Social proof is one of the strongest factors that influence purchase decisions. The concept is no different in digital marketing; people want to see results, so SEO agencies need a way to demonstrate their expertise. Writing a compelling case study and displaying it on your website is one of the best ways to accomplish this.
If you had a campaign that did well, you can use it to show potential customers what your agency is capable of. Having a testimonials page helps, but quotes do not tell the whole story. Detailed accounts of the benefits your clients experienced will always do a better job of converting hesitant prospects into paying customers.
What does an effective case study look like?
Structuring Your Case Study
This is the basic outline of most client case studies:
1. Company Overview – This will be a brief introduction to the company, and their place within their niche. It is important that this section does not read like an advertisement for your client’s business; describing their strengths is fine, but the study’s credibility is called into question if it sounds biased.
2. The Challenge – What were the client’s business goals, and the problems in their way? Pressure from digital competitors, Penguin penalties from link building mistakes, a poorly functioning website, or simply a lack of sales – business owners deal with these challenges all the time, and they would be interested to see how you managed to solve them.
3. Strategy – Here you will describe the plan that your agency came up with and implemented. Discuss your services and go into detail about any changes made to meet the unique needs of your client. Explain your motivations, especially if the project was an ambitious one.
4. Results – Finally, write a powerful summary of what you accomplished. Consider including a side-by-side comparison of the numbers from before and after the campaign; this will make it easier for them to appreciate the impact you had on the client’s business.
Making Your Study More Interesting
Impressive client results and well-written content are necessary, but they are not enough to grab the reader’s attention. A study will be far more effective if you present it in the right way. Here are a few guidelines:
• Start with a strong headline, summarizing the major benefits of the campaign (e.g. “How We Grew AAA Landscaping’s Organic Traffic by 358% in 2 Months.”).
• Get the tone right. Avoid sounding too technical, as most of your readers will not be SEO savvy. Make it a memorable and powerful story that will connect with the audience.
• Graphics and formatting are important, especially for longer studies. Create illustrations and graphs to avoid large blocks of text.
Of course, a case study is only helpful if it applies to the reader’s situation. If you write a study about an ecommerce store that sells consumer electronics, a management consulting firm will not find it relevant. You should strongly consider making one for each of your major client segments; we recommend at least one study in a B2C context, and another for your B2B customers.
As competition grows within the SEO industry, building trust becomes even more important. Reach out to one of your satisfied clients, and ask if they would be willing to cooperate with you on this project. They will likely appreciate the publicity, and may even decide to use the study in their own marketing efforts.