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ALS Construction homepage

ALS Construction (Service Industries)

About the project:

THE NEED

ALS Construction, a custom home builder and family business in the Hilton Head Island, SC area, had secured Hazel Digital Media to redesign their outdated website. Jason Hazel of HDM connected me with Brent Swofford, ALS’s marketing manager. The new site needed cleaner copy that utilized SEO best practices. And both Jason and I strongly recommended a blog to help drive organic traffic.

THE APPROACH

Website

After an audit of the copy transferred over from the old site, I identified and implemented four objectives to improve discoverability and readability on the About and Services (renamed Why ALS?) pages.

  1. Reorganize large blocks of text under headers.
  2. Incorporate target keywords in headers and body text.
  3. Move location keywords (e.g. Hilton Head Island) closer to the top of the page.
  4. Make the text more concise and convert the body text into bulleted lists where appropriate.

Blog

After interviewing Brent, I developed four articles that established the four categories we would focus on over the next six months: cost, process, lifestyle, and the environment. In partnership with HDM, we launched with four articles published weekly, with new content published twice monthly thereafter.

Each article was keyword-researched, content-researched, contained at least one image (stock photography) and was organized under headers according to SEO best practices. We incorporated a CTA (call-to-action) button at the end of each post that links to the site’s contact form.

THE RESULTS

From the April 1, 2019 baseline to September 30, 2019, the ALS Construction website saw net user growth of 80%. As HDM ran a paid Google CPC (cost-per-click) ad campaign concurrently with our blogging strategy, organic search accounted for 21% of users.

This is a classic case of marrying both quantity and quality; though PPC brought in far more users, both the average session duration time and contact form visit rate for organic users was far higher.

Contact Form Visits: Paid vs. Organic

  • Google (CPC): 2.53%
  • Google (organic): 27.48%
  • Bing: 30.16%
  • Yahoo: 11.11%

Overall, 67% of contact form visits came from organic search and about 21% came from the CPC campaign. Rather than revealing that one strategy is superior to the other, I interpret these data to mean utilizing both – if your budget supports it – is best for creating as many sales opportunities as possible. Promoting content (blog posts) via a strong social media presence is also recommended.

Link to site:

Why We Write Meaningless Content

Digital marketing professionals will tell you almost unanimously that when it comes to blogging, do it frequently. Your competition is putting out content weekly, daily, multiple times per day, so hurry up! The pressure to put out content is overwhelming and can often lead to poor decisions.

To be more specific, it often means the ol’ content mill is mostly spitting out filler content.

I define “filler” as content that serves no other purpose than to maintain a content stream. It is the byproduct of a digital marketing environment that values activity over meaning. Search engines demand that we at least say something; it does reward us for proving the value of our content with engagement, but one genius, life-changing post is no substitute for consistent, frequent blabber.

In a word: crap.

Is that the way we want to live our professional lives? Do we really want to put words out into the world that have little or no meaning to us just to stimulate search engines?

Let me clarify what I’m not saying. I don’t think everything you (or I) blog about has to be a perfect gem. Sometimes crap spills through despite our best intentions, and that is okay. What matters is that we at least make an attempt to articulate what we believe, from core values, from the heart, from a genuine desire to communicate something we think will create connection, solve problems, give life.

In a word: authenticity.

We’re all under a lot of pressure to shout louder and more consistently than our competition via platforms that make it easy for everyone to make noise. Let’s slow down – heck, let’s even miss a week of posting if necessary – and ask ourselves if we’re still putting something of value into the world.

We’re all going to fail and put filler out there from time to time. Let’s just make sure that more often than not, when we fail, it’s in pursuit of something more than website traffic.