Recovering A Lead Generation Site

Have you ever felt like your website leads have suddenly fallen off a cliff? Did your website used to drive a lot of contacts and help your sales team to bring revenue into the business, but now it just sits there, not really pulling its weight? You might be surprised at how often this happens.

There can be a number of reasons behind this type of drop, but for one of the clients that came to us, it was instantly obvious what had happened to them. Today, we’re going to look at how we determined the cause of their drop in leads, what we did to counter it and where they are now.

Lead Generation Drop – The Investigation

When this client first contacted us about their website performance, their biggest concern was the fact that leads from the site had slowed almost entirely. Where it had once been a strong revenue generation tool for them, it was now an expense that was not providing a return on investment.

To begin with, our first step was to lift up the hood of the website and audit it from a technical SEO perspective. We do this so that any underlying issues with the site that may have gone unnoticed can be located and a recommended strategy to address them can be put together.

What we found was astonishing.

There were well over 8 million errors on the website when it came to URLs and indexation. On top of that, there were thousands of other errors with redirects, invalid pages and incorrect content structure. In short, the website was in a very poor state.

The reason for this was simply because, since the website had been built, no active SEO of any kind had been carried out on it. Over the years, as the content and product pages changed, or the needs of the website evolved, tweaks were made to it without the attention of an SEO expert. All of this compounded together to create a very large technical SEO issue.

But that doesn’t specifically answer the question of why their leads were decreasing. After all, they are actually a very well established business in their industry. So, we had to look back at the website’s historical performance.

Our first step was to compare our client’s Search Visibility to that of their competitors, over the past few years. This immediately brought to light a very significant event.

At the start of 2018, their Search Visibility plummeted. At the same point in time, one of their smaller competitors that they had never really considered true competition rose, effectively taking their place. This event coincided with a drop in traffic and events on the website, including contact form submissions.

The loss in rankings for Organic SEO directly affected the number of leads that our client was able to generate. On top of that, all of the leads they would have been getting were now likely being picked up by the competitor they had all but ignored due to the size of that business compared to theirs.

So, with the issues and the reason now determined, the next step was to bring their website back from the brink of destruction.

Lead Generation Strategy

Lead Generation Drop – The Strategy

To begin with, the first port of call was to address the various technical SEO issues on the website. This was the route cause of the original drop in performance, so fixing those would give us a stable foundation to build upon.

Starting with the 8 million URL issues, we analysed the website’s Content Management System (aka the CMS, like WordPress) to locate the cause for these errors. After finding it, we were able to swiftly remedy the base error. From there, a careful redirect strategy allowed us to clear out the other 8 million errors. Whilst that sounds simple, I can tell you now, it took a lot of careful analysis and deep understanding of how a CMS works.

With that huge cloud that was hanging over the website now obliterated, then the next step was to fix the other, more common issues with the site. Whilst these are more common, they still required careful analysing and strategic thought to ensure that we not only fixed them but also improved the website’s indexation.

After all, we weren’t just trying to remove errors on a website that was performing well. We needed to rebuild the foundations of the site so that they were as sturdy as possible.

Once that had been done, we jumped straight into a full-on optimisation strategy for our client’s website as a whole. Rather than fixing technical SEO issues, we moved onto content structure and optimisation, in order to improve the relevance of each page on the site.

This was a tall order to do, but it was definitely a necessary one. The content had not been optimised or improved over the years, whilst that of the client’s competitors had been. So, in order to regain our client’s previous positions and performance, we needed to ensure that our client’s website was optimised to the best it could be.

So, over the course of 6 months, we went through every page of content, each blog post and all of the product pages, optimising the content to ensure that the site was as strong as possible.

Lead Generation Results

Lead Generation Drop – The Results

So, now that we have discussed what the problem was, and what our strategy to overcome it was, let’s get to the part of this story that you’re probably most interested in; the results so far.

Looking at monthly traffic Year on Year, we can see that there has already been strong growth for people coming from Organic Search Results. When you consider the fact that the website had been on a constant decline, this turn around is great news for the client. It shows that they are now starting to pick up where they left off, as it were.

On top of that, an 18.55% growth in New Users also means that our client is rebuilding the audience they had lost following their drop in rankings.

But in the end, traffic growth is only useful if it leads to a growth in your Return on Investment, right? After all, anyone could get you traffic – it’s quality traffic that you need. This is, of course, the same for our client.

Our client’s products and services are all very high-value items with a high conversion rate once the lead has been contacted, so they only need a small number of leads to generate a strong level of ROI.

However, they were previously getting just 8 leads per month, with a Goal Completion Rate of just 0.25%. This certainly was not enough to be financially suitable.

With that in mind, our client is over the month to see the level of growth they have achieved in such a short space of time. With a 350% increase in contact form submissions, pushing Goal Completion Rates up by 286%, the website is now not only financially viable but also generating strong profit levels.

This turn around has helped our client to gain more confidence in SEO, and we are now looking forward to pushing the website further.

Getting The Right SEO Advice

When it comes to helping your website turn itself around and become a lead generating machine, having the right SEO guidance and advice is imperative. Without keeping your website up to date, you run the risk of a very sudden decline in rankings, traffic and lead generation.

If you are worried about the level of SEO advice you are receiving, or have concerns that your website has started to underperform, why not get in touch with us today? We would be happy to discuss your situation and how to move forward with your SEO.

Written by Gareth Torrance

Hello there. I'm Gareth, the Search Engine Marketing Lead at Brave. With almost a decade of experience in PPC and SEO, I've seen everything from Pandas and Penguins to the horrible time that was Mobilegeddon. As a Google Ads Certified Google Specialist, I have lived through almost every major shift in the industry! And that makes me feel old.

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