Date: January 2011
Scope: Redesign, SEO
Overview: A redesign and SEO push helped to triple daily search engine traffic within three months of site relaunch.
The clock edged closer to 10pm. Jacob Smith and Matthew Morgan had already spent the past few hours carefully working through each page of Matthew’s updated website with more pages to proof. Matthew owns and runs a successful hydraulic and heavy duty lift company called Hoffman Services. Based in New Jersey, the company supplies a huge range of lifts used to repair trucks, buses and even aircraft. The company has been in business since 1926 and is one of the largest automotive lift suppliers in the country. Matthew is a busy man. It’s why work on his website happens late at night. Jacob Smith is also a busy man. As Vice President of Client Services at Dinkum Interactive, he’s a master juggler, bringing passion and engagement to every project.
Jacob met Matthew in 2007 through his brother, Zachary, whose company www.voxel.net hosts Matthew’s websitewww.hoffmanservices.com. The Hoffman Services site had been in existence for a few years but Matthew was itching to move into e-Commerce to become more accessible to his clients. But he was hesitant. Matthew’s past experience with web guys was less than fruitful and he’d been burned with slow and unresponsive web teams. It was at this point he brought Jacob onboard – Jacob was with Whiteboard Media at the time. They both worked to create a site that essentially put Matthew’s product range online so customers could browse and purchase lifts. It proved to be an effective vehicle.
Situation Analysis: Staying In Front of the Pack
By 2010, Matthew was ringing Jacob on a regular basis for advice on how to use the Internet to drive serious business to the Hoffman Services site. The timing was perfect with Jacob’s former company, Whiteboard, merging with Dinkum Interactive. The marriage of web design with hard-core assessment, analytics and search engine optimization meant Hoffman Services could employ a full service Internet marketing strategy. Matthew opted for wesbite redesign, maintenance, content strategy/production, SEO, and ongoing marketing. The hard work began.
Process: Creating the campaign
It was clear from the beginning it would take more than powerful design to make a real impact on Hoffman’s very traditional offline business. Dinkum’s team began their strategy. Jacob was responsible for design and Paul Fleming performed a full research analysis. Paul brings an impressive range of tools and solid SEO experience to the table. A veteran of the industry, Paul’s assessments are crucial at identifying a client’s keywords, their competitors, and tactics to increase online visibility to make the client #1 in the space. He brings science and a little bit of magic to each project. Many clients are surprised at what’s uncovered during this ‘assessment phase’. VP of Sales, Rick Simmons believes this research is the ‘foundation’ for the entire campaign with a need to get your hands dirty at the very beginning to really understand the space and craft an effective strategy.
Matthew’s site design came together throughout December and the development team began integrating hand coded xhtml + css into WordPress, our preferred CMS. Other standard SEO techniques such as meta data development and site architecture also took place. At this point, it became apparent that significant content work was needed to really distinguish the site from its competitors. To incorporate this adjustment, the launch date was pushed back in order for product descriptions, case studies, and press releases to be created.
Challenges and Solutions
Hoffman Services agreed with Dinkum’s ‘change of direction’ during the site creation phase. An expansion of the light duty catalog and a more narrative content style pushed the launch date back a few weeks. The pieces were pulled together through busy schedules and the holiday season with both sides ‘making time’ to get the job done. It’s when Jacob and Matthew really started burning the midnight oil. Launched in February 2011, the site is regularly updated with press releases, articles and online engagement. The site has already seen stunning results and increased traffic that’s converted to sales.
Results: Proof is in the Pudding
The results make these efforts worthwhile. Within one month of launching, daily search traffic to the site doubled – within 3 months, it increased threefold. Three months into the campaign, search traffic was coming from long-tail phrases (low search, high conversion phrases) with impressive gains. In fact, one client who found Hoffman Services online made a purchase that more than covered the cost of the entire Dinkum contract.
Many Hoffman Services targeted phrases also started to appear in search engines where they hadn’t previously. Some phrases saw dramatic increases. The highly coveted keyword phrase for Hoffman, ‘heavy duty truck lifts’, jumped to page 1 within the first month while the phrase ‘automobile lifts’ saw a page 2 appearance. Incoming links to the site and online activity also increased.
Next Steps: Looking Forward and Setting Expectations
Dinkum continues to work with Hoffman Services to engage and hook new clients through tried and tested Internet marketing strategies. It’s committed to fortnightly updates for Hoffman Services to keep content on the site fresh and relevant. Solid SEO continues to be applied and refined. Matthew Morgan recently secured a significant sale through his new site – but as far as Dinkum is concerned, this is not the end of the story.