Challenge: You Can’t Wait for SEO

You know those animated videos you see sometimes on websites that explain a topic or product? They’re usually playful and use cut outs or stick figures? That’s what Say It Visually! does, and they do it as well as anyone. Their clients include the likes of Amazon, Verizon, and P&G, along with start-ups and companies of all sizes.

While explanation video design is a niche industry, marketers and executives have caught on to its effectiveness and are increasingly searching Google for this service. Last spring Say It Visually! decided it wanted to capture more of these searchers, and worked with Marketade to optimize its site for search engines (SEO).

Jordan Schaffel, who heads up sales and marketing for the growing firm, initially didn’t mind the idea of waiting 6-12 months to see real results from SEO. But soon after we finished our initial round of optimization, Say It Visually! eliminated a key sales lead program. Suddenly 6-12 months was too long to wait. They wanted more leads immediately.

Say It Visually! Video

Action: AdWords PPC in An Hour

Jordan decided to re-allocate budget from their prior sales lead source and put it into Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising program, AdWords. He didn’t want to spend much more on consulting, so we agreed to see what we could do in 1 hour.

While it normally takes many hours to build an effective AdWords campaign, in this case 1 hour was sufficient — because we were able to leverage all of our previous SEO work: keyword research and target lists by category as well as messaging and positioning. The campaign was live and getting clicks by the end of our meeting, and by the next morning one of those clicks had turned into a high quality lead.

Result: $243 in Spend, $70,000 in Sales

Three months later, Say It Visually! had only spent $243.53 on PPC. They hadn’t received a ton of leads, but the leads were good. And 2 of them turned into signed contracts totaling over $70,000. Even if they count our entire SEO consulting fee as an AdWords-related expense, their return on this campaign is still huge.

“No other media purchase could ever provide this type of ROI,” says Jordan. “Not print, not mail, not TV…nothing!”

As a bonus, we can now be much smarter about future SEO work because we can leverage click and conversion data from AdWords — data that’s far more useful than the estimates we have to rely on when doing SEO keyword research.

Lessons and Considerations

If only AdWords were always this easy and cost-effective… it’s not. Still, Say It Visually!’s experience offers useful lessons for the many companies who ignore AdWords (because it’s paid) and focus only on SEO (because it’s “free”). Here are 5 takeaways from this story:

  1. AdWords can be a great marketing channel, especially when you have a product or service that is high dollar-per-sale and/or in a niche field.
  2. AdWords is generally faster to show results than SEO.
  3. AdWords is much easier to set up effectively if you’ve already done your SEO “homework”, in particular keyword research and writing. SEO-friendly pages also make your AdWords traffic much more likely to convert.
  4. AdWords can be more cost-effective than SEO in the surprisingly large number of commercial sectors where Google’s organic results remain littered with spammy sites.
  5. AdWords and SEO can be a powerful combination much greater than the sum of the parts — if you create a continuous feedback loop between the two.

Learn More

Read last newsletter’s case study on how a DC apartment service used Internet marketing to increase leads by 900%.

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