SEO Case Study For A Specialty School With Huge Increase

One of my newest clients is a specialty school that has been around for many decades. They offer a mixture of online courses and physical courses. This type of training cannot be done 100% online, but a good amount of it can.

When I first spoke with the owner I asked him for two things:

  1. Website URL
  2. Access To Google Analytics

When I first looked at the website a few things instantly popped out to me. A couple of major things in the format of the website itself. This is not a new site, it’s been around for decades so this makes my job a lot easier.

When I looked at the analytics I was able to look back several years. I was able to identify exactly what he’s been doing (and trying) for years. This particular school has 3 physical locations. I was most concerned with the areas they are in, vs the areas they aren’t in.

I dug a little deeper and looked when his paid search traffic was coming from, and it was very sloppy.

Gee Report Google Analytics

There should only be 2 states showing in this paid search GEO report. The campaigns were so sloppy they were serving ads in 40 US States

The owner had made the common mistake of thinking “young and smart kids” can handle his digital marketing efforts. Nothing will beat experience, and he now realized that. Obviously I tightened up his paid search campaign, but let’s get back to the SEO.

My first month consists of a discovery phase and careful keyword analysis. I look at his website code, then I look at his competitors. I can immediately tell which school knows what they are doing Vs who doesn’t. I quickly realized that none of his competition is a threat.

I officially started my efforts on January 1st of this year, and here you can see the huge spike in organic traffic.

First 5 Weeks

Google Organic Traffic Spike

This report measure my first 5 weeks compared to the previous 5 weeks. Click To Enlarge

I knew we would have instant gratification but I never thought it would be this good so fast. Patience is necessary with this type of business, but wow.

Users and New Users:

A 66% increase in users will result in more leads. That spike of 70% more new users is impressive as well. Many of the sites current users are students who go to the website and login to class. I filter out current students with my marketing efforts. It would be a waste of money to serve ads to them.


I rarely talk about sessions, but let me explain to you what a session is. If I can back to a website 5 times in a certain time period, it would be 5 sessions. I care more about users. My 5 visits would only be counted as one user. By default, If I’m on their website and I didn’t click for 30 minutes, a new session will be recorded.

Bounce Rate:

A website’s bounce rate is one of the most misunderstood Google Analytics number. I could go to your website and spend 20 minutes scrolling up and down a reading everything on that page. If I don’t click another page on your website, I will be counted as a bounce with zero time on site. This is why I use Google Tag Manager. If someone scrolls at least 25% of the page, I will not count them as a bounce. This is a very important thing to understand.

Pages Per Session:

Knowing the average page views per visitor is important to ensure you are keeping your visitors flowing. This number rarely changes, and in this case it down 2.86% which is really nothing. 2.55 vs 2.63 is pretty much the same.

Average Session Duration:

A couple of minutes spent on your website is a long time in today’s digital world. We are quick to move around and we tend to look for our information swiftly. This is why it’s important to funnel your visitors into a conversion. Phone call, a contact form or a store visit (if applicable).

Goal Completions:

I first got access to the analytics in October. As a courtesy, I started measuring goal conversions then. This way when I took over I could fairly evaluate myself. Imagine having a 124% increase in phone calls and emails? His leads doubled,and it actually created a new job for someone. He had to hire another person to help work these leads.

Goal Value:

I use analytics to calculate goal values. This wasn’t implemented until last week so I can’t compare to anything. Here’s how¬† do it. They can buy leads for third party sources for $25.00 per lead. So every phone call and email lead I get is assigned a value of $25.00. This is how we check paid campaigns. In this case, he received $22,650.00 worth of leads and it didn’t cost him anything.

Other Sources:

This was just showing Google Organic, but here are the increases in users for other sources:

  • Google CPC: 28% Increase
  • Bing Organic: 66% Increase
  • Yahoo Organic: 177% Increase


This is how it’s done. If you have any questions please contact me here and I will get back to you as soon as possible.


About the Author

I've been working in digital marketing since 1994. I'm the original founder of Showroom Logic based out of Miami Florida, which was the 26th fastest growing private company in the United States in 2015. It was also the fastest growing marketing company in all of the US. In 2016 I sold by shares and moved back to Massachusetts.