SEO Case Study: StairBox

SEO for the UK’s #1 Staircase Design and Installation Company

StairBox, a custom staircase design and installation business operating across the UK, approached Convert Digital for monthly SEO services, starting with an in-depth SEO audit, in November 2022. After completing the audit and having a detailed conversation about their goals and growth expectations, we set off on an SEO journey that yielded spectacular results.


Key successes



organic growth over one year



SERP result for key/high-value products



number of keywords on page 1 of Google



of keywords rankings in Google search

How did we do it?

Convert Digital often refers to SEO as a journey, and for good reason. Strong, consistent, and managed growth takes time and, typically, a multipronged approach. After identifying areas for improvement by means of a detailed SEO audit and discussing StairBox’s goals, we laid out a strategic monthly SEO plan. This plan aimed to tackle the most immediate and pressing concerns first, clearing any obvious SEO blockages out of the way, followed by steps to drive more organic visits to their high-value pages. 

In summary, we set out to:

1. Technical onsite SEO

Onsite SEO optimisation is a highly technical process that requires an in-depth understanding of how websites are built, maintained, and how they interact with Google’s indexing and ranking algorithms. Even businesses that have well-established websites that are meeting growth and conversion goals can benefit from a technical onsite SEO audit as Google and other search engines constantly evolve and update their algorithms to meet the demands of an ever-changing online landscape. 

In this client’s case, our SEO audit identified a number of problems, including:


1. Poor site speed optimisation

Poor site speed optimisation can have several devastating effects on a business’ bottom line. Slow load speeds can easily annoy a potential client enough to leave your site and visit a competitor’s instead. This not only hands your competition potential leads on a silver platter but also increases your ‘bounce rate’, a technical term that tells Google how long visitors stay on your site per session. High bounce rates (very short visits) signal to Google that your site isn’t efficient or user-friendly, quickly resulting in a SERP ranking drop. As more and more people rely on mobile devices as their primary means of accessing websites, ensuring that your site is built in a way that quickly loads all of its components is becoming increasingly valuable in terms of SEO.

By working hand-in-hand with StairBox’s web developer, we quickly identified and corrected build factors that caused their site to load too slowly. This had an immediate and marked effect on their SERP rankings. 

2. Underutilised internal linking

Internal linking plays an essential part in site architecture. It ensures that search engines can effectively crawl and index a website, improving its visibility. By carefully selecting and optimising internal links to the exact right anchor texts, we were able to indicate to Google which pages have the highest topical relevance and further signal to Google the context and quality of key pages.

An excellent example of effective internal linking in this case study is how we managed to redirect pages to StairBox’s glass balustrades page. This is a high-value product for our client, and within a few short months we had climbed from the second, third, and fourth place SERP rankings to number one for several competitive keywords. See image for more details. 

3. Ineffective keyword mapping, title tags, and H1s

It’s common knowledge that accurate keywords and headings are critical components of strong SEO; however, getting it right is easier said than done. A common problem that we run into is referred to as ‘cannibalisation’, a phenomenon where multiple pages on the same site compete for the same keywords. This allows suboptimal pages that don’t contribute to leading the potential client down the sales funnel ranking on Google, leading to a reduced conversion rate. 

Title tags, the clickable headlines displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs), are critical for capturing user attention. They also, alongside H1 tags, provide essential information to Google about the page content and relevance to specific search terms. By working closely with StairBox’s in-house content and web development team, we were able to guide them towards optimising their keyword usage, title tags, and H1 headings as part of a coherent SEO strategy to enhance their online visibility and user engagement. 

2. Long-term content development strategy for sustained organic growth

A well-designed and maintained website is an important success factor for many, if not most, businesses in the 21st century. That being said, gone are the days of building a robust site and sitting back while the clients roll in. Increased competition levels, the changing online landscape, and a number of other factors now make it essential to periodically upload content or pages that indicate continued relevance. 

A long-term content development strategy, either in the form of regular and targeted blog posts, refreshing and updating existing materials, or new pages targeting specific keywords all signal to search engines that it is current and active, which can positively impact rankings. Furthermore, a long-term approach allows for the accumulation of backlinks as the content matures and gains authority and trustworthiness. We often refer to these backlinks as SEO gold.

