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GAME Sees +146% YoY Black Friday Revenue Using SEO as a Strategic Advantage

+82%

Pages crawled by Google

+7.27%

YoY in high-converting product page clicks

+23%

Increase in impressions

GAME, a successful and well-loved video game retailer in the UK under Frasers Group, was experiencing technical obstacles and limited engineering resources that blocked SEO success. It needed a new organic revenue strategy for the 2023 Black Friday and holiday season.

Challenge

Technical obstacles & limited resources

With over 20 years of precedent as a leading video game retailer in the UK, in recent years GAME shifted its focus from brick-and-mortar shops to e-commerce. Although organic search is critical for the brand, SEO had become difficult to manage at scale: years of snowballing technical debt and an inflexible tech stack made it difficult to implement sitewide optimizations. As a result, engineering resources were limited to the point of being inaccessible, and lengthy internal processes meant to safeguard the site were prohibitive to SEO improvements. After creating a ticket, submitting it to engineering, scoring and prioritizing the work, testing, staging, and deployment, a simple change such as a title tag update could take anywhere from six months to a year to implement.

The barrier to access for SEO changes kicked off a vicious cycle. Because optimizations took so long to make, it was impossible to show impact across valuable metrics. Without provable impact, there was no leverage to secure buy-in for greater engineering resources or sitewide changes. And without those resources, optimizations were subject to deprioritization and long implementation cycles.

This led to a lack of control over what was shown to consumers in the search engine results pages (SERPs.) Out-of-stock product pages from years past were appearing alongside fresh inventory, and there was no mechanism in place to get their most valuable pages seen as a priority for Google. The result was a bloat of over 200,000 pages on the site, only 18.4% of which were being crawled by web crawlers —with no way to ensure that those crawled pages were fresh, valuable content.

As the e-commerce site continued to grow, the SEO team at GAME knew something needed to change. These issues were impacting important high-converting product pages, which meant that their most valuable content wasn’t being crawled due to an exhausted crawl budget. On top of that, a highly profitable season was right around the corner.

Seasonal risk and opportunity

As a video game retailer, GAME sees significant revenue opportunity during the Black Friday and holiday season. 2023 was an especially important year: for the first time since they launched in November 2020, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles were freely available. The supply chain issues that had impacted inventory for years were resolved, and GAME knew that competition for rankings and visibility would be fierce as the industry launched Black Friday deals. More traffic to these top product pages would mean more revenue — it was just a matter of getting them found and seen.

Where most brands won’t prioritize SEO in the lead-up to peak periods, GAME saw that it had a chance to capitalize on seasonality and position itself as a strong competitor to console manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft. If the SEO team could find a way around the technical blockers in time for Black Friday, they could surface their most important product pages, optimize their crawl budget, and boost traffic to their highest-converting product pages. What’s more, they would be able to prove the impact of SEO to internal stakeholders, earning buy-in and support for future organic search efforts.

GAME needed to find a tool that could help them make SEO changes quickly and show immediate, provable results during a peak retail period.

Solution

The digital marketing team at GAME partnered with Botify’s SEO experts to come up with a solution. If GAME could optimize their site architecture by lowering its crawl depth, more high-converting product pages could be discovered by search engine crawlers and enjoy greater visibility in search results.

Botify’s PageWorkers solution enables large-scale, automated optimizations that can be launched or rolled back immediately. With PageWorkers, GAME was able to add breadcrumb links to its most important pages. This optimized the site’s internal linking structure, created a shallower click depth, and surfaced its most valuable content to search engine crawlers and customers.

“Before Botify, even simple updates required engineering resources. PageWorkers was a crucial tool for us: now we can make sitewide changes quickly and independently, in a matter of seconds.”

Jerry Hughes, Digital & SEO Marketing Manager, GAME

Because PageWorkers is implemented via a lightweight JavaScript tag in the site headers, setup was simple and prioritized by the engineering team in time for the coming holiday season. The SEO team was able to reclaim control over deploying their optimizations while saving engineering time and resources. Additionally, because all optimizations are managed within the Botify interface, there was no need to rely on lengthy internal processes that bottlenecked SEO work. The team could launch or roll back changes at will and focus engineering resources on hard-coding the most impactful updates. Upon activating PageWorkers, the GAME SEO team suddenly had the power to control optimizations at scale. In just hours, they could enact sitewide changes that would have previously taken months. As Black Friday neared, the SEO team at GAME was ready to meet the challenge.

Results

With a single prioritized engineering request to implement PageWorkers via JavaScript on the GAME website, the team was able to sidestep the technical debt, infrastructure difficulties, and resourcing limitations that kept it from its full potential. The time to deploy optimizations drastically dropped from 6–12 months to mere minutes, removing internal blockers and giving the SEO team independence.

With PageWorkers in place ahead of Black Friday, GAME launched a much-improved internal link structure that allowed Google to crawl and rank its most important product pages in time to capitalize on the season. 

The number of website pages crawled by Google skyrocketed to 82%, a sixty-four point increase, aided by an improved site structure that encouraged discoverability of their most important URLs. With more valuable pages showing in search during the most profitable season of the year, they saw a 7.27% YoY increase in high-converting product page clicks and a 23% increase in impressions.

The revenue stakes were high. With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X well-stocked across the industry, the 2023 Black Friday season was the most competition they had faced since the launch of Sony and Microsoft’s current-generation consoles. The combination of their precision-targeted seasonal strategy and Botify’s technical SEO solution gave GAME the competitive advantage they needed. Organic traffic directly to critical product detail pages improved +113%, with a staggering +146% growth in revenue from organic traffic year over year.

Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, GAME’s SEO results correlated with improvements across other digital marketing channels. Over November 2023, GAME saw a 94% increase in clicks for paid Google traffic, with a +301% revenue gain YoY. Bolstering the technical health of the website proved to be a win for search engine crawlers across both organic and paid. 

The changes GAME implemented with PageWorkers have created a flywheel effect with their SEO. By making it easier to discover important content, they were able to serve high-value product pages to customers poised to convert. This success, with a clear connection to seasonal revenue gains, helped the SEO team earn internal buy-in for further optimizations that improved the overall customer experience on the website. As they improved user-friendliness and made other technical improvements, such as combining multiple competing website versions into one, streamlining their site architecture by removing outdated or irrelevant content, and building a responsive site, they began to see other SEO benefits such as higher rankings and traffic.

“PageWorkers gave us our independence. It’s such an easy tool to use. Updates to our enterprise e-commerce site are made quickly and at scale, no engineering required. We can make optimizations, test them, and prove their impact to get fixes hard-coded.”

Jerry Hughes, Digital & SEO Marketing Manager, GAME

The influence and visibility of SEO has expanded across the organization. Because optimizations can be tested for impact with PageWorkers before permanently hard-coding a fix, engineering requests are backed by data and prioritized accordingly. Awareness of and buy-in for SEO extends beyond stakeholders: now, the SEO team is proactively included in strategic discussions. And because PageWorkers enacts changes directly within the Botify interface, the SEO team has become autonomous and independent. They fully own their channel and strategy, from testing different optimizations to measuring impact to deploying changes at scale.