The Background

With a hugely successful brand in the hair styling market, ghd appointed Stickyeyes in 2012 to capitalise on that brand authority online.

What followed was a long-term partnership that saw Stickyeyes deliver a brand protection strategy, SEO strategy (including enhanced visibility for core commercial keyword terms) and an audience engagement strategy to put the brand at the heart of the online discussion in the world of hair styling.

Brand protection strategy

One of the key challenges facing ghd in the digital world was the battle against counterfeiting. With many unscrupulous operators using the brand’s terms and, in many cases, outranking both the brand and official stockists in the search results, our first task was to protect the brand.

We developed a digital brand protection strategy to ensure that ghd could protect its brand from these threats, as well as making sure that audiences looking for ghd products were only receiving official, genuine brand sources.

This involved an aggressive approach to enforcing the brand’s trademarks on paid marketing channels, including Google Ads. We also reviewed the brand’s keyword strategy and built ghd’s authority in organic search to ensure that it was the prominent brand not only for its core brand terms, but those terms that both its audiences and the counterfeit resellers were using.

Building authority and relevancy

Having helped the brand to improve its SEO performance on key commercial terms, we wanted to help ghd really own the conversation around hair styling in search.

We analysed almost 18,500 authority keywords that would help ghd attract and inspire highly relevant audience segments. Of those keywords, ghd was accessing just 2% of the available opportunity, with mainstream publishers and emerging hairstyle blogs capturing most of that traffic.

The brand already had a huge amount of high quality, style-focused content, but it wasn’t as authoritative as the big magazines and not as relevant as the new blog sites. We knew that by focusing on growing content relevancy we could align the brand’s content marketing strategy with what the audience was actually searching for.

Content for the Google EAT era

What we proposed was an extremely high-quality content marketing strategy that was much more closely aligned to real-world search, with the ghd product range woven into the content in a natural and unobtrusive manner.

We would detail how our target audiences could find their perfect style, whether it was recreating a sought-after style or mimicking those top celebrity cuts.

But this wasn’t just about following the crowd – our approach was highly data-driven, with huge levels of analysis and keyword research going into identifying exactly which hairstyles to focus on.

It’s an approach that would go on to deliver significant levels of audience engagement, SEO visibility and, ultimately, return on investment.

Long-term audience engagement

Our content marketing strategy played a significant role in helping ghd to generate a huge increase in traffic from informational search. Not only that, but we also put the brand at the heart of many conversations on the latest hair trends and tips – exactly where we wanted it to be.

Our approach was also a driving force for a wide range of site-wide improvements including, most importantly, in the SEO visibility of those key commercial search terms – putting ghd in prime position for those revenue-driving keywords.

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