Easter is now only days away, and provide many businesses opportunities for fun, innovative marketing initiatives. One brand that has become synonymous with Easter is also one of the most revered treats in the world – Cadbury, and their delicious Cadbury eggs. First manufactured by the Cadbury Brothers in 1923, the Cadbury egg has since grown into one of the most beloved chocolate treats of all time, with annual sales in excess of 200 million.
Headquartered in Uxbridge, Great London, Cadbury is much more than just a supplier of a hallowed treat once a year. They are the second largest confectionery brand in the world, have products that are sold worldwide, and supply many other famous chocolate treats, like their “Roses” and “Crunchie” bars.
Cadbury is sure to already be seeing increased demand for their products with Easter so close, but does their official website have the right kind of SEO strategies behind it to make sure that everyone can find their products through a search engine search? Just like we’ve done on every other “1 Hour SEO Audit Challenge” to date, we’ll take a look at their search engine optimization efforts with our standard set of ranking categories and tools to see if Cadbury has properly positioned themselves to be the go-to source for chocolate eggs online.
- Schema and SERP Friendliness
- Site Speed
- Meta Description and Keyword Issues
- Title Tag Issues
- Screaming Frog
- Open Site Explorer
- Microsoft IIS
Most good SEO strategies start with a solid foundation of inspiring content as a key element. The reasoning is very simple – high quality content allows businesses to keep visitors engaged and coming back time and time again to read new content that answers questions which include a variety of different, relevant long-tail keywords that potential customers are looking for online. It also helps a business brand itself as a thought leader in their space in a way that builds consumer trust to increase conversion rates and increase overall sales sizes.
The first thing that users will notice about the Cadbury website is just how dated it looks. The navigation and the odd brown sides for a website that is noticeable in how narrowly designed it is stands out and makes users feel like they’ve gone to the wrong place. That being said there is some extremely cool content on the site. The first and most interesting thing is the “Joy Maker” that allows people to customize and send their own Cadbury chocolates to others. This is extremely unique content and is extremely sharable. The site also has loads of recipes for creating desserts and treats with Cadbury products that are fantastic ways to target people that might be looking for relevant recipes that they could conceivably want to buy Cadbury products in order to make.
Schema and SERP Friendliness
When done correctly, adding schema and taking the time to create an interesting branded search engine result page by creating things like a Google My Business account can be key for increasing traffic and increasing the rankings of individual pages that properly use schema to their advantage by making them a more attractive option for users to click on. Many of our recent audits, including the Academy Awards, Dollar Shave Club, and Sarabeths have done a fantastic job with this recently.
Unfortunately where a lot of other websites recently have succeeded, Cadbury falls short. While they do have a nice branded search engine page that is populated with Wikipedia information, that’s about all that Cadbury has going for it. They have some very simple sitelinks as well, but there’s a lot of work to be done. There are no sitelinks at all for products or recipes, which would be a huge addition to the site in order to generate more traffic to those pages.
I’ve spoken about this at length, but a domain’s backlink profile remains one of the most important elements needed to be successful in the world of search engine optimized. There is no alternative for high quality equity-passing links from a variety of different sources, and it remains the best way to build a website’s domain authority while simultaneously helping you to rank for new keywords on a page-by-page basis. Having a good variety of different anchor texts that are both branded and keyword rich is also a key part of showing Google that your backlink profile is filed with naturally amassed links that have not been bought, coerced, or otherwise questionably obtained.
With a domain authority of 57 and 3,264 links from 621 root domains that include high quality links from sources like the BBC, CNN, the Guardian, Huffington Post, and Buzzfeed, there are a lot of different authoritative sources linking to the Cadbury website and there are no indicators that Cadbury is involved in any sort of shady link building schemes. Averaging about 5 links per domain is quite good and means that they aren’t paying or otherwise using black hat practices to get domains to link to them in mass.
