In more ways than one, Aquaspresso Coffee Company was one of our first clients. Aquaspresso Coffee Company was founder Mike Harf’s original business, that inspired him to begin a digital marketing firm. Below we’ve compiled all the main learnings, which inspired him to start the business that would become Syte.
In more ways than one, Aquaspresso Coffee Company was one of our first clients.
Aquaspresso Coffee Company was founder Mike Harf’s original business, that inspired him to begin a digital marketing firm.
Below we’ve compiled all the main learnings, which inspired him to start the business that would become Syte.
Digital Results Marketing Case Study – Aquaspresso
Digital Marketing – that is – digital platform and account management – has been on the up-and-up since the social media boom started a good decade ago.
It’s taken a while to gain traction, but chances are, if you were to reach out and do a quick Google search for a Digital Marketing company, you’d be hard-pressed to not find one.
The real trick, however, is to find yourself a good digital marketing agency. What do we mean by “good”? In our humble opinion, the only scalable metric for digital marketing efforts is results.
Hard, cold facts, tangible metrics and of course – a higher number of leads which ideally convert into sales.
We’ve taken one of our very first clients – Aquaspresso Coffee Company – and compiled a case study detailing every effort we made, how each effort was executed, and what the results were for each campaign – and compiled it into an easily digestible format.
Believe it, because it’s true. Reaching page one of Google in itself is a major accomplishment, but having multiple search results for the same keyword (or similar) can only spell success.
If searchers see your website pop up with real-time answers for their queries over and over again, you’re practically guaranteed a click.
Further optimising your landing page to make the user experience as pleasant, efficient and interesting as possible will more often than not result in them (at the very least) submitting their contact details onto your site.
So, how is it done?
- Be ahead of the curve with your keyword research.
With Aquaspresso, who retail and lease coffee machines to homes and businesses, keeping ahead of competitors worked wonders.
One of their major brands is Jura – a Swiss-made coffee machine; keeping track of Jura’s newest releases on coffee machines – more often than not machines that were only anticipated in the country months later – allowed us to write fully optimised blogs on the new release coffee machines.
This allowed sufficient time for the articles to rank on Google, and of course – because there was no existing content on the item already – the search results would typically only pop up from Aquaspresso’s website. In fact, the importing supplier of these coffee machines sometimes only showed up below Aquaspresso when searching the exact search term.
In this case, the Jura X8 (only anticipated for local retail from the end of March 2018) was the item we focussed on when blogging.
In the snippet below, you can see Aquasapresso shows up – organically – in the very first two search results, followed by the actual manufacturer – Jura.
Being ahead of your time really does yield some exquisite results when properly executed, optimised and marketed.
- Write multiple blogs on various aspects of the product you are marketing
In this instance, taking apart facets of a product allows you to increase the number of blogs you can write on essentially the same product without infringing Google’s Good Practice Guidelines.
The best way to get this theory into practice is to choose the main keyword (one or two keywords as closely related to the product as possible) and make multiple blogs with additional keywords that you anticipate may be searched often.
A good way to do this is in the following formats:
- “Versus Blogs” – you compare two similar products or brands to each other
- “Multiple Versus Product” Blogs – where you compare two, three or even four items from the same range against each other
- Image optimisation within your articles or blogs
- Demo’s – i.e. – video reviews with the same keyword. This is especially useful as it will bolster your rankings (if correctly optimised) in both Google AND YouTube rankings.
The keyword we searched below was simply “XS9”.
How did Aquaspresso rank?
- The second organic search result (just below the manufacturer themselves) is Aquaspresso. They wrote a lengthy review on the topic, and continued to update and freshen the blog as time went along. This allowed for already ranked content to remain current, and continue to rank.
- The second result is a landing page, where Aquaspresso did some off-page SEO; they optimised the page to answer the most popular searches, such as price, overview, pros and cons and the capabilities of the machine itself.
Pro tip: Adding a pop-up block to landing pages can increase your leads dramatically. If a searcher finds the landing page helpful, they are far more likely to submit their details on a pop-up form than continue to wade through other search results. Don’t drop the ball here, ensure your sales team is ready to call any inbound leads within ten seconds to ensure the best user experience possible and get the highest possibility of converting the lead into a potential customer.
- The third result is a great example of how a “Versus” blog can work; oftentimes, leads come in, not knowing which product within a specific range will suit them best. Think about it, if you’re in the market for a coffee machine, how would you know the differences between models that are only categorised by letters and numbers? Instead of making your leads work to find out which product is best, use your experience and product knowledge to answer the anticipated question. Here, we reviewed the XS9 against the most similar machine – the F8 – and clearly, the demand for that search was high. Even better is if you stock or retail both products you’re reviewing; optimising the blogs and ensuring a speedy contact once the lead has submitted their info could almost guarantee you a sale in one of the two products.
