M/I Homes: Increasing Organic Traffic to Website with SEO
M/I Homes is a home building company based in Columbus, Ohio. With a presence in 16 major cities across the country, M/I Homes specializes in building customizable homes for families from the ground up.
M/I Homes had recently redesigned their website and wanted to maximize traffic. The main goal of the campaign was to increase organic traffic and online leads for each of the company’s locations of focus.
What We Did – Search Engine Optimization
The biggest return of the campaign focused on:
- Keyword Research – During this process, we focused on finding high-volume search terms for each of the cities M/I Homes has a presence in
- Content Creation and Optimization – Using the keywords, we then wrote optimized content for all 16 locations
- Google Local Profile Creation and Optimization – After finding the relevant profiles, we initiated verification and began profile management
- Google Search Console Review – Evaluated and remedied any issues that we found via GSC
Since the implementation of these changes, we have seen an increase of 10,000 visitors via organic search to the M/I Homes website by users across the country.
In comparing September 1-27, 2018 to the same period in 2017:
- Overall website traffic is up 48%
- Organic website traffic is up 12%
- New users on the website is up 58%
Because of our help in implementing both SEO and a website redesign, they have improved their inbound leads by over 300%.
The company sought to enhance their online marketing presence (https://www.permanentmarking.com) with the specific goal of improving inbound leads from other B2B companies. I met with Aaron Grimes, Director of Product Development, and David Grimes, President, in the fall of 2013 to learn more about previous online marketing efforts.
TYKMA Electrox was an early adopter of SEO, and this was a key channel that drove inbound leads. The company wanted to redesign its website but was very concerned about losing traffic upon launching the new site. Unfortunately, this is something that happens fairly frequently.
Businesses that specialize in website design and development are often not skilled in performing search engine optimization. Unfortunately, many new sites are launched without the proper steps taken to preserve SEO. Traffic can drop substantially, and in some cases, be lost permanently.
Because we had demonstrated our expertise in WordPress website development and SEO, TYKMA Electrox hired Sixth City Marketing to help redesign the website with the goal of increasing traffic from search engines.
What We Did
In this campaign, we did 3 things:
- Implemented search engine optimization
- Redesigned the website in WordPress with a focus on “design for conversion”
- Improved data reporting via conversion tracking in Google Analytics
Search Engine Optimization
We conducted extensive initial SEO research for this campaign, which consisted of:
- Keyword research using a number of different keyword tools. I highly recommend the Google Keyword Planner in Google AdWords
- Competitor research
- External tools that show off-site equity such as inbound links and social sharing equity. Check out Open Site Explorer via Moz.com
We used this research to map out a content plan for the new permanentmarking.com website. The keys for SEO growth for the company following the launch of the new website include:
- Creating an active and engaging presence on major social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook
- Consistently adding quality content to the website on an ongoing basis
- Adapting to internet marketing industry trends
- Things change constantly and we are helping TYKMA Electrox keep up with changes in SEO and social media by working with them on an ongoing basis. Two examples of this have been establishing a presence on Instagram and making their website both mobile and mobile-conversion friendly.
Another key to improving leads from the website was redesigning it. The website not only needed to match the new branding of the company, but it also had to have a strong call to action on essential pages.
We redesigned the website with the goal of:
- Making the design clean and simple to match the company branding.
- Having strong calls to action on key pages. Note that the most important elements on the page are highlighted (phone number at top right and the buttons on pages) with darker colors. These elements stand out even more because of the minimalistic design of the website.
- Consolidating information on individual product pages. We utilize a tab format to keep vital copy above the scroll of the page. Visitors could now find the information that they were looking for by clicking on the most appropriate tab (illustrated below).
Data Tracking – Google Analytics Goal Tracking
Prior to working with us, TYKMA Electrox did have Google Analytics installed on their website. However, they did not have Google Analytics goal tracking configured. This is the case with many clients we start working with. It’s a bonus if they have Analytics installed but it’s a huge advantage to have goal tracking properly installed.
Google Analytics goal tracking provides critical data that allows you to track a specific action that a user takes on your website (via Google Analytics help). In this case, we wanted to track how many people filled out the contact and request information forms. Once configured, you’ll receive:
- Total number of form submissions (in this case)
- The channel path the user took to find your website (e.g., via search engines or via social media)
- The specific website URL the person landed on through your website that led them to contact you
- The conversion rate (of the overall website and for specific pages)
This data is invaluable because it shows your impact on the bottom line. If you generate more relevant leads, it increases the probability that you’ll increase business.
