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How a Western Apparel eCommerce Grew Traffic by 279% in 3 Months
eCommerce SEO case study of Schaefer Outfitter.


13K to 49.2K Monthly Visits


Ecommerce & Retail



Reporting Date

December 2023

eCommerce is one of the most challenging landscapes for businesses to stand out and thrive.

After all, money is to be made, meaning everyone wants their share.

Enter Schaefer Outfitters, a Western ranch apparel company that faced the same hurdles but emerged victorious by the end of 2023. They experienced a remarkable 279% surge in organic traffic in just 3 short months.

We’re here to unveil their secrets so you can apply these SEO strategies to grow your eCommerce.

Let’s dive in.

About Schaefer Outfitter

Schaefer Outfitter is an American manufacturer of premium Western apparel. It was founded in 1981.

Made for the ranchers, farmers, horsemen, and cowboys of the world, Schaefer Outfitter designs are functional and high-quality.

With an ode to Western ranch living, every product is designed to keep up with a good day’s work and last a lifetime.

Schaefer Outfitter homepage, a Western ranch apparel manufacturer.

Schaefer Outfitter is also one of the last American brands to make every garment and its components in the U.S.A.

In recent years, Schaefer Outfitter gained widespread recognition for its designs featured in the popular American series, ‘Yellowstone.’

Today, fans can shop the Yellowstone Collection directly on Schaefer Outfitter’s website.

Yellowstone collection at Schaefer Outfitter.

Historical Performance

Despite its 40+ year standing, Schaefer Outfitter didn’t open its eCommerce store until 2001.

Semrush historical data reveals that it first started generating traffic in 2018.

We’ll focus on the last 5 years of its performance to understand why its recent growth is so impressive.

During most of its online lifetime, received an average of 10.2K organic visits per month.

Schaefer Outfitter 10-year organic traffic with traffic spike at end of 2023.

February 2021 was the website’s first traffic spike, with 17.9K visits. This was surpassed in January 2023, with 19K visits.

Chart of organic traffic at Schafer Outfitter with a traffic spike in January 2023.

Then, as the end of 2023 approached, a remarkable thing happened: organic traffic skyrocketed.

December traffic beat its previous traffic record (January 2023) by more than 2.5 times.

Schaefer Outfitter closed out the year with a remarkable 49.2K organic visits.

Schaefer Outfitter 2-year organic traffic with traffic spike in December 2023.

So, what sparked this unprecedented traffic after 5 years of low monthly 10K averages?

You’re about to find out.

The Catalyst: How Schaefer Outfitter Grew Traffic by 279% in 3 Months grew its organic traffic by performing the following:

  1. Building out its product collections to go beyond branded keywords
  2. Implementing product schema to stand out on the SERP
  3. Mastering the art of storytelling through videos

We’ll look at each strategy in detail to understand how Schaefer Outfitter transformed their online presence in such a short amount of time.

Let’s get started.

1. Building Out Its Product Collections to Go Beyond Branded Keywords

Between September and December, Schaefer Outfitter added over 20 new product listing pages (PLPs) to its website.

These pages feature product collections like:

  • Wool vests
  • Men’s fleece
  • Henley overshirts
  • Denim jackets (as shown below)
  • And more
Denim jackets product listing page on Schaefer Outfitter's website.

They also started using more descriptive product names like “shearling coat” instead of creative naming conventions (e.g. “The Herd.”)

By opting for clarity, this transformation had a quick impact on keyword rankings.

The chart below demonstrates how Schaefer Outfitter experienced a rapid growth of non-branded traffic.

Non-branded traffic is exactly what it sounds like. This traffic comes from keywords that do not include the brand (in this case, “schaefer”). Instead, they’re more generic terms.

Chart of Schaefer Outfitter's keyword rankings of non-branded keywords.

Here’s another perspective that compares the recent influx of non-branded traffic to its previous state:

Schaefer Outfitter non-branded traffic was 2.9K in September and 40.8K in December.

In September, non-branded traffic accounted for 22% of Schaefer Outfitter’s total website traffic.

By December, this figure soared to an impressive 83%.

Why this matters:

Branded keywords are an integral part of your business. However, they aren’t the best at introducing your brand to new customers.

After all, they can’t search for you if they don’t know you exist.

That’s where non-branded keywords come into play.

These general search queries are a great way to boost brand awareness and expand your customer base.

By optimizing its website with new collection pages and broader product names, Schaefer Outfitter tapped into new ranking opportunities. This brought increased traffic from a wider audience, thus growing their reach and online presence.

How to find non-branded keywords for your site:

Keyword research will help you discover non-branded terms for your content. This process reveals what users type in search engines, so you know exactly how to tailor and optimize your content to their needs.

This keyword research tutorial shows you how to do it using popular SEO tools.

It’s important to know that non-branded keywords often have higher competition than branded terms. Because of this, you’ll want to be smart with which keywords you target.

This article shows you how to find low-competition keywords. These are like low-hanging fruits, ripe for the taking. They have high conversion rates, making them ideal for eCommerce.

