Over the past couple of months, I’ve begun to write articles about the practical application of Python and data science in an SEO context. Why? Because I realized that as a community, we spend a lot of our time trying to guess where pages will rank, our work takes forever to yield results, and sadly...READ POST
At RankSense, businesses come to us with SEO needs because they realize that search engine optimization is one of the best ways to increase visibility for their company and sales of their products. For many of our clients, that is the case and we are happy to help them grow. However, we have other clients who may need a more compelling sales strategy in order to make SEO work to their advantage. In other words, some businesses need to take a step back from their current sales approach to discover creative business strategies that dovetail with SEO.
When growth plateaus
We recently had the pleasure of working with one such client, Crystal Imagery. The company is a high-end glassware maker whose clients include U.S. House of Representatives, the CIA, and high-end resorts. Their custom deep-engraved bar and stemware are finer in quality than that of their laser engraved competitors. However, in an online search, it was very hard for potential customers to realize this disparity because the visuals of their product look similar to inferior products on sites such as Amazon. For this very reason, when we first began working with them, one of their biggest challenges was that they could not compete with companies with laser printed logos at a fraction of the cost.
Thinking outside the box and taking risks
Their products could not stand out. We helped them initially in Yahoo store platform, but they felt really constrained, so we helped them transition to Shopify. Nevertheless, their performance issues persisted, and I began to realize they were happening downstream of SEO. RankSense and Crystal Imagery then hit a plateau in performance, and I personally began to feel like we could no longer make a difference for their business. In fact, I suggested that we part ways. When I told Eric Schuchart, the company’s CEO, he insisted that we stay partners given their needs at the time. So instead of focusing on SEO part of their business, I started to focus on their specific business in their specific industry. I did my research and realized that their main problem was not SEO, but that the product could not be distinguished online from lesser, cheaper products, no matter how high in a search they appeared. The only way to truly understand Crystal Imagery’s quality and craftsmanship was to physically see their product. I told Eric, “I think you could use a promotional strategy that offers free samples.” At first, he balked, thinking that he could potentially lose quite a bit of money producing samples for clients that would not place orders. I countered that it would be a good problem to have. In fact, if that were the case, that means that the company is on people’s radar.
The big payoff
I eventually convinced Eric to try this idea with qualifying customers. Crystal Imagery ended up making 30% more from their website in 2018 than they had in the previous year. And with regards to fake orders, they found it relatively easy to distinguish them and also realized that their number would have to be significantly high for this business strategy not to make sense. Why? Because when people receive their sample product, they have a very high closing rate.
Committed to the success of each customer
At RankSense, we believe SEO is a key business strategy that should be maximized and customized for each client. Nevertheless, while SEO is our wheelhouse, we do try to look at the bigger picture and in the broader context for our clients–we go the extra mile because we realize that SEO is part of a winning business strategy, not the only business strategy. If there is anything that we can add beyond our SEO expertise, we will try to be helpful because we are about the success of our customers.