Carole and Michael Middleton Pay £250,000 for Royal Wedding but gain Traffic to Site as Well
San Diego - SEOhaus (www.seohaus.com), a leading Internet marketing and search engine optimization firm in San Diego, has announced some of its findings regarding the buzz about the correlation between Kate Middleton’s royal wedding and her parent’s website, www.PartyPieces.co.uk. A skyrocketing trend in visitors to the website owned by Kate Middleton’s parents has been the topic of SEOs across the globe lately. In fact, the party supply business of the family has grown over the last two decades from a tiny family business to one that now claims to be the UK’s leading catalog party supply company, and it is being speculated that the recent increase in visitors to the site has not only been because of the ties to the Royal Family, but that it has been promoted and pushed intentionally.
While www.PartyPieces.co.uk sells everything from banners to balloons and streamers to tablecloths, more than 26% of the search terms and keywords that were chosen by Internet users to lead them to the website included the term “Middleton”, according to the website SEMrush. When the engagement was announced in November, Party Pieces saw a 18-fold spike in visitors and rankings on Google.co.uk. The climb shows 980 Rankings in November growing to an impressive 2600+ in May. The Middleton’s owe the Queen a party of her own in thanks.
According to data by Experian Hitwise, U.K. visits to Party Pieces saw a surge in traffic by an astounding 163% during the week that Kate and William announced their engagement. The popularity of the website is evidenced by more than just the number of visitors that click their way to it; it is also seen by the way that the public profile of the little company has expanded.
Before all the excitement surrounding William and Kate, a fair number of consumers were aware of the connection of the Middleton family to www.PartyPieces.co.uk, and the family business, although still with a staff of only about 30 people, is now known the world over. Kate herself had worked as part of the Party Pieces staff until recently, and it is unclear at this point if she will return to working in the family business or not.
Search engine optimization firms around the globe have joined SEOhaus in watching the traffic trends for the site. “Having a link to the royal family establishes instant credibility for the Middleton’s site,” states publicist Michelle Tennant. She also adds that it boosts sales and creates awareness for the business. Many people are now asking how such a spike in traffic happened so quickly and with such a strong push. Billy Canu, owner of SEOhaus explains: “When high authority websites write about PartyPieces.co.uk and the connection to the Middleton’s, the site gets a link back. The anchor text from this link back pushes a keyword like ‘party supply,’ helping it jump up to the 1st page, 1st position of Google.co.uk.” Canu continues, “ I believe the estimated worth of the site before the major publicity was not accurate based on previous ranking results; now, the site is probably one of the most power party supply shops on the planet.”
What critics are focusing on, however, is not the fact that the wedding of the Middleton’s eldest daughter brought in business to Party Pieces. The website has carefully avoided mention of the royal wedding, but the timing of certain articles for the site and certain “celebrate spring in the UK” party supplies resembling the nation’s flag leave the Middleton’s open to criticism. In particular, there was an article on the website that recommended that customers celebrate a “quintessentially British” street party with Union flag bunting, balloons, canapé flags, face paints and cake baking kits, all of which are sold by Party Pieces.
The family faced criticism in February after introducing their new British Street Party range of paper plates, platters, bowls and napkins emblazoned with crowns, crests and coats of arms.
There were packs of card toppers on the site that were recently removed, and the remaining British Street Party products were also renamed Best of British Party last month to distance the Middleton’s from claims of profiteering. In addition, it was reported that the website also scrapped controversial royal-themed scratch cards after they attracted quite a bit of negative publicity.
SEOhaus has found that there are still a few blurbs here and there online about the profiteering claims, there are none to be found now coming out of the UK; stories in all publications about the Middletons’ merchandising the royal romance have long stopped, and the family has always been extremely quiet about everything regarding the relationship of their daughter and the Prince.
As for the inventory that is found on www.PartyPieces.co.uk, there is everything available with themes ranging from Transformers to Barbie, cowboys to princesses. Little girls have always wanted royal-themed birthday parties, and this is nothing new. As entrepreneurs, the Middleton’s know that the first rule of thumb is to supply what the customers demand. It seems that is all there is to it; customers want the princess party favors and the website supplies them.
As for those entrepreneurs across the globe who have devoted billions of dollars collectively to Internet marketing and search engine optimization campaigns, unless they have daughters who will one day become major celebrities, royals or headliners, they shouldn’t expect to fall into easy SEO any time soon. Unlike the Middleton’s, who have not had a need in the last six months to spend extra money to promote their website, companies in every industry will still continue with search engine marketing and SEO, vying for the top spots on the search engine results pages in order to expand their customer bases.
And, if it is any consolation, website owners can take a look at the amount of money that Kate Middleton’s parents put up for their daughter’s wedding, which was reported to be a whopping £250,000, and be glad that they don’t drop that much all at once for publicity and SEO.