Fixing WH Smith’s Organic Search Visibility Issues


WH Smith was encountering issues related to URL indexation, particularly for crucial landing pages such as their books category page. This was severely hindering its organic visibility in UK SERPs and, subsequently, reducing the traffic the UK Ecommerce site received from organic search results.


We conducted an exhaustive audit and identified that the issue lay in the configuration of the top navigation menu on mobile devices following a recent restructure. Specifically, the design was preventing search engine bots from being able to crawl the top navigation menu. With mobile-first indexing, this constituted a major problem. In essence, search engine bots couldn’t ‘read’ the top navigation menu. As a result, all links within the menu were effectively invisible, drastically reducing the number of internal links directed towards these crucial pages. This, in turn, led to a significant drop in Page Rank distribution to these pages.

Our team developed a solution aimed at making the links within the mobile top navigation menu accessible and crawlable for search engines. This strategy brought about an immediate increase in the number of valuable pages being indexed and, consequently, resulted in drastic improvements to both organic visibility and traffic in the months following the fix.


– 69% improvement in the number of non-branded keywords on page 1 of organic search results

– 15k additional non-branded keywords ranking on page 1 of organic search results

– 63% increase in the number of non-branded searches for which the site now appears on page 1 of organic search results