Carolina Comfort SC Case Study
Carolina Comfort contacted us after years with a national marketing company and not a whole lot to show for it. The marketing company had dozens of HVAC clients in their portfolio and seemed really interested at first, but grew distant as soon as the ink was dry.
- Response time was measured in weeks, not hours.
- “Reporting” was a monthly email saying everything was great.
- They were paying too much for leads and losing money.
When they got an appointment with an account manager, there was never any real plan to grow their online business. Carolina Comfort was in cruise control, going nowhere in particular, and losing money on their marketing spend.
Marketing is Never “One Size Fits All”
This is why you should spot asking for a price up front. The company Carolina Comfort hired sold cookie cutter websites for a flat rate to HVAC companies across America, all but identical save for place names and contact information. Entire blocks of text were exactly the same — and not very well written, frankly. Their business model was pretty clear:
- Pay a non-Native English speaker to create cheap text about HVAC services.
- Have a Native English speaker edit the content so it sounds like an American wrote it.
- Sell it as many times as possible with minimal changes.
- Collect recurring revenue on autopilot.
An automated system emails each customer a summary of the month’s activity and that’s that.
If a customer had feedback, they had to set an appointment and wait weeks for requested changes to appear. Why? In all likelihood, because the “account manager” was just some guy and the only people doing any work were whatever freelancers he found online.
Occasionally, a cheap, cookie cutter site is all you need to do the job. Competing to sell air conditioning in Famously Hot South Carolina is really not one of those times. Search engines took one look at the dozens of identical, shoddy sites the company was building and flunked every single one.
We start every project with a comprehensive technical audit and marketing performance analysis. This involves correlating an analysis of a site’s historical performance with the results of a full technical audit. Side by side, these show us how customers interact with a site and whether it is put together correctly. Once this is complete, we implement systems for tracking the source, behavior, and value of all website visitors. This information is shared with the client in real time and provides a transparent dashboard for site performance.
First, we scanned the site and analyzed historical performance records.
Next we set up and implemented transparent goal tracking systems.
The last step of onboarding was working with the whole team at Carolina Comfort to set marketing performance targets.
Transparent goal tracking helped us discovered what was and wasn’t working to advance business objectives.
This gave us the ability to measure performance improvements and iterate quickly.
In our third year we have set new goals and new systems that support those specific goals.
Our technical SEO analysis process involves scanning every page of the site, how they are connected to each other, and how other pages or search engines link to them online. Carolina Comfort’s site was a technical mess. Every blog post was titled “Blog”, there was no sitemap or Schema markup for search engines, and pages rarely linked to each other at all. The site wasn’t set up to serve customers or be technically accessible to the rest of the Internet.
Retargeted markup in all pages to make the site more accessible.
Consolidated hundreds of redundant pages to consolidate ranking signals.
Brought site into compliance with Google’s web development best practices.
Search engines were able to properly classify site content.
Blog posts ranked higher in search results, bringing in hundreds more weekly visitors.
The site ranked higher, had its content featured more often, and cost less per click on ads.
Carolina Comfort’s marketing contractors were selling copies of the same poorly-written content to dozens of businesses, hosting them all on the same servers, and doing the absolute minimum to customize them for any particular business. The results? Google thought it was a cloud of spammy garbage. Customers more or less agreed.
If Southern customers are shown content about winterizing their basements, they know that business isn’t relevant to them. Marketing content didn’t address the prospect’s concerns or make the sale, and performance suffered. We spoke with Carolina Comfort’s staff to find out what topics were most relevant to them, created content that directly addressed the concerns of their most valuable customers, and optimized it for discovery through search engines and social media.
Delivered market-segmented KW Universe targeting profitable search terms.
Created marketing profiles that centered customer concerns and guided investment.
Conducted competitive research to determine the conditions in Carolina Comforts exact market and develop appropriate strategies.
A modular, easily-segmented tool for identifying content opportunities and ranking performance.
Tested messages that convince specific customer profiles to become leads.
Knowledge of which search terms and topics were the most profitable in the local industry and how to rank for them.
Web Design & Development
Under the hood, Carolina Comfort’s site was poorly organized, improperly targeted, and shoddily constructed. Based on the results of our technical audit, we determined that redeveloping the site and moving it to a new host was the most efficient way to turn things around. We implemented a new build based on our technical SEO compliance audit that brought the site in line with modern best practices. All marketing content was rewritten to target the most profitable customer profiles and optimized for discovery by search engines. After a relatively rapid build, their new site was up and bringing in leads. In 2020 their site was updated to keep it in compliance with Google Search Console mobile optimization best practices, which shown an increase in even more blogs views and form submissions!
Implemented SEO compliance audit findings.
Rewrote and optimized all on-site marketing content.
Improved site usability with logical navigation and internal linking.
242% more unique visitors per month.
Cost per lead reduced by half due to improved conversion rate.
Customers reached the sales department more prepared to convert.
Carolina Comfort’s site now ranks for the terms their customers use to find HVAC contractors online. Their traffic is way up, and their cost per lead is half what it was before we implemented our strategy. From a strategic perspective, our experience with Carolina Comfort underscores that cheap, one-size-fits-all solutions don’t deliver results. Only when their site was rebuilt, targeted at their actual customers, and optimized for discovery did it start to deliver leads. These gains proved resilient even during major economic disruptions, further demonstrating the importance of an informed, targeted digital marketing strategy under skilled supervision.
- 242% more unique visitors to their website.
- Content that addresses customer needs.
- Leads cost half as much to acquire.
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Carolina Comfort Got 320% More Leads at Half the Cost.
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