Are you wondering if SEO can really generate ROI for your business?
Today I’m going to walk through an SEO case study for one of our clients that will answer this important question.
In early 2014 our client, an asphalt paving company, contacted us and expressed frustration that his competitors were ranking high in Google and he was nowhere to be found.
He knew he was missing out on new business every year simply because prospective customers were choosing his competitors that ranked on the first page of Google. Prospective customers are searching “paving contractors”, “asphalt paving”, and “asphalt crack repair” every single day and my client was losing that business.
The problem was clear.
The solution was not so obvious…
What We Did
The first step we took was to complete what we call the SEO Tune-Up. The SEO Tune-Up includes the following:
- Keyword and competitor research to identify the best search opportunities
- Edits to core pages of the website
- Creation of new core pages to target additional “buying-intent” keywords
- Creation of new informational pages to target “research-intent” keywords
- Fix all technical issues like site speed, mobile optimized pages, broken links, missing schema, duplicate pages
- Set up and verify Google My Business profile
- Set up Google Analytics and Search Console to track performance
In other words, we cleaned up the on-page SEO. On-page SEO is everything on your website that affects your rankings. Since you’re in full control over your on-page SEO, this is usually your biggest leverage point.
Next, we switched our focus from on-page SEO over to off-page SEO. Off-page SEO is everything off of your website that affects your rankings. For example, you’ve probably already heard that citations and links on other websites can boost your search engine rankings. Those are both examples of off-page SEO factors.
Since our client was focused on local customers, we focused a lot of our efforts initially on building relevant citations, or mentions of our client’s name, address and phone number online. We did this by creating accounts on all the relevant industry and geographic business directories we could find.
Plus, we also launched a 2-pronged content marketing strategy:
- We created content on our client’s website targeting research-intent keywords with the goal of ranking in Google.
- We created content and posted on other people’s websites that could rank in Google and also provide a link back to our client (aka guest posts).
Was all this worth it? Let’s look at the results…
Below is a Google Analytics report showing the website traffic from SEO, as well as the leads generated directly from SEO. A goal completion for this client is a quote request form submission on the website.
As you can see, the traffic has increased substantially from a steady 90-100 visitors per month in 2014 to a new high of 1,830 in May 2018 (That’s an 18X increase). More importantly, the leads from SEO increased from 6 in October 2014 to 21 in May 2018 (3.5X increase).
(Two Important Notes: 1. This is a very seasonal industry because you do not pave driveways in the winter where our client is located. That’s why there is a decline in traffic and leads between November to February each year. 2. The graph above does not include phone calls generated from SEO)
OK, this sounds nice, but what’s the ROI?
To get to that number let’s look at the monthly change in leads from 2014 to 2017:
- 30 leads from SEO in 2014
- 171 leads from SEO in 2017
- That’s a 5.7X increase in 3 years
Next, we need to know the average fee per sale and the lead to sale conversion rate. With a little research, you’ll find that the average fee for paving a driveway is around $5,000. It obviously depends on the size of the driveway and the complexity of the job, but on average it’s about $5,000.
SEO lead to sale conversion rates is a bit harder to research. If we assume a modest 5% conversion rate, then the 141 additional leads would generate about 7 more customers, or $35,000.
Lastly, we need to compare sales to the cost of the SEO work. This particular client was investing in a custom SEO package for $500/month so the ROI calculation looks like this: ($35,000 – $18,000) / $18,000 = 94% ROI.
Again, it’s important to note that this calculation does not take into account the phone call leads and sales so the ROI number is a low estimate.
SEO Is an Asset
SEO is an asset that will continue to generate leads, sales and ROI month after month, year after year. That’s the beauty of this marketing investment. Rather than renting ad space that disappears as soon as you stop paying the ad network, you’re building an asset that will continue to produce income over the long term!
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