Working closely with StairBox’s content development team, we created a series of blog posts that aimed to increase their relevance for specific products, improve their rankings for products that started off with a low SERP ranking, and start ranking for new and related keywords. Examples of our content development successes include posting blog articles that ranked for 300+ keywords and massively improving their page ranking for ‘oak staircase’, ‘oak stairs’, and various other keywords related to cladding and spare parts for staircases. There is no doubt that these improved Google rankings has led to increased organic growth, leads, and turnover. 

One final content-related point to discuss is the inclusion of FAQ sections on certain pages. By carefully analysing the exact terms potential leads use to find additional information, we were able to write targeted and relevant FAQs that significantly boosted the rankings of pages within the sales funnel.

3. Offsite link-building efforts

Even the most well-designed and optimised website might struggle to gain traction in search results if the offsite side of SEO is ignored or underutilised. Backlinks to your site from trustworthy and reputable sites can significantly improve your SEO score, leading to a sudden and dramatic uptick in organic growth. On the flipside, backlinks from low-quality or spammy sites might harm your site, as they can lead Google to believe that you are attempting to trick them through link-farming. 

It’s not uncommon to see site rebuilds and optimisation lead to ‘broken links’, beneficial links from other sites that are no longer useful due to changing URLs and site structure. By identifying these links through a comprehensive backlink audit and then making use of ‘301 redirects’, we managed to resecure the broken links and improve our client’s trustworthiness and relevence in Google’s eyes. Furthermore, we analyse all links leading to every single one of their pages on a bimonthly basis, categorising them as beneficial, neutral, or harmful. Harmful links are immediately disavowed, neutral links are monitored, and beneficial links are maintained.

What does this mean for you?

Although each website and business is unique, every client’s success story comes with a couple of lessons or affirmations on what remains relevant in the world of SEO. With the digital landscape changing so fast (think of the influence that AI has had over the last year), being able to identify and apply SEO strategies that remain effective will be a key factor that sets successful SEO companies apart from the rest. 

Some of our key takeaways from StairBox’s SEO journey include:


1. Technical SEO remains a critical component of any successful integrated SEO strategy

Despite the prevalence of all-inclusive website-building software and web developers that promise to automatically optimise your site’s technical SEO factors, onsite technical SEO remains an important part of a comprehensive SEO strategy. Without access to specialised SEO analysis software, even the best web developers and content creators would simply be guessing which keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, and headings are best suited to their needs.

Another point to consider regarding technical SEO is that it’s not constant. As Google’s requirements for a strong ranking evolve (incidentally, they released a core update a mere two months prior to writing this case study), technical requirements and specifications change. Strong SEO agents will take this into consideration, checking your site’s technical health on a schedule. 

2. An effective content strategy can open the door to new opportunities

While we’ve touted the ranking benefits of a good content strategy to no end, our experience with StairBox once again demonstrated how it can affect the sales of secondary, underperforming, complimentary, or niche products. 

By creating keyword-focused content based on our recommendation, StairBox started ranking for hundreds of new keywords they previously had zero rankings for. This led to an increase in sales of specific products related to their primary product (wooden staircases), such as staircase carpets, under-staircase storage solutions, and staircase renovations. 

While they were already offering these products and services prior to starting their SEO journey with Convert Digital, they significantly improved their visibility for these products and services through managed content development. 

3. Web rebuilds or redesigns can benefit from backlink management

Websites age with time, and even the most diligent maintenance won’t prevent a site from eventually becoming stale, cluttered, or simply old-fashioned. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for businesses to rebuild or perform a major overhaul of their site every few years. Think of it as good housekeeping practice. 

While this has many benefits, including an improved user experience (UX), better technical SEO scores, and other site improvements, it does come with the risk of losing hard-won and beneficial backlinks. As web developers add new pages or shuffle pages around, canonical URLs change to better suit the new layout, making existing backlinks obsolete.

A thorough backlink audit using professional SEO tools allows us to identify these broken links and restore their SEO benefits through a process called ‘301 redirects’. This once again proved to be hugely beneficial to our client, as we restored dozens and dozens of backlinks from credible mentions and positive reviews.

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Tom Clark

Founder, Technical & Offsite SEO

Paul Gordon

Technical SEO & Digital Marketing

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