Increasing Web Traffic by +81% YoY with eCommerce SEO Tactics

Organic Search & SEO
September 27, 2021

Key Takeaways

Hoka, an athletic shoe and apparel company, increased their total web traffic by +81% YoY from February 2021 to July 2021. During this period, Hoka's organic search traffic made up 96% of its total traffic. Hoka drives organic traffic by maintaining a high SERP ranking through technical, on-page and off-page SEO tactics.

Technical SEO Tactic — Site Navigation:

  • Product Grouping and Filtering: Hoka utilizes a straightforward pathway for users to explore products by grouping products into sections and by giving users the option to further filter down these product groups.
  • Breadcrumbs: Hoka utilizes a path-based navigation on their product pages —making it easier for users to return from specific product landing pages to the product display pages. Breadcrumbs help contextualize content for search queries.

On-Page SEO Tactic:

  • UX: Hoka has thoughtfully designed its eCommerce site to ensure a great shopping experience for users. Elements that help improve the users' experience on Hoka's website include a site-wide benefits bar, sale section in the website header, call-out boxes, feature and benefit symbols and cross-selling features.
  • Product Page Optimization: Hoka's product pages have been optimized with unique, keyword-rich copy that provides extensive details in 1,000-2,000 words. Hoka breaks up copy to ensure readability. Product pages feature high-quality product photography, videography and 3D renders.
  • Personalized Shopping Experience: Hoka has invested in personalized shopping tools on its website that help build relationships and create better shopping experiences. These tools include Hoka's shoe finder quiz, an augmented reality shopping filter on Snapchat and third-party integrations such as True Fit and Locally.

Off-Page SEO Tactic:

  • Link Building: Hoka increases its website authority score by increasing its number of backlinks. Hoka gains manually built links through paid partnerships and editorially placed links through PR efforts.
  • Social Proof: Hoka features product reviews on their product page to help to provide more content to crawlers and support the user journey. Hoka utilizes trust icons to help products stand out and increase credibility. Additionally, hoka leverages UGC on its product page to increase credibility and authenticity and drive purchasing decisions.

Hoka is an athletic shoe and apparel company that sells maximum cushion, lightweight shoes for fitness, trail, hiking and road running activities. Hoka gained popularity in 2009, with its “maximalist” running shoe style, which contrasted with the "minimalist" running shoe trend at that time*.

Hoka increased their total web traffic to by +81% YoY from February 2021 to July 2021.

Hoka - Worldwide Web Traffic

During this time period, Hoka’s organic search traffic made up 96% of its total traffic. Hoka’s organic traffic increased by +83% YoY whereas paid search traffic only increased by +38% YoY.  

Hoka - Website Traffic Breakdown

Hoka drives organic search traffic by maintaining a high SERP ranking through: 

  1. Technical SEO. Hoka’s website has been optimized to improve search indexing and crawling, and provide the user with a convenient shopping experience.
  2. On-Page SEO. Content on Hoka’s website help users and search engines easily understand the sites content and drive more page visits.
  3. Off-Page SEO. Hoka increases their sites credibility through link building, UGC, social proof and customer reviews.

Technical SEO Best Practice

Site Navigation

  1. Product Grouping. Hoka creates a straightforward pathway for users to explore products by grouping products into catalog sections by product type and activity. Additionally, users can browse by collection, best sellers or new arrivals.
  2. Filtering. Hoka uses filters to help users narrow down their searches and exclude irrelevant products from their results. On the catalog pages users can filter by size, width, surface, stability, ride, colour, heel/toe offset, and price.
  1. Breadcrumbs. Hoka utilizes a path-based navigation on their product pages which acts as a back button for the user's browser—making it easier for users to return from specific product landing pages back to the product display pages. Additionally, this helps contextualize their content — increasing their relevance for search queries. The path appears in SERPs to assist searchers in understanding the content of the page better.

On-Page SEO Best Practice


  1. Benefits Bar. Hoka has a prominent site-wide benefits bar which highlights their free shipping. Benefit bars on eCommerce sites lead users to making quick purchase decisions or explore the products further.
  2. Sale Section. Hoka has a prominent sales section in its website header. According to various studies, half of online buyers would only buy discounted products. Having a sales section helps discount seeking users quickly identify the sales and specials section.
  1. Call-Out Boxes. Product catalog pages features blue call-out boxes that encourage users to click to view the product page and helps the user find what they are looking for.

