1st Direct Pools

Case Study

1st Direct Pools are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of swimming pool and hot tub chemicals and accessories. 1st Direct Pools came to us looking for a complete social media marketing, PPC and SEO package having previously worked with an agency who did not effectively communicate spend levels. Their previous agency also did not understand the nature of the business, which meant that seasonal products were being marketed at the wrong time of year, which was being reflected in return on ad spend.

Ducard Approach

After meeting the team and getting to know more about their business, the initial campaign kicked off with a full SEO audit to identify areas that can be optimised quickly, as well as produce in-depth keyword research to help build a longerterm strategy. We quickly realised that the H1 tags needed optimising, and by doing this, we instantly saw improvements across the subcategory pages.  By creating product sets, we were able to ensure the correct products for the time of year were being shown across our paid social campaigns. With trials of different audience types, we were quickly able to determine that remarketing audiences performed well across social media.

The PPC campaign also needed to be tailored to suit the seasonality of the products. To ensure we were able to maximise the performance, we created and optimised multiple campaigns which are monitored closely. If the cost per conversion increases to a certain level, the campaigns are paused until search volume returns.  Using search volumes and current website data, we were able to identify a list of keywords to optimise, a process that was then repeated as they entered their low season, to ensure that all opportunities for ranking had been covered. These keywords were then used to create unique topics for content creation, helping further to improve the authority and organic position of the site.

Communication was a key part of the initial brief, and we were able to achieve this through our structured team, headed by an account manager who regularly liaises with the client to keep them up to date and ensure all expectations are met. Our unique client files and monthly reporting also contain a wealth of accessible information. user experience meant that we were able to write informed content that the client and their followers were happy with.


As is the case with many retail companies, a proportion of products sold by 1st Direct Pools are largely seasonal, leading to drop-offs during the winter months. The campaign’s challenges required us to be reactive across all digital marketing aspects to ensure that budget wasn’t wasted, but opportunities were not lost.

Given the specialist nature of the products, we needed to find the best audiences to target for paid campaigns to ensure that budget was not wasted on impressions.


In under one year, works by Ducard have helped to solidify 1st Direct Pools position for primary medium and longtail keywords, increasing organic traffic and revenue. We have also identified new keywords that have been added to the campaign and optimised, leading to further results from organic search.

Across the paid campaigns, revenue and acquisition have both been key drivers, both of which have increased considerably in a year-on-year comparison. We were able to solve a number of feed issues, meaning we can use both Facebook and Merchant Centre to create successful product marketing campaigns.


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