E-Commerce SEO

Botify x Decitre: SEO Helps France’s Top E-tail Bookseller Stand Out in Search

By Nicole Calebrese

At Hubday 2022 in Paris, Pierre Fourrier, Solution Consultant Director at Botify, and Lucia Turri, International E-Commerce and Marketing Manager at Decitre, discuss how SEO helps booksellers like Decitre of the Nosoli Group compete with e-commerce giants.

Decitre of the Nosoli Group (decitre.fr) has been selling books for over 100 years and has had a digital presence since 1997. Today, it’s France’s leading online bookseller, with eleven brick-and-mortar stores and 25% of its revenue coming from e-commerce. Seventy percent of Decitre’s web traffic comes from organic search, driving brand awareness and 40% of their annual revenue. 

In addition to selling a wide range of books – from classics and comics to thrillers and educational texts – they curate digital libraries, provide wholesale services to institutions like schools and municipalities, and play a key role in France’s digital reading industry. 

Though its digital sales climbed over the course of the pandemic, Decitre must nevertheless compete with multinational e-commerce giants for online traffic. The ability to recreate real-world bookstore experiences in an online space is key. To accommodate book browsers, book seekers, and search engine bots all at once; Decitre’s inventory, product delivery, and customer service strategies must have sound technological support.

Fourrier sets the stage with some key statistics underlining the importance of organic search to e-commerce companies.

Eighty-seven percent of consumer searches start online, and 50% of online traffic comes from organic search. This makes it a very, very important acquisition channel, especially knowing that 80% of users usually ignore ads and trust natural results more.

Pierre Fourrier, Southern Solutions Director at Botify

Turri elaborates on the top SEO priorities supporting Decitre’s e-commerce operations:

  1. Indexation. Decitre’s e-commerce operation depends on its visibility to Google and other search engines, making indexation the root of its SEO efforts. Turri says,  “We want Googlebot to be as happy to come on our site as our customers are.” This means enabling search engines to crawl the site as often and as deeply as possible.
  2. SEO in support of product launches. “The life cycle of a book is quite short, about two weeks,” explains Turri, “so it is very important for us to anticipate.” SEO helps Decitre stay abreast of demand trends and also optimize product pages for the right semantic terms. This preparation is critical to ensuring the success of new releases and, by extension, the brand.

We want Googlebot to be as happy to come on our site as our customers are.

Lucia Turri, International E-Commerce and Marketing Manager at Decitre

After exploring what Decitre does to manage high-traffic periods (e.g., award season, back to school, the holiday rush), Fourrier asks Turri to highlight best practices for e-commerce sites operating at scale. Turri asserts that “above all, it’s best practice to have a site that is beautiful and clean and, as we said earlier, welcomes both users and bots.”

“Everyone likes it when it’s logical, when it’s clean, when it’s structured, when the natural language is nice to read,” she says. “It pleases both machines and humans.”

Turri additionally calls attention to:

  • Proactive error and opportunity detection. Finding and fixing technical errors such as 404 redirects and wasted crawl budget is as important as seeking out missed opportunities like pages and product categories with high traffic potential. It’s also important to be able to prioritize those errors and opportunities in order of importance, which Botify’s acute monitoring allows Turri’s team to do quickly and efficiently.
  • Careful attention to meta descriptions. Turri maintains that strategic meta descriptions are critical to keyword optimization. By including key semantic terms in the meta description of a page or post, Decitre can compete for the right search terms without disrupting the customer experience.

Botify plays a critical role in Decitre’s digital marketing strategy by delivering enterprise organic search at scale: “We chose Botify because, again, when you say book, you say SEO,” says Turri. “We needed a powerful tool that would allow us to go much faster and optimize our actions.”

Check out the rest of the interview (in French) here! And, as always, to learn more about what Botify can do to turn your organic search into an efficient, measurable, and sustainable source of both revenue and traffic, book a demo. We’d love to hear from you!

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