Superb Digital Elevates The HR Dept’s Online Presence: Enquiries Surge by 80%

13th October 2023

With three national websites and a franchise based business model, Bristol based The HR Dept is really several campaigns rolled into one. After two years working with them, we have delivered an 80% year on year increase in goal conversions and numerous wins for their franchisees and we still have so much more to achieve for this market leader in HR services.

“We have been extremely pleased with the guidance and expert knowledge provided by Superb Digital. They are always quick to respond and very proactive in their approach. Since working with them for the last couple of years we have seen very positive results. Thank you Paul, Joe and the team.”


About The HR Dept

The HR Dept is a national franchise providing HR consultancy and related services for SMBs up and down the UK. Established in Bristol (where the head office still resides) in 2002 by Sue Tumelty, the company quickly grew into a franchise based business, with individual HR directors heading up their own territories across the UK, Ireland and Australia. These individual franchises are small companies in their own right, with many employing several support staff.

In November 2021, The HR Dept Group Ltd became an employee ownership trust.

The Challenge

The HR Dept’s brand presence consists of three websites: The HR Dept, The Health and Safety Dept and Franchise recruitment.

Unlike the first two, whose audiences are the end users, franchise recruitment targets HR professionals looking to set up their own HR consultancy business.

Having three websites to work on was a huge challenge, as each in itself is a huge project with different requirements and challenges.

Despite previous work with a number of Search Agencies, The HR Dept hadn’t received much strategic advice, as both the HR and HS Dept websites had little search visibility around most of their key services, some of which had huge traffic potential.

A major challenge identified from the outset was duplicate content. The company’s websites were set up to effectively host each franchisee territory on their website as a separate area of the main website. With over 60 active franchisees, this meant every single piece of content on the main site was replicated 60 times over.

This was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the work that lay ahead. Other issues included no analytics or goal conversions set up, localisation issues, the sheer volume of rankable content topics to cover, not to mention the challenge of promoting the strategically vital HR recruitment side of the business, which has little to no search volume.

So with three websites to look at and a finite budget, we focused our energies on the HR and HS Dept sites first.

The Implementation

After dealing with duplicate content and other technical SEO challenges, the vast majority of the work would be centred around building out The HR Dept’s content. Whether that was localising franchisee areas of the site, improving existing service pages, or creating expert guides to supplement service pages, the issue was content. Or rather a lack of it.

Another element of the campaign was promoting the franchisee sections of the website. The HR Dept’s business model sees franchise fees go towards national marketing, but with many franchisees in highly competitive regions or cities, we hit on the idea of creating franchisee packages, to supplement this to any franchisees that wanted it. The take up was encouraging and we’ve seen some great successes with individual franchisees.

The franchise recruitment strategy has focused on developing the brand with content created through interviewing franchisees and senior personnel at head office. We have had great feedback so far but it’s early days and we look forward to working more closely with The HR Dept on this area in the coming months.

The Results

We have well and truly achieved great results for the HR Dept website, with an 80% increase in enquiries and 60% increase in organic traffic for The HR Dept site. HS Dept, which had far less SEO work done to it when we took this on it should be pointed out, has seen a massive 492% increase in organic traffic.

The localisation work we have done for the franchisee pages on the main HR Dept site, has also had a huge impact, with many of them coming from nowhere to rank in positions 1-3 for local HR related search terms in their area.

All of this has led to a surge in enquiries for The HR Dept’s franchisees, such as:

  • Bristol – 113% increase
  • Bournemouth – 63% increase
  • South Oxford – 20% increase
  • Central London – 209% increase

As we continue to grow topic clusters around key services, we expect The HR and HS Dept’s national search presence to continue its upward trajectory, with more business generated for their network of franchisees as a result.

At the same time, we are now turning our attention (and budget) towards really pushing the franchisee recruitment side of the business, in order to attract new franchisees to take on this growing demand.


About Superb Digital

Superb Digital is an Bristol based SEO agency, we help businesses who manufacture and sell products online grow their revenue through a mix of data-led SEO, PPC, copywriting and digital PR strategies, utilising the most up to date tools and analytical tec...

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