A Sierra Interactive Case Study
While this isn’t a perfect graph, it shows you what we were able to do with a client. It shows you starting with 0 leads and how March will be the first month we’ll hit 100 leads. While there is certainly a theory of saturation, this particular client should start to see some exponential growth. The tendency would be to stop here for this client or to have stopped at the 3 month mark.
Note that the dip in December was from a change over from Http to https. That’s another lesson to learn, that this seemingly simple change will cause a dip in your traffic as google re-indexes your site. So it’s best to choose to do this around the “off season” for your business.
Some of you know that I specialize in real estate seo and have worked with real estate webmaster sites as well as wordpress real estate sites but I wanted to share with you the results from working with Sierra Interactive. When my client hired me back in August 2017 he had 0 leads from organic channels and frankly wasn’t doing anything to his website from an SEO perspective.
After talking with him and his goals, which of course our real estate leads, we developed a strategy to target a few key cities and neighborhoods. I tell all of my clients that it could take 6 months or longer to see results but that doesn’t paint the entire picture. One of the challenges was that Stan (my client) wanted to focus on rural areas. These areas have less traffic and less “content opportunities” however I believe we’re able to make it work.
Client’s Goal: More Real Estate Leads
Through this process I don’t believe it’s a great idea to focus just on leads. That diminishes the value of the other tasks that go with it. In fact, the hardest part of a true SEO professional is communicating the value of the other things that we do to help a site get traffic and rankings (which would produce leads).
So Stan and I discussed how we’d look at this. Leads First – if this hasn’t hit our goal then look at traffic/rankings, then… if that hasn’t hit the goal we look at what was accomplished. While it’s not a perfect system for a business owner who wants results and a digital marketer working on something that is a long term project, it’s good place to start.
Leads Aren’t The Only Thing That Matters
For example, creating 10 pages of content for a new site doesn’t seem like much to an uneducated real estate agent (in this arena), but the content does 2 things.
- Gives a focus point for attracting traffic
- Stays on the site and can work long term for the life of the brand (needing to be updated)
My roadmap for “SEO only” clients looks like this.
- SEO Audit >> Research >> Roadmapping >> Setup >> Site Architecture >> Local SEO
- Build out content (actual pages) >> Fixing Errors (404’s and the like) >> Inner-linking Site Content
- Content Creation (blogging) >> Outreach / Content >> Getting Links >> Research >>…
Each number is a “stage” or phase, but they all work together. This is a cycle that continues on as long as we have the client. In the beginning it looks like we’re getting “caught in the weeds” as one client told us. However, it’s this research that tells us where future customers are searching and where to go. Each step is critical to the site’s success.
For Stan’s site, https://www.atlantahomestoday.com/ – the initial audit showed that the boilerplated site had very few technical errors. We were able to locate keywords that were worth targeting and setup the necessary analytics to be able to track this progress. His basic need was more original content. The website vendor, Sierra Interactive does a nice job creating a site that is conversion friendly and lends itself to SEO tactics.
After creating content at a rapid pace and linking it together, the process then is to get links to it, while keeping fresh content coming. The value here is not just traffic and leads, but this content is often read by consumers before they make a decision, other businesses may link to this content and drive traffic on a channel that we’re not tracking. I could list off 100 great things GREAT content does for site outside of “links” and “leads.” – the kicker is that they actually drive those two things, but not directly.
We believe a long term SEO strategy should be part of any business along side an effective pay per click campaign.
If you’d like results like Stan received, simply contact us.
If you want to learn how to do this yourself, check out our SEO series of episodes on our podcast.