Pottery Barn and SEO

Picture 1One of my all-time favorite stores is Pottery Barn. If I could live inside a PotteryBarn store, I would! For anyone out there who doesn’t already know, Pottery Barn is a retail store that specializes in home decor and home furnishings.  According to the organization’s mission statement, the brand was built on the idea that home furnishings should be exceptional in comfort, quality, style and value.

With stores located across the United States and throughout Canada, as well as a website and an active presence on social media, I believe Pottery Barn will rank highly in search results.

Below are ten keywords that I believe are prominent in Pottery Barn’s branding. I conducted a Google Search on each term to see where Pottery Barn ranks according to each, and to discover where the brand could improve their SEO efforts.

1. Home decor: Page 1, Result 6

Picture 4

2. Interior design: Beyond 2o pages

3. Home furnishings: Page 1, Result 5

4. Home entertaining: Beyond 20 pages

5. Table settings: Page 3, Result 3

6. Room ideas: Page 1, Result 10

7. Home accents: Page 1, Result 6

8. Dinnerware: Page 2, Result 8

9. Dream home: Beyond 20 pages

10. Wedding registry: Page 2, Result 2

As you can see, Pottery Barn appears within the top three pages on every keyword I searched except for three.

Next, I conducted a search on Pottery Barn’s website, to see how many times I could find the keywords on the brand’s home page, including in alt tags and html. This is what I discovered:

1. Home decor: Five times, but “home” was mentioned 35 times and “decor” was mentioned 55 times on the home page and tags.

2. Interior design: Five times, but “interior” was mentioned five times and “design” was mentioned 24 times.

3. Home furnishings: Four times, but a form of “furnishings” was mentioned 51 times.

4. Home entertaining: None, but a form of “entertaining” was used 37 times.

5. Table settings: None, but “table” was mentioned 12 times and a form of “setting” was mentioned seven times.

6. Room ideas: Eight times, but “room” was mentioned 51 times on the home page, meta tags and alt tags.

7. Home accents: Three times, but “accents” was mentioned five times.

8. Dinnerware: Six times.

9. Dream home: None, but “dream” was mentioned four times.

10. Wedding registry: None, but “wedding” was mentioned 12 times and “registry” was mentioned 23 times on the home page and tags.

Picture 3

Pottery barn achieves SEO success by including these keywords not just on their home page, but throughout the meta and alt coding. Effectively using SEO helps Pottery Barn stay ahead of their competitors and at the top of the home decor game. It also ensures that when consumers turn to search for their home decor needs, Pottery Barn’s brand will rise to the top.

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20 thoughts on “Pottery Barn and SEO

  1. Hi Lauren,
    Great post! I absolutely love Pottery Barn as well! I thought all of your key words were on point. Those are ones I would search for as well! One that I surprisingly wouldn’t think of myself was wedding registry- even thought I think that is a GREAT search term. I am getting married (I know you are too) and I can’t believe I didn’t think of that. I also really liked the search term dream home. Pottery Barn is exactly that. I thought your analysis of the information was very thorough, well thought out, and easy to follow. I also thought your search terms were on point! Great post!

    • Thank you Casey! It’s one of the stores I’m registered at and I’m obsessively checking their website! I wasn’t surprised that “home” appeared so many times on the home page but I was a little surprised “dream” didn’t show up more. I just associate everything in the store as something I’d want in my dream home so I thought they’d be capitalizing on that more.

  2. Great post Lauren. :0)

    I read on Mashable that a Pottery Barn customer mad an unsuccessful attempt to contact corporate Customer Service Department after the glass top on her Pottery Barn table shattered. A few weeks later, she posted photos of the damaged tabletop on Pottery Barn’s Facebook fan page. Within 30 minutes she received a call from a customer relations representative who worked with her to find a new tabletop and reimbursed her for it. Behold the power of social media!

    Obviously Pottery Barn engages customers on Facebook. It also builds brand awareness through its YouTube channel. Video topics include tutorials for party planners, designer profiles and featured products. Through storytelling and giving advice, Pottery Barn’s YouTube channel provides its customers a proactive form of customer service.

