Money Talking: Vodafone story with SEMrush

The most important thing I can have really is data. Data is my currency. I need to support initiatives, business cases – any tools that give me insight I find incredibly useful. Then when it comes to measuring these initiatives the reporting comes in handy. SEMrush is a very solid package that delivers exactly that.

Nick Wilsdon, Product Owner, Search, Vodafone Group
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About Vodafone:

Vodafone Group plc is a British multinational telecommunications company, with headquarters in London. It predominantly operates services in the regions of Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. Vodafone owns and operates networks in 26 countries and has partner networks in over 50 additional countries. It’s Vodafone Global Enterprise division provides telecommunications and IT services to corporate clients in 150 countries. Vodafone has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It had a market capitalization of approximately £52.5 billion as of 10 February 2016, the eighth-largest of any company listed on the London Stock Exchange

Business Challenge

With 26 countries where Vodafone operates, it’s not surprising regional SEO teams are constantly growing as well. All markets are at different stages of development and eventually, the need for standardization and common operations platforms became crucial to achieving team alignment.

For Vodafone that essentially implied working with a core set of products: ‘We are moving towards the point where all Vodafone SEO teams will have a standardized practice of how to generate reports, monitor pages, and so on,” – says Nick Wilsdon, Product Owner – Search at Vodafone Group.

The legacy tool was not delivering to the new higher standards Vodafone had and some of the functionality was simply not up to spec. Vodafone’s SEO teams felt they were technically constrained when it came to technical SEO analysis. “When you audit a large Enterprise-level company website, you want to have no limits to the number of URLs you can audit,” – recalls Nick their experience with the previous tool.

Apart from internal challenges, Vodafone also faced an increasingly competitive market globally: “We were looking to make savings and efficiencies in the marketing budgets. We had to think where to get the most efficiencies in our channels.”


Simple and solid platform for 26 regions:

SEMrush suite proved to be a popular choice for Vodafone’s digital marketing strategy. The product demonstrated a very quick engagement process in regional teams. “SEMrush is very strong in onboarding – it’s been very well thought out, it provided us with a common platform, and each section can be set up very easily,”– says Nick. “It didn’t take long for regional teams to get the platform set up and start generating the reports they needed”.

Promoting Vodafone products at minimum investments using SEMrush:

The next key issue that needed to be addressed was traffic growth at minimum cost.

Launching VStore – ‘Internet of Things’ products powered by V-sim – was a massive initiative for Vodafone. Traditionally they would’ve gone to an agency for market launch support, but this time the team did keyword research with SEMrush for all of these products across the UK, Germany, Spain, and Italy.

Finding leading keywords enabled them to successfully optimize for 4 languages and minimize expenses. “SEO channel has been very effective for us to offset those rising media costs,” – confirms Nick. “We have achieved an incredible triple-figure increase in traffic through optimized SEO and selection of keywords for PPC campaigns.”

Implementing Vodafone App indexation was another big project for Nick’s team. First, it was discovered 65% of users still type up ‘Vodafone login’ on their desktop: Customers’ mobile journey had to be simplified.

The team built out user journeys. They found search volumes for the keywords leading to app discovery, to MyVodafone, and to Vodafone Login page. Keyword data on those terms supported the business case to map Google results to the relevant screens in the app, thus promoting app downloads and engagement.

Data-driven decisions and team collaboration:

SEMrush also enables data-driven decisions and effective teams’ collaboration so essential for an Enterprise. At Vodafone, if a certain team decides to proceed with a feature development in their app, they would first find out the search demand for that feature: what users are looking for and their intent. “Data helps teams prioritize and this is the data that they normally wouldn’t have access to, given that historically marketing and development teams are not close.”

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Another example of cross-team collaboration powered by SEMrush was an AMP pages project. Nick’s SEO team ensured that the success and the measurement of those AMP pages were fed back to the development teams. That made them realize their work was contributing to huge amounts of traffic increase – 27% growth in the UK.

“The most important thing I can have really is data,” – highlights Nick. “Data is my currency. I need to support initiatives, business cases, any tools that give me insight I find incredibly useful. Then when it comes to measuring these initiatives the reporting comes in handy. As for the hands-on SEO: For someone who has been doing SEO for 20 years, I still enjoy doing keyword research with SEMrush. And I can’t say that about any other tool!”



  • SEMrush enables data-driven decisions for various teams at Vodafone.

By receiving valuable insights into what Vodafone users really want Vodafone can focus on the development of products that have higher chances to succeed on the market

  • Triple figure traffic increase while offsetting advertising costs becomes much easier with SEMrush’s capabilities.

Rather than purchasing expensive ad campaigns, Vodafone promotes its app or a new product via page optimization with SEMrush. PPC keywords are better selected now thanks to SEMrush, too.

  • SEMrush provides Vodafone regional teams with a common platform for reporting and monitoring

SEMrush has helped the group move towards standardized reporting and monitoring across all markets. In addition to that teams’ collaboration is facilitated, such as between marketing and development which leads to more effective pre-and post-production

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