*This post is for educational purposes only.
This week’s focus in MMC5427, Research Methods in Digital Communication, is search engine optimization. What follows is a brief SEO analysis of Arbonne’s United States (English) website. Let’s see if Arbonne does search engine optimization as well as it does skincare (and multi-level / network marketing, of course).
Potential Keywords / Key Phrases for Arbonne
Taking into consideration the company’s story, mission, and products I compiled a list of ten relevant keywords / key phrases that could be used in optimizing the company’s website for search engines:
- Swiss skin care products
- Swiss skincare
- Botanically based skin care products
- High quality skin care products
- Anti-aging products that work
- Anti-aging products for men
- Green skin care and cosmetics
- Quality skin care for teens
- Multi-level marketing companies in skin care and cosmetics
- Network marketing opportunities for women
Keyword / Key Phrase Research
Venturing to Google for a little research, I assessed Arbonne’s position within the search results for each individual keyword or key phrase. (Note: In order to ensure my results were not based on my previous browsing history, opened a different browser, Mozilla FireFox instead of Safari, and enabled the “Private Browsing” option.)
For the first two keyword phrases, “Swiss skin care products” and “Swiss skincare,” the Arbonne website came up within the top three listings, excluding ads. This is to be expected for this company as these key phrases define its niche market, however the coveted number one spot even in a very specific product market is certainly an accomplishment. Good job, Arbonne.
“Botanically based skin care products” also earned Arbonne another page one appearance on the search engine results page (SERP) at number four. Arbonne did pretty well with some other phrases landing on page two of Google results with the phrases “Green skin care and cosmetics” and “Multi-level marketing companies in skin care and cosmetics.” Then dropping a little to page three, slot number four with “Anti-aging products for men.”
Sadly, the Arbonne website did not even show up within the first ten pages of Google results for the phrases “High quality skin care products,” “Anti-aging products that work,” ” Quality skin care for teens” and “Network marketing opportunities for women.” (I stopped searching after page ten.) With this information, Arbonne could focus on optimizing its website in order to help search engine ranking for these more specific, long tail keywords.
Arbonne Website Content SEO Analysis
Overall, the Arbonne website has a very clean and minimalistic approach. This is great for the consumer experience, but can pose a bit of a challenge with regards to SEO. (If your words are few, you must be extremely selective and purposeful with them.) The Arbonne homepage offers some text blurbs across the bottom:
While the copy is a well-crafted and clever display of alliteration proficiency- (“Perfectly pretty presents to give at a pretty perfect price”)- it appears to be lacking in keyword usage. “Amazing products at a great discount” could be considered a key phrase, but it is not specific enough to be relevant, and therefore would be difficult to rank for. Additionally, the content pages that give the company’s history, mission, and career opportunities are also nicely written, but again are generally missing out on maximizing potential for keyword usage.
The content on the website that seems to be most optimized are product categories and titles, followed by less-optimized product descriptions:
SEO Analysis – The Finer, Behind-the-Scenes Details
Arbonne has also done well with optimizing its images’ alt tags with the names of its products as seen in the example below. (Note: The yellow box contains the alt tag and appears when hovering the mouse above the image.) However, the tag could be further optimized by including a likely search phrase along with the product name as part of a description and/or call to action. For example, Arbonne could use something like “Discover how to get soft and glowing skin with our RE9 Advanced Hydrating Body Lotion.” “How to get soft and glowing skin” is something a consumer looking for a product like this might type into a search query box. Of course, leaving in the product name is important because consumers who search for the specific name are most likely doing so with the intent to buy the product.
Arbonne’s website title tag appropriately includes relevant keywords that are central to the brand’s products:
One area of metadata that could use some work, though, are the meta descriptions for some of the individual pages. Below are some examples of the descriptions as they appeared in Google results:
In the first two examples, plenty of keywords are listed, but they are not woven together into meaningful sentences that draw the searcher into clicking based on the description. In the third example, sentences are present, but they are lacking in a clear and concise description of the page as well as keyword inclusion. (It’s possible a meta description was not created for this particular page and, if that is the case, Google simply selected some text to put in the place of the description. This is is a good example of why it is important for a brand to control what the searchers see rather than leaving it in the hands of the search engines.)
Overall, it is clear that Arbonne is implementing some good practices in their SEO endeavors but, as with most things in life, there is still room for improvement.