Fashion Website Redesign & SEO Improvements

Red leather tote handbag and white leather shoulder bag, Illicia Onwards and Up London

Red Nappa Leather top-handle handbag, Illicia, Onwards and Up London fashion business consultant

Illicia, an innovative luxury leather handbag and accessories brand for women.  Established in 2017 by sisters Ilham and Idil Mohammed.  Illicia design high-end colourful smooth Nappa leather customizable handbags. Luxury leather bag with interchangeable woven handles, to suit your style.

Illicia‚Äôs handbags are handcrafted in Italy, to present a collection of top-handle, tote handbags, shoulder and chain bags for work and play. 

Illicia attended a selection of fashion networking events hosted by Onwards and Up.  One event they attended was a practical hands-on website improvements workshop called, How To Get Ahead On Black Friday.  The digital workshop focused on giving small businesses SEO tools to improve the performance of their websites, how to improve SEO and websites traffic to increase their website sales for Black Friday.

As part of the digital website improvements workshop, all attendees received a free website SEO review report. The report included 3 top easy fixes to help them improve website performance and SEO.

The key SEO performance issues identified on Illicia London’s website were:

  • Insecure SSL certificate.
  • Images on the website too big.
  • Page load speed for desktop and mobile really slow.

Website SEO Performance And Review

Illicia was keen to understand the wider SEO performance of their website, following the report outcomes. The business was looking to build a comprehensive digital strategy for the forthcoming spring/summer seasons sales. They commissioned an SEO Digital Audit Report from Onwards and Up. The audit report identified SEO issues, where they could increase their website traffic and improve search engine rankings.

The SEO website review provided a detailed report exploring the websites:

  • Navigation plan
  • User experience
  • Website design
  • On-page and off-page SEO review
  • Content optimisation
  • Image optimisation review
  • Website structural review
Leather Top handle handbag Kale Green, Illicia, Onwards and Up London
Grace Top-Handle Bag, Illicia

The findings were presented in a report with a full list of actions and recommendations for implementation.

A follow-up meeting was held with Illicia to discuss of the SEO report findings. They requested Onwards and Up to assist with their website redevelopment and implementation of the SEO audit findings.  Therefore delivering the business a professional-looking website that had increased visibility in search engines.

The website was built on WooCommerce platform. A new website layout was designed and approved by Illicia. An agreed schedule to relaunch the site to support their forthcoming activity at Paris Fashion Week 2019.


New website design, Illicia, Onwards and Up London fashion consultant
Illicia, newly designed website

SEO Technical Audit

Technical issues identified in the SEO audit report carried out by Onwards and Up.

Website Security

It is important to have the relevant security certificates in place to prevent data breaches and hacker stealing sensitive information.

Enabling the SSL certificate is also an SEO ranking variable that search engines look for when ranking websites. Websites that do not have the relevant security protections in place may be ranked lower than those that do have.

Website Backup Database

As part of the SEO audit, it was identified that the website was not backed up to any server. The website template, data and content were not stored in a secure place if ever the website was to go offline.

Onwards and Up, set up a new server on Illicia’s hosting domain platform, with frequent website backups.

Improved Page Load Speed

Although advised to use or obtain lower resolution images for the website, this was not possible in the time available. The image files were in their original format, sized between 4.5mb to 10mb. This had a significant impact on the website load speed.

In the time available a selection of plugins that support the WordPress platform was implemented to optimise images and improve load speed. Work was carried out to reduce the number of URL requests that were being made from external sources.


Website Build & Navigation

A new website design layout included the front page and product page layouts to improve user experience. Utilising the brands’ lifestyle images across the website to improve the look and feel of the site. Creating new product page layouts to improve user experience and navigation around the sometimes complex product combinations.

Ladies Leather top-handle handbag, Illicia, Onwards and Up London
Celina 2.0 Top Handle Handbag, Illicia

Website SEO Improvements To Increase Search & Organic Traffic

Analysis of the existing website highlighted that it was not visible in search engines. The website was being penalised due to multiple duplicate title pages, duplicate meta descriptions and no business keywords. All essential items to support the search engine result entries and increase SEO rankings.

The website was ranking for 70 keywords that were not relevant or applicable to the brands’ products. The SEO analysis report found that the website was not ranking for the business basic SEO keywords such as handbags, leather bags, ladies handbags.

Work was carried out to improve the websites on-page SEO. Creating new Google compliant title pages, Header 1 titles, meta descriptions and URL structures that were keyword rich and unique. This enabled the website to start to build impressions and rank for relevant business keywords and phrases within search engines.

A selection of monitoring SEO tools was set up to analyse the web site’s performance, ongoing SEO improvements and to help build successful marketing campaigns. Website SEO tracking tools included Facebook pixel, Google retargeting pixel, Google Analytics, Google Search Console and newsletter popup. All tools were linked to support the compilation of the relevant data for analysis and future digital strategy.


Illicia founder, Ilham Mohammed, Onwards and Up London
Ilham Mohammed, Founder & Owner of Illicia


Toyin took on this project and made a complete turnaround within a short space of time. Very organised in her approach to get the best layout whilst creating great user design experience. Her creative eye and her passion to own the project is undeniable rare. We will continue to work with her to build on what we have created .


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