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10 case studies prove ROI of SEO 5

Posted on March 10, 2012 by Rob Petersen

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?

42 reasons every brand needs a content marketing strategy in 2012 7

Posted on December 01, 2011 by Rob Petersen

Peter Drucker said: “The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.”  This succinctly stated truth is the essential requirement for every brand.

Although Peter left us in 2005, I think he would agree the spark that keeps the customer relationship going is relevant content. It’s a fundamental way to create trust by proving you understand what your audience values.

84% of us turn to the internet for relevant content, especially when it comes to subjects like the government, news, healthcare, and commerce, according to the  Pew Internet and American Life Project; 75%  of us say we get what we are looking for.

For some more revealing percentages, here are 42 reasons every brand needs a content marketing strategy in 2012.

  1. 93% of CMO’s plan to use some form of user generated content in their marketing effort this year
  2. 92% of shoppers have more confidence in information sought online versus a salesperson or some other source
  3. 90% of all purchase decisions begin on the internet
  4. 90% of CMO’s participate in an average of 3 or more social media activities
  5. 84% of brand managers says they use online videos on their brand websites for marketing product and services
  6. 81% of CMO’s say they plan to track social media activities to revenues in order to determine ROI. However, only 40% actually do.
  7. 80% of traffic to a web site begins with search query
  8. 78% of marketers believe content is key to the success of their organization but only 49 have a content strategy in place
  9. 78% of B2B marketers say generating high quality leads is their top priority
  10. 77% of search users choose organic over paid search listings
  11. 74% of consumers rely on social networks to help them make a purchase decision
  12. 73% of companies now use social media for marketing
  13. 66% of companies report using online video for brand awareness; 21% for lead generation and 12% for ecommerce/sales
  14. 66% of marketers says their greatest concern is lead generation; only 17% say it’s brand awareness
  15. 65% of consumers report a digital brand experience changed their opinion about a product or service
  16. 62% click a link on the first page of search engine results
  17. 61% of marketers say they implement a social media strategy for lead generation
  18. 60% of retailers use customer reviews as a form of content marketing
  19. 60% of brand managers says they are going to increase spending for online videos in the next 12 months
  20. 55% of the time people spend on the internet is directly related to content consumption
  21. 55% of companies use case studies as part of their content marketing strategy
  22. 51% use a blog for content marketing
  23. 51% of marketers say they are going to increase content marketing spending within the next 12 months
  24. 49% of shoppers have made a purchase based on a recommendation from a social network
  25. 44% of all content shared on internet comes from Facebook
  26. 43% of companies says they are writing “white papers” and sharing them online as part of their content marketing
  27. 43%of companies report higher click-through on RSS feeds with reviews than without
  28. 42% of consumers say, when shopping online, they prefer to look for an answer online
  29. 40% or Republican and 38% of Democrats use social network sites to become more polictically involved
  30. Only 38% of consumers say they watch an online video in its entirety
  31. 32% of consumers now browse or research products at least once a month on mobile devices
  32. 26% higher conversion results for products when they have product reviews
  33. 26% of total marketing budgets are allocated to content marketing by B2B marketers
  34. 25% of search results for the world’s 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content
  35. Only 21% of branded mobile apps now contain videos. However, 70 of brand manager says they are going to add videos to their mobile apps within the next 12 months
  36. 14% of B2B marketers say they send e-mails on an opt-out basis; down from 23% a year ago
  37. Only 2.6% of all brands views occur through off-site embeds of branded videos
  38. 300 other companies compete with Facebook for content sharing
  39. 30 minutes is the average that people watch online videos every day
  40. E-mail providers, such as Yahoo, AOL and Gmail, all use the number of time a consumers hits the “report spam” button as their #1 criteria for sending future e-mails to that consumer
  41. Companies with over 1000 employees use an average of 9 content marketing tactics
  42. Companies with under 10 employees use an average of 6 content marketing tactics

Laurence Peter, the educator who developed the Peter Principle said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up someplace else.” The numbers clearly state content marketing is on the rise but, before you jump in, have a content marketing strategy.

NOTE: The facts and statistics in this post all feature studies conducted within the last year. The sources include: Nielsen, eMarketer, comScore, Edelman Digital, BazaarVoice, MediaPost, Webbiquity among others with appreciation.

The number, 42, was deliberately chosen to acknowledge the great work Junta42 and Joe Pulizzi do in content marketing.

In the compilation of the stats, the best infographic I came across on content marketing comes from Marketo and was passed along by Wendy Emerson at business2community.com because a picture is worth 1000 words. It is below.

Will your brand have a content marketing strategy to create and keep customers in 2012?




12 Peter Drucker-isms 0

Posted on December 19, 2009 by Rob Petersen

For my money, the best bang for the buck and wisdom per word on marketing, management and business comes from Peter Drucker.  Born in Vienna in 1909, Peter wrote 39 books by the time he left us in 2005.  He was frequently sought after by the Harvard Business Review, The Economist and the Atlantic Monthly. 

For the 12 days of Christmas, here are a dozen pieces of sage advice from Peter. 

  1. Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.
  2. Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.
  3. Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.
  4. Management by objective works – if you know the objectives. Ninety percent of the time you don’t.
  5. Objectives are not fate; they are direction. They are not commands; they are commitments. They do not determine the future; they are means to mobilize the resources and energies of the business for the making of the future.
  6. Most discussions of decision-making assume that only senior executives make decisions or that only senior executives’ decisions matter. This is a dangerous mistake.
  7. People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.
  8. Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.
  9. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.
  10. The purpose of a business is to create and keep customers.
  11. There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.
  12. The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.

Peter’s wisdom is never out of season.  For information about the Drucker Institute, go to http://www.druckerinstitute.com/

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    BarnRaisers builds brands with proven relationship principles and ROI. We are a full service digital marketing agency. Our expertise is strategy, search and data-driven results.



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