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The Sole Supplier

The Sole Supplier are an affiliate brand whose target audience is heavily weighted toward millennial-age men with an interest in fashion, TV, sport and music. Their traditional audience is authentic ‘sneakerheads’ – people obsessed with the latest trainers, particularly rare releases.


01 Increase organic traffic

Organic performance and user experience were being held back by major gaps in the site architecture. The Sole Supplier’s site had a flat structure with no categorisation, meaning there were no category pages to rank for high-volume short-tail terms such as “Nike Jordan”, “Yeezy” and “NMD”.

02 Understanding the buyers journey

Brands were listed at the very bottom of the pages in the footer, making them appear as an afterthought, when the data implied that this was very often a visitor’s very first desire to see when landing on-site. It was clear that by ensuring brands are listed as quickly as possible, it would be easier to push visitors through the buyer journey.

03 Build brand awareness / loyalty

The Sole Supplier needed a creative approach to content marketing to help improve brand awareness.


01 Overcoming site architecture issues

Having reviewed queries made via The Sole Supplier’s on-site search facility, we found that the vast majority of searches were related to specific brands and models. This told us that users to the site are likely to be ready to buy, and have a reasonable idea what they’re after, but also that they were finding it difficult to find the information they were looking for.

02 Building relatable content

After carrying out extensive research into The Sole Supplier’s audience, we identified a strong crossover between trainer enthusiasts and fans of Grime artists such as Skepta, Stormzy and JME. As well as this, we found there was a lack of quality, long-form content discussing the history of the Grime scene and its strong connection with fashion, particularly trainers.

03 Generic keywords

Previously, traffic was primarily driven by highly fragmented generic keywords that vary and fluctuate in line with market activity, with brand search making up only 14% of organic search traffic. This made the site vulnerable to short-term fluctuations in product activity and availability.

The Strategy

Return were there to expand the organic visibility of Sole Supplier by improving organic keyword reach for their most popular brands and products.

Raising Awareness

Our strategy took a two-pronged approach to tackling this problem. Firstly, we identified a significant gap in the client’s site structure and keyword targeting for big terms like “Yeezy” and “Nike Jordan”.

Brand Search Improvement

Having identified a lack of brand search, we set about strengthening The Sole Supplier brand through a creative content campaign.

Return adopted a creative approach to improve brand awareness by researching and producing a content marketing campaign aimed at fans of Grime music – an area with significant overlap with The Sole Supplier’s audience.

High-authority Publications

We produced a creative content campaign aimed at raising awareness of The Sole Supplier brand, discussing the history of Grime music and the key trainers that have been popular with different artists throughout the history of the scene. The campaign achieved placements in high-authority publications that are popular with The Sole Supplier’s target audience, including GQ and Mixmag.

The Results

  • 01

    165% increase in organic traffic

  • 02

    Ranks #3 for the term “Yeezy”, which receives an average of 2.2 million searches a month

  • 03

    “Grimeline" generated more than 16,500 page views and gained earned placements in high-authority publications such as GQ and Mixmag

The Client's Own Words

“Having come from an SEO background it was so great to work with a company like Return whose technical SEO knowledge was second to none. They are constantly ahead of the curve with the latest updates and use their experience to provide concise changes that have drastic affect – very impressed.”

George Sullivan – Director, The Sole Supplier

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