Building a global brand

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Ronseal is a British heritage brand that’s helped DIY amateurs and experts since 1956. Its famous strapline, ‘Does exactly what it says on the tin’, has entered into the cultural lexicon and is the lifeblood of the brand.

Ronseal manufactures and sells wood stains, paints, and preservatives to help the British public transform and look after their homes and gardens.

The challenge

Having become entrenched as the go-to DIY brand in the UK market, Ronseal wanted to become a global expert in its industry.

One aspect of realising this ambition was migrating its website from a local URL to a global .com. This aimed to change the view that Ronseal is a brand exclusively for British consumers and was a small way to position it on a global stage.

However, Ronseal came to us after a migration from to .com didn’t go as planned. Overnight, it lost 96% of its Google rankings and 80% of its immediate traffic. This significantly impacted its authority in the UK.

As a matter of urgency, we needed to fulfil the original objective of the site migration and restore Ronseal’s performance.

Rebuilding rankings

Our priority was rectifying the migration issues. This would help reintroduce Ronseal to the search results, so the website could be found through Google.

We identified every affected URL and manually mapped them against the closest relevant page. This ensured there were no interruptions to the user journey and that content was easy to find.

To restore rankings as quickly as possible, we requested Google to crawl and index pages of the website at regular intervals.

This helped Ronseal reappear in the search results, but not in its original ranking positions. Work was still needed to rebuild Ronseal’s authority and improve its search rankings.

Re-establishing Ronseal as the DIY expert

Google favours detailed, in-depth content that engages users and thoroughly answers their questions on a given topic. And because Ronseal wanted to be a market leader, its content needed to outstrip anything its competitors were doing.

First, we needed to understand what topics were relevant to Ronseal’s audience and what they wanted to read about.

Extensive keyword research gave us the direction we needed. It influenced the sitemap and the categorisation of product pages which helped its products rank for a wider range of relevant keywords, capturing more search traffic.

The keyword research also helped us better understand the quality of Ronseal’s content and how to optimise it. The website was bloated with fragmented guides and blogs that underperformed and didn’t give users the value or extensive answers they wanted.

Improving the content became a pressing priority as, in March 2019, Google’s core algorithm update reduced Ronseal’s visibility further, because of its low-quality content.

We audited the content and removed redundant pages which didn’t increase the site’s visibility in search engines, had minimal visits, or poor dwell time.

For the articles that performed better, keyword research unveiled opportunities to optimise and improve it. The result is detailed how-to guides that are easy to follow, answer users’ questions, and better competitors’ content.

We also used keyword research to understand when to serve topics to users at the right time. This informed a detailed content plan comprised of existing and new content which is optimised for maximum impact, reach, and visibility.

However, Ronseal’s website infrastructure was fragile, and changes caused outages. While inconveniencing users, the outages also threatened to impact Ronseal’s visibility as a down site affects Google’s ability to crawl and index pages in the search results.


Get stuck in

Ronseal believes that anyone can do the DIY, which its product range reinforces. To get this point across on the website, we incorporated familiar imagery like paint splatters, tea stains, and DIY-stained denim. We also introduced a range of icons that help users quickly understand what the products are for and find key information like the number of coats and dry time.

A new site fit for a global brand

The necessity for a new website allowed us to update Ronseal’s look and feel to reflect its ambition to become a global name.

Ronseal’s high quality, world-class products set it apart from its competitors. However, the website featured outdated packaging, causing a disconnect between the online and in-store experiences. The product pages didn’t properly reflect Ronseal’s ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’ mantra, and were missing essential information that got across how easy they are to use.

The new website puts Ronseal’s products front and centre. The unfussy colour scheme ensures the users’ focus is firmly on the products. There are also familiar touches of paint splashes and DIY-stained denim dotted around the website, reflecting the fact that Ronseal’s products are for everyone; not just perfectionist professionals.

To reflect the simplicity of Ronseal’s products, we introduced a range of icons that help users quickly understand key information like project type, the number of coats and dry time. All this information is clearly presented and explained, making it easy for DIY beginners to understand.

To provide users with the most relevant content, the website’s imagery and structure is designed to change seasonally. From February to October, the website promotes outdoor projects, with plenty of sheds, fencing, and garden imagery featuring throughout the site. It then switches to indoor projects from November to January.


Final thoughts

Ronseal now has higher visibility and average rankings than it did pre-migration.

The website is welcoming and friendly with DIY motifs that are familiar to every handyperson. The new site supports Ronseal’s ambition to become a global expert and it’s the quality consumers have come to expect from a heritage brand.

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