This is the story of how to identify and catch lightning in a bottle.
This story starts with the exciting pursuit of an exact match domain name to capitalize on the 40,000/month searches for that specific keyword phrase.
It started from the ground up with an investment in stocking inventory and launching an ecommerce website called 80% Lowers at 80-lower.com. Much work still had to be done in order to climb the ranks in search engines to get top positioning on the results page. Luckily, the team at Springboard Marketing to create and execute a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. This, combined with the underperforming competition would allow for a quick rise to the top.
The combination of marketing a product that Amazon does not sell, in a niche market, and with opportunity in the market to leverage their digital marketing skills, proved to be the perfect recipe for success.
The funny thing about keyword research is that it doesn’t tell you anything. It simply provides the data and one must analyze it to uncover what it is saying, and what potential opportunities it holds. In this case, the owner’s research brought him to the conclusion that there was extraordinary opportunity for the search phrases.
The next step was building an ecommerce website for the company 80% Lowers and deciding what domain name to choose. While Google does not admit to it, our research and experience confirms that a domain matching a search term exactly, and that has relevant content on it, tends to climb the rankings faster than one that does not. A few domain name negotiations later, 80-lower.com was secured for the store 80% Lowers.
ECOMMERCE WEB DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
Being a new company, 80% Lowers needed a website in order to market and sell the product online. We began by researching the audience, understanding their fears and concerns, and identifying the factors that drive purchasing decisions. A brand, logo, and a new online retail store were on their way to being created while the 80% Lowers’ team was hard at work securing inventory and setting up the back office operations.
The website was built and developed in Big Commerce and used Ship Station for inventory management and order fulfillment.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Extensive keyword research helped us identify additional keyword phrases that had a high search volume, low competition, and therefore a great opportunity for content marketing and creation. Using this research, we built our onsite SEO strategy to make the website relevant for the keywords identified in our keyword research.
The team then went through and touched each product, page, post and image to optimize them for the search engines. From the URL’s, meta descriptions, title tags, and so on, we made sure the keywords were worked into as many on-page elements to achieve and maintain on-page SEO best practices. Additionally, topic models were created to aid in our ongoing content strategy. This would ensure our rise to the top of the search results page and the ability to hold that position.
Thanks to the number of keyword phrases 80% Lowers now ranks for and the associated volume of searches for these terms, they have achieved some extremely impressive results. Most notably, 80% Lowers has increased Sessions from Organic Search Traffic by 190.35%. More importantly, they have increased Revenue from Organic Search Traffic by 370.74%. The number of keyword phrases in each position bracket are listed below.
ONLINE SALES & AVERAGE ORDER VALUE
With the new 80% Lowers website launched, the products stocked, and the content optimized, the team kept an eye on how things were going. We were not prepared for the overwhelming success that the website experienced. Using white hat SEO tactics, the websites quickly climbed to first page positions in a matter of a few months.
Also during this time, we became aware of a growing trend in the way customers were buying products. Jumping on this realization, we increased the average order value of the websites by simply bundling products that were commonly purchased together. By making it easier to browse and buy several items together, we improved the customer experience while also increasing the average sale amount.
OPERATIONS AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
From an operations perspective, there was much to be done to improve the customer experience and the systems and processes to support such dramatic growth. We upgraded from Ship Station and Stitch Labs to Skubana, improved our customer service by moving to CallNet and Helpscout, and incorporated more tools into the website to better manage the stores.
CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZATION
Cut to about 12 months later and 80% Lowers had grown to a $4M+ business. Exciting, yes. But in looking at the data, we could not ignore the fact that the site still had room to make more by increasing our conversion rates. A user interface redesign was implemented and testing began to optimize the path to purchase.
We identified and set up tracking for each stage of the shopper’s journey. From the Home page all the way through to the Checkout page we set up reporting that helped us determine when or if a customer was dropping off so we could optimize it for a better conversion rate overall.
As a result of this research, we put mechanisms in place to improve these pages and their ability to convert. For example, an entrance email capture popup on the homepage works to grab a browsing visitor’s email. A cart page exit popup makes the user pause, consider the offer presented, and then encourages them to continue on to finalize the product purchase. Credibility components and confidentiality messaging were strategically added to address fears and concerns that could impede a purchase. The total Conversion Rate Improvement was a 41.72% lift. This result drastically increased the value of every visitor to the site.
AUTOMATED EMAIL MARKETING SEQUENCES
The onsite shopping experience is just the beginning of a customer’s journey. In fact, a substantial amount of conversions occur as a result of automated email marketing sequences. Collecting a consumer’s email address is incredibly valuable because it allows us to market to that individual and remind them to come shop our products. For this reason, we implemented the popup windows that ask the shopper to share their email address in return for various incentives based on where they are on the website and what offer or information is valuable to them at this point. Automated email sequences are then triggered to keep them engaged with our brand and interested in browsing our products.
Abandoned carts are uniquely important because they represent hundreds of thousands of dollars that were simply left on the table. This is an area that generates a considerable portion of profits. Therefore, our team crafted abandoned cart recovery flows that automatically email a customer if they leave the site before purchasing the items in their cart. Furthermore, we made sure to tailor each of the flows to consider the products in the cart as well as their recent activity on the site.
Additionally, once a customer has purchased from the website, we implemented a product upsell strategy to increase the average order value through strategically paired products. In total, 80% Lowers has 11 automated email sequences with a total of 40 emails. In the largest automated email sequence there are 20 unique emails. The overwhelming results from all email marketing efforts include an increase in Revenue from email by 850.01% and an increase in Sessions by 1,262.44%. In the past 90 days, over 33% of all revenue has come from automated email marketing sequences and email campaigns.
SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT
Gun owners and enthusiast are a very active and opinionated group of individuals. There are many topics to discuss and remaining engaged socially with this group is imperative to becoming a genuine brand that understands the customer and offers products that serve as solutions to their needs. Our team maintains an active social presence and seeks to learn from the conversations that are occurring around gun ownership, custom AR rifle builds, and the right to bear arms under the second amendment.
- Ecommerce Web Design
- Content Creation
- Content Promotion
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- On-page SEO
- Email Marketing
- Big Commerce
- Google Analytics
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Google +