In this Full Stack Audit, we analyse Cairngorm Coffee, an independent coffee shop and supplier in Edinburgh, Scotland. At Furlough, we look at brand marketing strategies, social media, advertising and SEO. We help brands improve their businesses across the board.
Full Stack Audit | Inside the World of Custom-Made Guitar Capos – Thalia Capos
Thalia Capos had very humble beginnings. One day, in 2010, 8-year old “Thalia Bradley”, a big fan of Taylor Swift was staring at a poster of the aforementioned artist, when she got an idea that would transform an Established Guitar Accessory Industry, but offer it so much more.
Young Thalia thought that Taylor Swift should have a Capo that looks so much more Beautiful than traditional capos and would perfectly Mesh with her Hawaiian Koa Taylor Guitar. Chris Bradley, Thalia’s father loved the idea when she mentioned it in front of him, and he genuinely felt like pursuing it.
The “Reverse-Action” design of this freshly designed Thalia Capo meant that the user could place it with just One Hand using the same pinching action as a Barre Chord. Of course, keeping in mind Young Thalia’s vision, Chris made it with an Exotic Wood with some Intricate “Abalone Shell” inlays.
Thalia Capos launched in October 2014 with just over 4,000 Backers using a “Kickstarter” campaign. Using their vision and humble beginnings as a reference, they have now expanded to other Product Categories as well such as Phone Cases, Guitar Picks, etc.
What will a Full-Stack Audit offer to Thalia?
A Full-Stack Audit is an in-depth look at a brand’s Marketing Efforts pertaining to 4 verticals, as outlined by Furlough; SEO, Social Media, Advertising and Remarketing. The aim of the Audit is to analyze these marketing efforts and identify areas Thalia can improve upon to take the brand to the next level.
Keeping in mind Furlough’s 4 Verticals, let’s take a look into the Full-Stack Marketing Thalia is investing in.
While their Website is definitely well-built and performs decently, it has to be noted that they do need to do a lot of work to remove those small, niggling issues that are messing up their SEO Strategy.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights gave their website a very low “32/100” on Desktop while on Mobile, the website performed even more poorly with a Shocking “9/100” score.
For good SEO, it is really important that websites live up to the standards set by Google’s “Core Web Vitals.” These are a method of measuring a Website’s overall User Experience and Page Speed that are big factors in websites’ SEO efforts.
Google measures this using three Terms; Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay and Cumulative Layout Shift. Without getting into too many technicalities, these three altogether measure a website’s speed and overall responsiveness. According to Kissmetrics, 47% of visitors expect a website to load within 2 seconds while 40% of those visitors leave the website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Comparing this with Thalia, it took Thalia’s websites around 4.2 s to load which is dangerous territory.
In terms of Keywords, Thalia has a pretty strong Backbone built and well-integrated onto their site. They have close to 29.5k Organic Keywords and close to 40k Monthly Traffic which means that they’re ranking pretty well for the Keywords they’re targeting. While they do have a long way to establish themselves as an authority in this niche and compete with the likes of D’addario, they are definitely on the right path, and the amount of “Backlinks” that they have justifies that, to some extent. This means that there are close to 3,000 Entities that are talking about Thalia.
They are also ranking well for their main Keyword that is “Thalia Capos.” One suggestion would be to include “Broad-Match Keywords.” Broad-Match Keywords are literally keywords that are similar to your target keyword but not the same as it. In this case, Thalia’s target keyword is “Thalia Capos” or “Custom Capos.” With broad-match intent, they can rank for broader terms like “guitar capos” or “guitar accessories.” This can open their website to a completely new audience who might have never even heard of the brand before.
Their “On-Page” SEO is LITERALLY Crushing the scene.
After crawling 100 pages, these are some findings:
- 25 pages have Duplicate Meta Descriptions (this is the short description that appears under a search result).
- 47 pages have Duplicate H1 and Title Tags; we need to trim down on this Duplication as Google might not be able to differentiate between what’s relevant and what’s not and might end up ranking pages that are really not relevant to what your visitor was looking for.
