How Aunt Bessie’s Redesign has Ruined Their Search Visibility
Aunt Bessie’s is a well-known UK brand that produces processed frozen foods. Notably their Yorkshire Pudding range of frozen processed foods is what they are known for. In October, Aunt Bessie’s website was updated and from the looks of it, it was updated with interactivity and design in mind only. This of course has led to Aunt Bessie’s fall in search visibility, as there has been no thought in regards to SEO. One glance in Search Metrics of their SEO Visibility reveals quite a shocking drop:
This drop in visibility occurred throughout September – October. You might be thinking that this was either a Panda 4.1 or Penguin 3.0 update that caused this. However, I ruled this out once I had identified what they had done when they had re-designed their website. The technical elements (redirects) have also played a large part in the demise of their visibility. It also hasn’t helped that they’ve deleted pages and not really replaced them with like-for-like pages.
What Keywords Dropped?
|yorkshire pudding mix||www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/store-cupboard/yorkshire-pudding-mix-1/||9||-1||4,308|
If we look at the table above, Aunt Bessie’s has dropped for these highly searched-for keywords. Their website re-design has been the culprit for this. If you look at the above keywords and the respective URLs, you’ll find out if you go to any of those URLs they all redirect to one location:
|Original URL||301 redirect to|
It’s because they’ve mass redirected everything to a single page that they’ve lost search visibility. They’ve not created pages to replace the old; instead they’ve created one HTML5 interactive website that tries to cater for multiple landing pages. However, there is no relevancy considering there is near to no textual copy on the page and when it comes to meta data they aren’t clearly defining pages. In effect, they aren’t helping Google at all with regards to defining their own pages, which in turn is impacting how Aunt Bessie’s website ranks.
All Title Tags are the Same
If we take a closer look at their page title tags, one of the most important SEO elements, they’ve effectively duplicated their title tag throughout their entire website:
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product/great-british-puddings/morello-cherry-pie||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/70||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/73||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product/store-cupboard||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/72||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/71||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product/potatoes||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/74||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Promises||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/promises/board-packaging||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/promises/eggs||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/promises/meat||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/promises/chocolate||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Contact||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product/great-british-puddings||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Legals||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/promises/sedex||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product/yorkshire-puddings/12-golden-yorkshies||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/promises/flexible-packaging||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/promises/palm-oil||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Pinboard/4||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product/yorkshire-puddings||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product/vegetables||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Tablet||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/promises/store-cupboard-ingredients||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
|http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product/meals-and-savoury-additions||Aunt Bessies | Home Page|
This actually had me questioning whether they rank for their own brand product terms. They’ve certainly nailed the term ‘Aunt Bessie’s”, and because of this their homepage ranks for most of their branded terms. I know if I was looking for a product that I’d rather be directed to the product page – especially if I’m searching for the product – instead of the homepage. If you do a search in Google for any of Aunt Bessie’s products then you’ll simply be sent to the homepage. Not the best user journey experience in the world – if you think about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve seen a large increase in bounce rate.
Google Trends Data – Worst Time of the Year for This Re-design
It’s also not the best time of the year for this re-design screw-up, as terms such as “Yorkshire Pudding” are when search volume levels peak:
Poor thinking and website planning has played a part in this. It’s unfortunate that some brands don’t realise the importance of search and will never factor in SEO when doing a website redesign. SEO is absolutely integral if you want to keep that flow of organic traffic coming in. Purely being visible for relevant terms should be enough to convince key stakeholders, but in this case, somewhere along the line, someone has slipped up.
November 4, 2014
“SEO is absolutely detrimental if you want to keep that flow of organic traffic coming in.”
I do not think that means what you think that means. Fundamental maybe?
November 4, 2014
Thanks for the heads-up. Wrote this up really quickly and didn’t bother to proof it. Thanks!
November 4, 2014
Interesting post! One quick point, in your final paragraph you say “SEO is absolutely detrimental if you want to keep that flow of organic traffic coming in” when I think you meant to say “SEO is absolutely integral”!
Hope all is well,
November 4, 2014
Aha, you’re right. I’ll make the amends later. Glad you found it interesting though!