StubHub – International Expansion

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1. StubHub: where live events and event-goers truly connect

Under the direction of e-commerce giant eBay, StubHub became the biggest ticket buying/reselling platform in the world. StubHub’s ticketing marketplace offers buyers and sellers millions of live events – sports, theater, concerts, and many others – across a range of international markets (currently operating in more than 40 countries). 

After being acquired by eBay in 2007, StubHub expanded into many more international markets with the acquisition of Spanish company Ticketbis in 2016, and was recently acquired by its main competitor, Viagogo (the sale was completed in early 2020) – a sign of the company’s valuable portfolio and operations.

2. What StubHub badly needed: dedicated,
full-time SEO support for critical LATAM websites (MX, BR, AR)

Latin America is one of StubHub’s priority regions, especially when it comes to strategic countries like Mexico (with its proximity to and alignment with the US market/events), Brazil (a crucial market with an immense fan base and many live sports and concert events) and Argentina (a country with a very loyal sports fan base and with big, recurring opportunities for international concerts and tours). 

As a result, StubHub relies heavily on a strong digital presence across these markets, with organic search as a priority channel. In a highly competitive market like the ticketing one, every product category (for performers, sports teams, festivals, etc.) needs considerable SEO visibility and associated conversions. Without adequate SEO monitoring, supervision and support, the organic performance of these channels would not be satisfactory.

3. What Key Content provided: a customized SEO implant program
and a detailed support strategy

Key Content’s SEO implant program was established and integrated with the in-house SEO team at the end of Q2/2019. The main goal was to provide a full-time SEO professional to coordinate strategic SEO support for the LATAM websites in question. The content and SEO strategy was focused on the following pillars:

  • Content assessment and optimization: a constant evaluation of e-commerce category pages, looking for the best opportunities for content optimization and SEO improvements. A monthly content batch was created, with different topics covering performers, sports teams, festivals and more. Strategic KPIs were evaluated to determine the value of each category: traffic (active sessions and others), revenue, conversions, and keyword search volume, among others. Also, priority categories and events for the market at hand (e.g. national festivals, international sports competitions, etc.) were considered. During the program’s duration, thousands of these categories were suggested as potential content optimization opportunities, and approximately 1,500 such categories/topics were delivered by Key Content’s content production teams.
  • Content/product category upkeep: constant monitoring of product categories and “super categories” (special categories with reorganized design and content elements) for content issues, lack of performance, ranking problems, drop in organic visibility, possible improvements in conversions, etc. Every stakeholder in the company was communicated with and involved in tackling these issues (Marketing, Product/Development, Content Operations, etc.) 
  • Content expansion and new opportunities: evaluation of new traffic acquisition possibilities with the implementation of new content pieces. Examples included SEO support for the AR magazine/blog, repurposing of content from international content marketing/”backstage” campaigns, adaptation of international landing pages into localized versions, and the creation of new product categories according to their strategic value. 
  • Governance and reporting: regular and ad-hoc reporting on main KPIs and results involved; routine communication regarding results with every team involved; necessary actions and future opportunities; work on current and future SEO/content guidelines for projects and teams involved; constant reevaluation of current strategies and feedback consideration for possible realignment of priorities and actions.

4. The results: how some of StubHub's visibility metrics
increased in the main LATAM websites

Key Content’s SEO support strategy was able to seize on very important live events happening across the LATAM landscape to increase the relevant website’s visibility and strongly push some very important metrics that were aligned with the overall business goals. Here are some of the most important KPIs evaluated with positive results that can be associated with these SEO support activities: 

StubHub MEXICO 

  • SEO orders/conversions: a 7% increase in Q3 and Q4/2019 when compared with the previous year (from 4569 to 4872 – as per internal analytics data)
  • SEO conversion rate: a 40% increase in Q3 and Q4/2019 when compared with the previous year (from 0.26% to 0.36% – as per internal analytics data)
  • SEO rankings: at the end of 2019, 69% of all tracked keywords were ranking in positions 1–3, with an additional 27% ranking in the first results page (positions 4–10) in both desktop and mobile searches (source: Conductor Searchlight)
  • SEO traffic share: towards the end of 2019, organic traffic share against the main competitor at the time (Viagogo) increased to 48.60% (November 2019) against 36.19% in July 2019 (source: SimilarWeb)

StubHub BRAZIL 

  • SEO traffic: an increase of 54% in SEO sessions during Q3 and Q4/2019 when compared with the previous year (as per internal analytics data)
  • SEO orders/conversions: an 85% increase in Q3 and Q4/2019 when compared with the previous year (from 2340 to 4325 – as per internal analytics data)
  • SEO conversion rate: a 20% increase in Q3 and Q4/2019 when compared with the previous year (from 0.36% to 0.43% – as per internal analytics data)
  • SEO revenue: a 55% increase in SEO revenue in Q3 and Q4/2019 against the previous year (as per internal analytics data)
  • SEO rankings: at the end of 2019, 68% of all tracked keywords were ranking in positions 1–3, with an additional 24% ranking in the first results page (positions 4–10) in both desktop and mobile searches (source: Conductor Searchlight)
  • SEO traffic share: towards the end of 2019, organic traffic share against the main competitor at the time (Viagogo) increased to 26.83% (November 2019) from 13.31% in July 2019 (source: SimilarWeb)

StubHub ARGENTINA

  • SEO conversion rate: an increase of 46% in the SEO conversion rate during Q3 and Q4/2019 against the previous year (from 0.22% to 0.32% – as per internal analytics data)
  • SEO rankings: at the end of 2019, 51% of all tracked keywords were ranking in positions 1–3, with an additional 35% ranking in the first results page (positions 4–10) in both desktop and mobile searches (source: Conductor Searchlight)
  • SEO traffic share: towards the end of 2019, organic traffic share against the main competitor at the time (Viagogo) increased to 48.53% (November 2019) from 47.68% in July 2019 (source: SimilarWeb)

5. Conclusion: how a strong SEO support program
took advantage of StubHub's tailwind to push results

StubHub’s LATAM websites operate in very dynamic markets, and offer many opportunities for traffic increase conversions and an overall increase of organic visibility. However, a strong SEO plan – integrated with the company’s business goals and its overall content marketing strategy – was necessary to fully take advantage of this situation. 

Key Content’s SEO support program worked with the appropriate evaluation of the current conditions, implemented SEO optimization initiatives, provided ongoing support and integration with in-house content marketing activities, and conducted the necessary adjustments with the company’s designated stakeholders. 

As such, Key Content’s SEO implant program was able to achieve positive improvements in the main KPIs associated with its organic performance.