Small Business SEO Experiment – Week 2

successful seo

We’ve finished week #2 of my small business SEO experiment and I’ve learned two things this week that I want to share with you right off the bat:

  1. Posting valuable content every day is hard
  2. Posting valuable content every day drives traffic to your website

Basically I took on this challenge and I knew it would be difficult and it is… But the results I’m seeing in just two weeks are well worth the effort.

If this is the first time you’ve heard about my SEO experiment below is the kickoff post and week #1:

We’re now 14 videos into the 100 video series.  As of writing this post I have 18 videos recorded and scheduled which means that in order to finish week 3 I have to produce three more videos.

I made two structural changes to the videos last week.

The first change came on the recommendation of on of my fellow insurance professionals and that was changing up my “outfits” in the videos.  I produce the videos in batches of three or four at a time and in the first week you could tell I was wearing the same thing in every video.  I now chop up the batches so all the videos I do in one sitting aren’t in order.  Small change but significant I think.

The second change was you add a sentence at the bottom of the post asking people to review The Murray Group on either Yelp, Google, or Facebook.

Counting Results

Total Traffic

  • Baseline = 77 visitors
  • Week #1 = 140 visitors
  • Week #2 = 225 visitors
  • Percent change = 61% ↑
SEO experiment week 2
Facebook Likes
  • Baseline = 107
  • Week #1 = 124
  • Week #2 = 127
  • Percent change = 2% ↑

As of week #2 we have still not received a new review on Yelp, Google, or Facebook.  Bummer…

I also started thinking about how I’m tracking stats and what stats I’m tracking.  This SEO Experiment is not just about getting more traffic in general it’s about getting more SEARCH traffic.  Search traffic means people typing something into Google or Bing or Yahoo and clicking on The Murray Group website.

SEO experiment search traffic

As I said when I kicked off this SEO experiment, I’m all about social media, but the majority of consumers that are going to visit The Murray Group website and contact us are going to have an immediate need.  These people are going to have a need and are going to look to Google to find a solution for them and I want The Murray Group to be that solution.  So from now on search traffic is going to be a big focus for me.

As you can see search traffic has increased significantly each of the first two weeks.  Boom…

Results That Matter

successful seoWhether you admit it or not, you love to watching your counting stats grow, unfortunately count stats don’t pay bills (as much as I will they did).

So in week #2 we received 1 inbound personal lead.  No commercial leads this week.

For the campaign we received 3 personal lines leads and 1 commercial lines lead.

But here’s where I yell, “Yahtzee!” and you say, “Damn son, you’re killin’ it…”

The commercial lines lead from week #1 closed at $1,800 in revenue and we got a referral from the personal lines lead we wrote in week #1 that closed in week #2 for $200 in revenue.

So in two weeks of our “100 Insurance Questions Answered in 100 Days” video series we’ve booked $2,170 in revenue to the Agency…

Those are results that matter.

Last week I produced 9 more videos at 15 minutes total production time per video for a total of two hours and fifteen minutes of work time spent on the SEO experiment.  This brings my total work hours spent on the video series as a whole to 7 hours and fifteen minutes or less than one standard work day.

What I’ve Learned So Far

The formatting of our posts on The Murray Group website leaves a bit to be desired.  It is my personal opinion that the WordPress Theme we use needs to updated to premium theme like the Genesis Framework (affiliate link) which is what I use here on RyanHanleyDotCom.  If you don’t use a premium WordPress theme I highly recommend doing so.  Genesis is optimized for SEO and constantly updated so your blog is always utilizing fresh code.

I will hopefully be updating The Murray Group website to a Genesis theme soon to give blog posts a little nicer feel.

The reason I want the posts to have a nicer feel is I’d like amplify our call-to-action, especially for the reviews.  I’m not happy that we haven’t received any new reviews in two weeks.  I think review sites like Yelp and Google are going to large sources of business down the road.  Getting more reviews is going to be a heavy focus moving forward.

Week #2 words to remember:

“If you want the business you have ASK… even online.”

Thank you.

(update… Now See Completed Results!)

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About Ryan Hanley

This blog was created to help brands grow their audience, to grow their business. When I'm not writing, podcasting or creating the videos you'll find on this site, you'll usually find me watching baseball with my son Duke and a cold beer in my hand.

  • http://www.seonext.com/seo-pricing.html buy seo services

    It is great how many more business resources we have at our fingertips with the internet.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley

      That is certainly true!

  • Pingback: Small Business SEO Experiment - Google Webmaster Tools()

  • http://www.ranashahbaz.com/ Rana Shahbaz

    Great to see you Ryan, how you are managing your time when doing videos. I think most people are struggling to create videos because it is really time consuming. 

    Regarding the SEO, I totally agree with this experiment more quality content = more traffic. There is no doubt about it. 

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley

      Rana,

      I think the important thing to remember with video is that it doesn’t have to be professional… As long as the video doesn’t look like it’s coming off a beta-max.

      Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Ryan, great post and some interesting information to digest. I’m curious – are you tracking where people are coming from to view your videos? I’m hearing more and more that video is the way of the future with content generation, yet at the same time that mobile platforms are becoming more popular ways of connecting online.
    There seems to be a dichotomy there – not many videos are comfortable to watch on a mobile phone – so I wondered what your data was showing you.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com/2012/01/02/how-my-experiment-in-seo-will-change-the-game-on-small-business-blogging/ Ryan Hanley

      I get a decent amount of traffic from mobile sources.  I use YouTube for my videos and a WordPress plugin called WPTouch which optimizes your WordPress site for mobile.