Thalia also has a very Active Blog where they regularly post relevant content. This is another aspect of their SEO efforts in which they are really headed in the right direction.
An Ideal Keyword Density % exists around 1-2%. Thalia, in this regard, is really well-set with most Keywords hovering around this mark.
On the images’ side of things, they do have some issues. The first thing is that there are over 155 images without “Alt Text.” Now, it might not matter on websites that have rendered images properly, so they load quickly, but where either the images aren’t optimized or the connection is low, these Alt Text describe the content so visitors who can’t view the images can understand them.
Because these Alt Texts are directly related to User Experience and Accessibility, it’s something that should be optimized.
- Optimize Images; this can be done by compressing images, so their size is less, add Alt Text, include captions.
- Render images and video to help improve Page Speed.
- Fix pages that have duplicate meta descriptions.
- Optimize the length of title tags for SEO.
- Put effort into ranking for broad-match keywords.
- Use Google PageSpeed Insights to optimize Website Speed and Responsiveness.
Because Thalia is primarily an eCommerce website, they do utilize a lot of Ads for growing their business. That being said, from their inception in 2014 to around November 2021, they were only running around 1-2 Ads per month which are now Inactive.
However, as of February 2021, they have started 6 AD Campaigns on Facebook which may be signals, perhaps a more serious intent towards using Advertising as one of their core areas of growth. Thalia is utilizing Facebook Pixel Tracking as well.
Facebook Pixel is an Analytics tool that businesses can install into their website’s code. Using the pixel, they can track their user activity on the website.
Thalia’s Blog suggests the company does have some Ads working to increase their search engine rankings. They’re getting around 2700 Monthly Visits from their paid efforts with 81 Paid Keywords being used.
Compare that with their Organic SEO Strategy, we found out that they’re getting close to 58k Monthly Traffic organically which means they aren’t pushing as seriously towards an Ad strategy as much as one would think.
- Work on building an SEM strategy for “Broad-Match Keywords.” Ranking on these broad-match terms e.g. guitar capos will open up a completely new traffic source for them; people who might have never heard of custom–made capos or were unfamiliar with such a brand.
Just by visiting their website, you can have an idea that Thalia is focusing a lot on building a strong Social Media presence. They have all of their social media links right at the top of their homepage providing the visitors with a quick way to find them out on their favorite platforms.
– Facebook – Thalia has close to 51,000 Likes and 53,000 Followers on their Facebook Page. The posting schedule is confined to a decent 2-3 posts per week. The page has a lot of different content from Original Content such as Designing Guitars to User–Generated posts that really showcase their strength in this regard. The page is quite well optimized with clear CTAs, Contact Information, About Page, etc. Because they are using Ads, they are integrated with Facebook Business and using the “Shop Now” button to their advantage.
- Instagram – They have around 29,000 Followers on Instagram. A lot of the content on the IG is really what they have on Facebook. UGC again stands out, in this regard while they are using both Video and Image content, even Instagram Reels, to an extent.
Thalia has also deployed Facebook Shops and integrated it within Instagram. One thing they need to work on is to create content for Instagram and instead of just including the captions, they can also include a “Shop Now” button so users can buy it then and there. All the links from the Facebook Shops integration lead to their website.
LinkedIn – This is an area they can make amends. The LinkedIn link on their website actually leads to the profile of the owner, Chris Bradley.
Twitter – Thalia has 22,000 Followers on Twitter and have a decent presence on it. They’re mostly utilizing Twitter to let their customers know whether a certain item is back in stock, or sharing reposts from well-known Artists.
Pinterest – Thalia has around 8,000 Followers on Pinterest. They are mostly using Pinterest to share Customized Items from their shop with links to their website.
- Thalia should make a LinkedIn page for their brand instead of redirecting to the Owners’ profile.
- Pinterest should have more diverse content; this can be DIY Hacks, highlights from their construction process, their mentality behind the items, UGC, etc.
- Instagram Bio is too short for a brand of this stature. USP missing from it.
