What Does SEO Mean?

In today’s post, I’d like to pause to discuss why SEO is important for business, particularly online marketing. Often we need a concrete example to see the need of the great classes offered by the Search Engine Academy. As a sample, I’d like to offer up one of my clients as a quick case study.

Rip Collins, Inwood Security Vaults founder

Rip Collins, Founder of Inwood Security Vaults

Inwood Security Vaults is a private safety deposit box company based in Dallas, Texas. It was built from the ground up to be a vault with the latest in security features. Their private safe deposit boxes come in a variety of sizes–they even have lockers and closets in their facility.

One of the biggest challenges in their 30-year history has been marketing and advertising. They have tried a variety of advertising, marketing, and public relations programs, none of which gave them any significant return on investment.

Starting in 2008, current manager Betsy Collins heard about Google AdWords and started using it on a limited basis. They did see a small uptick in box rentals after starting that initiative.

In 2009 I was privileged to get to know Betsy through a networking group. She shared with me her challenges working with Google AdWords, and frankly I wasn’t surprised. If businesses don’t set up AdWords correctly, their budgets do not get used very efficiently.

Betsy and I sat down and took a look at her website and one of the first things I noticed was that all the text on the site was embedded in images. Since the text wasn’t seen as text by the search engines, none of the good information on those pages was being indexed to help them rank for their desired keywords. The website was hiding from Google and they didn’t even realize it.

However, they weren’t quite ready to take the step of redesigning the site. So the first thing we did was take over their Google AdWords budget with a more comprehensive Pay-Per-Click program.

After seeing good results for several months, they decided to let me take over their website development and SEO. We redesigned the site and also made sure that the text on the site was readable by Google and the other search engines. After some preliminary keyword research, we also started adding pages over time to the site with relevant content to their ideal customer.

The return on investment for their business was extremely significant. Betsy said “The number of safety deposit box rentals more than doubled after we began our search engine optimization efforts. In 2007 we rented only 25 units and we are on target for 2012 for over 90 rentals here at Inwood Vaults.” Our data shows a steady monthly increase from mid-June 2009 through October 2012.

This is why SEO matters. Inwood Security Vaults is a perfect example of how a niche business (private safe deposit boxes) can really benefit from an effective search engine optimization program. The variety of services and techniques SEO professionals have to offer can make an unexpected difference.

These are the same techniques we teach our students at the Search Engine Academy classes – and with a well thought-out plan you can have similar results.