SEO Case Studies
Over the years, I’ve had the great pleasure of working with dozens of small business owners on their websites and SEO. Starting with my very first in-house SEO job back in the early 2000s right on up to my most recent work, it’s always been about helping people get the most out of their websites. Whether it’s more traffic, better traffic, more conversions or an SEO cleanup job, it’s the results that matter.
Here are some of the companies I’ve worked with along with what we’ve been able to accomplish together.
E-Commerce SEO & Content Marketing for Lead Generation
As Key West’s premier downtown retail seafood market, Eaton Street Seafood Market offered incredible potential for SEO development. The business was well-known to tourists and snowbirds from all over the USA. The business had a healthy supply of loyal customers coming into the shop year after year.
However, the business was totally dead in the off season. They wanted year-’round income so were interested in pursuing online sales of fresh fish.
The problems were:
- Awareness. Customers were not aware that the company shipped. Once they left town, there was no way to stay in contact. The owner did collect emails in the store but with sporadic results and no direction. As a result, his email list was tiny and pretty much useless.
- Lack of an Online Presence. Their customer base existed entirely in the physical realm. Loyal fans were not directed to website, social media, or the email list so there was no connection between the brick-and-mortar shop and the website
- Inadequate Website Functionality. The website itself was not set up to properly handle e-commerce. The owner came to me with a generic WordPress template website that had a rudimentary & insufficient shopping cart (Cart66) installed for selling products
- Optimization. The site was not optimized for traffic, conversions, or sales.
- Content Management. There was very little original content on the website.
- E-commerce. I immediately upgraded their shopping cart software by switching to Woo Commerce and integrating it with WordPress.
- Web Development. I also upgraded the look and improved branding of the site with a redesign involving customization of a WordPress template.
- Awareness. Immediately created an aggressive campaign to start collecting emails immediately. This was key, as a large portion of the content strategy would later depend on an email outreach campaign.
- Content Strategy.
- Replaced lame (unengaging, unhelpful, unoriginal) product descriptions with custom product descriptions. Keyword research played a major role in the creation of new product descriptions.
- Started a keyword-driven blog. Beefed up meta descriptions.
- Wrote newsletters (email series) to promote blog posts and drive people to the website/create awareness of online sales.
These efforts resulted in a dramatic increase in all three areas: organic traffic, conversion rates, and sales. With keyword analysis worked into the content, good meta descriptions, and product descriptions, the content is converting at a much better rate.
There has been a substantial increase in sales. Looking at the last 30 days compared to the year before, we see:
- 25.69 % increase in organic traffic
- 54.44% increase in goal completions
Services & ToolStack
Website Design & Development
Custom Site Design
Custom WordPress Development
Email series newsletters
Social Media Coordination
Eaton Street is still having me do their online marketing. Covid actually increased online sales and the owners deceided to invest more in their online presence. I expanded all the content on their site and also used Surfer SEO’s content editor to beef up the secondary keywords. I also did local SEO and the site is consistantly at the top of the results for map searches.
Lead Generation & Mobile Readiness
It’s general “knowledge” in Key West that the best way for a charter fisherman to get bookings is to work with a concierge. Much like in the hotel industry, small, independent businesses find it virtually impossible to compete with the giant corporate booking websites. The competition for customers is no less than fierce and the booking aggregators have huge budgets for locking down PPC as well as organic search.
Nevertheless, Captain Pepe wanted to give it a try and I was the guy to do the job. Key West is an extremely popular tourist destination that commands higher prices for everything, from sandwiches to hotels. A full day of charter fishing costs $1200. When Captain Pepe’s charters are booked through a booking site, he loses 20% of that or $240 per charter. That was motivation for him to contact me and see if I could begin developing leads for him.
With some SEO expertise and a content marketing strategy to go with it, fishinkeywest.com was able to make headway against the titans that it was up against.
Here are the challenges Captain Pepe and I were facing when he hired me:
- Competition. On a tiny four-by-two-mile island, there are over 100 independent charter fishermen (and women). In addition, many of them have aged, established websites that rank well in the SERPs and are hard to knock down. There are also some very fat cats in the business with big budgets who throw every penny toward PPC, making that avenue a tough route to take for smaller or newer fishing guides who wish to enter the game with paid search.
- No Mobile Search Traffic. Captain Pepe’s website had none of the markings of a local business and therefore mobile search was yielding him little to no traffic whatsoever.
- Not Mobile Friendly. Captain Pepe’s site was not responsive and therefore not easily accessible on devices other than a laptop or PC.
