How I'd grow HomeSupply

June 10, 2020

HomeSupply is a website that curates the best, modern homeware/furniture brands.

It wants to become a one-stop shop for all things home improvement.

They accept suggestions, but every brand goes through a review process to preserve quality.

A site like this needs retention even more than acquisition. After discovering the site, the goal is for the user to start using it frequently.

Their entire marketing strategy should be informed by this. I’m sure they know; they’re repositioning the project as a newsletter.

Getting repeat visitors is key for monetization. Content websites need to increase their LTV by making users come back.

Implementing a sustainable plan could involve 2 steps:

- Affiliate links right from the start
- Sponsored listings once they get consistent traffic

When I say sustainable, I mean that I’ve seen too many content websites become so advertising-driven that users stop trusting and using them.

This is a content website's biggest risk, and it happens because the desire to monetize outweighs maintaining a good user experience.

Affiliate risk: showing only brands with affiliate programs. HomeSupply should always highlight the best products, regardless of affiliation.

Sponsored risk: accepting sponsored posts from sub-par brands. They should only accept promotion from brands that users would love.

One of the keys to user retention is growing email lists. It’s the only traffic you can control.

It’s especially important to double-down on it when starting out and the traffic is low. When you look at their homepage, you can see the focus is on getting those email addresses.

What could they do to grow it even more? I’d say 2 things:

- Lead magnet. Immediately receiving a valuable resource for free motivates people to sign up
- Pop-ups. User journeys often start and end on pages other than the homepage

Pro tip: users hate pop-ups as much as website owners love them. Why? 90% of the time they’re used poorly.

Make sure to exclusively use exit intent pop-ups.

They perform better, don’t disrupt the user experience, and aren’t subject to Google interstitial penalty.

One area for improvement: product pages. In-depth descriptions could help users decide if the brand is really what they need, without having to click through.

An aggregation of online reviews about that particular brand could be useful.

LTV won’t be probably high enough to justify spending on paid acquisition channels. HomeSupply needs to find channels to grow organically.

If I had to pick only 2 for HomeSupply, they’d definitely be Google (lots of search volume), and Instagram (very visual niche).

They’re doing a great job targeting informational keywords with their blog posts. But they are completely short on commercial ones.

They have category pages at the moment, but they are useless from an SEO standpoint -  they don’t generate unique pages.

They have a great opportunity: adding filters whose combinations automatically generate tons of pages, each one targeting a different keyword.

E.g. Adding filters to the kitchen category like cheap/expensive, and product types. It’d cast a wide net with massive search volume.

There's a lot of competition for these KWs, but there’s a shortcut that individual brands’ websites can’t use: optimize those pages for the “best” term.

Looking at the SERPs, it’s clear that Google doesn’t want to show individual brands, but websites with different products.

HomeSupply doesn’t have social media profiles, and I think they should get on IG as soon as possible because that’s where their audience lives.

They have the huge opportunity to act as a curator there too, selecting the best pics of each brand and reposting them with credit.

The very best pics often end up in the Explore tab, and the account can grow organically.

It’s a win-win: brands are happy with free exposure so much that, when these curated accounts get big, brands even start tagging them to make sure they repost their pics.

Learn marketing from case studies

Every two weeks I pick a website and write a short case study explaining exactly how I’d grow it