Case Study: How A Very Small Business Increased Leads 300% with 3 New Landing Pages

Posted by Steve James on Jan 16, 2013 7:31:00 AM

Marketing Challenge

RIDE Adventures is in a unique type of travel business with a dependency on keywords that have relatively low search volume. (For example: “Motorcycle Tours”) In an initiative to increase Top of the Funnel (TOFU) leads through their website, Eric Lange, the owner of RIDE Adventures recognized they would have to gain new visits and contacts through keywords and topics that are more widely searched for by their prospective customers. After thorough keyword research and analysis, he confirmed that not only were keywords like “Motorcycle Gear” and “Motorcycle Travel” pertinent to their customers’ interests, but they also had remarkably higher search volume than keywords directly focused on what RIDE Adventures was selling.

The Solution

As RIDE Adventures had already been committed to creating resourceful content in blogging and videos, similar topics were also formed into downloadable whitepapers, free for visitors and researchers to enjoy. In some cases these whitepapers already existed, as they were being provided to customers upon bookings for motorcycle tours anyway. The difference in late 2012 was that instead of these whitepapers only being offered to existing customers, they were placed as calls to action (CTAs) throughout the website, as well as built into a specific page dedicated to “Free Motorcycle Travel Information.”  More content, more keywords, and more offers have led not only to an increase in visits to their website, but an amazing spike in TOFU contacts is being enjoyed as well. (Screenshots taken January 10, 2013)

ride adventure solution1

An important point to make note of (shown in the next screenshot below) is how the previous couple of years of blogging and creating content had definitely increased traffic to the web site, but TOFU leads were not increasing at the same rate. As we’re constantly reminded, “content is king,” and especially helpful if your company’s ideal keywords also have high search volume. However, in the event there isn’t high search volume for your ideal keywords, creating pertinent content on “secondary” topics related to what we’re selling is what’s needed in order see such a spike in TOFU leads.

ride adventure solution2

In addition to creating the whitepaper download offers themselves, each click by a visitor was leading them to very specific landing pages made in accordance with Hubspot’s 10 Best Practices For Landing Page development. Whereas many of these best practices had previously been overlooked or ignored by RIDE Adventures, implementation of such key features into these new pages has seen conversion rates as high as 34% as compared to their more antiquated landing pages, which tend to average around 10% conversion rates. The combination of a great offer found through pertinent keywords and a well-designed landing page is proving quite fruitful to RIDE Adventures.

This strategy helps RIDE Adventures not only in gaining more contacts, but also in terms of credibility and content as well. TOFU leads that receive these whitepapers are benefitting from the vast information provided and often coming back for a 2nd, 3rd, or 4thdownload later. Stream Creative had been consulting with RIDE Adventures and reminding them of the importance of being seen as authority on the topics their customers are interested in. As a result, customers keep coming back for more, which sets up the groundwork for workflows to be created that drive more leads to become actual customers.

ride adventure results landing page

It goes without saying that all the content, all the keywords, meta tags, and inbound links that stem from these new offers are contributing to the RIDE Adventures search engine rankings as well. In fact, the content provided in each whitepaper has been offered in short segments on their blog as well and helps the search engines discover each page and therefore each call to action leading them to a landing page.

The Results

Well, you can see them! Not only have unique visits continued to increase for RIDE Adventures, but in the final 3 months of 2012, their contact database actually doubled over what they had accumulated the previous 24 months of being in business. In addition: a) unique visits are reaching all-time highs and at steeper rates than what were typically realized, b) customers are seeing RIDE Adventures as an authority on a subject they’re interested in, and c) inquiries about the actual services RIDE Adventures is in business to provide have risen dramatically as well! Their outlook for 2013 as the 3rd year in business is looking brighter than ever before, and customers are feeling it as well.

 

About the Author: Steve James is a partner and creative director of Stream Creative, a certified HubSpot partner and full service digital marketing and design firm specializing in inbound marketing, web design and development, and social media.

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Topics: keyword research, keyword discovery, measurable marketing, business blogging, inbound marketing, content marketing, stream creative

Advanced Keyword Research

Posted by Pete Caputa on Apr 3, 2008 6:17:00 PM

From SEO Student:

If you are on a budget or this is your first time developing a site, then I recommend using adwords by Google. This is a great keyword tool and it is free. If you have a little bit to spend on this project, then wordtracker is a great tool to use. Now if you have a larger budget and want the best in keyword tools, then go with Hubspot. Hubspot has website grading tools along with many ways to generate keywords, track your keyword success and your competition. These kind of tools are for the seriously dedicated seo specialists. 

  

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Topics: keyword research, keyword discovery

How To Do Keyword Research for Search Engine Optimization.