- Image optimisation: this poor little category is the funny looking pup nobody pays attention to. Writing your blogs correctly within Google’s Good Practice Guidelines, and posting it correctly is 90% of the hard work. But what catches your eye on a blog? The tiny, endless words, or the catchy, related and enticing cover image? You guessed it. This aspect is two-fold; find the right image. What’s the right image? One that is a) NOT watermarked b) high quality and c) catchy. Once you’ve got this base down, you need to optimise your image.
Optimising an image is also a two-step process: Save the image using your focus keyword. Once the image is uploaded, add ALT text reflecting that exact keyword. Even if your blog does not show up, if the image is “good” enough, it will show up in image results, which may lead to more click on that specific article, meaning more website traffic and again (typing in with a well-optimised landing Page) may allow a searcher to end up on your website and eventually as a lead, all because of one well-optimised image.
- Video’s: SEO cannot rely solely on content – no matter how relative, optimised or great that content is. We live in a world which seeks instant gratification, and if a video isn’t just that – what is? You can make a blog and basically turn it into a video. Answer the same questions, follow the same structure – but make it quick (less than three minutes ideally), make it fun, and make it as professional as possible. You don’t need to outsource a whole video crew; ensure you have a good background, good audio – but most importantly – make sure your speaker is familiar with the product and can convey well over video. Further, optimise your video the way you would on blogs; add focus keywords, use a well-structured title, catchy over images – but NEVER forget to add a link to your website. Ideally, your YouTube channel should be set up to link to your associated website, so if a customer is interested in contacting you either to buy or get more info, it should be as easy to find as possible. Direct your YouTube website link to a well-optimised, non-navigable landing page which has either the contact form or pop-up, and ensure that lead is called while it’s hot.
- Don’t be scared to write about products which are not yours
The old-fashioned method of marketing usually revolved around marketing your product, punting that it’s the best product around, and almost “hiding” its flaws. Continuing marketing in this manner nowadays is one of the best ways to set yourself up for failure. Yes, people want great products, but not every product is perfect. In fact, no products are perfect. The more transparent you are about your products – AND how they fare against a similar competitors product – the more trust you will build with your searchers and potential customers.
In practice; Aquaspresso does not retail Nescafe Vending Machines, but they have written tons and tons of articles about them. These articles include reviews of the machine, as well as outbound links (super important) to the actual supplier of the machines. Not only does this allow your website to pop up in numerous search results, but it also educated searchers on the product before they decide on it. You may choose to highlight the features of the product, inform them of the products’ capabilities and even some disadvantages of the product. Be careful to not write negative reviews – it will come back to bite you. While there is no strict policy on writing about products which are not yours, it is ethically the right thing to do to write positive and informative articles about competitors’ products.
As you can see in the second organic search results, Aquaspresso published a list of all suppliers of this specific product locally. This provides priceless outbound links to authoritative websites, as well as close-match keyword results when searchers search competitors’ names.
That’s not a typo, we really did increase Aquaspresso’s website traffic by that much.
That giant peak you can see in January 2018 indicated 1,211 website visitors per day, compared to January 1st 2017, where we had 190 web visitors on that day. It sounds impossible, but we followed literally ten steps to get Aquaspresso to rank that high.
But first thing’s first. We need to understand a few things that did play into our favour from the client’s website.
- This domain is older than five years, with continual updates to it. This in itself makes the website (and brand) a trusted one and allows any content to rank well.
- It was a collaborative effort with the client; understanding their target audience, and what they wanted to achieve with the said audience gave us invaluable insight in how to go about getting them to where they are. We absolutely need the clients to input on every major decision, and we simply must align their goals with our strategies – otherwise, it will simply never yield these type of results.
Now that we understand how intrinsically the website helped itself, let’s see what Digital Results did to increase Aquaspresso’s traffic by 1000% in 365 days.
- Content, content, content. A minimum of 3 blogs posts per week – and not just any blog posts. We would do keyword research a week in advance, plan our blogs around this (including how we would structure our blogs, including H1, H2 and H3 headers, meta descriptions and tags) – and then executed it once we were happy that the keyword would attract the right type of customer.
- Content promotion on social media platforms. Okay, you’ve got amazingly incredible, almost unbelievable content. But who’s reading it? Unless you’re posting your content to a Facebook business page, along with other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn (especially in the case of B2B products) – then your content is going to stay stagnant. Also, not posting the blog as a “copy and paste” effort onto the Facebook page (a mistake we see happen far too often) – we provide an enticing snippet, along with a link to their website for the article. This drives the traffic to exactly the right place, and the right people will end up sharing your post across social media – meaning more and more readers.
- Social outreaches included offering interviews with industry-related experts (closely related to coffee, which is Aquaspresso’s business, but not strictly around machines). Interacting with the right people –i.e. –those who are interested in the product in general, even without knowing it, is a winning recipe. They are more inclined to shared promote your content, – and we already know that content shared out of pure interest is the best way of marketing that content.
