Social networking Virtual communication. Vector illustration

Our company took on an industrial supplies distributor as a client in the early spring of 2013. We just wrapped up our second year with the company and have seen substantial growth in terms of both traffic volume and conversions. The reason for this growth can be attributed to proactively producing a mobile-friendly website ahead of Google’s April 2015 mobile update, and building the new site with SEO best practices in mind to better serve both customers and search engines. Let’s dive into some of the work that was accomplished, while also reviewing the results that we’ve seen to date. 

Goal

When we took on this B2B client, it was agreed that the number one goal would be to drive more leads by way of the website. At that time, they saw an average of 526 organic website visitors each month and 4.3 leads per month. We were looking to double leads by the end of the measurement period. 

The Work

There were two components of our plan. We would first build a new website that was catered to the mobile audience. Our hope was that this would not only serve the mobile audience better but also be appreciated by the search engines. By building a new site from the ground-up, it also gave us the opportunity to re-organize the website, add new sections, new images and more to better optimize and improve the user-experience. Secondly, we planned to perform SEO work on the website so it would specifically drive more (and more qualified) organic visitors. 

Website Work

We started from scratch. We interviewed the client to better understand their target audience. We explored the current website, reviewed visitor flow, entrance and exit pages, did a content analysis, and more. We built a sitemap, wireframe and updated, modern designs based on all of this information. Thereafter, we developed the site and built it in an easy-to-use CMS for access by both our team and the client’s. 

Along with a desktop version was a mobile version that would cater to the increasing population of customers visiting the site from smartphones and tablets. The mobile version was completed stripped down with basic menu options to easily drill down further, and featured very noticeable call to actions (phone number and quick quote forms). From a design standpoint, the new website was much better looking than the former. From a technical standpoint, it had an improved navigation, more calls to actions, and it was optimized from top to bottom.

SEO

After analyzing the content on the former site, we decided to re-write all of the pages for the new website. But we not only wanted to refine the content and write higher quality material that was optimized, we also wanted to build out more pages to help with our efforts, remembering that content is one of the biggest aides to SEO. There were a dozen pages before. We built out more pages for products, more company related pages (about us), a variety of relevant blog posts, as well as industry pages. In total, we quadrupled the amount of content on the site.

In addition to more content, we also made sure they were all high quality. Keyword research was performed beforehand to select the best words and phrases to focus upon on each page. We then began building and writing. The content was rich, as lengthy as it needed to be, we used bullets, headlines and other features to break up and beautify, they were optimized with meta data, there were nice images used with alt tags, and contact forms were featured on the right hand side of all product related pages to help make it easy for visitors to convert. Overall, the entire website was re-optimized from top to bottom with many more pages added.

Results

After launching the new website in April 2014, we monitored performance and continued to build new pages, blog, and optimize, where needed. The results were not immediate, but were certainly felt over time. For this case study, we will solely look at organic traffic so as to not be distracted by PPC and other efforts that took place. Organic metrics will allow us to view the results of our efforts.

First, let’s take a look at organic traffic over time. In the graph below, we can see that organic traffic, with the new site and SEO support, has continually increased since April 2014, when the new website went live. Although seasonality caused some dips in various months, overall, it has seen huge gains, up significantly higher than where it began. 

Organic 2014-2015

Next, we’ll do a year-over-year comparison of the site, viewing May 2015 to July 2015  (a three month snapshot) compared to May 2014 to July 2014. That is the time period immediately following the launch of the new site. See below. We can see that unique organic visitors are up 47% and goals are up 58%! 

May to July 2015 vs May to July 2014

But what’s even more impressive is if we compare the same three month period, May to July 2015, to two years ago, May to July 2013. Now, this compares current metrics on the new website to the former website. This will allow us to view the effects of our efforts compared to before we took on this client, knowing that SEO can take time to work. See below. In this data, we see an even more dramatic increase of 58% in unique organic visitors. 

May to July 2015 vs May to July 2013

Now, let’s look at the average organic monthly visitors that the client saw before the website went live, as well as average organic monthly leads. And we’ll compare that to what they see now, as a result of our efforts. In the table below, you can see that there was a 59% increase in monthly organic visitors and just over a 100% increase in monthly leads!

 Time Period Organic Visitors Organic Leads
July 2013 to June 2014 526.08 / month 4.33 / month
July 2014 to June 2015 837.42 / month 9 /  month
Change 59.18% increase 107.69% increase

Additionally, by exploring by device, we can see that mobile was a tremendous driver of this traffic. If we look at the same time period (July 2013 to June 2014 vs July 2014 to June 2015) we can see that desktop increased 49.03% in unique organic visitors. Meanwhile, tablets saw an impressive 79.21% increase and mobile (smartphone) saw a whopping 169.61%!

Mobile Screenshot

Takeaways

It was a long process that required quite a bit of work, but we’ve seen great success as a result. Overall, improved the quality of the website and the user-experience and exceeded the client’s goals. We’ll continue to build out new, rich content and carry out SEO efforts to continue gaining qualified, organic visitors. Amidst the efforts, we were also able to identify the top takeaways from the project and learn what we can replicate for other and/or future clients:

  • Add more content to your site. The original content was very thin, but beyond that, we added many more pages when we rolled out the new site. We knew that it would allow us to serve many different sets of Google searchers, and get more relevant keywords worked into the site.
  • Mobile really makes a big difference – not just in terms of offering a better user experience for your audience, but it most definitely has an impact in search and how well your site performs from an organic standpoint. The trend is that more people are using mobile devices over its desktop counterpart, so having a mobile site to cater to this audience is certainly helpful. 
  • SEO works, but it’s a long-term activity. We applied SEO best practices to the site, but didn’t reap any rewards for many months later. It wasn’t even until 12 months later where we really started to see great success. And two years from site-launch is when we’re really killing it! And there were constant SEO tweaks along the way too. It wasn’t applied and then forgotten about! New pages were added, there were meta data tweaks, social posts, images added, blogging, etc. SEO requires constant care. Do good work and be patient.