In the next of our content marketing case studies we illustrate how we used a combination of content marketing and SEO techniques to get this business quickly and efficiently onto the first page of Google for some of the most valuable, high volume, and competitive search terms in their industry.
Steel Fabrication Services is a full service steel fabricators that specialises in complete, cost effective steel manufacturing solutions with competitive rates, builders trade prices and fast turnaround. They’ve earned a strong reputation for quality and service by word of mouth – and as the business has continued to grow, they knew it was time to embrace a digital strategy, first having their website redesigned – and then getting it seen by builders, owner builders and major contractors across Sydney and regional New South Wales.
After designing a simple portfolio website, optimised for conversion, we began to develop the most effective strategy for using content marketing and SEO to rapidly improve the website’s search engine rankings for key search terms
SFS came to us with an outdated website which simply wasn’t bringing in the business. We love getting involved with a digital strategy on the ground floor, because when we also design the website – we know we’re able to optimise it for SEO efforts and customer conversion. Driving traffic to a site with digital strategy is an uphill battle if the site is not well designed and user friendly. Our history in web and UI/UX design means we’re perfectly placed to design engaging websites that convert – then we develop strategies to get them seen by a relevant audience. After all, the most beautiful website in the world is useless if nobody visits it.
The team at SFS are experts in steel fabrication, but when it comes to the online world they’d be the first to admit that it’s not their forte. They were relying on us to make things happen. After we set down over a coffee and explained our process and what we intended to do – they knew they were in safe hands.
What is Digital Strategy and Content Marketing?
In summary, Digital Strategy is about working out where your brand sits in the digital realm, deciding who you want to reach, and devising the best way to go about reaching them, whether that is through content marketing, social media marketing, pay per click advertising (PPC), SEO, or a combination of these things and more. Each digital strategy needs to be carefully designed to fit the needs of the individual business.
Content Marketing is an approach that involves creating (or curating) and disseminating rich, relevant content in order to attract and maintain a specifically defined audience, and convert the audience engagement into profitable results. It’s communicating with customers without selling – instead of pitching products and services, you provide information that aims to enrich, e.g. increasing their knowledge or making them laugh. The simple idea behind all this is that if businesses consistently deliver valuable content to customers, they will be rewarded with custom and loyalty. In turn, loyal customers also become brand ambassadors by sharing your content and thus helping to grow your audience further. Content Marketing plays a key role in most of our clients digital strategies.
A Digital Strategy for Steel Fabrication Services
No intelligent digital marketing campaign can begin until a digital audit is completed – examining the market place, competitors, and what strategies are achievable within a given budget. After researching the market, competitors, and potential audience, we began to develop a content strategy which focused around 2 key areas: Original articles, and SEO techniques. We also used original social media content and social media marketing, however from our research we’d determined that Search Engine Ranking should be of primary concern in this industry. In addition we kept business flowing with a small targeted AdWords campaign.
A key part of the SFS digital marketing strategy is the creation and publication of original articles. The purpose of these article is to provide the existing audience and customer base with rich, relevant content, whilst the weekly publication of such articles (and the sharing of these articles around the internet) dramatically increases the search engine rankings, making Steel Fabrication Services more visible across the digital space. Some examples of successful articles include, 10 interesting Facts About Steel, Tools of the Trade for Steel Fabrication, and 6 Top Types of Steel Staircase Design. Content publication and the sharing of the content by other websites are key factors that effect your search engine rankings. Google is looking for evidence that your site is an authority on it’s subject matter, and original content and links to this content are one of the best ways of showing this. Getting other websites to link your content is difficult, but we have a wealth of tools and tried and tested link building strategies at our disposal.
As well as great writing, it’s important that the overall look and feel of the articles are consistent and considered – fonts, headings, subheadings and imagery are all very important elements to consider when structuring articles, which is why it helps to have people with experience in visual design creating your content marketing. One the content has been created and well presented, it’s time to get it seen…
Once articles are published, they’re also shared on social media channels, where they can be carefully marketed to a relevant audience. In this case, builders, owner builders, and contractors. The above post was seen by over 5,600 people, had 122 post clicks, with over 62 reactions, including 37 shares.
