CASE STUDY: Olives Unlimited

Website Update or Makeover?

A prospective client asked initially for me to update their site as the original site designer was no longer available. “Sure,” I responded. “Send me your updates.”

Their list was minor. “Can you add these 3 photos and captions?”

I began asking questions: “What are you trying to accomplish with your website? Who are you trying to reach? What were you hoping it would do that it’s not?”

This level of probing opened the floodgates. No one had ever asked about their goals. (Hint #1 – Never expect site visitors to show up just because you build a site!) Turns out they had quite a lot of terrific products and not too many buyers as of yet.

Always Conduct Discovery

I dug in on analysis. The site was attractive, but it was very thin on content. Further, there was rarely a call-to-action on most of the site pages. And though their business was not an online model, they had high hopes website traffic would drive phone calls and eventually in-person visits to see the products.

Most importantly the site didn’t reflect the keywords needed to drive traffic to it. None of the site’s current keyword phrases ranked in the top 100 for results, meaning those who looked for the products they offered were never going to find their site. What good is investing in a website that doesn’t generate traffic?

Upon explaining my analysis of the current site’s shortcomings to the prospective client, they immediately approved my proposal to build a new site that would incorporate all those needed keywords, content and images to drive traffic to them.

Getting Results

The new site launched with approx. 30-something pages instead of the prior five pages. Traffic was immediately driven to it by the client’s ongoing Google Ads campaign. It was also immediately indexed by Google, further positioning those all-important keywords at higher rankings.

Over the next 60 days I watched the same keyword phrases go from ranking beyond 100 down to 50, then 40, 30 and lower. At the same time, Google Analytics reflected site traffic increasing dramatically as well as length of time visiting the site.

In the first 60 days, the site had 20 keyword phrases move into the top 10 ranking. And each consecutive month that number increased. Within six months, more than 100 keyword phrases ranked in the top ten in results. Take a look…

Search Summary on Google

In its first 90 days, the site received nearly 600 clickthroughs from search results and nearly 24,000 impressions. But what about that 28.6 Average Position ranking? Remember, this was only 90 days after the site launched. Since the site didn’t rank at all in the top 100 positions for any keyword phrases prior to its makeover, this was a good start.

Most importantly, the average click-through rate for search ads on Google is 1.91%. Whereas, the average click-through rate for Google’s display network is 0.35%. So the 2.4% CTR shown in the chart is well above those averages.

Compare the Feb.-Sept. 2019 site traffic (in orange) to the 2020 site traffic  (in blue) below:

OU-Compare Feb-Sept 2019-2020 Traffic

In a little more than 1.25 years since the site launched, the website went from not ranking at all in the top 100 search result positions for 10 keyword phrases to ranking within the top 10 positions for more than 560 keyword phrases, of which they rank #1 for 65 of those phrases.

Needless to say, the owners at OlivesUnlimited.com have been happy with the results, the website traffic, and (most importantly) more and more visitors to their Sonoma, California, olive tree nursery.

Visit OlivesUnlimited.com.

Update 2024: The site continues to receive between 200 and 300 visitors per day, the majority of which are new visitors, searching organically. Site traffic is 50% higher on mobile than via desktop. In the last 90 days, nearly 800 keyword phrases net a position in the top 10 of search results in Google. Of those 800 keyword phrases, 500 phrases are in the top 5 search results. And overall, 1,000 keyword phrases garnered at least 1 click each, if not dozens or more, for the last 90 days.