SEO Case Study: SVN | Graham, Langlois & Legendre

Introduction:

Justin Langlois, managing director of SVN | Graham, Langlois & Legendre, hired our team to provide online marketing services in 2015. During the first two years we saw a consistent improvement in their Google rankings. However, Justin and his team were eager to see a more drastic improvement in online rankings. Our team was also eager to see better results. Over the next couple of years, we made some game-changing shifts in our approach. The changes we made lead to a fantastic outcome.

Challenges:

There were a couple of challenges we had while working on Justin’s website.

  • Limited access to the backend of his company website – Their website developer would only permit us to have partial website access. Because of this, there were many search engine optimization (SEO) related edits we could not make.
  • A monthly marketing agreement that didn’t include off-site SEO – Our agreement with Justin was originally to write blog content and to spend time doing on-site SEO.
  • Justin and his company were based in a highly competitive market. This made it more challenging to quickly see positive results on Google.

Website Audit:

In 2017 we created an audit of the website. As a result, we identified thousands of issues that limited the effectiveness of the website’s rankings on Google. We corrected all the edits we could, with our limited access. Then, we created a report of the remaining edits that still needed to be made. We sent that list to the website developer who was able to complete some of the highest priority edits. This was helpful. Once this was complete, we had very little we could still do with the time we were contracted to spend for on-site SEO.

Off-Site SEO:

We continued to do what we could for on-site SEO, even though most issues had already been resolved. But, we began to donate a couple extra hours on off-site SEO, without Justin being aware of this. We assumed he wouldn’t mind a little free help. Once we started providing off-site SEO, we were able to start seeing a noticeable difference in rankings.

We started the off-site SEO in the fall of 2017. In the graph below, you will see our average rankings (blue line) stayed below our top competitor for the first half of the year. However, our rankings saw an excellent jump to the top after we began implementing off-site SEO. In fact, the results were so great that we began to strongly recommend off-site SEO to all new clients, and some of our existing clients, from that time forward.

2017 rankings

Client Flexibility:

After seeing the significant improvement in rankings, we decided to speak to Justin about making a change to our monthly agreement. The budget remained the same, but rather than focusing heavily on blogging and on-site SEO, we talked about shifting our focus to include less on-site SEO and more off-site SEO. Justin and his team were fine with this change.

A Balanced SEO Mix:

On-Site SEO: In 2018 our team did some additional keyword research. As a result, we noticed many people in Justin’s market were searching Google for information on two specific topics. One topic was “How to calculate the value of my commercial real estate property?” The second topic was “How does a commercial real estate agent get Traffic Valuepaid?” Our team decided to write two blog posts to answer those questions. By doing this, we were able to create on-site SEO content that was very much focused around the types of content Justin’s target audience wanted to read about. We actually published four blog posts per month. But the two mentioned above were the highest value blog posts we wrote. That is why we are making a point to make you aware of those posts in particular.

Off-Site SEO: As our on-site SEO content writers created the two posts mentioned above, our off-site SEO team continued creating backlinks. We added links to online business directories that pointed to the SVN | Graham, Langlois & Legendre website. Other backlinks were created on social bookmarking websites, advertisement websites, online social profiles and other types of third-party websites. We created many backlinks that were all coming from a high-quality website that are looked favorably upon by Google. After doing this for a year, we saw a tremendous spike in website value and traffic. This second graph in this case study, included above this paragraph, represents that estimated traffic increase.

Results – Google Keyword Value:

By the end of 2018 we were able to report that 39% of all website traffic in 2018 came as a result of the “How to calculate the value of my commercial real estate property?” and the “How does a commercial real estate agent get paid” blog posts we created. Their website saw an extra 11,674 website visits simply because of these strategic keyword focused blog posts. This is an example of on-site SEO at it’s finest.

Additionally, our off-site SEO worked hand-in-hand with the on-site SEO to increase website rankings in general. In January of 2018 the website had 793 keyword phrases showing up in Google. If Justin had spent money on Google AdWords for these keyword rankings, he would have paid $198 per month. However, he organically ranked well, without having to spend any money on advertising. By January of 2019 there were 1,600 keyword phrases showing up in Google for his website. If he had paid Google AdWords for the same exposure of these keywords, he would have paid $4,300 per month. We were able to increase the value of his Google rankings by 2,072% in one year!

In the table below you will see how their website ranked on SEMRush. You will also see how many keywords their website showed up on Google for. Lastly, you’ll see how much their website exposure on Google would have cost if they purchased this exposure through Google AdWords.

2016201720182019
JanuaryJanuaryJanuaryJanuary
SEMRush Rank3.8M3.7M2.8M625K
Keywords2435987931.6K
Traffic Value$36$80$198$4.3K

Results – A Sneak Peek at 2019:

We have only just begun our marketing for 2019. However, we are already seeing amazing results when comparing our website traffic for January, year-over-year. In January of 2019 we saw 4,404 visits to the website. During 2018 we didn’t reach 4,404 visits until mid-May! In one month we have already surpassed the traffic gained during the entire first quarter of 2018. This is very exciting and we are eager to see what the rest of 2019 will look like for Justin and his team.

website traffic during 2018
Organic website traffic (traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing) from January, 2018 through January, 2019

Testimonial from Justin Langlois

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