A local client in the home services business was looking to improve their digital presence and online marketing return-on-investment.
They were already contracting a large digital marketing agency located in downtown Toronto. This agency had hundreds of past and current clients, glowing testimonials, a large team and a management fee to reflect it. This agency was ranking on the first page of google for terms like “SEO Agency” or “PPC management company” and were considered one of the top digital agencies in town.
This agency provided website management services, SEO and a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign through Google Adwords. The client’s main objective was to generate leads for their business
through phone calls and web form submissions. They had a budget of $7,000 to $10,000 a month for paid campaigns (excluding management fees). In their industry the initial customer value was between $3,000 and $5,000, with some lifetime customer value of over $10,000.
Needless to say, leads in this industry are incredibly valuable. The space is crowded with competitors in every marketing channel and lead generation avenue.
Initially the client saw good results and the agency brought in between 40-60 leads per month. As is often the case with marketing agencies that base their business model on signing new business and not providing excellent support to existing clients, performance slowly declined.
Eventually, it was difficult for the client to justify the return on investment between the
management fee, their internal cost and their paid marketing spend.
They were disheartened with the effectiveness of PPC & SEO marketing and didn’t see the ROI. At this point they contacted Black Octopus digital marketing agency.
Identifying exactly what work would have the most impact, we identified some quick wins that would increase conversion rates through CRO (conversion-rate optimization) best practices, technical SEO optimization and Google Adwords optimization. The first step was to fix their website–there’s no point driving more traffic (which costs dollars) without maximizing the amount of leads and ROI.
IMMEDIATE WEBSITE OPTIMIZATION:
After auditing the website the client felt it best to start from a strong foundation and develop a new website from the ground up. We delivered a stunning, mobile responsive and conversion optimized site to replace their old one within one week. They had expected a turn-around time of three weeks.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the art and science of ranking websites higher in organic search results. It is a long-term traffic acquisition strategy that is necessary for any website that aims to be on the first page of competitive search terms. It is a combination of On-Site work (technical SEO), Off-Site SEO which involved acquiring links on other websites pointing to your site to signal importance to Google and posting regular long-form text content to aid in the previous two efforts.
These three strategies are necessary for any successful SEO campaign.
A Search Engine Optimization campaign starts with knowing where the client currently is at. Only then can you determine where you want to be. Our 6-step SEO audit allows us to perform in-depth research on your existing site and provide specific recommendations to improve your rankings. After the audit, we’ll propose a plan tailored to your needs that will show how we’ll get you the final results. Using a suite of exclusive tools we are able to get access to information that is otherwise invisible to site visitors and owners.
Here’s an example report of some of the technical SEO auditing and reporting we provided to the client and informed our strategy moving forward:
GETTING THE LAY OF THE LAND
The first thing we do is configure our crawling tools and start collecting data associated with your site to learn where you currently rank. We reviewed Google analytics and webmaster tools to determine how the client’s website was appearing to search engine, as well as using our own diagnostic tools.
This part of the audit looks at how search engines are currently able to access your website. We wantto make sure the basics are there and nothing is impeding the engines from crawling the pages. We’ll review the following:
We optimized the client’s website, significantly reducing errors, enhancing page loading time (which is a ranking factor) and enhancing user experience.
Once we determine that search engines can access your the client’s pages, next we ensured they were being indexed by Google and other major search engines.
We do this quite simply by running search queries through Google, Yahoo! and Bing, and learning how many pages on your website are being indexed. We’ll run brand searches along with basic keywords (industry, product, location) and recording the results.
ON-PAGE RANKING FACTORS
Now that we’ve determined site is being indexed and crawled, we’ll review more about what factors on your site influence those rankings. We’ll look at the following items:
Content is the most important thing Google and other search engines look for when determining how to rank your site. Wel analyzed the client’s content to determine what main keywords they want to rank for, and rewrite existing pages and use them as keywords to target in future content. The key to ranking pages in search engines is having incredible long-form, genuinely good content that helps users answer their search queries. The client was mainly concerned with location based keywords such as “best xxx company in [location]” and their main product and service offerings.
Your site has duplicate content if multiple pages contain the same (or nearly the same) content. Unfortunately, these pages can be both internal and external (i.e., hosted on a different domain).
The markup in the source code of your pages is extremely important for how pages get crawled. We’ll focus on the title tags and meta descriptions, while also paying attention to headings and images.
When one page links to another, that link is an endorsement of the receiving page’s quality. Thus, an important part of the audit is making sure your site links to other high quality sites.
OFF-PAGE RANKING FACTORS
While what’s on your website is important for SEO, what’s off the website is just as important. Your site’s quality is largely determined by the quality of the sites linking to it. Thus, it is extremely important to analyze the backlink profile of your site and identify opportunities for improvement. We’ll review it from many angles, including:
After we’ve reviewed your site in detail, we’ll also compare it against 3 competitors in all of the ways listed above, and compile the data down into actionable items.
Once this audit is complete, we laid out a 6 month roadmap for the client with specific dates and deliverables. We like to link clients to a project management tool which shows exactly what tasks will be done, have been done and when that’s updated in realtime. Reporting is incredibly important so the client understands the impact of our efforts on their business in metrics that matter to them most, such as phone calls, conversions, form submissions or increased web traffic.
After this, we execute the strategy and provide weekly or monthly reporting based on the client’s preference. We gave the client a live dashboard with the most important metrics and KPIs for their marketing campaigns and websites. Here’s an example of what it looks like to the client:
GOOGLE ADWORDS AUDIT
We went in to the client’s account and optimized budgets, used negative keywords to prevent their budget from being spent on irrelevant search terms and targeted the areas and locations most likely to convert.
SETTING UP NEW CAMPAIGNS
We rewrote all ads and used a technique called Single-Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) to trigger ads directing to a specific landing page for that keyword that was highly relevant and contextual to the searcher.
OPTIMIZING FOR QUALITY SCORE
Using SKAGs allowed us to increase the quality score, which is a metric Google uses to determine the trustworthiness of an advertiser and how much each keyword costs to that advertiser to bid on. Because of our optimization we brought the average Cost-Per-Click for the client from $8 to $2, allowing us to quadruple traffic.
Combined with our Conversion-Rate Optimization on the website, we even increased conversion rates more than that factor of four, bringing conversions from 2-5 per day to 15 per day. This made for an incredibly happy client: with the same budget they were now bringing in 4 times the business and revenue than their previous marketing agency.
Website traffic went up by 400% on the same budget
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER:
The client went from losing money and considering dropping digital marketing altogether to increasing their budget, doubling down and outperforming their competition.
Some key metrics:
We got 120-170 leads from contact form submissions and calls to the business per month.
An average of $42 per lead.
With 3 deals per month they covered the cost of their marketing campaigns, they would get an average of 20+ deals per month with a value of $3,000 – $10,000+
120+ Qualified Leads Generated Per Month
30% Closing Rate On Leads
$4000+ Deal Size, $10,000+ Customer LTV
$43 Cost Per Lead
Metro Credit is a car financing company located in Bedford, Nova Scotia. They also have an affiliated company that sells vehicles that they refer financing leads to for car sales.
They primarily serve the Halifax region but service clients all across Atlantic and Eastern Canada.
Previously they generated all of their leads organically, from local referrals, as well as paying per lead from car lead generation companies.
They were looking for another lead channel, and wanted a reliable source of qualified leads at a profitable cost.
Their average client lifetime value (LTV) is worth about $3,000 from fees collected from financing car loans.
They would purchase pre-qualified leads from a company at a cost of $150 per lead. This company would generate leads through primarily cold phone calls.