Case Study on Mac of All Trades
Can you pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time? What about walk and chew bubblegum? Do you find yourself chasing two rabbits, only to catch neither, and end up the jack of all trades and the master of none? Plenty of smart people will advise you to focus your efforts when thinking about digital marketing. If you spread yourself (and your budget) too thin you might end up not making an impression on any of the audiences you target. But what’s to be done when your business relies on running two disparate SEO strategies in concert with one another? Then you’d probably benefit from reaching out to someone like a professional SEO agency. Someone who thinks about this kind of thing full-time.
Mac of All Trades had been a fixture in the space of used and refurbished Apple products since they opened their doors in 1995. Or at least they thought so. They were well known at the trade shows and by other players in the industry, but the more they got out and talked to actual customers, the more they realized that their name didn’t have quite the level of reach that they thought. “We had painfully low organic traffic,” said Amato Cole, Head of Marketing at Mac of All Trades. “We knew what kind of customers could use our service. We knew that they were out there. They just didn’t know that we were out there.”
Mac of All Trades and their sister site, Mac Me An Offer, had a real challenge in front of them. They had two separate audiences that they needed to connect with at once. People that had used Apple products, and wanted to trade in or trade up. Those folks needed to know that Mac Me An Offer was out there and would buy their lightly used Mac products. People that were looking for a discounted or used Mac product needed to know and trust that Mac of All Trades was a well-established repository of refurbished Apple computers with a great reputation. One is a fairly straight forward conversion-focused campaign, while the other needs to focus on lead generation and making connections.
“Mac Me an Offer is actually the easier one to explain,” Amato said. “It’s a simple audience but also very competitive. There are a lot of very reputable players in that space.” Whereas Mac of All Trades is a different audience. Amato pointed out that they not only compete with the world’s highest valued corporation, but there is also the hurdle of convincing the customer that a used computer is a safe purchase.
Amato knew that they would need an organized SEO effort to get their name and message out to a wider audience, but they had never done SEO before. “We knew that to have people work on it internally our team members would need to wear too many hats. If we outsourced it we could give it to the people who could give it the time and attention it needed,” Amato said.
So he started doing research into a professional SEO agency that could take on the somewhat unique SEO campaign he had in mind. One that was not only aggressive enough to bring their brand to a wider audience but could run a bi-furcated marketing campaign that brought in two different types of users. That’s when he found 1Digital Agency. “I looked at a lot of teams that could do it,” Amato said. “But no one else had the consistent long term positive feedback that 1Digital did. It kinda seemed too perfect.”
Under Amato’s advisement about their business, how it worked, and their goals for the brand, we began to develop our two-pronged strategy. Not only would one focus on conversion, while the other focused on lead generation. We also wanted to synthesize with the other types of marketing that Mac of All Trades was already doing. On Mac of All Trades, the SEO would raise the brand’s profile at a category level, for laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc. While their currently running PPC marketing would continue at a product level. Delivering results for more specific searches for certain products, like a 13in Macbook Pro, or a Bluetooth keyboard. With the overall goal always in mind of bringing the Mac of All Trades brand name more recognizability.
We set out targeting general keywords that we could link back to the wider categories on the site. Seaches that customers who were just starting their computer buying research would be likely to use. Terms like Refurbished Apple Products, or Macbook Sale. Of the keywords we target, 18 search terms that were not previously on Google’s page one have come onto the first page. We have also moved 17 that had been on page one have come into the first position.
We have also seen average site visibility go up overall. Mac of All Trades’ average ranking was the 21st spot when the campaign began. Now, 7 months in, the average Mac of All Trades keyword sits at the 11th position. Their traffic score and average ranking position now also outstrip big-name competitors in the space like MacWorld and New Egg.
Since the campaign has begun, Google Analytics reports that organic traffic to the site has increased by 16.9% and that sales from organic search visitors have increased by 4.9%. We have also seen the number of new users discovering the Mac of All Trades site has increased by 17.5% during this same time period.
We’re thrilled that the campaign is bringing in more sales, but we’re also happy to see the new user traffic go up as well. This indicates that work with a professional SEO agency is bringing in what Amato had sought in the first place, a higher profile for the Mac Of All Trades brand, and more street-level customers getting familiar with their name.
Lead Generation SEO
Lead generation SEO is slightly different from eCommerce SEO. Even though you can’t measure it by sales, you can still measure the actions a user takes on the site to tell how well your marketing is working. In this case, we want visitors to come to the Mac Me and Offer site and put their contact info into a form to have someone from Mac Me an Offer reach out about selling their Apple product. This is the program that feeds the inventory on Mac of All Trades and therefore is crucial to the business models’ ongoing viability.
Because we want the visitor to take a specific action when they get to the site, the Mac Me An Offer keywords are very action-oriented. We’ve chosen phrases that prominently use the words Sell and Trade-In. Phrases like, Sell Macbook and Trade-In My Mac. The Mac Me an Offer campaign has been running only a slightly shorter term than the Mac of All Trades campaign. It also had less authority to start with than the business’s main domain, but that hasn’t held back its progress. So far we’ve seen 13 of our keywords, which were not on Page One when we began, move onto Google’s first page.
We’ve seen the site’s overall visibility rise as well. When the campaign began our SEO tools read that Mac Me An Offer had an average search position of 41. Now the site’s average position is 19. However, as Amato noted, this space is very crowded with reputable competitors. Places like Gazelle and Cash For Your Mac still have stronger authority, traffic scores, and average rank positions. Every SEO campaign takes time to build and that’s especially true when fierce competitors are all jockeying for the same 10 spots on Google’s first page. You not only need to work to expand your reach, but also put resources into protecting the rankings you already have. That’s where a professional SEO agency can really help decide how your time and budget are most effectively used.
Google Analytics reports that in the 6 months we’ve been working on the Mac Me an Offer campaign, contact form completions from organic search visitors have increased by 28.4%. The conversion rate for organic search visitors has also increased from 25% to 27% during that time. This has made organic searches the second biggest source of people filling out the contact form, the first being direct referrals from the Mac of All Trades site.
“Despite Mac of All Trades being in business for more than two decades, our process has never been better,” Amato told us. “It’s nice that we can enjoy increased traffic during a time in which our product confidence has never been higher.” Thanks to two slightly disparate digital marketing strategies working in tandem with each other, and with the other arms of Mac of All Trades marketing effort, we have been able to increase interest in the brand, participation from potential sellers, and most importantly, conversions. When asked if he had any advice for other business owners looking to start a digital marketing campaign, Amato said, “I would honestly say that you need a team. It could be internal, something the company builds out, or it could be outsourced as we did, but you need someone who can put the time and attention into it that it requires.” If you’re looking for someone to act as your digital marketing team, why not reach out to the eCommerce experts at 1Digital Agency to see what a professional SEO agency can help you with.
- Joe Chilson
- December 23, 2019