If you compare the data from September of 2017 to February (Feb 1 – March 2) of 2014:
- Overall traffic has improved 402%
- Search engine traffic has improved 540%
- Monthly leads have leads have improved 314%
Sixth City Marketing was hired by Kent State University in 2014 to help market a variety of graduate programs for the College of Business Administration.
Marketing graduate programs in Ohio is incredibly competitive and has become even more challenging over the last few years due to increased competition and degree offerings (especially online) from other universities.
The Kent State University College of Business Administration Executive MBA 2017 campaign has had fantastic results compared to 2016. We saw a 135% increase in leads over the course of the campaign.
The success was due to:
- Implementing a custom strategy tailored toward their audience
- Increasing search engine presence by targeting keywords relevant to the audience
- Refining messaging and targeting
- Utilizing an aggressive content marketing strategy
- Adjusting key pages on the website which increased the rate of conversion
- Adding custom landing pages
Lead SummaryIn comparing 2017 to the previous year, Kent State saw:
- Overall leads increase by 135%
- Organic leads increase by 38%
- Paid leads increase by 148%
We’ve worked with many clients over the course of our careers in Internet marketing, but the story of Bruening Glass Works is our favorite ones to share.
Using SEO and WordPress strategies, Sixth City Marketing transformed Bruening Glass Works from a small business primarily servicing Cleveland, Ohio, to an international glass repair shop.
The company experienced incredible growth in the midst of a dramatic economic downturn due to our recommendations. Because of our internet marketing strategies, people across the world now ship their broken glass to Bruening Glass Works.
Marc approached Sixth City Marketing seeking a solution to simply be able to maintain his website on his own. However, after having a discussion about his business, we knew that there was much more we could offer.
At the time, Bruening Glass had a very simple five-page website with information about the business along with a page that showed before and after repair shots. The website averaged about 200-300 visits per month and the business typically got only 6-8 jobs per year outside of Cleveland. Marc had focused his marketing efforts around the city and his primary means of advertising was through the yellow pages or trade publications.
By researching search engine terms, we determined that there was significant demand for Bruening’s services internationally. We proposed that Marc emphasize his ability to repair shipped pieces. Marc was excited to “think bigger and broader” about what he could do. Here are some highlights of Sixth City Marketing’s strategic recommendations and the tactics used to implement them:
- Focused on helping Bruening Glass Works reach an international audience
- Reviewed website and researched online demand patterns for services
- Redesigned site using WordPress
- Created a simple site design that emphasized calls-to-action
- Presented SEO strategy
- Provided training on SEO and WordPress
- Implemented Google Analytics goals
- Started blog about repair projects
- Set up a sister website called WaterFordCrystalRepair.com (#2 targeted keyword)
- Created a YouTube video to highlight Marc’s capabilities, and his personality
- 1,528% increase in traffic (Additional 4,318 visits per month)
- 8-16 leads from the Internet per day outside of the Cleveland area
- 90% of Internet leads turn into business
- Ranks #1 for Crystal Repair, his number-one targeted term
- Ranks #1 for Waterford Crystal Repair via WaterFordCrystalRepair.com (512 visits to that site in Jan 2012)
- Crystal repair is now the main focus of the business
- Now internationally known and recommended for crystal repair
- The YouTube video has been viewed more than 7,000 times and is often the reason why customers contact Marc
The results of the campaign (just over three years in place) have been incredible. Marc’s traffic and business have increased at least 33% every year as he posts about new and exciting repair projects.
If you would like to see how Sixth City Marketing can help your business using search engine optimization or WordPress, contact us today!
Shini USA, a Division of Budzar Industries – Cleveland, Ohio
An outstanding increase in B2B leads:
Shini USA is a division of Budzar Industries, and a leading provider of global manufacturing control solutions.
Shini USA supplies a variety of different products to the plastic processing industry. These products include industrial temperature control equipment, industrial plastic scrap recycling and hopper dryers and loaders.
We perform both search engine optimization and pay per click (Google Adwords) management on a monthly basis.
How we helped:
Sixth City Marketing began optimizing Shini USA’s site exactly for that purpose.
- SEO. Keyword research: We determined how companies looked for the companies products, and took measures to make sure Shini USA was there to be found, using keyword optimization both on-site and behind the scenes in code that talks to search engines. Content optimization and creation: We both optimized and wrote new content to target specific keywords.
