Working with the Studio team helped a long-standing and well-established hose company expand to the online marketplace with amazing results.
Increase in Revenue
Revenue from Organic Traffic
Sessions via Social Referrals
Founded in 1927, Swan Products was one of the original manufacturers of hoses for the lawn and gardening industry. The company has since committed itself to sustainability and water conservation, and today the farmers and gardeners behind Swan are leaders in creating water-saving, environmentally friendly watering systems.
Swan started working with the SEO team at Grow With Studio in January 2016. Once the SEO strategy started gaining traction, Swan added social media, PPC and, finally, website design to its roster of services. Members of the four teams now work both individually and collaboratively to run coordinated marketing efforts that build off and reinforce the efforts of other teams.
“Everything has improved. The redesign we did is making us more money, and the social media work has gained us followers. The SEO work continues to bring people to our site with content that shows improvement with each monthly report.”
Industry pioneers always have a unique challenge. The momentum a business can pick up from being one of the first can rapidly give way as market saturation increases over time. When Swan started SEO services in 2016, it was after noticing that listings from Amazon and big-box hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s were crowding Swan out of the SERPs for most of its high-priority keywords.
When you’re a fish swimming in a place where much larger fish have moved in, what should you do? As resources grow scarce, do you fight the bigger fish for your space? Well…not necessarily. First you need to bulk up so you can ensure a fair fight. That won’t happen quickly, so there’s another solution in the meantime: Find a less-crowded piece of the ocean to call your own.
That’s the approach our SEO team took with Swan. First we helped the company seize opportunities in less-crowded spaces by targeting niche, conversion-focused keywords. As we did that, we built up the domain authority and subject expertise of Swanhose.com with an extensive ongoing library of highly specific informational articles.
From May 20 through August 20, Swan added PPC into the mix to give its revenue an even bigger boost during its busy season. The timing posed a challenge for our PPC team: Typically it takes about three months, on average, for a PPC campaign to start gathering enough data to make educated optimizations and tweaks to the strategy. Since we had three months total, we had to get everything as close to perfect as we could right out of the gate. We sped up our conversion and testing process as much as we could, making quick optimizations to increase conversions with very little data.
Because Swan hoses can be found at every major hardware retailer, it was common for sites like Walmart and Home Depot to bid on keywords like “swan hoses” and send traffic to their own products. We wanted people to purchase from the website directly, so we launched a branding campaign that kept Swan Hose on top of the SERPs for branded keywords.
At the same time, we leveraged ad extensions and promotion extensions to take up even more real estate in the SERPs and increase CTR and sales at the same time.
While it’s important to rank for branded terms, we also wanted to introduce new customers to the brand. To do this, we created campaigns for all of Swan’s popular products. This included keyword research, competitor research and ad copy that focused on the brand’s values while staying relevant to the searchers’ needs.
Since Swan’s ad budget was limited ($900/month), we wanted to make sure as many ad clicks as possible led directly to sales. So we focused on keywords with commercial intent and rigorously vetted every query that came in to make sure it matched our strategy.
DSAs are ads that pull headlines directly from the content on the website to dynamically match what the user is searching for. By this point, the site’s organic presence was fantastic, and this strategy allowed us to build on that using the content that had been optimized. We ran a landing page analysis weekly to make sure the searches in the DSA campaign had high commercial intent.
As traffic and revenue picked up, Swan added social media services to its plate. For Grow With Studio’s social media team, the goal was to sustain the brand’s current social media strategy while expanding its reach and introducing the brand to new channels where there were additional opportunities. We partnered with Swan’s excellent in-house content writer, helping the company maintain the brand its customers love while increasing its audience and engagement.
Using both Facebook pixel data and new custom audiences to increase website traffic and drive conversions, we launched social media ad campaigns that helped the brand’s organic social presence pick up steam. At the same time, we developed a presence for Swan on Pinterest by creating and curating content for it on the new-to-it platform.
After eight months, the website started seeing a 1,684% increase in sessions via social referral, and a 100% increase in social conversions. And the numbers behind the numbers? In one year, Facebook Sessions increased by 2,223.21%, Pinterest sessions increased by 137.5% and Instagram Story sessions increased by 600%.
Swan then took advantage of the flexibility the extra revenue provided and set its sights on a revamped website design. The site posed two core challenges for the design team. First, Swan has a huge range of target markets. Its products appeal to many different people for many different reasons, and each visitor has different needs from his or her customer journey. Second, the site had a lot of great content the company wanted to share with its customers, and the usability of a site can start to feel confusing and cluttered when there’s a lot of information.
The solution to the first challenge — appealing to many different customer segments that included both wholesalers and consumers — was to create different hubs on the site for each segment to explore. The mega menu, for example, includes both a “Professional” and “Residential” section, letting visitors navigate to the journey that best addresses their needs and concerns.
We tackled the second challenge — linking to the information in an easily navigable way — by creating a unique “fat footer” that let Swan link to all the information it wanted in a clean way. We wanted a design that would be easy to adjust over time, allowing the client to easily switch out content and imagery while staying true to the integrity of the design.
...And that brings us back to SEO! Inspired by the new website design, the SEO team implemented a mega menu that allowed for highly niche categorization. This reinforced our keyword strategy, which at this point was focused on gaining traffic from niche keyword phrases. The mega menu gave us a chance to give these keywords some extra relevance without overwhelming the user.
This is an example of how the right mix of strategies can build off each other. By choosing one strategy to pick up momentum and then gradually adding to its roster of services, Swan was able to expand its initial success exponentially. Each team at Grow With Studio worked closely with the others to benefit from and enhance one another’s work. Between the four services, Swan’s ROI is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and still growing.