18 month business transformation + 511% increase in organic traffic

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10 min read

Sept 2020

March 2022

Organic visitors:

Domain authority score

Avg softener installations pm:

Organic visitors:

Sept 2020: 431
March 2022: 2,633

Domain authority score:

Sept 2020: 4
March 2022: 16

Avg softener installations per month:

Sept 2020: 12
March 2022: 20

Doubling turnover in 18 months

I had an enquiry back in September 2020 from a lovely chap, Scott, who is the founder of Scott Jenkins Water Softeners. He had a small brochure website, which was created by a local marketing agency on a bespoke CMS. This consisted of just a handful of pages, and around 20 blog posts. At the time, he was receiving an average of 400 organic visitors each month, mostly from the West Sussex area and was installing an average of 12 water softeners per month.

Fast forward 18 months (and a few lockdowns) to March 2022, and sjwatersofteners.co.uk has just received 2,600 organic visitors (an increase of +511%). These kinds of numbers can sometimes be a little hard to interpret on their own. After all, they’re just website visitors. Do they affect the bottom line? Well, March just gone, 18 months since I started working with Scott and they’ve just done 25 installations with 4 additional direct softener sales, over double what they were doing just 18 months ago.

 

It’s been a wonderful journey and I’ve loved being a part of it.

This is how we made it happen…

Rebuilt the site on WordPress

Firstly, I rebuilt his website on WordPress. I’m a big believer that something as integral as a company’s website shouldn’t be restrictive for the business owner in any way. Moving to an Open Source CMS gave us a scalable platform on which to grow and build his business, without any future limitations. If Scott ever wants to use another developer in future (that isn’t me), he can easily do so. Luckily, he’s not been keen to do so just yet!

During the rebuild, I also implemented some fundamental SEO best practices which were missing from his website when he first made contact. This included focus pages for his highest value keywords, optimised meta titles, descriptive meta descriptions, plenty of internal links and well structured header tags across every page. And of course, full Google Analytics conversion tracking so we could monitor the success of the website and all forms of advertising moving forwards. Scott’s main lead generation tool at the time was from print ads in local papers and magazines, which are notoriously hard to measure impact.

Implemented a WooCommerce online shop

Shortly after the site was rebuilt on WordPress, I got to work on building out the online shop, which now consists of 48 products across 11 different product categories. Customers can now purchase salt, cartridges and filters, all directly from the shop in seconds. As well as water softeners, which go up to £2,195 per unit.

This has not only bought in an entirely new revenue stream for Scott, the investment in the online shop also provides an excellent post-sales experience, where his customers can purchase everything they need to keep their softener working in just a few clicks.

Regular blog content, informed by keyword research

One of my favourite things about working with Scott, is his unfaltering determination to deliver the best content and information possible to his customers. Not just to persuade them to purchase, but to equip them with all the knowledge they need to enjoy their softener and keep it running smoothly, for years to come.

Over the past 18 months we’ve been dedicated to adding at least 3 blogs every month to the site, and this is informed by keyword research, so we know that these articles are helping to answer regularly searched for questions or topics.

Crafted unique content for 57 location pages

We discovered that a large percentage of Scott’s target audience, at the very start of their purchasing journey, were searching Google for terms such as ‘water hardness london’. Whilst this type of search term has relatively low purchase intent, we were confident that we could attract a large volume of customers by creating location pages targeting these keywords and most importantly, be the very first business to offer them useful advice.

Location pages aren’t suitable for every business. Around 10 years ago many businesses would use them as a black hat SEO tactic just to try and rank locally for their services. These businesses would create a page for each location they covered, with duplicate content on all of them. They worked for a short period, but many were eventually penalised for this.

Water hardness however, is a very location specific problem. And a user from Wales searching ‘water hardness in my area’ should rightfully see very different information to a user searching from Sussex.

These location pages have been hugely successful so far, generating in excess of 1,000 organic visits to date. It’ll take a while for these pages to rank highly, but we’re confident that, in time, they’ll provide genuinely insightful information, to a very warm pool of customers for Scott.

Created 20 friendly & informative animated videos

Scott’s blog articles account for around 60% of his website traffic. But we appreciate that a lengthy articles aren’t always the easiest and most fun way to digest important information. Some people hate reading, and prefer more visual information, in the form of images and videos. Which is why we’ve also created 20 animated videos for his most popular blog pages. The written content still remains on these pages so it can be crawled by Google, but we now have an animated video to offer Scott’s website visitors too.

Even better – these videos sit on Scott’s YouTube channel. This puts less strain on the website server, to keep it running fast (essential for SEO), but it also helps him to get in front of people who are heading to YouTube for their info! Win, win!

Created a bespoke product finder tool

Which water softener you’ll need is dependent on a few different factors, most notably how many bedrooms and bathrooms you have and how many people live in your home. So we created a bespoke product finder tool, using Typeform, to help guide people through this process and direct them to the most suitable options for them, based on their individual criteria.

Since launching the tool 7 months ago, 300 people have used it to find the perfect water softener for them, and this has resulted in 14 direct sales, with an average softener price of £1,700. Typeform costs £41pm, and took me less than half a day to configure.

Summary

As you can see, there’s been a lot of work that’s gone into Scott’s business over the last 18 months. From the very start he was understanding that building a site to this level wasn’t going to be a quick, overnight thing. Instead, he’s wisely invested in a digital marketing strategy which doesn’t always have an obvious and immediate return on investment – like writing articles with advice and tips for existing customers, but which helps to highlight his business as the most knowledgeable, informative and approachable business in this space.

He’s really reaping the rewards of this approach 18 months down the line. Long gone are the days of expensive print ads, a lack of data and a small pool of people finding him online. And as a result, there’s plenty more soft water flowing through taps in the South East of England!