Client Success Story
SEM Company Boosts Custom Closet Maker’s Web Leads 135% in 6 Months
The results found in this client success story are recognized by the 2018 Search Engine Land Awards, shortlisted in the following categories:
BEST LOCAL SEARCH MARKETING INITIATIVE — SEM (SEO & PPC)
As an established local Atlanta leader in the custom closet industry, Artisan Custom Closets (Artisan) needed a fine-tuned SEM campaign that would build on and defend their online search positions to increase leads. Artisan relies on their website, radio advertising, Houzz, and referral/word-of-mouth for leads.
Artisan was not new to SEM; they’ve worked with several SEM agencies over their 10 year history. Yet, their website had not been updated in two years. As a result, organic and paid traffic was declining and business growth was flat. Artisan’s manufacturing equipment and warehouse could handle twice it current production load. In order to tap into their fullest potential, Artisan set aggressive business growth goals which would require a significant increase in qualified website leads.
The Outcome: In the first six months of working with AIS Media, Artisan Custom Closets saw a 8.84% increase in site traffic resulting in a 135% increase in website conversions compared to last year – all with zero increase in their online advertising budget.
“AIS Media increased our leads tremendously. We are in a very competitive market, and we’re now up on top! I trust the AIS Media team, they know what they are doing. Partnering with AIS Media was the best business decision I’ve made.”-Lisa Carlquist, President of Artisan Custom Closets
Our Action Plan
In order for our SEM campaigns to be successful, we engineered a fine-tuned strategy to drive qualified web leads. For Artisan, qualified leads must be located in the Greater Atlanta area, and have a minimum budget within Artisan’s average sale value. Prior to partnering with AIS Media, the majority of Artisan’s business was generated by Greater Atlanta homeowners in the top 40% income bracket, with the remaining percentage from luxury home builders. Therefore, we defined these as our two SEM target audiences.
The custom closet industry relies on generating new business in order to thrive. This is because, for most homeowners, custom closet design and installation is only necessary once every five years or more. However, the home builder target audience presented a bigger opportunity, as they can produce repeat business.
To successfully reach these target audiences, the AIS Media team devised a two-prong SEM keyword strategy.
When Artisan and AIS Media began working together, custom closets represented the vast majority of their current revenue. With such importance to Artisan’s core business model, it was critical for us to defend organic and paid search rankings related to “custom closets”. Knowing the capabilities of Artisan’s production capacity, we expanded our SEM homeowner targeting using keywords related to garages, craft rooms, and laundry room storage. Homeowners spend roughly four times more on these projects, which would impact Artisan’s average sale value and overall revenue.
Targeting luxury home builders also represented a significant, positive opportunity for Artisan’s business. Our research showed that this audience was less likely to search the way homeowners search. Homeowners were searching “custom closets” or “custom storage”, while luxury home builders were searching for a service provider such as “custom closet company”.
In the custom closet industry, competition for branded keywords is fierce. Branded keywords such as “California Closets” and other local leaders ranged up to $12.00 cost per click. According to Artisan, unless specifically referred, homeowners have very little brand loyalty for custom closets. With local competitors bidding on “Artisan Custom Closets”, paid search bidding on branded keywords became an essential practice to retain new business acquired by other marketing channels.
Next, we developed a strategy to leverage these keywords on organic and paid search. Throughout our paid search campaign, our PPC team fed keyword conversion data to the SEO team in order to use resources most effectively. For example, if a keyword proved to be high-converting on PPC, we suggested increasing SEO resources to achieve organic rankings.
To achieve higher organic rankings, the AIS Media SEO team conducted a comprehensive technical SEO audit of Artisan’s website. This audit checked mobile and desktop elements including architecture and usability as well as local elements such as directory information and schema markup.
The most impactful findings were:
- Clickable elements and content rendered too wide for mobile
- Artisan’s local directory listings included duplicate, missing, or inconsistent data
- Site had broken links
We worked with Artisan’s site developer to repair technical issues that would inhibit organic rankings and website conversions.
After we revised Artisan’s sitemap to include new pages, including “Garages”, “Craft Rooms”, and “Laundry Rooms”, we submitted the new sitemap to Google Search Console. This allowed us to monitor Google’s crawl of these new pages, to ensure facilitation of organic rankings.
While the SEO team engineered the sitemap, AIS Media’s PPC management team restructured Artisan’s AdWords account to align with the two-prong keyword strategy.
In AdWords, we crafted three campaigns to mirror our keyword strategy: “Homeowner targeting”, “Homebuilder targeting”, and “Branded”. Through Search Network, we could reach our target audiences at the time they were actively searching for Artisan’s products/services. In order to ensure effective reach, we employed the following settings in our campaigns:
- radius targeting around service area (with bid adjustments towards high-converting zip codes)
- household income targeting
- day parting based on conversion data
- location extensions to Artisan showroom (also to showcase positive rating)
- call extensions
With a blended SEM keyword strategy, we supported Artisan’s business growth goals with a 135% increase in web leads. According to Lisa Carlquist, President at Artisan, homeowners are more likely to choose Artisan over the local competitors, based on their price and reputation. Therefore, the increase in qualified web leads translated to success in furthering Artisan’s business goals.
Results We Achieved
Page 1 Rankings
Following the first 90 days of working with AIS Media, Artisan saw a significant increase in organic rankings under our keyword strategy. In six months, the site had a 33.82% increase in first page Google organic rankings in Atlanta, GA for our focus keywords.
This is statistically significant, as AHrefs studies show that only 5.7% of web pages ranked in Page #1 results for at least one keyword within one year of being published.
Organic Traffic Percentage Increase
Increased visibility on the first page of search results had a direct impact on organic traffic. Our team’s keyword-targeted strategy delivered organic traffic growth month-over-month, and year-over-year. By filtering traffic and focusing specifically on our target areas we found a 8.84% increase in organic traffic compared to the previous year.
Web Leads Percentage Increase
With increased visibility on high-intent keywords, and improved site usability, AIS Media’s SEM strategy produced more web leads for Artisan than ever. In our first six months of partnering with Artisan, we achieved 135% increase in qualified web leads, compared to the same period from the previous year.
In order to provide Artisan with measurable SEM results, we asked their sales team to qualify the leads generated through SEM.
Therefore, we filtered out quantitative data reported in Google Analytics to provide a consistent year-over-year comparison determined by the quality of SEM leads.