Posted by Pete Caputa on Feb 21, 2008 1:29:00 PM

I said I'd be sharing how I am doing keyword research and search engine optimization for my site. I'm still planning to do that. In the meanwhile, if you want to know how to get started with Search Engine Optimization the right way, here's the first step: 

  1. Start by asking people (ie customers, employees, partners, suppliers) what they might type into a search engine in order to find what you sell. Think as big and as broad as possible. Even include words that are less relevant than others as you may find out later that they are much easier to rank high for, yet still attract the right prospect to your site. 
  2. Plug those words into a keyword suggestion tool that helps you identify keywords and keyword phrases that you might not have considered. Consider them. Consider them all. Don't discount anything yet. This is like brainstorming. Ever been in a room for the purpose of brainstorming with that jerk who wants to shoot down everyone's ideas? In Keyword Research, in the beginning, no idea is bad. Don't be that jerk. 
  3. On an ongoing basis, track which keywords (and keyword phrases) people are entering into search engines in order to arrive at your site.  You'll need an analytics tool for this. You'll find that people enter in very strange and long phrases and arrive at your site. For example, I got two visitors this past month who searched for "how to generate leads from your website". That's good traffic even though it's only a trickle. A good analytics package helps you identify keyword phrases that are obscure but very relevant.  Unless you spend 10 days brainstorming, you're not going to figure these out. But, once you do identify them from your analytics package, you can create some content around them. Imagine if I could find 100 phrases like "how to generate leads from your website" that generates two visitors/month for me. 
  4. Use a tool that helps identify keywords that have adequate search volume, that tracks where you rank now for your keywords, and gives you an estimation of how hard it will be to rank on the first page of search engines for them. Use these three critera, plus relevance to determine your favorite keywords. Yes, now you can start crossing some off of the list. Or atleast giving them a low relevance rating. 
  5. Make the right changes to your site in order to rank for these keywords.
  6. Come up with a strategy to put more content on your site. You'll most likely need to add more pages to your site. Starting a blog is a great way to do this: a blog creates a new page every time you write an article. Every time you create a new page, you can target a few new keywords.
  7. Create inbound links to your site using a variety of link building strategies including creating your own links on social media, social networking sites and directories; interacting with bloggers; optimized press release distribution, etc.
  8. Track rankings as they climb (or sink) for each individual keyword by tracking which pages of your site ranks in what place in the search engines. This helps you to determine which page on your site to modify in order to move from the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc page of google to the 1st for a given keyword. If you're suddenly on the second page for a keyword, you can basically go back through steps 1 through 7, find more keywords that are related, create some more content, build some more links. Then, you'll get to be on the first page and you'll get more and more traffic. 
  9. Track and evaluate the value of your incoming links in order to assess which ones are helping which pages rank for a given keyword. This helps you determine how to intelligently build more links to your site in order to move from 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc page of google to the 1st for a given keyword. For example, I know that I rank high for a search for "how to generate leads using linkedin". That link (even though it's from my own blog) will help me cement that position. If someone else links to that (hint. hint) it'll help even more.
  10. Track your competitors keyword rankings and inbound links in order to evaluate how to duplicate your competitor's success. It's possible to do all of what I listed above on your competitor's sites. Remember the days of asking your clients for information (catalogs, brochures, pricing, how they sell, how they position products, etc) about your competitor's. All that and much  more is at your fingertips. You can now figure out exactly how your competitor's get prospects to visit their websites, how much traffic they're getting because of what they're doing and whether or not they're converting a lot of their traffic into business. There's no reason not to do competitive intelligence. And now you can do more than ever was posssible before. Most importantly, you can benefit almost immediately from this knowledge by duplicating what they're doing successfully. 
  11. Track which keywords deliver relevant visitors that convert into leads and sales.
  12. Repeat this process until you have more leads than you can handle. I'd argue that you shouldn't stop then, either. But, you should set your goals. Not me

In order to pull this off, you can go find about 10 free tools, spend about 20 hours either integrating them or slicing and dicing data that they spit out, then read about 20 SEO blogs over 3 months to figure out how to actually implement. Or we can just have a conversation. I have one affordable tool, all the knowledge you need in an easily digestable form, and all the tools you need to implement it. And you'll be making progress within one month. 

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Topics: keyword research, keyword discovery, search engine optimization

Wanted: Blog Coaches/Blog Advisors

Posted by Pete Caputa on Feb 6, 2008 7:05:00 PM

Bruce Mendehlson and I have been chatting by email about this. I also spoke to Debra Simpson on the West Coast about this. I plan to speak with Rita Coco and Allison Chisholm about this too.

But, Bruce is the first one that has demonstrated some knowledge about what I think is required to make blogging work for businesses. Here's his thoughts:

There are A LOT of blogs out there, and many (in fact, most) are poorly written, rambling, off subject and add little (if any) value that relates back to the product, service, or business someone is trying to promote.

After all, it's challenging to compose relevant, compelling content on a regular basis--after a few dismal attempts most business owners move on to something else. It's not that they don't have the desire; they don't have the time or the discipline to devote to a labor-intensive product like a blog.

The key is to help your clients understand how a blog (or a podcast, RSS feed, widget, etc.) should and must be integrated within a broader marketing and communications plan. For example, if they have a product in R&D or coming to market, they'll want to use the blog to build interest in and excitement about the product or service. They'll want to create a dialogue with consumers in which consumers can share their thoughts about the product or service.

