Scoring Great Free SEO with “Free”

eCommerce Challenge: Re-establish brand awareness, generate new audience(s), and make the cash register ring, WITHOUT breaking the bank

Strategy: Design, code, and execute a page leveraging great SEO.

Background: Beginning in mid-2017, I worked with a major provider of vehicle history data to address the challenge outlined above. One of the major theories was that consumers were opposed to “buying” the data about a vehicle, because there was a perception that the “data” being “sold” should be free. (It was over-priced, they didn’t understand the value, there were competitors offering the “same data that is free”.) Further analysis showed several “hacks” and “how to get a free…” websites and social media posts. Such posts were cannibalizing the brand and reputation of the product.

Opportunity: Rather than trying to change consumer behavior (and combat “free”), could we leverage this behavior and further promote the brand via social media? Of course, the business had to officially offer a “free” solution (in this case, one data element). A strong value proposition to understand the data behind the free element was also required to encourage purchasing the full product. We had to strike a delicate balance of explaining some of the data, but not all of it, as that required a purchase.

Calendar Year 2018 Results

  • 190,00+ new traffic hits (representing 1% of total-site traffic)
  • ~$80,000 in direct new revenue (1% lift)
  • Conversion rate of 1.35% (higher than site average of 1.2%)
  • Targeted and achieved a new audience of “shoppers/value shoppers”, “DIYers”, and “Tekkes”, ie. Millennial Audience

Current Trends (2019)

  • ~30,000+ new traffic hits per month (representing 3% of total-site traffic)
  • $10k/month in new revenue (1.87% lift in overall revenue, approximately 2% of total orders)

Key Discoveries and Additional Hypothesis (A/B Testing)

  • Customer Insight: Consumers are lower in vehicle purchase funnel
  • Customer Intent: Consumers are engaging with the product as a final double-check ‘confirmation’ before buying a vehicle
  • Customer Incentive: By offering something for free, consumers are more likely to engage with the full product
  • Social Proof: Combining the free data along with consumer testimonials generated trust in the product
  • Further Research: How we up-sell additional data?

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eCommerce, News and Notes

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