The Stylist LA is a designer dress rental service that was founded by Emily McDonald in 2009 to solve a problem that every woman has (probably) had at least once in her life (and will continue to have as long as sharing countless photos on social media continues to proliferate): “I need something spectacular to wear to this event and I can’t afford to buy anything new!”
The solution that The Stylist LA offers is a clever one—give women the opportunity to pay reasonable prices to borrow designer dresses. You order a dress from the site, it’s shipped to you along with a return mail envelope, and then it’s yours for 5 days! You get to look fabulous at your event, and the end of your rental period you just ship the dress back having done minimal damage to your bank account.
As with any ecommerce fashion business, being easily discoverable online is of the utmost importance for The Stylist LA, so we decided to take a look at how their SEO and internet marketing measures up.
The Stylist LA’s site looks great on the surface, but it’s missing out on a lot of opportunities to rank better in the search results page.
First, the majority of the content on the homepage, including the links in the top navigation bar, are images, which Google is not the best at reading. Replacing those with text and adding an additional 100 words or so to the page would allow search engine crawlers to more easily understand the purpose of the site and subsequently direct more users to it.
Along the same lines, they’re doing a good thing by blogging regularly, but the posts would be much more effective if they contained a couple hundred words of text for Google to crawl. In addition, the site is lacking H1 tags, optimized URLs, other custom SEO meta data that would give it a boost in the rankings. However, it does have a properly configured robots.txt, which is a very good thing.
Of the three categories, this is where The Stylist LA would benefit most from a few tweaks and changes—because while pleasing Google is certainly important, it’s the user who has to complete the transaction.
First of all, we love that you can sort their stock of dresses by date available, length, and type of event, and that when you hover over an image on the main category page, you can see an alternate view of the dress. Unfortunately, some of the images are distorted to fit the standard preview size and we noticed that some of the stock showed a $0.00 price.
Fixing those minor issues and adding a few well-placed calls to action throughout the site and more concise explanations of the service would help instill trust in the user and drive conversions.
The Stylist LA seems to be doing well on each individual social media channel, but they also appear to be making things more difficult than they need to be. To start, @TheStylistLA has over 2,500 followers on Instagram, but there is no link to the profile from the website—and the same goes for Pinterest (650+ followers, no link)!
An easy optimization on their Twitter profile would be to change the color of links on the page to stand out more, as they currently blend in with the rest of the text (see example tweet below).
And since they already put out such entertaining content, putting a little more effort into engaging with fashion bloggers/influencers and building lists on Twitter would go a long way. They could also make it easier for users to share content from the site by adding social sharing buttons to individual product pages.