If you’ve never worked with an SEO agency before, you’re concerned about getting a clear idea of what you’re investing in. How can you know what kind of results that $1k a month SEO plan will net you?
I tell prospective clients something that many find (understandably) frustrating: we can’t make any ranking guarantees. SEO is a fickle creature, rankings fluctuate, algorithms change overnight, competitors pop up – there isn’t a possibility of promising that we can get a keyword to spot #1. (And any SEO who tells you that they can guarantee this is lying – even with super niche phrases, you just can’t be sure). We’re confident we’ll be able to improve rankings, but a guarantee doesn’t sit well with me because I don’t make promises I can’t definitively deliver on.
So if ranking spots are out, what do I promise new clients?
Here’s what we can comfortably guarantee: our SEO services will increase your organic website traffic. And the longer you continue with a digital marketing plan, the more we’ll be able to do.
Today, I’m sharing results from a new client we took on last year – and what we were able to do for his online presence and business as a whole. While the client’s information has not been included for privacy, figures from their website’s Google Analytics and Agency Analytics are below to convey a clear picture of how their website performance transformed in the first 12 months they worked with us. Plus, they’re still an active client, and we’re still seeing organic traffic improvements increase month to month.
The client: a physician with several medical spas and vein clinics. He contacted us because he had recently expanded and opened another office in a new area that he was less familiar with, where he didn’t have an established patient / referral base.
He’d been working with another website designer who created his website and had performed some email marketing and directory building in the 5 months since he’d opened the new office. His rankings weren’t great, and it was immediately clear that a primary cause was the website design.
Extremely slow (especially on mobile) due to video backgrounds and excessive plugins, it was difficult to navigate and the calls to action weren’t clear.
Additionally, the website content had been copy/pasted from other sites and wasn’t tailored to the client’s own office – and had quite a few spelling/grammatical errors. Some service pages were unfinished, with abbreviated blurbs. The doctor’s depth of expertise wasn’t clearly communicated, and the home page was bogged down with overlong service descriptions that contributed to an endless-feeling scroll.
The meta titles followed outdated SEO practices and were keyword-stuffed, and h1’s were missing from the home page and service pages. Meta descriptions were missing or over-optimized.
Offsite, there were almost no backlinks for the domain, and very few directory listings.
Our recommendation summary in the client’s proposal highlighted the following:
The website would benefit from several design updates and general streamlining. Reworking the home page and adding clear calls to action, adding a before and after gallery and creating personalization will help increase visitor trust and the likelihood of conversion. The onpage SEO needs an update, and the domain’s rankings would benefit greatly from building backlinks from relevant directories. There’s also an opportunity to get more consistent with social media posting and grow those followings.
Because the website needed some serious TLC, we started with a design update. Gone were the page load-killing autoplay videos. We added clear calls to action for target services, and featured the doctor’s credentials prominently on the home page. More importantly, we built out all service pages with custom graphics, unique content and optimized keyword phrases – plus all new meta titles and descriptions. Our copywriter rewrote the existing blog posts to remove duplicate content, flesh out topics and remove errors.
We also added structured data to the site to better communicate with search engines, set up a review feed to feature patient testimonials, and added before and after photos to establish treatment expectations.
Offsite, links were top priority – we started link building immediately and built 2-3 links per month from industry-relevant sites. 80+ directory listings were also created and optimized.
We also set up our review generation platform to encourage satisfied patients to leave reviews on Google.
Because SEO takes time (typically at least 6 months to see significant results), we recommended a Google Ad campaign to generate leads right away while the organic website traffic grew. We set up an ad campaign for dermal fillers, and followed it with a small Facebook campaign to build the office’s Facebook and Instagram followings and generate interest. We also created monthly specials and promoted them in email campaigns to the client’s existing database.
February 2019 was the first month of full data, as Google Tag Manager tracking was installed on the site at the beginning of January when we started the client’s plan. In February, there were only 68 visitors.
Here are the organic visitors that followed, month to month:
The above chart shows organic visitors vs. conversions (“goal completions”): both increased exponentially, and continue to do so. Over the first 12 months of the SEO plan, the site experienced a 1,145.59% increase in organic traffic (from 68 visitors in February 2019 to 847 visitors in January 2020). And we’re on track to outpace 847 visitors in February.
What about that July-August September dip? Here’s the other piece of the equation: website rankings.
Here’s a screenshot of the website rankings from January 2019 to today, February 7th, 2020. Rankings started improving within the first 3 months, reaching their initial zenith in April. We then saw a dip in rankings and traffic from July-September, but recovered nicely in the fall and have been continuing to see improvements since.
Why the drop in rankings? This is one example of why we don’t make guarantees. Competition increased in the area for keywords we were targeting, and we also lost our rich review snippets since Google changed their review display policy. Targeting new competitors’ backlinks and making additional adjustments to the website layout helped counterbalance this brief slump.
The most important result? With the help of our year of services, the client is ready to expand his new office and gaining a reputation as a new authority in the area.
We’re here to help turn your website into a valuable source of business. Request a complimentary website evaluation so that we can learn a little about your office and what we can do to help.