Digital360 on 5 October 2017

SEO case studies from three industries

When customers have a problem, they turn to search engines to find the answer. And with the ubiquity of mobile technology and smart, machine learning algorithms, these answers are only seconds away.

That's why getting to the top of these search queries has been a central part of digital marketing for a long time. Once, the practice of search engine optimisation, SEO, was one of gaming the search engine's computer algorithm. These days, however, it’s about providing as much value to search engine users and targeting the queries that are most likely to generate a new customer for a business.

SEO as a strategy for generating new business is not a quick fix. Still, ‘How long does SEO take?’ is one of the most common questions a digital marketing agency will receive from prospective clients. While some SEO agencies will make big promises to a potential new client, the reality is a quality and sustainable SEO strategy will take time.

So, how long does SEO take? Of course, the short answer is, 'It depends'. Some businesses start seeing results on their SEO program within weeks. Others take at least four to six months. It depends on the market, any existing or past SEO efforts by the business, and competitor activity.

But the best results come from years of work, not short sprints. Put simply, the more that's invested into SEO, the greater the return will be. It's a compounding effect that can deliver big to the right types of businesses.

It’s impossible to anticipate exactly how long an SEO strategy may take. While each business and market are different, analysing the performance of similar companies can help set expectations and be a benchmark for performance.

Here are four example industries, including law, automotive and ecommerce retail to see how SEO works across a range industries:

Industry #1: Law

  • Client: Rose Lawyers
  • Level of competition: High
  • Tactics: Content marketing, page optimisation, website build
  • Length of SEO program (current): 4 years

Brief

Rose Lawyers is an independent law firm in Melbourne's east, holding decades of experience in family law, conveyancing and business law. In 2013, Rose Lawyers engaged Digital360 to put a digital strategy in place, with SEO playing a large factor in new client acquisition.

The strategy started with a new website build, revamping their brand and building a solid foundation for search engine marketing (SEM) and SEO. The objective was to target customers online, provide them with helpful legal resources and convert them into paying clients.

SEO strategy

More and more, customers are going online to educate themselves on various legal topics, and this has been a great SEO and content marketing opportunity for the business. Rose Law's SEO program was developed by our team as part of a wider digital strategy, integrating web development, conversion optimisation PPC search marketing and content marketing.

New product pages were developed to target competitive search opportunities, while a range of resource content was created for long tail, social and awareness-building opportunities.

rose lawyers timelines2

Results

Over the 2016 and 2017 financial year, Rose Lawyers saw the strongest performance yet on their digital strategy. The foundations of site architecture and domain authority began paying larger and larger dividends as the client reached position one for keywords such as 'lawyers' and 'lawyers in Melbourne'.

Year-on-year, the site saw an increase of 91.01 per cent in organic SEO traffic, building on top of the previous period's success of 58.84 per cent. Combined with conversion optimisation, the effect was an increase in a number of leads by 47.58 per cent, year-on-year. These leads were prime prospects handled by the client and translated into sales for the business.

Industry #2: Automotive franchise

  • Client: Sheen Group
  • Level of competition: High
  • Tactics: Website build, content marketing, landing pages
  • Length of SEO program (current): 3 years

Brief

Sheen Panel Service has served Melbourne drivers since 1969, growing to 25 individual franchises and earning a reputation for high quality, reliable service. To remain the number one choice for Melbourne's quality smash repairs, Sheen Group recognised the need to reach and serve their customers in the digital space.

New digital channels – particularly search traffic – were having a large impact on the industry's methods of lead generation. Our challenge was to build the brand's online visibility across a range of product segments and locations, competing against established competitors as well as large insurance companies.

SEO strategy

The Sheen SEO strategy combines development and technical optimisation with the creation of useful, search-optimised content. New product pages were developed to target competitive search opportunities, while a range of resource content was created for long tail, social and awareness-building opportunities.

The result is a broad SEO strategy that targets potential customers at every stage of the buyer's journey – creating a funnel of fresh leads and a key source of growth for Sheen. SEO can even be used in the future to help the group discover opportunities for new store locations.

sheen group timeline2

Results

The results from the SEO strategy have been a key driver in the success of Sheen's overall digital strategy, which in turn has helped the client transform into a digital leader in the industry. Over the 2016/17 financial year, website traffic for the client increased 65.4 per cent, doubling the number of leads for the entire group.

The SEO strategy has been an instrumental part of the business's growth strategy. Since 2014, five new store locations have opened, and the company is considering further expansion. Earlier in 2017, the growth of the Melbourne business was featured in the Herald Sun, with digital and SEO a key focus of the article.

Industry #3: Retail ecommerce

  • Client: Blossom Costumes
  • Level of competition: High
  • Tactics: Content marketing, page optimisation
  • Length of SEO program (current): 3 years

Brief

Blossom Costumes is an online costume retailer shipping thousands of products around Australia, particularly around peak season items such as Halloween, St Patrick’s Day and Oktoberfest. In 2014, after implementing an SEO strategy with a previous low-cost SEO provider, the site was given a Google penalty.

Our SEO team soon discovered a number of issues with the website. As a result, the Blossom Costumes website had been given a Google penalty. For the past three years, our team has been focussed rebuilding the business using a quality SEO strategy and best-practice tactics.

SEO strategy

The first goal was to rebuild the business's SEO presence from best-practice fundamentals. This included acquiring a new domain name, removing spam and duplicate content across the site. The next phase was to rebuild authority with the new domain, acquiring quality links through partnerships and creating original, quality web content and copywriting.

The current focus of the SEO strategy is pursuing profitable keywords in peak sales season, October, which includes events such as Halloween and Oktoberfest. The target is to rank for 'Oktoberfest costumes', 'Halloween costumes' and long tail variants of these keywords, capturing users in both the research and 'ready-to-buy' stages.

BLOSSOMS COSTUMES TIMELINE

Results

After rebuilding the authority of the site and developing a long-term SEO strategy, Blossom Costumes is now experiencing not just great SEO results, but record sales and profitability too. The successes of previous years have compounded into delivering these excellent results for the client.

In terms of SEO traffic, year-on-year organic sessions have increased by 152.78 per cent over the 2016/17 financial year. This traffic directly boosted the business bottom line, increasing revenue generated from organic traffic by 115.18 per cent over the same period.

Talk to a specialist for a specific industry analysis

Again, the time it takes for SEO to be effective will depend on your industry and your business. If your industry was not listed above, or you're looking for deeper digital insights for your business, market and competitors, our digital analysts have the tools and expertise to help.

Talk to a digital specialist in Melbourne