      I definitely believe in video…

  • Denise

    Your experiment is pretty interesting – I’m intrigued to see how it develops – seriously – good thinking and good sharing.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com/2012/01/02/how-my-experiment-in-seo-will-change-the-game-on-small-business-blogging/ Ryan Hanley

      Thanks Denise!

  • Jack Price

    Hi Ryan,

    Since you’re in the insurance business, does your compliance department give you hassles about what you’re doing? What issues are you having, if any?

    Jack

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com/2012/01/02/how-my-experiment-in-seo-will-change-the-game-on-small-business-blogging/ Ryan Hanley

      I do not get hassled by compliance.  The blog posts have general information and advice given from the 10,000 foot view of situation.  Also every post has a disclaimer stating that the information is educational in nature.

      If you don’t speak in specifics it’s hard for someone to say we are giving them specific recommendations.

      Thanks!

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/2012/01/02/how-my-experiment-in-seo-will-change-the-game-on-small-business-blogging/ Ryan Hanley

    It’s public accountability… and I agree Jeanne it can be a double-edged sword if your business does not live up it’s promises.

    Thank you!

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/2012/01/02/how-my-experiment-in-seo-will-change-the-game-on-small-business-blogging/ Ryan Hanley

    It’s public accountability… and I agree Jeanne it can be a double-edged sword if your business does not live up it’s promises.

    Thank you!

  • Alan Smith

    It is another affirmation that quality content has meaningful impact on traffic and your business bottom line.  It is also another affirmation that this stuff is not easy!  It is a lot of work to generate QUALITY content on a regular basis.  KUDOS on your results so far!

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com/2012/01/02/how-my-experiment-in-seo-will-change-the-game-on-small-business-blogging/ Ryan Hanley

      That’s the deal Alan… It takes a lot of time to create quality content but if you put in that time there are results to be had.

      Thanks!

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/2012/01/02/how-my-experiment-in-seo-will-change-the-game-on-small-business-blogging/ Ryan Hanley

    I’m a big fan of Social Triggers… Thanks!

  • http://ryzeonline.com/ JasonFonceca

    Hahah! What a great, uplifting, inspiring post Ryan!

    What can I say but…

    “Damn son, you killin’ it…”

    Results that matter = epic.

    I am curious as to what you mean by Yelp and Google reviews playing a major role (I’ve felt similar but would love your perspective.)

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com/2012/01/02/how-my-experiment-in-seo-will-change-the-game-on-small-business-blogging/ Ryan Hanley

      Jason… I recently got a call from a guy and our conversation went like this:

      Ryan – “Thanks for calling… How did you find us?”

      Now client – “I searched Yelp for Insurance in Albany, NY and you guys (The Murray Group) were one of the agencies that came up.  But you were the only Insurance Agency with reviews… So I went with you.”

      Yathzee!

      Thanks Bro…

    • http://bit.ly/vsjx5m Jeanne Pi

      I also agree that review sites (Google, Yelp, Angie’s List) will be a significant source of referrals for local businesses. I know I always check Yelp reviews before I go to a new restaurant.

      It’s a double-edged sword, however. If you fail to deliver as a business, one negative review can destroy your business. In this age of social media, you have to be extremely careful on how you handle customer feedback. Just check out how one restaurant owner’s mishandling of a negative review on Yelp turned into a publicity nightmare: http://www.unmarketing.com/2012/01/10/worst-use-of-social-media-of-2012-boners-bbq/.

  • Chris Nadeau

    Ryan, love your experiment!  It is also awesome that you are sharing the good and bad and some raw data.  Love it!!!

    I agree we all want more traffic to our site, but what I am learning now is the quality of traffic.  Derek Halpern of Social Triggers was on Mixergy awhile back talking about this exact point, so this is where we are starting to put our focus on 
    http://mixergy.com/derek-halpern-social-triggers-interview/Why traffic is nice, we are looking now at tracking a customers lifetime value As for the video concept, I think it is an amazing idea.  The biggest struggle is keeping people engaged to WANT to watch and listen to your video.I recently took a course on this that really helped, called Video Traffic Academy.  Have you seen it?  Here is a link http://cnadeau.ca/cracktheyoutubecode (affiliate link)  James Wedmore and Lewis Howes are the ones who created this course.Some good stuff!

  • http://twitter.com/JasonAGroup Jason Anthony

    Very great write up and data to back it up, Ryan.  When looking for organic/search engine traffic, content is always going to rule.  Video is a great way to provide unique value and information to your visitors.  Definitely work the call to action as well (on the posts and in the annotations in the video).  

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com/2012/01/02/how-my-experiment-in-seo-will-change-the-game-on-small-business-blogging/ Ryan Hanley

      Jason,

      You make a great point in that no matter how good your content is the Call-to-Action needs to be excellent. That is how you convert readers to subscribers and subscribers to clients…

      Thanks dude

  • Anonymous

    Hi Ryan,

    I’ve been thinking about creating some videos to answer questions. Interested to see how it works out. Though it seems, you’re doing fine already. Good luck and keep us posted :)

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com/2012/01/02/how-my-experiment-in-seo-will-change-the-game-on-small-business-blogging/ Ryan Hanley

      Peter,

      I think a video series would work great for you!  I say go for it buddy…

      Thanks