- Links, links and more links. You’ll read more about the incredible link opportunity Aquaspresso found itself with later in this case study, but other than that, reaching out to similar communities to add a link to our website was hard at first, but once the brand is established, it’s not that hard. Use your link building exercise as a “like-for-like” scenario – ensure you offer the link giver something in exchange so they don’t feel as if they’re losing out. Offer to mention a particular article of theirs they wish to promote. Most importantly, persevere. Nobody got quality inbound links by giving up so early in the game!
You cannot make this stuff up. Striking at the right time can mean the difference in a domain authority of less than 5 or one of 29.
Aquaspresso was given a press release without embargo on a product that was coffee-related and due to launch two days after receiving the article.
This is where timing becomes absolutely critical; we jumped on this right away, and provided an interesting, link-filled article and sent the link to the said article to the promoter.
Without knowing it, Aquaspresso then became the very first website to publish anything on the topic, and when the press release went live and the product launched on Amazon Prime two days later, we saw some rather unbelievable results.
Not only did the inbound links shoot up from less than 100 to over 1000 in approximately one month, but the inbound root linking domains which they were receiving were almost unbelievable.
As you’ll see below, websites such as Mashable, HubSpot, Mentalfloss, Fox, Refinery29 and Cracked.com linked directly to Aquaspresso’s website. Can you imagine how well your website would do with backlinks of this quality?
Your content is up, you’ve slaved over optimisation, done your due diligence on inbound links, you’ve promoted and published your work wherever you could.
Where are the leads? Where’s the money?
You may not believe it, but the best way to increase your leads from your current content can be done is 3 of the simplest steps you’ve ever experienced.
- Return to older content; freshen it up, change the cover image and change the META description! The meta description is such an underutilised tool in improving your chances of your blog being clicked on. If you make it fun, alluring and a little secretive – this will make your readers want to know what you have to say. For example, changing a meta description on a blog from “Jura XS9 Review” – which is admittedly super boring, change it up to “Jura XS9 review and pricing – we show you what you’re really getting”. Why? Firstly, you’re offering your readers more value. Instead of a simple review blog, you’re giving them pricing (HUGE bonus, prices are always super hard to find in this industry) – AND you’re enticing them by saying you’re prepared to show them what others won’t. This makes them curious to know if there’s some huge factor about the product, maybe an insider secret they can share with their friends or colleagues. See what I’m getting at?
- Add a contact form or pop-up form on your most popular pages. If people are already so interested in your content, why not try cash in on it? Pop up form is so quick and easy to create, but can have magical results. Perhaps even more important than the pop-up form is contacting the lead as soon as his or her information pops up on your screen.
- Offer specials and guides as a means to extrapolate information from leads, such as e-mail addresses and contact numbers. Even if this info seems to be wasted in the current tense, keep it on record (consider using a CRM such a HubSpot, which is excellent for exactly this type of info). Segregate the leads into categories – such as “Interested in cheap machine” or “Business owner looking to save money”. Create e-mail campaigns structured around each category and send them specials. You can actually tailor your e-mail campaign to trigger another mail if they do nothing when receiving your initial mail, so you can rest assured you have done literally everything in your power to convert that lead into a potential customer.
Not all content you create needs to be solely placed on your website. Creating the right channel with engaging and fun content is a highly untapped resource for businesses looking for leads. Promoting the content on your social media feeds will help spread the word, but the best way to generate leads via YouTube videos is two-fold:
Firstly, create a video with a special offer within the first 10 seconds of the beginning of the video. Tell your subscribers to wait until the end of the video to see how they qualify.
What if they don’t view the video and just skip to the end? Well, YouTube still considers this “watching time” – so even then, your YouTube rankings and authority will reap the benefits, even if the lead does not accept the offer.
Secondly, ensure your offer related to a clickable link in the description of your video; this link should ideally be a landing page link to a non-indexed page, offering them the special. It can be a special as “menial” as 5% off your next purchase or a free item.
Mention the word “free” and people will flock. Pro tip: offering a free guide or e-book to your viewers will allow them to reap the rewards for watching, and may offer them even more insight on the product you’re hoping they buy.
In Aquaspresso’s case, the special offer was “The Ultimate Buyers Guide for Purchasing Any Coffee Machine”. They focused mainly on the types of coffee machines they sold and retailed and explained why each machine would suit a specific environment and why.
Offering an e-book provides you with that goldmine of e-mail addresses and contact details, and in a way, ropes in potential buyers.
Even if your lead is not interested whatsoever, your e-book or guide may convince them to make the leap of faith and buy your product – or at least promote it to someone else who may enjoy it.
As you can see, SEO is a world of marketing in and of its own. There’s no “one way” to succeed at SEO, but following the basic structures, the world of possibilities is limitless.
Having read (hopefully) through this whole case study, something we don’t often mention is the timeline SEO requires to become a success.
It is NOT an overnight solution, not even weeks. Typically, genuine SEO efforts take at least three months to start showing results.
We only saw real, “brag-able” results after a full year of focussed SEO intent for Aquaspresso – so keep at it! Don’t let dips in metrics dishearten you, it happens.
You just need to be ahead of the curve and keep churning out high-quality content, written for readers and not for Google entirely.