Triple your Call Volume
Double your Local Traffic
A Multi-location Business SEO Case Study
May 21, 2020
1. SEO Client Overview and Scope
This client has a multi-location legal consulting business the operates across most of Ohio. They started out as a family business in 1990 headquartered in Springfield but grew the business to operate in Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Akron, Toledo, and more southern Ohio locations.
The client had previously worked with another SEO company who did well getting them to page 2 and a few page 1 keywords but the rankings stagnated and they weren’t generating as many leads as the client wanted.
To gain more traffic and leads, the previous SEO provider suggested building more backlinks (correctly) to move up their rankings but they told the client to, “build the backlinks yourself.” This was an obvious pain point for the client and it consumed a lot of his time.
The client approached us to help with SEO and backlink building as it is one of our specialties. It was no surprise to us that as a busy business owner, he wouldn’t have the time nor the capabilities to complete this task himself.
After reviewing the website, we agreed backlink building was the best strategy to move forward and we identified other metrics that were lacking including inaccurate citations, poor meta titles/descriptions, poor use of H-tag headings, and issues with a number of the Google My Business locations.
All these were metrics holding the client back from ranking higher and became tasks for us to improve.
One thing to note is the legal industry is one of the most competitive industries when it comes to SEO. Payouts in the thousands or millions of dollars means many companies are willing to use black hat or grey hat SEO techniques that break Google’s terms of service to achieve results. This was a great opportunity for Alex Furfaro SEO Consulting to test our white hat SEO strategies against those other techniques.
Recommended but not completed:
Call tracking was recommended at the beginning of the project but the client already had phone systems in place for each individual location and did not want a new system. The website had Click-to-call goal tracking in place to track website call conversions but we could not track calls by location with no analytics integration.
Blogging was recommended at the beginning of the project but the client said previous iterations had only generated website visits and very few paying clients. They were interested in generating leads, not website visits.
Conversion: Phone Calls, Web Forms and Google My Business
In the table below, the client said between 1 in 5 and 1 in 10 calls converts into a paying customer.
We are conservative in our estimate at 1 in 20 or 5% conversion.
(scroll the table right on mobile)
|Lead Capture and Conversions||Pre-Campaign: Aug 21, 2016-2018||6 Months: Feb 21, 2019||18 Months: Feb 21, 2020||% Change|
|Web Form Submissions||302 (13/mo)||159 (27/mo)||360 (30/mo)||+131%|
|Calls from Website||1978 (83/mo)||455 (76/mo)||1494 (125/mo)||+51%|
|GMB Clicks to Website (***2 locations)||6/mo||20/mo||35/mo||+483%|
|GMB Phone Calls (***2 locations)||76/mo||138/mo||281/mo||+270%|
|Leads from SEO||178/mo||261/mo||471/mo||+165%|
|Customers from SEO||8.90||13.05||23.55|
|Revenue from SEO (min $1,000)||$8,900||$13,050||$23,550||+$14,650/mo|
***NOTE: At the beginning of the project, we were only told to focus on 2 locations, Columbus and Dayton. We did not track data from the 13 other Google My Business locations and we cannot get historical data to know past and present call volumes. This skews the success of this project and conversion data.
For the most recent 3-months during COVID-19 lockdown (Feb 21 to May 21 2020), the locations received the following number of calls:
Columbus – 441
Dayton – 210
13 additional locations – 1863
Combining the 13 other locations averages to 621 leads/month – potentially producing $31,050/mo in revenue!
Before the pandemic hit in March we were up about 15% from the same time period in 2019. In many areas we do business, there has been a significant reform leading to a drop in the number of cases. Despite the reform effort, my phone rings more than it ever has – and while most companies are struggling, we are thriving and outpacing previous years numbers which has allowed us to strengthen our foothold in many areas.
3. Website Value and Traffic Metrics
Ahrefs Website Value and Metrics:
Traffic Value = +$27,900 (+775%)
Organic Keywords = +1800
Google Search Console:
Clicks = +6280 (+106%)
Impressions = +544,000 (+254%)
NOTE: Average Click Thru Rate (CTR) and Average Position were expected to fall as more keywords lowers overall ranking position and lower rankings mean lower click-thrus.
Search Console Monthly Traffic Data
Organic Traffic per month = +1847 (+201%)
The start date of our campaign was August 21, 2018 at after our first full month, the site had 917 visits. Fast forward 18 months later while only focusing on local keywords, the client website is up to 2764 visits in February 2020 before COVID 19 shutdown most of Ohio.
Negative SEO Attempt
At the end of 2018 – early 2019, the client website was attacked by a negative SEO campaign in attempts to hurt our rankings and the client’s business.
We received thousands of clicks to the website for adult-themed content and other spammy terms, which is why you see the outrageous spike of over 7,000 organic traffic visits in January 2019. The business also received some additional fake web forms that were submitted but we were able to remove them and filter out the bad submissions as the message data was stored on the website.
Because of the quality of our white SEO strategy, the high-quality of our links, and the digital fortress we built around the client’s website, the negative SEO campaign did not hurt the website (aside from skewing our data). If anything, the additional traffic helped our website move higher than ever before, as shown in April 2019.
4. Rank Tracking
Ahrefs Ranking Tracking: 144 Tracked Local Keywords:
The client’s website has taken over nearly the entire state of Ohio for their industry keywords – excluding Northeast Ohio where the client does not do business (Cleveland, Youngstown, Warren).
Rankings = +96 terms positions 1-3
Theoretical Local Traffic = +1600
SERP Features = +50
Below is a sample of the cities and counties the client does business, and their rankings:
5. SEO Tasks Completed
We simplify our SEO campaigns and focus on what works instead of completing mundane SEO tasks that won’t move the needle.
- Fixed SSL and “unsecure” warning.
- Updated page titles for better optimization
- Added or re-wrote meta titles and descriptions for optimization and conversion – 49 pages including 26 location landing pages.
- Cleaned up and optimized the use of H-tag Headings
- Added local business schema to 2 target locations
- Add minor interlinking between relevant pages
- Fixed 13 Google My Business locations and 26 local website pages
- Cleaned up and/or add 100 business directories for 2 locations
- Built social profiles for 2 locations – FB, Twitter, etc…
- Secured a total of 208 high-quality links
6. Sample Backlink Metrics of Acquired Links
We built over 200 high-quality links for this client that averaged a 38 Domain Rating (DR) over the course of our campaign.
Here is just a sample of those with metric proof from Ahrefs: