When it comes to local businesses, keeping up-to-date with how customers can find them online has a critical impact on their bottom line – this is where search engine optimization, or SEO, comes in.
Companies say their top marketing activity this year is generating traffic and leads online. More than a quarter of companies focus primarily on managing their website.
It is not surprising that 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.
SEO, enables businesses to understand and influence how customers are searching for and finding information about their brand and their competitors online.
Why is SEO so important for businesses offering a local service?
If you just consider results from Google, which is responsible for 94% of total organic traffic, around 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within eight kilometres and 28% of searches for something nearby result in a purchase.
The statistics for mobile or smartphone searches are even better where again, Google drives 96% of traffic. This year, local searches led 50% of mobile users to visit stores within one day and 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase.
The average click-through rate for first position on a Google search query is 19.3% and the click-through rate for second position is almost half at 10.57%. With 70,000 searches per minute, it pays to ensure you rank well on Google searches.
How is SEO a critical marketing tool for Central Coast businesses?
When looking at the total sales of Central Coast-based businesses (2017-18), more than 85% were local sales. That is, total sales from that industry sector to local residents, businesses and organisations located within the boundaries of the local government area or region.
Out of 20 industry sectors represented on the Central Coast, all but four of them grew significantly from 2017 to 2018. This means greater competition, especially in fast-growing sectors such as construction, transport, postal, warehousing, financial and insurance services, and professional, scientific and technical services.
Central Coast businesses are becoming increasingly strategic in their marketing plans with SEO at the centre of their activities, and reaping positive and measurable results. Here are some examples.
The difference an SEO-backed website re-build can make
A local hardware store specialising in bespoke metal products, supplying tradespeople in the local area and servicing requests online for hard-to-find products, was able to increase its monthly sales by 1000% by outsourcing SEO and eCommerce development to us.
Being a local business in a multi-billion industry, competing with giants like Bunnings and Mitre10 meant that this company had its fair share of challenges. Although having a strong branded presence with hundreds of monthly searches for them, for searchers unfamiliar with the brand the business wasn’t ranking at all. Conscious that they were competing with big business, the owners turned to us to help find a way to leverage their portion of the market.
Surprisingly, the company is able to offer a large range of products at cheaper prices than the large competitors, but the public didn’t know this due to the messaging of competitors claiming to be the cheapest. So not only did we have to get them ranking well in Search engines but also devise a way to convert users.
The company prides itself on its quality of service and so we had a viable and strong emotional brand to put forward to people once we landed them. We needed a website that was glaringly simple to use to keep the attention of visitors. We needed it to meet the expectations of visitors, to represent the industry and to give the appeal of a reputable “local business”. Then we needed to push this out to rank on Google.
With consistent work towards improving this company’s online presence we were able to achieve some great results including a staggering 1000% increase in monthly sales revenue and 250% improvement in website engagement.
A key part of the strategy landed a visible ranking for more than 1000 keywords with over 60 page-one keywords.
A multi-faceted marketing strategy
A supplier of gazebos specialising in niche products to DIYers, renovators and landscape gardeners was able to increase its monthly leads by 1160% by outsourcing SEO, Google AdWords and conversion optimization to us.
The company had once dominated the niche market simply by being one of just a few providers. The owners soon realised that they could no longer rely on easy leads. Having invested in a previous SEO provider who utilised black-hat, SPAMMY tactics to get quick results, they sought our help to turn around their downward trends. They had a tight budget, and some very invested and uncompromising competitors who were growing rapidly.
Advantage Media Group was able to determine the most valuable and cost-effective method for repairing their brand and starting the flow of consistent leads again.
Time was sensitive, so we employed a basic, behind-the-scenes white-hat SEO strategy that focused on clearing up the website’s reputation with Google. This involved removing duplicate and plagiarised content, disavowing links and replacing these items with better quality content. Buying a gazebo is no small purchase and so we had to minimise barriers to entry and encourage the user to make contact. Once the team had an email lead or phone call they had a pretty high hit rate to make a sale.
Alongside this, we needed a way to push traffic to the website quickly. Google AdWords was the answer. We had to create a wide-spread campaign targeting their large number of products very intentionally.
Working with the owners over a number of years, we were able to turn around a plummeting business into something that they eventually sold for a huge profit in 2018, using our marketing data to boast the profitability and viability of their business.
Some highlights include a massive 1160% increase in monthly leads, a 20% drop in average bounce-rate and a 50% decrease in cost per conversion. The company has also expanded its service area as far as Brisbane and Adelaide and the new owners remain our clients to this day.