       4. Features & Benefits. Hoka uses simple symbols to showcase their product benefits and features across the site, making it easy for users to identify product USPs.

       5. Cross-Selling. Hoka encourages page clicks and additional sales by adding a “Pairs With” feature on their product pages.

On-Page SEO Best Practices:

Personalized Shopping Experience

Hoka has invested in many tools on their website that help provide the user with a personalized shopping experience. Personalization efforts on eCommerce sites help build relationships and create better experiences.

Shoe Finder

Hoka's shoe finder quiz is designed to help users find the best shoe for them, based on a series of questions about their specific needs and goals. The quiz has been made visual to ensure the questions are straightforward. At the end of the quiz, Hoka asks for the user to provide their email address, but gives the option to opt out.

Try It On Virtually

Hoka offers an augmented reality shopping experience that allows users to virtually try on products through Snapchat. By scanning a snapcode, users can try on the product as a filter. These AR lenses help users have a better idea of how the product will look in real life. According to Snapchat, more than 52% of their users said feeling or seeing products help them make a purchase decision. The campaign resulted in a 6x share rate vs Snapchat retail benchmark and a 82% lower cost per share vs. Snapchat retail benchmark.

True Fit

To increase shoppers confidence, Hoka offers users the option of using True Fit. True Fit provides the user with personal fit ratings, size recommendations and fit details.

Shop Locally

Hoka uses Locally, a tool that helps users locate local stores that carry Hoka, and their current on-hand inventory. This helps bridge the gap between users who want to support local stores, people who are reluctant on online shopping or looking for options like in-store pickup or same-day delivery.

Product Page Optimization

  1. Title Tag. Keyword rich, 55-60 characters long and descriptive.
  2. Product Name. Integrate keywords and key attributes such as brand, key features, product name, and gender.
  3. Meta Description. Each description should be unique to each page and should entice user with product benefits. Descriptions should be 300 characters and include 2-3 keywords.

  1. Product Introduction. Hoka describes the product here in more detail beyond the meta description.
  2. Bullet List of Features. Hoka uses bullet points to highlight their product features. As the top performing pages in Google tend to have a minimum of 2.0K words, bullet lists help Hoka provide sufficient information while not overwhelming the user.
  3. Visual Representation of Features. Hoka provides users with a visual representation of product features and benefits to further aid in the users’ shopping experience.

  1. Image Optimization. As Google considers page speed for SERP ranking, Hoka has optimized their product page images by compressing the images. Additionally Hoka optimizes images by adding alt-text.
  2. Product Video . Hoka utilizes video content to help users with their purchasing decisions. According to Forbes, 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.
  3. 3D Model. Hoka provides an interactive 3D render of their shoes for users to visualize the product better.

Off-Page SEO Best Practice

Link Building

  1. Referring Domains. Hoka has increased their number of referring domains by 37% YoY.
  2. Manually Built Links. Hoka partners with websites that have high authority scores and are related to running/hiking activities to link to Hoka’s website. This helps to improve their page authority score and drive traffic to their site.
  3. Editorially Placed Links. As a result of Hoka’s limited edition collections, strategic product releases, athlete partnerships, and brand-sponsored events Hoka has been able to generate natural referring links from high-quality websites.

Social Proof

  1. Reviews. Hoka uses PowerReviews, an eCommerce solution that helps brands collect, manage and integrate reviews on their website. Having reviews on Hoka's product pages help to provide more content to crawlers —increasing the page's rank for related keywords. Additionally, reviews help support the user journey by validating the products and help the page rank for non-branded key terms related to the product that customers may use in their reviews.
  2. Schema Markup. Hoka increases their CTR by implementing product review schema to get rich snippets displayed on Google.

  1. Trust Icons. Hoka use award logos such as the “Outside Buyer’s Guide 2021” or badges such as the “APMA Seal” to make the product stand out and increase the product’s credibility.
  2. UGC. Hoka leverages user-generated content on its product pages to increase their brand credibility and authenticity, inspire and engage with their customers and drive purchasing decisions.

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