A multinational fast fashion retailer
Forever 21 is a leading US-based fashion retailer of women’s, men’s, and kids’ wear & accessories. The brand is famous for delivering premium quality exclusive fashion at great value to consumers across the globe. Forever 21 was founded in 1984, headquartered in Los Angeles, California. They operate more than 550 stores in 27 countries around the world.
As a leading fashion retailing brand, Forever 21 USA had an e-commerce website based on the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform (SFCC). Unfortunately, the existing website was not flawless in terms of technicality & performance. The US-specific website had significant numbers of on-page SEO issues along with layout shifting issues on mobile devices that needed to be fixed immediately. All of these issues were preventing search engines from indexing the website & impacting the user experience (UX) as well.
- The US-specific website of Forever 21 had Intrusive Interstitial issues on direct visits & scroll up on mobile, which prohibited users from completing goals.
- Google Search Console (GSC) had listed many URLs with 140 parameters & most of them were not configured correctly.
- Mobile & desktop paginated pages were canonicalized back to the main category page, which blocked links to deeper products.
- Ajax in-page refresh issues on product pages prevented search bots from crawling reviews past #10 on Product Detail Pages.
- The website’s performance was affected due to the non-optimization of CSS & JS files.
- GEO-IP targeting prevented search engines from seeing/crawling content on the main landing page.
- http://forever21.com/ was a multi-language website, but none of the domains had “HREFLANG” tags. Search engines got multiple versions of pages in the same language; therefore, they indexed only one URL as canonical.
- URL duplication issues were found. A product page was accessible in two different ways. One was by just using the product number & another was by using the SKU. The SKU version was canonicalized to the product ID version.
- The existing robots.txt file lacked the necessary updates, which made the crawling process complicated.
- There was inconsistency in error-handling.
- Google Search Console (GSC) reported serious website issues, such as a large number of 404 errors, & duplicate URLs with missing canonicals. Structure data was also not implemented correctly.
- The XML sitemap under the robot.txt file had enlisted a lot of unfamiliar indexable URLs with missing content.
- Many duplications were found across the website, such as duplicate titles, duplicate heading tag, descriptions, & primary headings.
- Forever 21 had a dedicated application, but deep linking was not enabled, which negatively impacted user engagement & the user experience (UX).
- There were a lot of category URLs that used “underscores” instead of “hyphens”. Underscores were seen as word connectors, so words were treated as single words.
- Layout shifting issues when switching from portrait to landscape mode on the mobile device were also identified.
- A CMS based blog set-up was also missing.
- The first & foremost task was to technically audit the website to find out all on-page issues.
- As per the audit findings, we had to optimize the CSS & JS scripts of the website.
- Our team manually reviewed all 140 parameters & updated the Google Search Console (GSC) with the desired behavior for each parameter.
- Our developers updated all canonical tags on paginated category pages for self-referencing.
- We resolved Ajax in-page refresh issues by adding a “View All Reviews“ link at the bottom of the first set of reviews that links to an /all-reviews/ page. Additionally, we used pushState to update the URLs in the search bar & canonicalize paginated review pages to the/all-reviews/ page.
- To resolve GEO-IP targeting issues, we added main navigation links to the Country, State, & City pages.
- “HREFLANG” tags were added in thesection of each page, pointing to other variations using ISO language/region codes.
- URL duplication issues were resolved by adding no-index tags to SKU versions.
- To resolve Robot.txt issues, our team added recommended rules to the robots.txt file. We also added meta robot tags in thesection of HTML for all available URL variations.
- Mirror sub-domain issues were resolved by blocking these domains using front-end login, & allowing only specific IPs to access such URLs.
- Our development team updated the error handling so that this directory would provide a 404 HTTP header status in case there were no page variations.
- App deep linking issues were resolved by enabling it.
- All “Underscores” were replaced with “Hyphens” by updating the Demandware back-end. Our developers added padding & updated the margin to correct the layout shifting issues on mobile devices.
- Along with that, our development team developed a blog set-up for the Forever 21 USA website using the WordPress CMS platform.
- The website’s (http://forever21.com/) performance improved drastically due to all optimizations done from our end.
- Google Search Console (GSC) reports were updated with all necessary changes. The GSC dashboard is not showing any further errors.
- Search engines are now crawling the entire website without any issues, as we have fixed the canonical tags & the site crawlability issues.
- Sitemap has been implemented dynamically & all pages have been indexed by search engines now.
- Layout shifting issues were entirely resolved leading to a smooth UX.
- Now Forever 21 has an improved, much faster website for the US-market with better user experience (UX), which is essential for fashion retailing brands.
- Forever 21, USA website has a new dynamic blog set-up to share relevant content with fashion connoisseurs.