- They should diversify Instagram as well. Thalia can venture into DIY Art, providing content that showcases their USP. Thalia also needs to add more Highlights to the profile.
Back to the website, then!
The most prominent feature in Thalia’s website when you first visit is the “Chat-bot” Integration. This is particularly effective at providing customers with an amazing user experience, helping them navigate the website better as well as answering some basic questions people might have.
While it does appear very helpful, we have to say that it’s slow to respond so that’s an area that needs to be improved.
While they do have Contact Details such as Email and a Number, it’s pretty clear from the website that they aren’t focusing a lot on their Email Marketing. They are running a 10% Off Campaign right now which has a CTA to sign-up for their Email List.
However, after providing the email, Thalia is taking too long to send their “Welcome” or “Thank You” Emails and they are being put into the Spam folder which definitely highlights some issues. This can be due to several issues such as not targeting the right audience, low engagement rates, etc.
Emails that get sent to the Spam folder may never see the light of day in the sense that your prospect might not even read it or disregard it even after seeing the email.
Furthermore, Thalia has to work on making sure their Emails end up in the Main Inbox rather than the Promotions or Socials Tab. Only 19.2% of emails in the Promotions get read. That means you’re missing out on about 80% of prospects who could drive serious revenue.
Thalia hasn’t optimized the Images in their Thank You emails and that might result in low engagement rates especially in Areas where Internet Speed is slow.
Thalia hasn’t installed an “Exit-Intent Popup” on their website yet; this is a popup that tracks visitors’ movement on the website and when a visitor tries to leave the website, this popup springs up to retain that potential customer. A study by OptinMonster shows that businesses that implement this popup could recover around 53% of visitors who abandoned their website without a purchase.
- Start sending Welcome and Thank You Emails.
- Work on improving the Responsiveness and Speed of their Chatbot.
- Include an exit popup to track visitors’ activity and help with retaining them on the website.
- Optimize images in their Emails.
- Make “Welcome or Thank You” emails less salesy so they end up in the Primary Tab.
- Analyze the data in their ESP (Email Service Provider) to figure out why emails are getting sent to the Spam Folder.
Thalia Capos have come a long way from that day when Little Thalia envisioned the product to now having Brand Reach not just in the USA, but worldwide. They are providing Wholesale options to Contractors so as to distribute their products in International Markets which definitely signals an intent to grow as a Household Brand.
All this, however, has not stopped them from leaving their humble beginnings. As a token of gratitude to their Customers, Thalia has implemented a strategy on their blog where they are asking their customers to invest in the brand and essentially have equity in it. These investors, or rather ordinary citizens, will have special privileges such as discounts, sneak peeks into new product developments which, by the way, Thalia is pushing hard on.
However, they can rapidly increase their growth if they just work on improving some aspects of the business. Whether that is implementing Ads, or pushing out new types of Content, Thalia has endless possibilities that it can Tap to instantly 100x their sales.
Only time will tell whether Thalia will be able to do that as well as cope against its competitors like D’addario, initial impressions do suggest that they will do just fine. And with the feedback included in this article, it’s only a matter of time that they become a Household Name!
Thalia Capos Plan of Action
- Improve website speed by looking at Google PageSpeed Insights. This can be done by optimizing images and visual content on the website.
- Put an effort into ranking for broad-match keywords like “guitar capos”
- Optimize the length of Title Tags
- Their LinkedIn link on the website should lead to a profile of Thalia Capo’s LinkedIn
- Diversify their content; use more highlights on IGs, showcase their other products as well, they can show behind-the-scenes clips, add a more human touch to the social media
- State their “Unique Selling Point” clearly in their Instagram Bio
- Improve the responsiveness and speed of the Chatbot on the website
- Optimize Email Campaigns; make sure emails aren’t ending up in the Spam folders, that they’re being sent on time, and providing value to the readers. The goal is to end up in the “Primary” tab instead of the Promotions, or worse, the Spam folder
- Optimize visual content in their emails
- Include an Exit-Intent Popup to retain visitors