    Jason

    • Thanks Jason! I would hope that a store I love so much would respond quickly to customers, but at least they responded via social media, and ultimately made the customer happy! I haven’t seen Pottery Barn’s YouTube channel yet, but I’ll have to check it out. I love the pictures they post on Instagram. If only I could make my place look like all of the rooms they post!

  3. Pottery Barn is a pretty awesome store, I have to admit. However, it’s not the first place I think of for home goods, surprisingly. That could be just the fact that I’m a young guy with little interest in creating a home environment, but that speaks to why these results are so important. If I go “Googling” for a home décor product, Pottery Barn needs to make sure they’re high enough in the search results for me to remember they offer the products that I need.
    Of all the search terms you picked, I found the most interesting one to be “Dream Home.” This is a keyword I would never search, but my wife probably searches nearly every day. She’s also a huge fan of Pintrest and it surprises me that Pottery Barn was so far back in the Google search using that phrase. I’m really kind of surprised Pintrest usage didn’t push “Dream Home” higher in the ranks of Google.
    Nice work!

    • Thanks Hampton! You’re right about Pottery Barn’s SEO being so essential to their success. Sometimes I assume that everyone is just as obsessed with the brand as I am! The brand’s SEO isn’t as important for someone like me who already loves the brand, but for people who aren’t Pottery Barn converts yet and are searching to fulfill their home decor needs. I was pretty surprised “dream home” didn’t perform better too, especially with Pinterest (which I also love!). Thanks for the reply!

  4. Hi Lauren,
    I also wish I could live in Pottery Barn Store, every time I walk by one I can’t help but walk in, wishing I could just lounge around on their furniture all day. I think the keywords your picked were great! There were some I would have never thought to pick such as Dream Home or Wedding Registry. When I went to type in Home Furnishings I forgot to type in the “s” at the end, so instead I typed Home Furnishing and Pottery Barn was the first site to show up. Its interesting how one letter can change the results of a search, and put them at the top of it. I wonder if some of your other keywords would have this result also. Overall I have to agree with you that Pottery Barn has done a great job with their keywords and being on top of it. Great Post!!
    Cyndi

    • Thanks Cyndi! It’s hard not to walk in the store when you pass by, especially when they have their Christmas decor out! Pottery Barn is one of the stores I’m registered at for my wedding, so that’s the main reason I even thought to search for that. I was still surprised how many times it showed up on the home page. That’s really interesting how much one letter can impact results. I guess it’s like we learned, you have to optimize your page for different spellings. Thanks for the reply!

  5. Hi Lauren,
    I also love Pottery Barn. Last April, my husband and I purchased our first home. We visited Pottery Barn so many times in the following months that some of the employees began asking to see pictures of our new home! I have been a loyal customer of Pottery Barn for a long time. When I was growing up, my bedroom furniture was from Pottery Barn Kids. That being said, with the huge number of home decorating stores that we have now, I have started to look at other places for furniture. For example, the TJ Maxx Home Goods store carries very similar things that are cheaper in most cases. I think that in order to stay competitive, it is important for Pottery Barn to have a strong SEO strategy and be within the top search results on the internet. Did you find any instances where Pottery Barn had sponsored links? If so, I wonder if they were on the broader keywords such as “home décor” and “interior design” or on more specific keywords such as “dinnerware” or “table settings”.
    Great post and interesting company!
    Thanks,
    Whitney

    • Hi Whitney! I’m jealous of your Pottery Barn-filled home! There are a lot of home decor stores, so you’re right, it’s important for Pottery Barn to show up in search results when people are actively seeking out their products. I didn’t notice any sponsored links for the company but if they exist, I would guess it would be under “home decor” or “home furnishings” since those were the most common terms on the home page. Thanks for the response!

  6. Hi Lauren! Some of the results of the keywords compared to how much they were in the coding was surprising to me. For instance, table settings was on page 3 even though the 2 words never appeared together in the coding. But interior design was past 20 pages even though it appeared in coding five times. I guess the fact that there are so many interior design websites and companies out there needs to be taken into consideration as well. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched the show Friends, but Rachel and Phoebe basically did live inside a Pottery Barn! What I’m curious about after reading this post is how Pottery Barn stacks up against competitors like Ikea. Do you know? Great post!

