Case Study-30% Revenue Increase after SEO work

Case Study

Catering Biz Increases Revenues 30% in Recession

 

Company Background

Started in Chef Kathleen Francis’s kitchen, Extreme Cuisine Catering began as a small and personal venture that was met with interest by a hungry university community whose population was 650,000. Chef Matt Fairchild joined her as partner later that year, and they enjoyed a slow, but very steady, increase in business over the next seven or eight years, with expansion as needed. By the end of the decade, they were catering a substantial number of weddings most weekends, amid a list of other events, and needed a larger facility. They acquired a large commercial kitchen, enabling them to meet the demand, along with more clients and more staff.

 

Challenges

They saw an increase in business as a result of that move, but the nation was in recession, and overall their revenues were comfortable, but had plateaued.

Francis and Fairchild were pleased with the clientele base they had built, but were itching to see faster growth.  They had attempted several marketing approaches upon the advice of friends and colleagues, and each was only marginally fruitful.

While both Francis and Fairchild had seen significant, even remarkable, growth in their ten years in business, they knew they could do more, with greater profits, if they could find out how to draw more business. Though their own community was under 100,000 people, they lived near a major metroplex with a population of 1.3 million.  They wanted to draw clientele from that ocean of people.

Then, one summer, Francis attended an 80th birthday celebration, where she saw old friends who owned an SEO marketing firm. Discussion of times past, children and grandchildren, shifted to business challenges, and she invited further exploration of the subject in a business-day conference call, as she said she was ready to expand her services.

The Solution

The following week, representatives of O’Cavan Marketing Solutions arranged a telephone conference to discuss the options for expanding the catering business. When asked about the revenue generated by their website, Francis and Fairchild quickly expressed disappointment in their website’s performance.  Search engine optimization, SEO, was explained to them, and that their site needed the introduction of carefully researched keyword phrases strategically placed, along with strategic internal and external links. In addition, it was explained that Google had recently changed their algorithms, and the ranking could be a slow process. They determined to be patient.

It was agreed that O’Cavan would re-write the content on the current well-developed webpage Extreme Cuisine had built before knowing to optimize for search engines. Ranking of the website proved to be poor, with the site showing on page 1 of the search results for only one search phrase tested, and unranked for all others. Search result pages were examined through page 14, with no postings for the business.

The project was begun the third week of July and completed the first week of August.  To extend the geographical radius of their market, keyword phrases were researched, chosen, and included to encompass the nearby metroplex of large cities. More keyword phrase research was applied to find phrases with high traffic and low competition. These resulting key phrases were written into the content of the pages and subpages on the website, as well as the meta tags on each page.

Results

The search engine ranking of the website was checked weekly for the next four months, with no change for any search phrase.  Then, the last week of December, about four and a half months after the work was complete, Extreme Cuisine Catering appeared on page 1 of the search results for 80% of the search phrases tested.

O’Cavan Marketing Solutions representatives notified Francis that the ranking had moved their website to the top of the search results, and suggested she watch for changes in her business inquiries. More calls and orders and events began coming in at an accelerated rate. Orders increased, inquiries from outside their community increased, event size increased.  As the first quarter of the new year ended, Francis and Fairchild reported a 30% increase in overall revenue over the first quarter of any other year since their company began, in spite of the current recession.

They were very pleased at the percentage of those inquiries which came from the neighboring metroplex, and which they had struggled to gain before the project.

At this writing, they are negotiating their contract with O’Cavan Marketing Solutions for the addition of ongoing fresh content to their website on a regular basis.

The increased activity and revenue has resulted in new problems in staffing, scheduling and cash flow, but they are working through those “appealing” growing pains with relish.

 

As Chef Kathleen said,”Well, yes, those things are going on…if you actually consider them problems!”

 

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