Tools for keyword research:

Did you know you can do keyword research in WordPress?

The All in One SEO (AIOSEO) plugin makes this possible by connecting to your Semrush account. It uses your focus keyword to generate more keyword ideas for your content.

When looking for non-branded terms, we recommend using a non-branded focus keyword to get similar results.

Here’s an example of generated keywords for the focus keyword “wool coat”:

Keyphrases generated in AIOSEO from a product page about wool coats.

If you Add Keyphrase, you’ll want to update your content to include your new keyword. Then, the TruSEO Analysis tool checks your optimizations. It will give you tips and actionable insights for maximizing your content’s reach.

Now, let’s look at how Schaefer Outfitter uses technical optimizations to win clicks for its new pages.

2. Implementing Product Schema to Stand Out on the SERP

Schaefer Outfitter implements schema markup on its website.

Schema markup is specialized code in the backend of your website. It communicates important details about your page to search engines.

Search engines can then use this information to generate a rich snippet on the SERP.

Rich snippets are more visually attractive search results than standard listings. They feature additional information on the SERP, taking up more space and catching users’ attention.

Here’s an example:

Rich result on Google's SERP for the query vest shows men's vests from Schaefer Outfitter.

In the above image, we see several different types of schema markup:

  • Image – displays images from Schaefer’s vest PLP.
  • Product – tells users about shipping and returns.
  • Breadcrumb – shows the site hierarchy of the page (collections > men’s vests).

Product and image schema markup stand out the most. For eCommerce, they’re a must.

As for Schaefer Outfitter, the results were dramatic. This was particularly true for images. (You can set images when using product schema.)

At the end of 2023, Schaefer Outfitter skyrocketed its rich snippets with images. They received 2.6K rankings for this enhanced search result in December 2023.

That’s a 205% increase over September.

Growth chart of Schaefer Outfitter rich results with images.

Why this matters:

Rich snippets have higher clickthrough rates (CTR) and generate more traffic than standard search results.

Because of this, they’re extremely valuable to your website.

Beyond driving more traffic to your site, schema markup can help search engines better understand your content. And if Google understands your page better, the better your chances at ranking.

That’s why it’s critical to optimize for rich snippets in any SEO strategy.

How to implement product schema on your eCommerce site:

This guide demonstrates three methods for adding schema markup to WordPress without a plugin.

Each uses JSON-LD and requires some coding knowledge.

You can also read Google’s directions for implementing product structured data.

Tools for product schema markup:

Schema generator plugins are the easiest way to add schema markup to your WordPress site.

And you don’t need any coding knowledge to use them.

AIOSEO’s Schema Generator automatically formats structured data for you. All you have to do is pick the type of schema you want.

The Schema Catalog comes with several different schema markups, including product. Just click the + button, fill out a few information fields, and you’re done!

Product schema markup is available in AIOSEO's schema catalog.

Next, let’s look at how Schaefer Outfitter uses film in its content strategy.

3. Mastering the Art of Storytelling Through Videos

In September, Schaefer Outfitter added a new corner of its website: Schaefer Journal.

Schaefer Journal shares stories from the West.

On this page, they share recent stories from the West.

Sometimes, these articles feature a specific person, like American photographer Beau Simmons. And at other times, they artistically capture the Western lifestyle.

For example, its debut film and article highlight the tradition of branding at Stuart Ranch in Waurika, Oklahoma.

Recent stories on Schaefer Journal.

In addition to a creative writing style, Schaefer Outfitter leverages the power of film to resonate with its audience.

They upload YouTube videos of each featured story. These videos are also embedded into each article on the website.

Compounding Legacy embedded YouTube video in Schaefer Journal article.

This multifaceted approach resonates with its audience and creates a lasting impression. The debut film was met with positive feedback in the YouTube comments.

Why this matters:

A well-crafted SEO strategy extends beyond written content, encompassing diverse media like video.

In Schaefer Outfitter’s case, they create and optimize for multiple search engines (Google and YouTube.) This strategy creates a more well-rounded online presence that builds authority in the eyes of users and search engines.

Furthermore, we commend Schaefer Outfitter’s approach to video content.

The emphasis on storytelling, rather than a sales pitch, provides a refreshing and authentic take on typical eCommerce content. This strategy allows them to forge genuine connections with its audience that resonate.

How to embed and optimize videos on your site:

WordPress makes it easy to embed YouTube videos into posts and pages.

Simply navigate to the WordPress editor of your desired post or page and paste the YouTube link. WordPress will automatically find the embed code and display the video in your content.

This article has screenshots of the process and gives you two more methods for embedding YouTube videos in WordPress.

As for optimizing your videos, video SEO is key to ranking.

Video SEO is the process of optimizing your video content for search engines. Since they can’t watch videos like you and me, video SEO translates their content into data they can understand.

Here are 5 tips for optimizing your videos to rank higher and get more views:

  1. Write a compelling video title and description.
  2. Design eye-catching video thumbnails.
  3. Implement video schema markup.
  4. Link to your video pages.
  5. Create a video sitemap.

