Get a group of SEO professionals around a table, ask what their favourite professional funny story is and most will probably share some version of a tale that involves a client getting in the way of their own SEO success. When a client emerges not of that mould, the SEO success story generally writes itself…
When SEO Services Beg Question
In mid-2023, we were approached by a seasoned player in the financial services industry. Under protection of client confidentiality, we’ll refer to the client as X. At the time that we were approached, X already had a solution in place for SEO, Social Media Management and Paid Media Advertising (including generous spend on Google and Meta Ads) with a competing agency. The approach to us pertained to video marketing to supplement their existing digital marketing and SEO services. Knowing that the optimal combination of SEO, Social Media and Paid Media is unlikely to ever not yield results, to the question “why” X felt it necessary to supplement their marketing, the response given was a decline in leads from their then online marketing strategy.
X services its clients’ financing needs, including the very lucrative cash loans market. In an economy where consumers are cash-strapped from rising interest rates, inflation and rising fuel costs, it is a growing market. It didn’t require the sharpest commercial brain to recognize that something had to be misfiring in the digital marketing strategy for results achieved to be sub-par given the healthy budget availed by the client for their online marketing. The question to be asked, therefore, should not have been “should we try video marketing to increase website leads?” but rather “why is our existing strategy not delivering better returns?”
Shining the light on Digital Marketing and SEO Services
As our conversations unfolded with the client and we came to understand the services that they wished to supplement in approaching our team, we suggested a detailed review of their digital marketing strategy to assess whether a video strategy was in fact advisable and if it could redress the decline in leads.
Our investigation revealed significant weaknesses in three primary areas:
SEO: There was no discernible keyword and supporting SEO strategy.
Digital Marketing is severely compromised where the anchoring SEO strategy is absent or weak and is not supported by both Social and Paid Media initiatives, especially if the brand in question has a significant portion of or is entirely driven by B2C business. This case proved it yet again. In addition, the business was significantly compromised by the development of the new brand as the anchoring brand for Meta Ads. Simply put, an unknown brand became the overnight face of a formerly established brand – the implication of such a setback can be financially devastating.
We got to work…
In late June 2023, we were onboarded for SEO, Social Media and Paid Media (Google and Meta Advertising). Our team set to work in July 2023, with the agreed targets being:
- Eliminate the alternate and restore focus on the primary brand. This included research and implementation of a grounded SEO strategy, followed by a reconstruction of the primary and removing the alternate brand website.
- Restoring Meta ads to the primary brand and removing the alternate social pages.
- Aligning the Google Ads strategy with the new SEO strategy.
The new website was launched in early July and within a fortnight of commencing the engagement, the remaining milestones were in place. Our SEO team was then hard at work developing the online reputation needed to cultivate organic rankings.
Let’s talk results…
July 2023 vs 2022 saw an increase of 133% in leads from our SEO services organic and the paid strategy. This shift positioned the client to change its cash loans strategy to eliminate the sub-R30,000 cash loans market, accepting only those cash loan applications that exceeded this value. These strategic shifts in a business have the potential to dramatically improve operational efficiency and deliver significantly more profitable business.
Notwithstanding eliminating a significant portion of the cash loans market, leads year-on-year continued to grow in August and September by 27% and 43% respectively, with October delivering a year-on-year growth of a staggering 240%.
Where the rubber hits the tar…
At Cape Business Online, we hold the fundamental belief that if we cannot (as an agency) understand a client’s business to be able to construct a digital strategy confidently and successfully for the client, it would be professionally irresponsible to accept the appointment. Quite simply, we would not have been able to deliver results of this magnitude without fully understanding the client’s business, the nature of leads required and having the technical capability to engineer an effective solution. We believe that it is the brand owners’ fundamental right to that level of technical and commercial capability.
Bottom line, if your brand is in a growing industry and you are present in SEO, Social and Paid Media, with commercially competitive adspend budgets, your results should be stellar!