This SEO case study looks at how we helped a privately owned Child Care Centre based in the Western Suburbs of Sydney increase the number of enquiries by a massive 800%.
The Centre has been operating for over 10 years and is licenced for 66 places, catering for children aged from 6 weeks to 6 years old.
The need for two income families has been on a dramatic climb for many years. This has seen the demand for child care increasing. In line with this trend, more and more Child Care providers are opening new Child Care Centres to meet this demand.
As a result, some areas have seen a proliferation of new Child Care Centres now competing for business. While competition is always good for the customer, Child Care Providers, especially privately owned Centres, are finding it harder to match the larger organisations when it comes to advertising budget.
Our approach after consulting with the owner was to run a Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Campaign. Learn more about what is Local SEO here.
Why a Local SEO Campaign?
Here are some statistics that supports why Local SEO is important.
1. The Google 3 pack (i.e. local map listings) appear in 93% of searches with local buyer intent.
2. 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited the business within one day.
3. 76% of local searches result in a phone call.
STEP 1: The first step was to complete a Local SEO Audit to determine what areas needed improvement.
The audit identified optimisation opportunities with the Google My Business Listing, Website speed optimisation, On page and metadata optimisations and Off Page Optimisations.
STEP 2: The Google My Business (GMB) Listing had already been claimed by the Centre Owner. However, the listing was missing vital information and had no photos showcasing the Centre. This was easily fixed by updating the GMB listing and adding optimised photos.
STEP 3: The existing website had been recently updated, however, was slow to load. We completed a speed optimisation review and fixed most issues affecting speed. Due to the budget available, not all errors were fixed as some of these required major changes to the structure of the site.
On the positive side, the website was already optimised for mobile. Why is that important? Google recently announced its mobile-first indexing strategy, where websites that are mobile friendly will be favoured in search rankings. Also, nearly 60% of searches on Google are completed on a mobile device, with most of those being done via voice search.
STEP 4: To let Google know that you exist your website needs to be optimised with relevant buyer intent keywords.
We had already completed keyword research as part of the free audit. The keywords were added to the site as well as further optimisation of the meta title and descriptions. Adding this information helps the search engines and customers understand what the website is about and the relevance to search terms.
STEP 5: An important part of the Local SEO puzzle are citations. A citation is basically the listing of your business details (Name, Address and Phone Number – known as NAP) on another website that links back your website (known as a backlink). Backlinks are needed to help with your website authority and to let Google know that it is a trustworthy website.
For Local SEO, this is commonly done via listing your business on respected business directories. You’ll need to avoid backlinks from any spammy sites as these could hurt your ranking.
As part of this process, our SEO copywriter prepared a number of business descriptions that strongly represented the branding of the Centre with call to actions.
STEP 6: How many times have the reviews you read about a company or product influenced your purchasing decision? Your potential customers are doing the same research, so the final piece the puzzle is to ensure your Google My Business listing has positive customer reviews.
In this case study, the Child Care Centre’s FaceBook page had over 15 positive reviews, however, there were only 4 reviews on their Google My Business listing. The aim here is to get as many genuine 5 star reviews as possible.
Also, take the time to respond to the reviews either thanking the customer for leaving the review or in the case of a bad review demonstrate that you are wanting to fix any issues with the service provided.
Sometimes you may receive a bad review from a competitor or an idiot. Don’t be afraid to call them out with something like “We don’t have any record of you being our customer. Are you sure you have put your review on the right business page?”.
A word of warning. If you are found to be adding fake reviews, your business listing may be blacklisted by Google. This spells disaster for any local based business and may take a long time to get fixed.
The monthly results from the campaign are shown below. To respect the privacy of the client, the target keywords have been blurred out.
MONTH 1: The screenshot below shows the results after the first full month of the campaign. There was a combined ranking increase of 30 places across all targeted keywords.
MONTH 2: All keywords remained within the top 3 positions.
MONTH 3: Once again all keywords remained in the top 3 positions. One keyword had a small drop, however this did not last long.
MONTH 4: The small drop experienced in the previous month continued for one day into the new period. However, the keyword quickly came back into 3rd position by day 2.
At the time of writing this case study, the Centre’s occupancy level is currently at 98% with a healthy waitlist for the age groups that are running at 100%.
Earlier we provided the statistic that 76% of local searches end up with a phone call. Hopefully, you can see how new enquiries for this Centre were increased by 800%.
However, it doesn’t stop there. One thing we know is that Google continues to tinker with their highly guarded algorithms to ensure users receive the highest quality and relevant search results. This means you will need to continue monitoring and optimising to improve or maintain rankings.
While the SEO campaign can bring more enquiries it won’t necessarily convert them to new customers. Take the time to review the way your business is presented. For example:
- Is the Centre clean and well maintained?
- Are the resources up to date and not broken?
- Does the learning environment look inviting?
- How do your staff interact with your customers, both face to face and on the phone? (Perhaps provide a script for your staff to follow when taking enquiries).
- How are your staff dressed? Do they look professional and caring?
- Is your website up to date? Does it look fresh and modern, but more importantly is it easy for customers to find the necessary information?
- Following on from the previous point, is all the information on your website necessary? Remove the clutter where possible.
With some technical know-how and time, you can replicate the above steps for your business. I can’t guarantee the same results, however, if done correctly, you should see improvements in the number of new business enquiries.
If the above seems a little complicated or you just don’t have the time, we’d love to help you out. Contact us today for a no obligation consultation.
Don’t forget to request your free and no obligation Local SEO audit today.