Case Study: Content-Led
Growth for lululemon Studio

lululemon Studio - Square
Flywheel results
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Organic traffic increase

Flywheel results
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Monthly sessions gained

Flywheel results
0 %

Share of Voice on search (from 0%)

Before Flywheel, lululemon Studio’s traffic primarily came from branded search and paid ads. They hadn’t developed authority in the fitness space. 

 

We worked with them to develop a non-branded content engine that resulted in a powerhouse content hub, outperforming large-scale competitors in less than 2 years.

Kelly Murphy

Director of Ecommerce
lululemon Studio

“We engaged with Flywheel based on their attribution-informed approach and clear expertise in the SEO space. They were able to work extremely nimbly, ebbing and flowing with our shifting business objectives as a true extension of our team. We created content between both the internal MIRROR team and the Flywheel team for a rich symbiosis of brand and SEO content that worked hard for us.”

Context

The lululemon Studio Mirror (formerly MIRROR) is a connected fitness product that offers at-home workouts over 60+ workout categories. It was acquired by lululemon in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic—perfectly suited to capture at-home fitness enthusiasts.

 

When we started, the site had several limitations to organic growth, despite its established brand: 

 

  • The site only had a handful of pages.
  • The majority of traffic was acquired through paid social ads.
  • The Mirror was a high-ticket product (>$1,800) with a long sales cycle.
  • It was a new product category, appealing to a niche audience (affluent fitness enthusiasts who primarily work out at home), selling a solution people may not know existed (a better experience with home workouts in small spaces).
  • They had no perceived expertise in the fitness space and were competing with established companies like Peloton and Tonal. 

MIRROR had big goals to ramp up organically, fastOur goals were to improve brand awareness through organic channels, drive brand engagement, and increase their share of voice in a crowded market.

Outcomes

(All results are for the date range Jan. 1, 2022 – Sept. 30, 2023)

 

  1. We grew organic traffic to lululemon Studio’s content hub from 0 to 21,998 sessions per month:

20-month traffic growth, Google Analytics

2. We grew total ranking keywords for lululemon Studio’s content hub from 0 to 20,827, with a value of over $11,864 (via Ahrefs):

lululemon-reflections

Keywords earned and organic traffic value over time, Ahrefs

3. We grew the proportion of branded vs. non-branded traffic on lululemon Studio’s overall site from 94% branded vs. 6% non-branded to 55% branded vs. 45% non-branded

Branded vs Non-branded traffic, Google Search Console

4. We grew the site’s relative organic traffic contribution from 0.6% to 16%.

2022 traffic mix, Google Analytics

2023 traffic mix, Google Analytics

5. We grew lululemon Studio’s total share of voice against competitors from 0% to 11%. (Measured in Ahrefs using a subset of 91 strategically relevant keywords)

Andy Gray

Director of Content Strategy
lululemon Studio

Working with Flywheel was a game-changer. They helped us develop an SEO and content strategy from the ground up, and it was instrumental to our company’s success. They’re good people, I love working with them, and highly recommend their expertise.”


Process

We achieved our goals with 3 key elements:

 

  1. Thoughtful content strategy
  2. Quality content execution
  3. Technical thought partnership

1. Thoughtful Content Strategy

Although the business was recently acquired, the site had been live for some time and the brand had received lots of media coverage about lululemon’s acquisition. Because of this, they had a fairly strong Domain Rating (69), allowing us to target top-funnel keywords with high volume and value.

 

During our first year, we focused our strategy on highly searched top-funnel keywords to establish lululemon Studio’s topical authority and generate organic traffic and awareness through non-branded terms. These included at-home and small-space fitness keywords, as well as general health and fitness coaching terms.

 

content-pillars

Snapshot: Pillar Strategy

We analyzed the SERP for each query to identify its intent and rich snippet opportunities, and to evaluate content and growth potential. We then used a priority-weighted SEO metric matrix to guide content decisions. 

Snapshot: Prioritized clusters and topics

Finally, we looked at high-priority queries and collaborated with lululemon Studio to further understand business needs and determine the best content to create. We consulted with their VP of Fitness Content and Director of eCommerce to understand their positioning on specific topics. Our team reviewed their product at a granular level to ensure consistency across content and offerings. This led to content that was highly relevant to lululemon Studio’s brand and ethos

 

We also collaborated with lululemon Studio’s paid and email teams to understand where we could fill gaps organically. For example, organically targeting keywords with high CPC values to reduce ad spend, amplifying high-converting articles through paid and email channels and creating SEO content to align with upcoming email campaigns and launches. 

