Consider these facts:
- 80% of consumers find your website by first writing a query into a box on a search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing)
- 42% chose the first site listed in organic search
- 90% choose a site listed on the first page
These facts suggest, for anyone doing business on the internet, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a first orders of business.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website in search engines via the “natural,” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”), search results, as defined by Wikipedia.
Although there are plenty of SEO case studies, it can be hard to find case studies that directly prove return on investment (ROI). In the quest for a top rank on Google and increased website traffic, it’s easy to forget the most essential question to ask: What action(s) do you want consumers to take when they get to your website?
To show what’s achievable, here are 10 case studies that prove the ROI of SEO.
1. COMPLETE PLUMBING SOURCE: An e-commerce online source for homeowners and do-it-yourself plumbers who want quality and affordable plumbing supplies and tools from leading brands, completeplumbingsource.com’s number one goal was to drive targeted traffic to their site and generate product sales through a seamless online buying process. Keyword discovery led to an optimization of the top revenue-producing pages and landing page optimization. Within four months, website traffic increased +169%, conversion increased +202% and sales increased by +300%.
2. DICKIES: An online store for Dickies Work Wear focused on the quality and quantity of organic search traffic. They focused on keywords and phrase for those reaching the DickiesStore website with “Dickies” related phrases as well as more generic phrases such as “workwear” and “safety boots” etc. Within six months, DickiesStore dominated the SERP’S (Search Engine Results Page) for “Dickies” related keywords; an extremely competitive niche in which many suppliers of the Dickies brand are constantly competing for top rankings. Within a year, the SEO strategy resulted in an increase of 63% in non-branded traffic and 47% increase in sales.
3. DOLLAR DAYS: An online e-commerce wholesaler that helps smaller businesses compete against larger chain, dollardays.com used videos for its eclectic product offering to capture long tail key words. They also video indexed each product video for Google’s search algorithms using a video sitemap. The result was a huge and immediate +75% increase in sales.
4. ENTREPRENEUR: Sought to increase site traffic and downloads of it huge number of articles at entrepreneur.com. That’s because increases in site traffic and involvement increased advertising rates and revenues. They instituted an SEO program in three stages: In Stage 1, they optimized the web page. In Stage 2, they optimized keywords, links and content for descriptions of the articles. In Stage 3, they integrated SEO into the entire business process. The result was an estimated return of over $2 million dollars PER MONTH (calculated by determining the revenue from additional number of click-throughs since they began the SEO program, minus the SEO expenses incurred).
5. MILLENIUM HOTELS: A prominent hotel chain with over 110 hotels and resorts located in over 60 different destinations in 18 countries, Millenium used SEO to: 1) Achieve higher placements for highly competitive generic search phrase, 2) attract seasonal traffic and 3) promote seasonal offers online. Within a year, Millenium saw increases of: 1) 250,000 visitor per month, 2) 84% in organic traffic and 3) 70% in online reservations bookings.
6. PHILLYDENTIST.COM: Dr. Ken Cirka, DMD, had no relevant keywords on his website in the areas of title tags, body copy, and headers, some of the most important factors in search engine rankings for on-site optimization. During this time, he received one new patient per week. However, after making these changes, he rose to the #1 position for the keywords, “Philadelphia dentist,” and received nine new patients each week. Nine month later, Dr. Cirka hired another dentist and additional staff.
7. ROTTEN TOMATOES: A movie review site that started out as a hobby, rottentomatoes.com was built by SEO. The Rotten Tomatoes team observed that most people searched for movie reviews by searching on the movie name or for actors in a film, not for a movie review itself. Therefore Rotten Tomatoes architected the site to give each individual movie its own Rotten Tomatoes mini-site to boost natural search rankings. The SEO strategy was so successful that features such as “Tomatometer” are now a high volume keyword and Rotten Tomatoes is one of the top 5 movie review sites in the world.
8. VICTORIA INN: a resort inn in a unique heritage building on the south shore of Rice Lake at Gore’s Landing, Ontario. Victoria Inn wanted to use its website as a reservation sales tool to attract new bookings for the inn. For the broadest possible sales and bookings, the keyword phrases needed to work with local and regional geographical locator terms. Victoria Inn achieved more than 370 top ten ranking positions and 152 #1 ranking for an 85% increase in reservations bookings.
9. VOICES.COM: One of the leading marketplaces for voice-over talent, voices.com studied competitive sites, keywords, visitor intensions between those looking to hire and those looking to hire voice-over talent. The resulting site overhaul and SEO keyword discovery increased conversions rates on the site by 400%.
10. WATER GALLERY: An internet-only business that offers handcrafted, indoor water fountains that are designed to fit on walls or floors and made with stones, pebbles and marble, watergallery.net did a full site redesign to make it more search engine friendly and added PayPal buttons so people could pay online. Sales increased +500% within 6 months and gross margin increased +300%.
These case studies prove, whether company is large or small, selling something that is familiar or new, SEO is foundational for business building.
But the #1 priority is focus on the desired business because SEO strategies and tactics vary based on a business’s goals. If you’re clear about who you want to attract and the action(s) you want them to take on your once they get to your site, you’ll see the results and ROI a lot faster.
What do these 10 case studies on the ROI of SEO prove to you?