Dunelm Rugs Case Study


Find out how we undertook a category content creation & optimisation project for Dunelm, that within 4 months had:

  • Increased organic sessions by 166.6% YoY
  • Increased organic revenue by 118.9% YoY
  • Increased organic conversion rate by 15.6% YoY
  • Provided 137,500 new organic sessions
  • Generated £56,000 in new revenue

Read on to find out exactly how we achieved such great results for Dunelm, or get in touch here if you’d like to find out how we can do the same for you when it comes to your content marketing!


Dunelm is one of the largest furniture and homewares retailers in the UK who we’ve been working with for over 4 years. During that time, we have successfully delivered:

  • Ongoing SEO & Content Marketing activity which has delivered significant and consistent online growth
    • Year 1 -2 Organic revenue growth was +30%
    • Year 2 -3 Organic revenue growth was +35%
  • An extremely large and complex migration which secured customer privacy and protected organic traffic in the short term, and then lead to a 30% increase in organic visibility within 3 months.

You can listen to our podcast with Dunelm’s SEO Manager, Jamie Watson to find out how we helped them with their website migration here.

The Challenges

Dunelm has a large website that generates a lot of revenue and so the main challenge for them has been understanding where their efforts should be focussed when it comes to SEO and content marketing.

For a client that is one of the UK’s largest retailers, and experiences consistent YoY growth, continuing to strive to find ideas and areas for growth is an ongoing and significant challenge.

As such, we were tasked with a project to review and recommend areas of the site that we would work on that were most likely to achieve growth within our budget, while at the same time maximising the capabilities and benefits of their new website platform. We wanted to ensure we involved internal development and departmental teams in SEO projects for the first time, to ensure that any work proposed could be delivered, limitations in the platform were fully considered, and any potential blockers could be discussed and resolved.

Finally, we had to ensure that we any methodology we created was replicable and scalable across different categories of the site.

The Process

For the project, we decided to adopt a targeted category-by-category approach to our SEO and content marketing efforts to improve efficiency, focus our tactics, and ultimately achieve our goals.

We chose this approach for several key reasons:

  • It allowed us to create a methodology as a proof of concept which could then be replicated and iteratively improved across other categories.
  • It allowed us to prioritise our efforts for maximum ROI.
  • It allowed us to measure the effects of our activity in isolation to understand what had, and what had not contributed to growth in organic traffic and revenue for the chosen category.
  • It takes competitor activity and performance into account from the outset and allows us to understand the competitive landscape at a category level.
  • We could prioritise work and present a comprehensive business case for future projects based on a solid understand of associated cost and reward.

Considering the January 2020 Google Update, we undertook a keyword universe project to analyse tens of thousands of ranking terms for all categories on the site. We considered search volumes, impressions, clicks, click through rate (CTR), ecommerce conversion rate and average order value to model what specific increases in CTR could result in with regard to revenue and organic traffic.

This allowed us to not only identify the potential opportunity for growth for each category, but also identify those categories where our work was most likely to have the biggest effect.

We concluded that content creation and improvement would be one of the best ways to achieve our aims and identified the rugs category as being the biggest opportunity.

Understanding the Competitive Landscape

To begin with, we used one of our proprietary tools and undertook a Keyword Gap Analysis.

This quantitative approach allowed us to quickly identify areas where key competitors were outperforming Dunelm. We then undertook a qualitative, Competitor Content Review to understand some of the reasons why we were being outperformed, and the steps we could take to improve.

Finally, we held a workshop with key members of Dunelm’s marketing and trading teams to better understand their internal priorities, gain insight into the rugs category and buyer behaviour as a whole, and to determine their abilities and limitations when it came to making changes on their site.

What we did

To achieve our aims, and using our previous findings, we:

  • Identified and created 7 new subcategory pages, based on the potential search volume available. These included things like ‘outdoor rugs’, ‘shaggy rugs’, and ‘round rugs’.
  • Identified and optimised 7 existing subcategory pages, these were based largely on colour.
  • Identified and significantly updated 2 existing pieces of informational content.
  • Identified and researched 6 new subject areas for informational content creation that were then handed over to the client’s internal teams.

This process took 2 months and the changes and recommendations were put live at the end of February.

The Results

The results* of our work were seen almost immediately. Across the whole rugs category, we achieved:

  • Increased organic sessions by 166.6% YoY
  • Increased organic revenue by 118.9% YoY
  • Increased organic conversion rate by 15.6% YoY

Pages that we recommended creating contributed:

  • 137,500 new organic sessions
  • £56,000 new revenue**
  • 1350 new transactions

Example Ranking Performance

Looking at ranking performance, we can see the term Outdoor rugs (monthly search volume = 27,100) was ranking in the mid-40s during the first week of March. By the beginning of April, it was consistently on page 1, and by mid-April it had moved to position 1.

To date, it continues to fluctuate between positions 1 and 3.


*Due to circumstances out of our control, we suffered a 12-day reporting outage in Google Analytics where no data at all had been collected.

**If we take an average daily revenue figure and apply it to the 12-day period, we would expect the true revenue figure to be comfortably above £60,000.

Want to find out if we could help with your content creation and optimisation? 

Give us a call on 01273 733 433 or leave us a message via the form below and well get back to you within 24hrs. 

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