While Cadbury’s links are good they fall a bit short is when it comes to anchor text. Out of the links they do have, only 16 include the anchor text “crème egg” and only 16 are for “cadbury chocolate”. This is a bit lower than one would like and explains why when one searches for “creme egg” Cadbury comes up below Wikipedia. Everything they have in terms of anchor text appears natural, but focusing on trying to win links through PR efforts that focus specifically on “Cadbury creme egg” and “Cadbury chocolate” would be very helpful to rank better for more product-oriented keywords.
Focusing on a site’s speed is one of the most practical things any business can do. Not only does it help users have a better experience with the content in a way that makes them trust your business and keep coming back, it also can give a business added benefits in terms of SEO rankings. A website that loads quickly and correctly can be the difference-maker for any business when it comes to attracting new customers, and Google rewards businesses that understand this with a slight benefit over slower sites in search engine results. As a result, if it’s not already, site speed should be a focus for any business owner that is looking to take their website to the next level in terms of both general on-site experience and SEO ranking.
Cadbury does a decent enough job with its site speed. ScreamingFrog reports that the site loads 82% of its pages in a second or less, with only about 2% of pages taking longer than 3 seconds. Still, there’s room for improvement, as the site only received a 81% Pagespeed score and a 71% YSlow score. Specifically, Cadbury needs to focus on optimizing image sizes, combining images using CSS sprites, and serving resources from a consistent URL. Also considering if fewer HTTP requests might be a possibility by removing some things would be helpful as well.
Meta Description and Keyword Issues
Optimizing meta tags like meta descriptions and meta keywords to be in line with Google best practices is an important step for both SEO and user experience. Having meta tags and a meta description that properly reflect what is on a page is extremely important with setting proper expectations for users who are looking for a specific product, service, or information when they’re using a search engine. Meta descriptions in particular that include a call-to-action or a description of what the page is about is a great way to generate more traffic when done correctly. Although meta descriptions don’t directly influence SEO ranking, user behavior does – so taking the time to make a description that increases the probability that someone c licks on your result is key for SEO success.
Cadbury has a lot of room for growth when it comes to their meta descriptions. They are missing descriptions on just shy of 72% of their website and have a few pages with duplicate descriptions as well. A couple of pages that definitely need to have their meta descriptions defined as soon as possible include their very cool “Joy Maker” page, their “cookies” page, and their “products” page. Not having meta descriptions on these and other pages is a lost opportunity to generate more traffic, and particularly on the high value pages this could be the difference between generate sales online and losing out to competitors.
Title Tag Issues
Since we started this series some things about SEO have changed. We’ve started to see more schema on websites, more of a focus on adding unique content, and have seen less and less seemingly spammy backlink profiles. One thing that has not changed since we started this series is the importance of a page’s title tag. More than any other element, title tags are the key to success to SEO ranking. Without the proper title tag, it’s pretty difficult for Google to understand what a page is about and rank it accordingly. While they have started to get better at this over the last few years, they’re still a ways away from behind able to understand what a page is about without a title tag. As a result, it’s important for businesses to optimize them appropriately and correctly.
Cadbury does a very commendable job with their title tags. Only 3 pages are missing them on the entire site, and only 16 have any sort of duplicated keywords on them. The only drawback is that about 30% of the title tags are below the recommended character length set by Screaming Frog. This is a bit problematic for a number of pages, because it means there are opportunities to use title tags to either brand pages more efficiently or to target more relevant keywords that can help play a role in generating more sales for the business.
The Cadbury website in general is relatively solid across the board. It has all the basics of SEO more or less covered, but there is a lot of room for growth. Perhaps the most glaring issue is simply one of design. It’s definitely time for a new website design that is more modern and better reflects key steps that the company wants users to take when they visit the website. As part of this effort new schema should be added, particularly to product and recipe pages to try and make them look more appealing in search engine results. Lastly, meta descriptions need to be added for pages in an effort to increase click through rate.
Overall Grade: B+