Original Social Content
Original social content is the creation of content specifically for sharing on social media, often in the form of images, gifs (moving images), and videos. The idea of this type of content is that it is arresting, easily digestible, and shareable. It should also match the brand in both tone and appearance (as should the design of the channels it’s published on e.g. your Facebook or Twitter page). These days the content you produce is as much a part of your brand as your logo and website. Powerful images and quotes are often very successful in this regard, as they only take a moment to process, and if the message strongly aligns with the values of the user, often they will then share the content.
Below are a two examples of the type of social media content created for SFS. The design and tone of the message solidifies the brand identity, and encourages engagement.
Link Building and Improving Search Engine Rankings
The prime initial goal for this campaign was to get Steel Fabrication Services ranking on the first page of Google for the most relevant search terms. Through our audit, we determined that builder and contractors searching for variations of ‘steel fabrication’ and ‘steel quotes’ was going to be a major source of traffic and business.
The graph below shows the large growth in site traffic that we were able to achieve in a relatively short time (in SEO terms), from an average of around 12 page views per month to over 2,800.
We achieved theses results by following a carefully planned out strategy which was determined right at the start of the campaign. Of course it’s important to be nimble should tactics need to change (SEO is a fickle mistress), but we found our strategy to be achieving immediate results and continued with our course. As well as publishing and sharing the content we were creating, we also embarked on intense link building strategy in order to improve the sites authority, and ultimately, search engine rankings.
At the time of writing this site was had the following search engine rankings on page one of Google (with a total of 20 tracked keywords on pages 1-3):
Steel Delivery and Installation – Position #1
Steel Surface Treatment – Position#1
Steel Fabricators – Position #8
Steel Fabrication Sydney – Position #8
Steel Fabrication – Position#10
There are innumerable ways to achieve links to your site, and once again a link building strategy needs to be tailored to the individual case, as what works for some – may not work for others. There are entire blogs dedicated to SEO and link building in particular, and if you don’t have the past experience, finding out what will specifically for your business can be a long game of trial and error. Also, improving search engine rankings is only one piece of the puzzle – as even if you’re in the top few results on Google, if your website and its content don’t look amazing and engaging, and if the site isn’t optimised for conversion – users will go to the next site in the rankings that meets these standards. For SFS we identified the following search terms (and corresponding landing pages) to be of highest importance to the campaign: Steel Fabrication, Steel Detailing and Drafting, Steel Surface Treatment, Steel Staircases, Structural Steel, and Steel Delivery and Installation.
When developing a digital strategy there are a variety of 3rd party tools that are extremely helpful for developing any well considered digital strategy campaign. To help with link building strategies there is Moz’s Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, and Google Search Console. Whilst to help with developing content and influencer research there’s BuzzSumo, AllTop, and Quora. To assist with managing all those social media accounts there’s hootsuite among many others. The lists are exhausting, and it’s easy to get bogged down worrying about tools and not actually getting anything done.
Although these tools are often extremely helpful (albeit some rather costly) they are not a magic solution to SEO and driving traffic. There’s that much information available that it’s important to know what to look for in the first place and then to know the appropriate actions to take. It’s very easy to spend all your time looking at the information these tools provide but not acting on it.
Keeping Campaign Momentum and Being Responsive
As this is a relatively young campaign – it’s important to be able to remain nimble and responsive – to be able to identify potential problems before they occur, or act on them before they become bigger problems. This is where some of the above mentioned tools become particularly handy. We monitor the success of particular strategies – and often run A/B tests where appropriate. We then provide monthly reporting on all KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) such as site traffic, search engine rankings, and where the brand is being talked about.
The beauty of digital strategy is that it provides obvious, quantifiable results. Get the message in front of an ever increasing, relevant, audience and the business will continue to grow. As traffic and search engine ranking increase – or as your social media audience increases – so does the business.
This is just momentary snap shot of the early stages of SFS’s digital strategy, and if you look at some of our other digital strategy case studies, it’s apparent the importance of developing a completely unique approach for each business. With the right knowledge and expertise, a content marketing strategy can be successful for any business, from a Rubbish Removal Company, to a natural medicine brand. Our team live and love everything digital, so if you’re thinking of getting serious about growing your brand online have a chat with us and we’ll tailor a bespoke digital strategy that achieves results.