    • I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every episode of Friends about ten times and I love the Pottery Barn apothecary table episode! When I was searching keywords, IKEA didn’t really come up too often. The most constant decor stores that were ranking above or right below Pottery Barn were Target, Wayfair, Pinterest, Pier 1 and Kirkland’s. I have never even heard of Wayfair or Kirkland’s (maybe they’re out west?), but apparently they’re doing something right in their SEO efforts! Thanks for responding!

  7. Lauren,
    I think it was great to include wedding registry in your search terms. I had never thought much about Pottery Barn as a place to register for weddings or shop for wedding gifts because I’ve never really been to their website or in a store, but after reading your post and visiting their site I definitely see how one could easily want to live within a Pottery Barn store. The fact that Pottery Barn utilizes similar keywords on their website and in their alt tags definitely helps them in regards to SEO.

    • You should definitely check a store out! I was a little surprised by some of the results I found, but I’m guessing they’ve taken a look at analytics and know what their target audience is searching for, and they’ve focused their website and tags around those key terms. Thanks for the response!

  8. Pottery Barn has a lot of cute things! However, Target and Walmart are a little more in my budget, so I usually shop there instead of Pottery Barn. Looking at the keyword phrase results you gathered, it seems like they should better optimize “wedding registry” and “interior design” because those two target markets – brides and people who are redoing their homes – are groups of people who will always be around. Another popular décor idea I would think that Pottery Barn may want to capitalize on is “shabby chic.” I don’t think they will come in at the top as Shabby Chic queen Rachel Ashwell is already there, but they could at least come in somewhere on the first page (Target is the fifth result on the first page under this result.) I was also curious about how they were doing with their sister brand, Pottery Barn Kids, so I searched for “kids furnishings” and sure enough, Pottery Barn Kids’ website was No. 1 on the first page.

    • Target was definitely a store that appeared in a lot of my searches. You’re right about brides and people redoing their homes being two big groups to market to. Rachel Ashwell has taken over SEO for shabby chic! I also checked to see if they were mentioned under luxury furniture since their prices are a little more expensive, but I guess they don’t want to be known as a luxury brand because they didn’t appear high in results. Or if they do want to be branded that way, they’re doing a really poor job with SEO! Thanks for the response!

  9. Hi Lauren!

    I LOVE the Pottery Barn – I think I’ve had my future child’s room designed since I was like 14 years old! I’m surprise at how effective they are when it comes to utilizing keywords to beef up their SEO – I feel like they are relatively well known brand and wouldn’t be overly concerned with including unique/appropriate keywords into their webpage coding. I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised! However, I was a little shocked that “wedding registry” doesn’t really appear together at all – that was the FIRST thing I thought of…well, besides my future child’s crib and adorable animal themed bedding. For my post, I searched for keywords that I thought represented McDonald’s and either I don’t think like anyone else on the planet, or McDonald’s has some serious work to do when it comes to including keywords in their coding!

    • If you love Pottery Barn’s stuff you should definitely follow them on Instagram, if you don’t already! Between Pottery Barn and Inner Decor on Instagram, I have my whole future house planned out! I was surprised wedding and registry both showed up, but they were never mentioned together as well. My guess is McDonald’s probably has some work to do! Some day when we’re running the social media and websites of all these big companies, I’m sure their SEO will be awesome! Thanks for the response!

  10. Hi Lauren,

    There was a Pottery Barn in the mall when I worked at Starbucks, and I spent an embarrassing amount of time in there envisioning my “dream home”. That is until the Container Store opened up which catered to an entire different nerd obsession of mine.

    A lot of your chosen keywords words were actually combinations of words, do you think that had something to do with the fact that they did not show up together? I am still discovering what makes an appropriate keyword, so honestly I have no idea if combination words work the same when it comes to SEO as single keywords.

    Thank you,
    Alexis

    • Hi Alexis,
      I LOVE the Container Store! Good catch about the combinations of words. I thought they would show up as combinations because that’s what people would be searching for, but maybe Pottery Barn has it right by just focusing on each word singularly. Maybe that leads more people to their page? It’s definitely something to look further into. Thanks for the response!

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