- Conversion Optimization. Conversion-centric site refresh: Once visitors came to the site, we wanted to make sure the site was as conversion friendly as possible. We redesigned the internal pages to have a strong call to action and have a more visual friendly look.
- Google AdWords Management. We overhauled their existing campaign with the goal of reducing cost per lead and increasing leads.
Results (Year to Year comparison)
- Monthly visits increased 28% (1,464 vs. 1,142):
- Monthly traffic from search engines increased 632% (564 vs. 77)
- Monthly online leads increased 129% (39 vs. 17)
After reading those stats, it’s almost redundant to say that Shini USA has benefited from our digital marketing recommendations. When our clients are happy, we’re happy. However, we’re still on the upswing and continue to adjust our strategy while implementing industry-leading tactics.
A catalyst for global growth:
One last takeaway is the huge implication Search Engine Optimization can have for global businesses. Shini USA is another example of significant global (and domestic) growth as a result of our work
Goals of the campaign
When we started working with them, they had just launched a brand new website and both leads and traffic to their website were down. The main goal of the campaign was to increase quality online leads. We did this through a variety of tasks that are highlighted below:
What we did
1. Search Engine Optimization
- We researched what their main products were being called, who was looking for them, and what exactly they were being used for (expandable staff weapons, anyone?). It turned out that their customers used a variety of terms to search for their main product line: snap buttons.
- Once we determined exactly how to best serve the needs of Valco fabrication customers and optimizing accordingly, we drove more visits to the site than ever before.
2. Conversion Optimization
- We modified key pages within the existing design to create a greater “call to action” to contact Valco. We also supplemented key pages with both photos and videos to reinforce the companies branding and capabilities. Both these measures lead to incredible success.
Results (Comparing Year to Year)
- 114% increase in visits per month (2,910 vs. 1,362)
- 543% increase in online inquiries per month (135 vs. 21)
- 4.6% site conversion rate vs. 1.54%
SEO Case Study: University Commons Apartments – Athens, Ohio
The Problem: A Highly Competitive Rental Market
In a college town where students have many options, it takes a lot to stand out online. University Commons sought to improve their presence in the Athens, Ohio community in order to increase their tenant base.
How can a company stay top of mind amidst thousands of options? By clearly communicating its unique value proposition and being easily accessible to searching students.
First and foremost, we knew University Commons needed an informative website. We added:
- Website Redesign
- Added Rich, quality, graphics nestled within a conversion centric full site redesign
- We brought in a photographer to capture the beauty of the apartment community and its amenities. Interior photos were a very helpful addition.
- Search Engine Optimization
- We performed keyword research focusing on high-volume terms within the Athens, Ohio region.
- Once we finalized the keyword list, we created new content with the goal of both ranking well and converting once visitors viewed the website.
- Social Media Strategy
- Revised social media strategy to better connect with their target audience.
The Results: 117% increase in Contact Form Submissions Per Month
- 28% more users: More traffic to the site
- 21% more page views: More interest in site content
- 117% more contact form submissions per month (50 vs. 23): More visitors asking to be contacted
- Last but not least, a 90% increase in conversion rate
Water’s Edge of Lake Wales – A Senior Living Community
Water’s Edge of Lake Wales is a senior living community located in Lake Wales, Florida. As a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), they offer independent living, assisted living, and memory care housing and services for seniors. Initially, the community was having trouble recruiting new residents, but with the help of our SEO, PPC, and technical website services, we were able to help them achieve nearly 100% occupancy.
Whenever we begin working with a client, we analyze their goals for both their business and their marketing to determine which approach will work best for them. In this case, we utilized the following to help achieve results for Water’s Edge of Lake Wales:
- Insured that key metrics and tracking were in place in order to track their goals in Google Analytics
- Reworking key pages with call-to-action (CTA) graphics
- Writing optimized copy for key pages
- Running targeted paid advertising via Google and Facebook
Traffic and Lead Summary
Thanks to our efforts, Water’s Edge of Lake Wales is currently at almost 100% occupancy and the staff is now building a waiting list of people who want to live in the community. We’ve helped Water’s Edge of Lake Wales achieve the following results over the duration of the online marketing campaign:
- Overall traffic increased 138%
- Organic search traffic increased 96%
- Conversions have increased 295%