Bob's Bobsleds - A Digital Marketing Tale

By Bodie Czeladka in Dilate Digital on Jan 30, 2014


It’s a real story, but whether or not it’s a real business is up to your imagination!

Bob’s Bobsled business specialises in the sale of Bobsleds and associated gear. Until now Bob has always just sold his products from his shop and his marketing has always consisted of word-of-mouth, the street sign out the front and the occasional small print ad in Bobsled Monthly.

Bob has noticed a steady decrease in bobsled sales and has decided that a website is what he needs after witnessing young skiers checking out bobsleds over lunch online

So Bob does what any savvy business owner does he contracts a small boutique development company to build him a simple and modest website. He provides them all the content they require to populate the pages (i.e. About Us, Bobsled Range, Gallery, and Contact Us page). The company asks Bob if he wants contact forms on the website, but Bob declines he wants to ensure people can speak to a real person when they have a query. He does however insist on placing his number up top right next to the logo.

3 months after launching the website, Bob is disheartened by the lack of enthusiasm and traffic to his website by the bobsled community. Bob types into Google all the phrases he can think of relating to the bobsled industry and his website is nowhere to be seen.

Bob contacts the website company informing them that their website is not working. He is then informed that they are a web development company and that their only job was to build a functioning website with the aesthetic values he asked for. During this conversation Bob is informed of a few buzz words he has heard previously…SEO….Adwords….Social Media etc etc and Bobs head goes into a spin!

Not giving in so easily he decides he will try this SEO they spoke of. After all getting to the top of Google would obviously get more sets of eyes on his website and bobsleds. He jumps on Google and proceeds to type ‘SEO’ which returns About 201,000,000 results……Bob sighs and then decides to type in ‘bobsleds for sale’ which returns About 401,000 results.

Bob sighs as he closes his laptop and calls the print company to place another 1/4 page add in the “very popular” Bobsled Monthly.

The very next week like a sign from God, Bob receives an email from an SEO company promising to take care of everything and get him a whole bunch of keywords (they have selected) ranking in Google. Bob signs a 12 month contract and away they go like a bobsled down the ice.

Bob goes back to what he does best assuming his best interests are being looked after. 6 months down the track Bob’s business is no better off and the extra marketing expense is adding further demand of his finances.

He also notices that for the keyword “Bobsleds Jamaica” he is no where to be seen. However a lot of his competitors are showing up with reviews and map locations of how to get there, and they don’t even do SEO.

He picks up the phone and contacts the SEO company. The company, like every month sends him a report of his Google ranking to his surprise it has lifted and he even has a few rankings in the top ten. They also proceed to show Bob his Google Analytics traffic and to his surprise his traffic has increased. (Bob misses all the other information just focusing on visitors ignoring additional information like bounce rate and pages per visit)

Bob speaks to his SEO account manager and demands to know why the SEO isn’t bringing sales, the account manager responds “How do you know it is not?”

Bob ponders this question for a while and then realises there is ZERO way to differentiate a lead that comes from his website, word of mouth, his sign out the front or even Bobsled monthly.

At this point bob is totally disheartened and decides it’s ALL JUST TOO HARD he picks up the phone and places a 1/4 page add in Bobsled monthly.

Thought: Yes ranking number one for a given search term is great! But how do you know if that search term will bring you the desired results or deliver that pot of gold at the end of the Google rainbow!

Bob like a lot of businesses made a few vital mistakes a few of which we will list below:

  • Bob had no way of tracking leads from his website he could have used ROI tracking software that gives him a dedicated phone number that redirects to his old number and can even record his sales calls. Or even asked people when they called where they heard about his business and added it to a tick sheet.
  • Bob let the SEO company select the keywords without first checking the volume of search via a keyword tool. (or asked assistance from the SEO company to do this)
  • When doing his initial searches for keywords he could of used Google hacking and only looked at results with ‘bobsleds for sale’ in the title using the following ( intitle:bobsleds for sale ) which would have shown him that there was only 1,430 results with Bobsled for sale in the title. (demonstrating a less competitive and overwhelming task at hand.
  • Bob could have saved money and set up a 1 month Adwords campaign with these keywords to see if they returned revenue before locking away an expensive SEO package.
  • Bob didn’t realise about Google Places Listings, the results of which are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. (this wasn’t included by his SEO company although should have been)
  • Bob added the content to his website, although informative there was no way to collect customer contact information ie contact forms that could have been collected via a database so that later on Bob could start his own Bobsled monthly newsletter.
  • Bob didn’t have strong calls to action on his pages or create incentives for visitors to contact him.
  • Bob had no conversion tracking in place to monitor just what his visitors were doing and ignored a high bounce rate, which is an indicator that his visitors weren’t finding the information they were looking for on arriving at his site. (incorrect keywords maybe)
  • Bob only looked at once piece of the puzzle, SEO and ignored a lot of key areas. He needed a more holistic Digital Marketing strategy.

There are many things that influence achieving your business goals online and to leave one out is like trying to bake a cake without flour! mmmmm cake!

Most important point: If you are responsible for making marketing decisions for your business ensure you have all the necessary information and ensure the company you choose to help understands your business goals. Digital Marketing has progressed so far that it is no longer emotive, when done correctly it is science, maths and completely measurable.

I know there are lots of businesses out there just like Bob’s Bobsleds, so if some or all of this post hits a chord then pick up the phone or drop us an email.

We would love to have a chinwag!

Avatar for Bodie Czeladka
Bodie Czeladka

Hi I am Bodie Czeladka, surfer and devoted dad from Perth Western Australia and founder of Dilate Digital. I crafted Dilate Digital from a home theatre room in 2012 and worked solo as a freelancer until hiring my first staff member in early 2014. Dilate Digital now has the privilege of employing over 50 superstars world wide and this is just the start. I believe the best of me is still hiding up my sleeve.

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