Direct Source (Awards & Trophies)

Direct Source Trophies & Awards

Implement Multi-site SEO. Introduce New Brand at NEC Exhibition


►  SEO

► Page Content Creation 

► Exhibition Planning

Email Campaign Management


Direct Source supplies trophies, awards and medals through its four eCommerce websites. Although based in Cardiff and predominately supplying throughout the UK, it has many customers around the world. Its strategy is centred on buying in bulk and offering large discounts to leagues, clubs, societies, schools and businesses, which has successfully placed it as one of the top two trophy retailers in the UK and one of the largest in Europe.

In 2018, it had three differently branded websites that were built from the ground up using a local developer and they all enjoyed dominance in the Google search engine rankings across many sports and hobby categories. This was all to change thanks to a variety of factors which included:

• Technical issues with the new upgraded versions of the site (especially page load speeds)

•  Increased competition from other retailers with better SEO optimised sites

• Existing content had been the same for a number of years

Complicated SEO Issue

The SEO issue was a very complicated one as there are around 160 sports, hobbies and pastimes plus the content could not be duplicated across the various websites selling all the same products. There are literally 1000’s of designs available which are categorised depending on design, price, size and sport.

Page Dropping Down Google SERP’s

From a position of strength, the pages were now showing on the bottom of page 1 at best, with core sports like football and rugby showing on the bottom of page 2. The company was also looking to break into the lucrative motorsport market by introducing a fourth website that would be branded and optimised to specifically focus on motorsport as a target area. would be revealed at the Autosport International Exhibition held at the NEC Birmingham.


There were many things to consider and I would be required to work with the original website developing company to solve the technical issues surrounding the sites. I would be looking at the sales funnel and user experience elements of the layouts together with producing the search engine optimised content which would be a mammoth task alone.

The areas to concentrate on would be broken down into two main phases:

1. SEO

2.  Launch of new website

3. Exhibition Planning

4.  Email Campaign Management

The following websites would be the focus of attention:

SEO & Writing

SEO & Page Content Creation

SEO (search engine optimisation) is an area understood by few people outside of the digital marketing industry, yet it still remains vital for search engines to deal with indexing website pages and hence deciding the ranking in response to a search query.  It encompasses several areas of concern, such as on-page, off-page, technical and local search. Direct Source’s initial SEO of the existing sites lacked professional input, but due to the relative few competing competitor eCommerce sites, it achieved success, but this was all to change.

Direct Source, Taff's Well

Failing Website & Pages

More companies had built selling platforms using up-to-date and quicker HTML coding, and thanks to the involvement of professional digital marketing companies, they had collectively pushed Direct Source’s pages way down the SERP’s (search engine results pages). The task was amplified by the fact that it was important not to use duplicated page content to negatively influence the Google algorithm. There were 160+ sports, hobbies and pastimes to be catered for across the two flagship sites (320 pages) plus the existing site which targeted schools; and the new motorsport site.

I needed to engage with and include:


• Knowledge of the different sports and how they were run administratively across the UK

•  Write accurate, informative and engaging page content

•  Use Google data to determine the right search terms for page titles

•  Apply appropriate header tags (none were used on the existing sites)

•  Keyword Research

•  Compose appropriate headlines and meta descriptions

Huge Challenge

The work was exhaustive and needed to be kept within budget, so we decided to target around 100 sports, hobbies on the two main sites together with all the relevant pages on the schools and motorsport sites. I found it a huge challenge to both my writing skills and vocabulary, due to the huge volume of pages needed, but it would be deemed necessary if the pages were to regain lost ground and start challenging for the top pages of Google page 1. I also liaised and worked with the developers to iron out the technical SEO issues which affected the page load speeds which were eventually corrected.

The Results

Summing it Up

It took around six months to complete the SEO stage of the project, so what were the results? There has been a marked shift in the ranking of both the websites and the various pages. The school and motorsport sites dominate Google. KPI’s (key performance indicators) include:

1. is ranked at 2-3 on Google page 1 for the term ’Trophies’

2. Individual pages form & are now consistently ranked across all optimised pages in positions 1-4 of Google page 1

3. is ranked at number 1 for the term ‘motorsport trophies’

4. pages featuring different disciplines are climbing to the top of Google page 1

5. is ranked at No.1 for the term ‘Schools trophies’

6.  All optimised pages of the website feature on page 1 of Google

The project has been a huge success, and it is important to note that the rankings are improving as more people find and engage with the pages.

New Motorsport Brand

Direct Source Awards Exhibition Planning

The supply of trophies to motorsport has long been dominated by one of Direct Source’s competitors through their connections with many of the venues, administrators and governing bodies of the sport. Direct Source saw the opportunity to take a significant share of the market thanks to its significant buying power and huge discount offers for large orders. There are large contracts to be awarded by major racing organisations and racing circuits where the racing of cars, bikes, go-karts, trucks and boats take place. It was decided to launch the new dedicated website as a brand at the Autosport International event at the NEC, Birmingham.

Logistics & Stand Design

The event is a magnet for everyone connected with motorsport and attracts visitors and exhibitors from all over the world. My experience of organising exhibition events goes back a long way and if there’s one thing I’ve learned – get organised in advance! The logistics alone surrounding exhibiting at a venue like the NEC can be both challenging and very frustrating. I was able to save a considerable amount of money by designing the stand myself thanks to my knowledge and experience of graphic design software. The rest of the stand planning centred around product placement, lighting, electrics, carpet etc. I also helped with the designing of the motorsport 16-page brochure which was handed out at the expo featuring highly discounted products to make an impact.

The Results

Summing it Up

In short, the exhibition attracted a lot of interest securing nearly £20,000 worth of orders on the stand alone to be supplied over 12 months. It would take time to change the buying habits off many of the bigger contracts but the seeds were sown and the discount prices were turning heads. For many motorsport keyword phrases, Direct Source features up to three different ranked listings from the three websites. The website continues to bring in more orders and interest, thanks to its top Google page 1 placing, with the new brand firmly cemented in the world of motorsport.

Autosport Show Stand

Email Strategy

Direct Source email campaign

Email list & email Campaign Management

One of the interesting features for this project was creating a pre and post-exhibition interest through building an email list. Through targeting many of the motorsport clubs, unions, race venues and national organisation, I put together a relatively clean list of race organisers throughout the UK. Through following up interest, we were able to prime many ‘warm’ enquiries for those who were visiting the exhibition. The leads that were collected at the exhibition has to date, grown the list to over 2,500 names which are marketed to with new products, clearance sales, discounted lines and company news. Direct Source did not use email marketing as a digital marketing channel prior to my remit. Direct Source now handles the campaign management in-house.

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