find if they’re paying for those keywords
- Take a deeper look at how to improve rankings of organic keywords in positions 3 – 8 to taper back on paid search spend
4. Increase content stickiness
They’re doing a good job creating informational content on their blog (example).
However, the content is thin (not enough text) and a little dry (not enough media).
While this might attract traffic, we want to use content to entice visitors to dive deeper into the website and potentially explore products.
Dicks is using a subdomain to host their content – this is not ideal, but understandable for a website this size.
However, they need some CTA or breadcrumbs to let visitors know how to get back to the main site.
5. Reduce amount of sub folders on blog
As the previous screen shows, they’re using sub folders to organize content on their blog.
For content, this is unnecessary – it’s demoting the importance of the last page and potentially hurting keyword rankings.
This can be fixed by running a detailed content audit to get a full inventory of the content on the site and build out a topic cluster model.
6. Rethink up-sell CTA placements
When shopping for kayaks, Dick’s is serving a call to action to buy additional boating products.
This CTA is being served way too early – I’ve just begun my search, I don’t even know if I want to buy a kayak yet.
There’s already way too annoying experiences on the site, this upsell should be moved to the cart screen after a visitor has decided to move forward with a purchase. Serving it here is a waste of real estate.
7. Take a deeper look at faceted navigation and crawl budget
Massive ecommerce sites need to be mindful of how they’re handling secondary navigations on category pages, aka faceted navigations.
These navigations can cause issues because each time a visitor adds a new filter, the URL changes.
If you’re not handling these properly, you can run into issues with duplicate or low quality URLs which will kill your crawl budget.
8. Mismatched user experiences across the site
A brand the size of Dick’s often struggles to be agile on today’s web. With legacy CMS built 10+ years ago, it becomes difficult to make changes needed to stay in up to date with optimal practices for the user experience.
The website is laden with small UX issues:
- Too many clicks to get to products
- Mismatched cart experiences
- Important info below the fold
- Inability to add products to cart from multiple screens
A deep user experience audit would uncover and prioritize these issues and go a long way to clean up small UX issues that are silently killing conversions.
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