 

During our second year, after lululemon Studio’s rebrand, we began to focus more on bottom-funnel and retention content to support the company’s changing goals. We revamped our content strategy to create what we deemed “holistic, multifunctional content”— content that would not only generate organic traffic but lead to better product understanding and conversions while reinforcing the new lululemon Studio brand. 

Our keyword research doesn't only rely on keyword tools–we go wherever our customers look for information.

Our keyword research doesn't only rely on keyword tools–we go wherever our customers look for information.

We reviewed search queries and social media topics of interest on TikTok and Reddit to understand how people were searching for workout content. Then, we created new topic clusters around fitness classes, workouts, and memberships to create content that directly spoke to lululemon studio’s app and products.

2. Quality Content Execution

Knowing what to write wasn’t enough, however. We needed to execute at a high quality. Because fitness is such a saturated market, our content needed to differentiate lululemon Studio as much as possible to compete on SERPs.

 

To achieve this, we sourced certified trainers to draft our content. We also created a collaborative relationship with lululemon Studio’s internal subject matter experts. Our content briefs included a list of tailored questions for their coaches to add value to each article. 

 

We highlighted their most popular coaches as subject matter experts, including direct quotes and advice, knowing that lululemon Studio coaches were beloved by their audience. This also allowed us to establish authority and trust within our content to fulfill Google’s E-E-A-T signals

Snapshot: E-E-A-T informed trainer feature

To drive engagement, we placed a strong focus on CRO within articles. All content briefs included three context-specific CTAs to fulfill engagement goals—from newsletter sign-ups to app trial requests, or click-throughs to high-intent pages.


We also collaborated with lululemon Studio’s design team to create relevant multimedia content to accompany articles, such as infographics. In the end, articles included original content and imagery, tailored CTAs, and unique subject matter expert insights.

Example multimedia (infographic) content

3. Technical Thought Partnership

During our engagement, we developed a point of view with lululemon Studio on:

1. Content hub launch

In addition to a winning content strategy, lululemon Studio’s content hub launch required technical know-how. Launched from scratch with our development partner on Webflow, Flywheel advised on technical considerations for the content hub’s new launch, including back-end categorization and set-up, templated CTAs, and product cards, newsletter sign ups, internal linking, and tracking of events and actions.

Original content hub

2. Migration to a new CMS

lululemon Studio wanted to move to a headless CMS environment for greater flexibility and to allow their marketing team more freedom to make content and site edits without having to go through engineering. Flywheel acted as a thought partner, providing guidance and recommendations on migrating to Sanity, including features, considerations, and best setup for SEO best practices. This included:

  • Technical requirements for the new CMS to maintain and further improve SEO performance.
  • Migration considerations to prevent any loss of traffic or rankings
  • Advice on how to manage SEO in a headless environment

Featured Article module in Content Hub

3. Domain and brand change from MIRROR to lululemon Studio

A domain change can lead to serious implications, including loss of traffic, rankings, backlinks, and functionality. For these reasons, we provided technical guidance to lululemon Studio’s marketing and engineering team, including redirects, content updates, and post-migration monitoring to ensure as little disruption to the site as possible.


lululemon Studio was having issues during its early days with getting outranked by its parent company lululemon and press coverage from high-authority sources. To combat this, we implemented new schema markup to help establish lululemon Studio as an entity in Google’s mind (and a related but separate entity from lululemon).

Kelly Murphy

Director of Ecommerce
lululemon Studio

“As Director of Ecommerce at lululemon Studio (formerly MIRROR), one of my first objectives was to jumpstart our organic search traffic as a means to offsetting CAC by building a content hub on mirror.co. After an extensive RFP process, we kicked off an engagement with Flywheel based on their data and attribution-informed approach and clear expertise in the SEO space. 


Combined with this expertise, Flywheel was able to work extremely nimbly, leveraging a partner agency to help us build a launch a beautifully designed content hub in just a few months. From there, they developed a holistic content strategy for us, focused on our goal of both growing organic traffic and converting customers off of this traffic. 


We created content between both the internal MIRROR team and the Flywheel team for a rich symbiosis of brand and SEO-focused content that worked hard for us. Flywheel worked as a true extension of our team, ebbing and flowing with our shifting business objectives. This agile approach paid off: organic traffic to mirror.co grew 729% over 20 months.”

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