Case Study: Apparel Brand Uses Reviews to Reclaim Organic Rank & Exceed Growth Goals

By Lena Liberman

Read this case study about the power of reviews, user-generated content, and organic search expertise to see how EXCLUSIVE and partners generated 42,000+ reviews and exceeded growth goals by 3X for one apparel brand.

About the Client

Marleylilly is an eCommerce monogramming and personalized gift boutique. Established in 2010 and based in Greenville County, South Carolina, Marleylilly’s product line features monogrammed and personalized clothing, gifts, accessories, and jewelry.

Marleylilly logo

Client Challenges

  • Lost significant SEO capital and rankings from a site migration
  • No on-site reviews or other on-site testimonials
  • Radical shift in consumer buying patterns due to COVID

Case Study Results

Marleylilly Reviews Results

A Costly Site Migration, A Brand in Need of Trustworthy Help

After Marleylilly went through a site migration in 2018, it lost significant organic search ranking. Having taken a huge SEO hit, Marleylilly came to EXCLUSIVE in 2019 looking to achieve two things:

  1. A return to March 2018 pre-migration traffic levels.
  2. The continued growth of the brand’s online business by 10% YoY.

The difficult migration, coupled with less-than-stellar prior experiences with digital marketing agencies, meant that Marleylilly needed a fresh approach and a team that could be trusted to deliver new ideas, drive revenue, and maintain the brand’s continued growth.

Marleylilly is a beloved word-of-mouth brand. Its eCommerce strategy relies solely on organic traffic and social ads. Even without Google Ads, this drives ample revenue growth. Knowing this, and how essential organic content is for Marleylilly, EXCLUSIVE developed a strategy independent from paid ads.

Our team recommended Yotpo, an EXCLUSIVE partner specializing in ratings, reviews, and user-generated content (UGC). Marleylilly had a wealth of UGC on its social channels but nothing on its website. EXCLUSIVE knew that Yotpo could solve the disconnect to increase organic rank and on-site conversions.

“We are very proud to have partnered with EXCLUSIVE! Their team and services have delivered game-changing results for our eCommerce brands. They’ve suggested effective and timely SEO optimizations pertaining to on-site content, organic search results, site navigation, site speed and performance, just to name a few!” — Holly Jones, Marleylilly Marketing Director

Reviews & Social Proof: An Organic-First Approach to Growth

EXCLUSIVE, Yotpo, and Marleylilly collaborated to parlay that strong social proof into website traffic and sales. In just one year, Marleylilly has collected over 42,000 reviews for both their products and brand.

The seamless Yotpo integration translated to 44% of Marleylilly’s site conversions being connected to users engaging with reviews. The reviews boosted on-site conversion as well as the brand’s organic visibility by delivering top rankings for searches such as “Marelylilly reviews.”

Pivoting Due to the Pandemic

When COVID-19 hit and shifted purchasing behavior to in-home goods, demand for Marleylilly’s most popular item (the monogrammed duck boot) disappeared, leaving the brand in dire need of a quick, bold product marketing pivot.

The EXCLUSIVE team moved the marketing emphasis from items like duck boots and outdoor wear to comfort-wear like slippers and sneakers. We identified the opportunity for Marleylilly to introduce a category page for sneakers, something its competitors did not have on their websites. Sneakers quickly became the new duck boot for Marleylilly, with more than 2,100+ reviews submitted through Yotpo site integrations.

After implementing the sneakers category page, Marelylilly now owned positions 1 and 2 of the SERP for their product and category pages. In fact, Marleylilly was now ranking above big-name competitors like Etsy.

To further grow demand and visibility for sneakers, EXCLUSIVE, Yotpo, and Marleylilly pursued more reviews for the products. Reviews were controlled on a SKU basis so that customers could be certain that the review they saw matched the product in which they were interested.

In a year where apparel and accessories sales were crushed by the pandemic, Marleylilly prospered due to a creative cooperative strategy.

Results: More Reviews, Better Rankings, and Increased Revenue

  • +30% CTR Increase on Organic Product Detail Page Links
  • +18% Increase for Page 1 SERP
  • Exceeded Growth Goals by 3X
  • 55% of Site Visitors Interacted with a Yotpo UGC asset
  • 12% CTR on UGC Photos Linked to Yotpo Verified Reviews

“Our favorite EXCLUSIVE suggestion was to connect with one of their partners, Yotpo. With Yotpo and EXCLUSIVE on our side, we’ve received more than 42,000 reviews to date, which has also boosted search performance. We look forward to more partnering with EXCLUSIVE! — Holly Jones, Marleylilly

Want Results Like Those Delivered in This Case Study?

Organic search, social marketing, and adding reviews and user-generated content are just a few of the many components of the EXCLUSIVE eCommerce holistic strategy. We’ve been delivering success to merchants for 24 years and we’re always adding to our playbook. We work with top-tier trusted partners so we can bring the maximum value to our clients. Contact us for your free eCommerce analysis. We’ll help you understand the results and make changes that lead to massive improvements and revenue increases.