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Cross-Channel Digital Marketing Strategy for Low Cost Interlock
Low Cost Interlock is a company located out of Redlands, CA that provides ignition interlock devices and services to drivers who have received DUI’s, in order to get them back on the road. Their interlock devices are discreet, sanitary, and utilize more advanced technology than competitors in the marketplace.
To start, they had a high quantity of location pages with very thin content, which we know to be bad for SEO and SERP visibility. There were also a lot of “orphan pages”, which were duplicates of other pages pre-existing on the site. There were some technical SEO issues including many 404 errors, which led to a manual penalty due to suspected hacking activity on the site.
The problem with the having thin content on the location pages is that this practice violates Google’s best practices, specifically with respect to the Hummingbird and Panda updates. The manual penalty hurts the perceived authority of the site, and impacts the sites overall organic rankings. The problem with the 404s was that they were still being indexed by Google. When this happens and users click on the URL, they arrive on a broken page without being redirected to the page they are looking for. Often users will leave right away or bounce off the site altogether should this be the case. This directly impacts user friendliness and indirectly impacts rankings by influencing the behavior metrics on the site.
Google Search (PPC):
LCI also had strategic lapses in their paid search strategy. The object of paid search is to achieve SERP representation, and often times brand representation is an integral part. Knowing that their clientele can come from referral sources prior to being sought after online, having adequate enough brand representation to be there on the SERP when a searcher specifically is looking for you by name (which signifies higher intent), is imperative.
We also know that in this industry especially, searchers will often convert on whatever they see first. Even if a searcher looks for another brand by name, the solution is the same so they will often click through that ad if it ranks higher. As a result, many competitors were bidding on LCI’s branded terms to try and steal SERP real estate, and effectively get in front of the consumer first. When this happens, it drives up CPCs, which can hinder CPL performance and other acquisition metrics.
First, we tackled the technical issues by running a deep crawl and technical analysis of the entire site. A 301-redirect map was organized and implemented to redirect broken URLs to the new existing pages.
Then we investigated the manual penalty and by process of elimination could discover the suspected hacker activity. We then submitted a request for removal of the manual penalty to Google.
Finally, we optimized all the location pages with relevant title tags, meta descriptions, and H1 Headers. We implemented more content to the pages to help users find out more information about the location they were researching. We also added content to the pages that are within Google’s webmaster guidelines.
Google Search (PPC):
First, we conducted additional keyword research around their branded terms. The object here was to add in as many searchable variations of branded terms as possible, to ensure as much SERP coverage as possible when people are looking for those terms. Once we had finalized this, we set up the campaigns using a SKAG format. This strategy allows for as much control over keyword spending as possible, and also allows the advertiser to speak as directly to consumer intent as possible, by customizing the ads at the keyword level.
To combat the competition in the marketplace – that was driving up CPC’s – we conducted in-depth device performance analysis to determine which device was the most effective from a spend level. What we found was that, likely due to the sensitive nature, most searches and site visits were coming from mobile anyway. There were also less competitors in mobile auctions for our keywords than on desktop or tablet, which means that CPC’s were lower. We also had the opportunity to rely on call extensions, since for the client having a customer call a sales rep directly saves a step in the conversion process. In response to this, we shifted our budget heavily onto mobile devices and saw drastic improvement with not only CPC levels, but CPL and Conversion volume as well.
Over a 6-month campaign period the organic channel increased in session YoY by 42% with a 28% increase in new users. The Goal Conversion Rate increased 27% with an overall increase in Goal Completions of 80%. When comparing the start of the campaign to the previous period sessions increased 27% and new users increased 60% with Goal Completions increasing 61%. Keyword rankings increased in overall volume by 294.
Google Search (PPC):
Over this 6-month period, traditionally a slower part of the year in the industry, we increased overall conversions by 208% YoY while keeping overall CPL consistent with benchmark metrics. We also saw an increase in mobile conversions of over 800%. Further, we increased LCI’s Impression Share by 79% YoY, as well as their Top of Page Rate by 80% in that same time frame.
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