Case Study: Optimizing Design for Conversion Goals

I wanted to share a case study about a new home page design that helped a client in the estimated tax business improve conversions. The results have been great so far – up 83%.

First, let’s get the background info on the client (Easy Estimated Taxes) out of the way. Easy Estimated taxes is a site that allows taxpayers to manage their quarterly estimated tax payments. Taxpayers can pay their estimated tax payments out of their bank account, keep record of their payments, and they get reminders of when their next payment is due.

Probably the most important thing to know about the business is that it’s seasonal. There are four payment periods per year and their traffic peaks during those four periods. That means those four periods are super important to them – it’s how the business sustains itself for the entire year. By now you’re putting 2 and 2 together and realizing that their site needs to perform during its peak period. If not, then they have to wait 3 months for another peak to come around.

The client had the following goal: get more of the existing traffic into their sales funnel. Put another way, get more of the people that visit the site clicking on the right call-to-action.

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How a Sound Content Strategy Can Bear Immediate Results

irs case study
The new layout - optimized for revenue generation

Last month we completed a project for I just finished writing an SEO case study (it may be better classified as a white paper) highlighting the process we went though with our client and ensuing results.

The entire case study is fairly lengthy, so I’m including just the summary in this post.

Just five months of working with Tax Center produced extremely positive results. The website is now better positioned in the search engines than it was before and it is receiving more traffic because of that positioning.

This project was different from most for a couple of reasons. First, it was shorter. Most content strategies are at least 12 months in length. Second, we began working with Tax Center at the beginning of their most important months of the year (as opposed to implementing our plan in the offseason for taxes).

This means that we needed to implement a strategy that did all of the following:
A) Got results without adversely affecting current search engine positioning,
B) Resulted in accelerated returns (meaning immediately), and
C) Laid the groundwork for long term performance beyond the scope of the project (future tax seasons).

We began the project by performing an in-depth audit of the site. The audit pointed to several key areas of improvement – basic SEO fundamentals, a more trusted user experience, and more high-value content. We based our strategy on those key areas.

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How to fix wrong title tags in Bing & Yahoo.

Seemingly out of nowhere, the title tag in the search snippet for one of our clients completely changed. Well, that doesn’t sound too horrible or harmful you say. Normally that’s right. Sometimes titles in snippets can be altered by the search engines and in rare cases can improve click-thru rates (I still recommend controlling all information in snippets with custom META data for every single page on your site).

The issue in this case was that the title tag now included information referring back to a really old (and outdated) sponsor…like years old. Even though the META data and the code said one thing (and keep in mind hadn’t been touched for at least a year), the title tag said something completely different.

Check it out. Here’s a screenshot of the source code:

holiday bowl game

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30 Days With Thesis: An SEO Case Study

thesis theme seoI integrated(*) the Thesis WordPress theme to this blog 30 days ago. Granted, 30 days isn’t a long time, but it’s long enough to begin to look at some data. In particular, I want to see if what the makers of Thesis claim is true – that inherently it will help SEO performance out-of-the-box.

* The theme is up-and-running, but obviously I haven’t done anything to customize the design. Work comes first, you understand.

Here’s what good old Google Analytics reports for thew 30 days since Thesis was integrated:

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