- Dual SEO Strategy Required. Fishing charter customers tend to plan their trip while in their home state and then sometimes book from their phones once they are local. Therefore in order to effectively capture leads, Pepe needed the double whammy of both local and general SEO. Starting from pretty much scratch.
- Aimless Content. Despite having published fishing reports, Pepe’s organic traffic had decreased over a period of several years until it flatlined.
- Static Website. Pepe had an HTML website that was unwieldy to manage, let alone optimize.
- Google MapPack. After an SEO audit for Pepe’s site, I immediately went to work on Pepe’s local SEO to establish and improve his online local presence.
- Website Design & WordPress Customization.
- Citation building. As Pepe’s site was previously a ghost in the local search directories, I started off with an aggressive campaign of citation building.
- Link building & guest post outreach. This would form a foundation for climbing up in organic search results and would also help to magnify the content marketing efforts. It is an ongoing project.
- Installing and Using Google Analytics. This enables me to vastly improve the content and the website in general (meta descriptions, title tags, internal links, and other elements of on-page SEO techniques.
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). All the endless, tiny details that go into making a website convert better, such as trust signals, for example.
- SEO Audit
- Local SEO
- Search Engine Optimization
- Website Design
- Content Management
- Ongoing SEO Consultation
The results have been fantastic. Not only does he usually appear in the map pack for many local search terms, but he is also on the front page for many of the most sought-after national terms.
This graph shows the improvement:
On the next 2 images, you can see that goal completions are up 366.67% over the same time period last year. There is a 190% increase in traffic. The owner of the website pretty much thinks I am the greatest thing ever. We have an ongoing SEO Consultation agreement now and I continue to improve his website and his online presence. Currently setting our sights on social media dominance. The challenge there is to get a fisherman to post pictures!
Clarify Branding & Establish Social Media Presence to Generate Leads
One might think that an independent freelance content writer could never compete with big, professional agencies out there like Constant Content or freelance marketplaces like UpWork or Freelancer, especially since most companies consider it to be risky to just go out and hire a freelancer. However, with stellar branding and a social media campaign to go with it, Cat was able to hit the ground running and grow her business way beyond her expectations (Ivy League Content, LLC is the business name of Catherine Tims).
Here’s what we were dealing with as we began the project:
- Competition. The online world of written content is extremely competitive and she had to make herself stand out from the throngs of low-quality writers.
- No Online Presence. Although Cat had worked as a writer for years but through referrals and local networking only.
- No Branding. Cat was at square one with trying to figure out her brand.
- No Market Positioning. Despite having published worked for years for a handful of clients, Cat had no idea what she should be charging once she “hung out her shingle”. There was a lot of work to be done on clarifying where she fit in the world of content writing. What was her unique selling proposition (USP)?
- No Website. Cat had no website and therefore SEO would be an uphill battle, starting from scratch.
- Branding. 80% of the initial phase of Cat’s project was given to researching the market and performing a “discovery” process to understand the client and begin to formulate a brand.
- WordPress Web Design & WordPress Customization. Website construction could not begin until the branding process was complete. Once the branding was underway, I immediately purchased a domain in order to begin the domain aging process. “Domain aging” is a factor in Google’s search algorithm.
- Social Media Marketing. Since SEO is a long-term process that has to build slowly and organically over time, we decided to focus on social media marketing for the time being. This would also help to diversify traffic sources. Although it would seem to be a very over-saturated market (content writers and content marketers on social media), she still saw great ROI on time and money spent promoting her business on social media.
- Email Marketing. Once Cat’s site was up, it was crucial to collect emails in order to build a list for a future email series. We started with a pop-up encouraging to sign up for updates to the blog. Eventually, however, we created a lead magnet in order to collect the emails.
- Content Marketing. Again, with an eye toward future SEO, we started a content marketing campaign. This involved creating a blog for Cat on her site plus having Cat write for other websites to get her name out there, establish authority, and establish a base for the long process of inbound marketing.
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). After social media accounts were up and going and Cat was interacting and getting responses, it was time to focus on sending her connections and followers to her website. That meant taking a look at her site’s UX, etc. The increased traffic also allowed me to start tracking how well her pages converted and to continuously make improvements. This continues to this day.
- Website Design
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Content Management
- Ongoing SEO Consultation
The results have been fantastic. Cat is swamped with orders and has increased her prices five-fold since she started Ivy League Content. Engagement on social media is great and she has expanded her presence from one platform (Twitter) to three (adding Instagram and LinkedIn). She is not a fan of Facebook so there is minimal effort put into that area of social media marketing. Almost all her orders come from Twitter, LinkedIn, and a growing number of referrals.
3655 Seaside Drive, Key West FL 33040
(305) 853 6036