Tools for video SEO:

You’ll get a suite of video SEO tools when you use the AIOSEO plugin.

You can easily add video schema markup using the Schema Generator. This will help you set important details like the title, embed URL, thumbnail, and more.

Video schema markup settings in AIOSEO.

Link Assistant also makes it easy to find and internally link to your pages with video content.

Finally, the Video Sitemap tool helps search engines crawl and index your video content.

Video sitemap settings in AIOSEO.

Standout SEO Wins

Before we wrap up, we’d like to highlight an additional SEO technique at

When we looked at Schaefer Outfitter’s backlink profile, we noticed they’re doing several things right. Here are some of the insights we uncovered:

  • Relevant sources like Art of the Cowgirl, Tejas Rodeo Company, and Men’s Journal
  • Natural but descriptive anchor text
  • More follow vs nofollow links
  • Properly implemented 301 redirects from their old domain (

Tool: You can use an SEO tool like Ahrefs or Semrush to find your site’s backlinks.

It’s also important to note that a strong linking strategy goes beyond backlinks. You should also optimize for internal and outbound links. This link-building guide shows you how to optimize for all three types of links.

Link Assistant is one of the fastest ways to find internal links. With linking suggestions that populate directly in the WordPress editor, it’s as simple as clicking Add Link.

Link suggestions populate in WordPress.


In our analysis of Schaefer Outfitter, we uncovered the reasons behind their recent SEO success.

If you want to achieve the same organic growth on your website, here are the top strategies to replicate and three to reconsider.

Top 3 Strategies to Emulate

  1. Target non-branded keywords for a broader reach. With its new collection PLPs and products, Schaefer Outfitter strategically targeted non-branded keywords. This approach introduces their brand to users with more generic search queries who may be unfamiliar with their brand. Target both non-branded and branded keywords for a well-rounded SEO keyword strategy.
  2. Implement product schema on eCommerce sites. Online retailers should include product schema markup on product detail pages (PDPs.) Search engines can use this information to create attractive product snippets on the SERP. These enhanced search listings display additional information like customer ratings, shipping and returns, and product images. Product snippets have a higher CTR than standard listings and drive qualified traffic to your site.
  3. Optimize for multiple search engines and include various media. Google and YouTube are some of the leading search engines for video content. You should create and optimize video content for both platforms, like Schaefer Outfitter. This strategy ensures visibility on different areas of the internet and resonates with users who prefer video content.

Bottom 3 Strategies to Reconsider

  1. Some pages are missing H1 tags. An H1 tag is the title of your page. They tell users and search engines the primary topic of your content. When your page doesn’t have an H1 tag, it can hinder overall SEO performance and user clarity. Luckily, the TruSEO Analysis tool helps you catch missing H1 tags. It will let you know when your title is missing your focus keyphrase, allowing for easy optimizations.
  2. Not all pages have meta descriptions. Meta descriptions act like previews of your content on the SERP. The more compelling they are, the higher CTR and traffic you’ll get. A meta description generator can help you write this important text automatically.
  3. They’re not using image title tags. Despite the uptick in image rich results, Schaefer Outfitter doesn’t use image title tags on its site. Image title tags appear when users click or hover over an image. They help users and search engines better understand the content of the image. You can use smart tags to create image titles automatically in AIOSEO’s image SEO tool.

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Grow Your eCommerce Site’s Visibility With AIOSEO

What if you take a direct route to replicating Schaefer Outfitter’s winning formula?

AIOSEO has the tools to help you do just that.

All in One SEO homepage, the best WordPress SEO plugin.

All in One SEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market. With thousands of 5-star reviews and trusted by over 3 million website owners, you’ll be in good company as you take on the competition. You’ll get a comprehensive suite of tools to help you win more real estate on the SERP and boost your rankings.

Here are some of our favorite features:

  • Semrush Keyphrase Suggestions: Find new keywords without having to leave WordPress. AIOSEO pulls keyphrase suggestions from Semrush and serves them to you directly in the WordPress editor.
  • TruSEO On-Page Analysis: Get an in-depth but easy-to-understand analysis of your optimizations. We’ll let you know where you’re hitting it in the ballpark and give you actionable items to make your content a home run.
  • Rich Snippets Schema: Choose from various schema types to win more rich results on the SERP. You pick it; we implement the code for search engines.
  • Video Sitemaps: Sitemaps help search engines understand and navigate your website. A video SEO sitemap makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your video content. It can also earn you a rich result in Google’s video carousel.
  • Link Assistant: Apply internal linking best practices with easy linking suggestions and reports. These tools will help boost content discovery and prevent orphan pages.
  • Image SEO: Save time on manual optimizations by turning on automatic image alt text and title attribute. It only takes 1 click.
author avatar
Gabriela Jhean SEO Specialist
Gabriela is a creative and results-driven SEO specialist dedicated to helping small businesses stand out online. She contributes in-depth SEO case studies at AIOSEO Trends to reveal the winning strategies of top-ranking websites. In her downtime, Gabriela enjoys treasure hunting for antique jewelry.