When it comes to blogging in our Web 2.0 world, it's all about the 5 C's: Collaboration, Content, Converged services, Community, and Conversation. Your job is not only to help business owners understand the important of blogging, but also to invest the necessary resources (time and money) to creating a well-written, interactive online dialogue through their blog.

This is extremely well said. Blogging is just a tool. It's how you use it that's critical.

I've signed on about 15 companies since the beginning of the year who all are in the process of starting their blog, at my suggestion. But, it's not something to enter into lightly. And it's not something I'd recommend someone do until they develop a strategy.

Blogging should fit into a strategy that supports the business. The ultimate goal of most marketing activities should be to generate interest from qualified prospects. So blogging should fit into their traffic and online lead generation strategy. In order to get the most out of it, the following should be done first:

  1. Search Engine Optimization Keyword research to inform topics that should be written about. 
  2. Launching a blog on a blogging platform that is optimized for SEO and community development - on your own domain name.
  3. Reading and commenting on other blogs in order to start entering the conversation. 
  4. A system in place that tracks new links, traffic and leads generated from the blogging activities.

If you don't do all of this, you run the risk of writing a blog that noone reads and adds no value to your business.

But, as Bruce points out it's equally important to go into blogging knowing that this is an investment of time and money, like any other marketing expenditure. So, it requires the right resources to pull it off.

In order to help my clients, I'm seeking a stable of professional writers who I can recommend. If you know anyone, please send them to this post and ask them to contact me here. I'm going to need to be comfortable that they can do what Bruce talks about, but also do what I bulleted above.

They are going to need to be able to coach clients towards their business goals using blogs as a tool.

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Topics: keyword research, blog coaching, seo blogging, SEO, blogging, blog coach

How To Generate Leads Using the Web - Keyword Research is the First Step

Posted by Pete Caputa on Feb 6, 2008 7:03:00 AM

Right now, "How to Generate Leads Using the Web" is the title of my blog. I'll probably change it at some point.

But, "generating leads via the web" is what I am helping my clients do. That won't change. I'm planning on doing a series of step-by-step videos to demonstrate how to do generate leads via Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click, Blogging and Engaging in the Blogosphere and on Social Media sites... for the benefit of my clients as well as readers. The knowledge to do this should be in everyone's hands. Right now, the knowledge I'm going to share is not known by many people. I'm about to piss off a lot of search engine optimization and social media marketing consultants. 

To do this stuff right, you don't "NEED" them. However, to do it right, you NEED the tools. Since I'm providing my clients with the tools, I have a lot of reasons to share the knowledge of "how to generate leads" openly. I'd rather educate a few hundred people at a time, than one on one.

The place to start is always with Keyword Research. Using the HubSpot tools, I've been able to help almost all of my clients identify keywords that:

  • have a large amount of search volume,
  • aren't too difficult to rank for in the organic search rankings,
  • and where they are already ranking in the first 100 results in google's search engine result pages (SERPs)

These are the gems because with a little bit of work, it's easy to start ranking high on the first page and start enjoying that free traffic. But, since there are a lot of internet marketers publishing to the web, it's difficult to identify keywords for myself. (Luckily for me, Mike Volpe and the marketing team at HubSpot has done the work to rank for "internet marketing" and a bunch of other phrases, and they supply with as many leads as I can call.)

What I'm struggling with is how to show examples of doing it without giving away competitive advantage. For example, we discovered a few keywords that one of my clients should focus on, he changed his title tags and voila ... he went from result 79 to 9 in the SERPs. I would never share what those keywords are because it would make it too easy for his competitors to duplicate. The actual work he did to rank is obvious if his competitors simply look at his site, assuming they have enough knowledge of SEO. (0ne of his competitors already knew about this keyword and is optimized and ranks for it.)  However, I'm not going to advertise how he did it in a video. 

The struggle is over.

So, I'm happy to report that I discovered a solid keyword phrase, where pc4media ranks "19" in the SERPs and there's approximately 140 searchers per month. I would not have discovered if it wasn't for the integration of HubSpot's keyword research tools and web marketing analytics. A few people came to the site as a result of the search. Then, with one click I determined where I was ranking, how many people searched for that phrase in a month and whether or not it'd be difficult to get to the first page.  HubSpot's keyword tool tells me that it's not that difficult to get higher than I already am and I've already made a change to my site to get higher.

So, I've found a good one. Were you hoping I'd share it? Not until I do my videos. I don't want another internet marketing expert to wreck my progress while I'm making the video. I expect others to compete with me for the keyword after I do the video and lots of people see it. But, that's why search engine optimization is an ongoing process.  Also, by then, I'll have done a bunch of blogging, link building and social media marketing in order to rank. It'll be harder to duplicate my efforts. And I'm sure I'll find more terms to go after by then too. But, this'll serve as a good way to demonstrate "how to generate leads" via SEO.

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Topics: keyword research, SEO, search engine optimization, lead generation, how to generate leads

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