Case Study: Marlow Ropes

International SEO For Global Rope Manufacturer

Marlow Ropes is a well-renowned, global rope manufacturer for a variety of applications, from yachting to abseiling, with clients in the military, leisure marine, and construction. Marlow Ropes approached BarkWeb with a clear requirement, and at the start of this SEO project, we specified these objectives:

  • Increase conversions from United States visitors
  • Increase the number of backlinks to the website, particularly US backlinks

Our method involved analysing the top competition in the United States, and globally, to create a link building blueprint that emulated the backlink profile of Marlow Ropes' top competitors. The output of this method was a more diverse backlink profile in the United States so that we attain better results from less overall backlinks but of a higher quality and authority.

What we did

We were engaged to increase inbound links, a tough call at the best of times, in this case we conducted the link building campaign in the US only. After 3 months of pretty hard work, we significantly increased the depth and breadth of Marlow Ropes' backlink profile and gained the following results:

  • +502% increase in backlinks - from 53k to 266k
  • +95% increase in linking domains  - from 434 to 848
  • +102% increase in different IP addresses - from 370 to 748

Link building progress can be viewed here: 

Domain comparison against competitors

The issue with Marlow Ropes' backlink profile in the US was a lack of quality and diversity. We solved this by using a blueprint of backlinks that we researched in the United States to build a much higher quality backlink profile. After analysing the top-ranking competitors at the time, we identified that despite fewer backlinks, Marlow Ropes' competitors had double the amount of linking domains than Marlow Ropes, and a more diverse backlink profile using more IP addresses and C-blocks. The key was quality and diversity over quantity.

As a result of the international SEO project, Marlow Ropes now has the most backlinks, linking domains, IP addresses and C-blocks, as well as linked page, greatly improving Marlow Ropes website visibility.

By country

As a result of the work we undertook, Marlow Ropes now has a significant US backlink profile, arguably the most competitive in the US in their sector.

Google searches in the US

Google searches wobbled in March 2020, likely due to the coronavirus pandemic. However they, stabilised quickly, as expected with a reduced demand there was not the expected growth, but there is no doubt that there would certainly have been a sharper decrease in traffic without the work undertaken. A rare case of a slight downward graph being a positive thing...

If we open up the analysis to include all countries, we can see that the US is the second most important source of clicks to the website, behind the UK. But the potential is obvious, as you can clearly see much more impressions occurring in the US compared to the UK, indicating greater demand for the client's product.

Towards the end of 2020, over a six month sample period, we’ve recorded 923k searches in the US and Google is attributed to 31.5k clicks to the website.


In brief, the link building project has successfully and has improved the SEO authority of their website in the US, encouragingly overtaking some key competitors across a number of key metrics.

Rankings have improved for Defence Ropes, Arboriculture and Leisure Marine in the United States, helping Marlow Ropes to achieve their international SEO objectives. Overall, Marlow Ropes now perform better than the competition in the United States.

Looking to invest into SEO in 2021?

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