Zone Home Solutions
Search Engine Optimization
Zone Home Solutions, based in Buford, Georgia, provides HVAC and Pest Control services to customers in Atlanta as well as customers north and east of Atlanta’s perimeter. Over the past six years, Forum has partnered with Zone for their website needs while also providing consulting services and select digital marketing services – specifically providing search engine optimization (SEO), social media management, and email marketing services.
Prior to 2019, Zone had worked with two different agencies – one recommended by their HVAC supplier for SEO and Forum for pest control. After a shift in our SEO strategy for pest control in late 2019, traffic for pest control began to dominate overall site traffic while HVAC related traffic remained stagnant. This was great for Zone’s pest control division (Zone Pest Solutions).
With such growth, Zone made the decision to shift all of their SEO efforts to Forum following the results. The growth didn’t stop – total traffic rose from an average of under 1,400 page views per month to just under 14,000 page views at the website’s peak in organic traffic. Zone’s SEO was not only locally successful – but internationally. They began receiving calls from all over the world about removal of ants and termites – even Australia!
And while this may have seemed like a huge boon to Zone, it also came with challenges. First, Zone didn’t provide services in Australia – so the site’s bounce rate outside of their geographic territory skyrocketed. Second, HVAC related traffic remained flat with little to no growth. While we worked to improve HVAC traffic, we saw little improvement. We had successfully confused search engines. Why? Because Google categorizes most companies / brands into one industry – or another – not both.
So our challenge over the past year has been “how do we convince Google that Zone does more than pest control?” They received HVAC leads – but not nearly the volume they received in pest control. Organic HVAC traffic year over year continued to remain flat while pest control traffic (and leads) continued to grow at a ridiculous rate.
HOW WE HELPED
Well, there’s no reward without some risk. Many of the changes and ideas from our digital marketing team were very risky. Altering Google Local Business information, work on link building for HVAC and stop our efforts in pest control, or even divide the site into two websites and shift each service line into its own website and related domain were all discussed. Our team, and the client, realized the risks involved with every option. However, we knew that while the growth was incredible, our efforts were overreaching our target audience. Leads had increased in pest control significantly, but their primary consumers were roughly a three hour radius from their home office in Buford; not a 20+ hour plane ride away in Australia.
To address the issue, we developed a detailed SEO plan that we thought would limit risk as much as possible but provide maximum benefit. Details of the plan are at the bottom of this case study.
Prior to the launch of the campaign, we discussed the possible outcomes with Zone. We knew that website traffic globally would collapse, however our focus on their local market was critical to success. We were right. From our peak of traffic in October 2021, site traffic from all locations dropped in November by a terrifying 50%. However, and most importantly: traffic within the state of Georgia grew an incredible 189% and leads were also up 3.23% during the first month. So, while looking at data from all locations, data seemed to be incredibly negative, but relevant leads and localized traffic improved significantly.
Comparing year over year traffic for the first two quarters of 2022, organic search traffic within the state of Georgia is up 66.3% year over year and leads from organic search are up over 46.5%. Even more impressive – HVAC related page visits are up 893% year over year.
While traffic and leads matter most, Zone also gained a number of HVAC-related rankings, moving up an average of 20 positions as well as gaining top 10 localized rankings for a variety of keywords including:
- HVAC services
- HVAC installation
- Buford heating and air
- Buford HVAC
- Atlanta 24 hour ac repair
- And many more.
This is what co-owner Trey Scarborough of Zone had to say about the Forum team:
“We engaged Forum several years ago to completely rebuild and manage our website in order to improve our struggling online presence. Since we offer such a wide array of services, we knew it would be a tough job. Forum certainly has proved themselves up to the challenge. Leads from our site went from almost nonexistent to becoming a very large part of our new business. Matt, Nick, and the rest of the team have always been very responsive, proactive, and easy to work with. I highly recommend their team.”
Due to the success of this campaign, Forum submitted these SEO efforts to the 2022 DotComm Awards and won a Platinum SEO Campaign Award as a result.
ALL IN THE DETAILS
First, we shifted all our link building activities to HVAC related links. Our pest control external link building efforts had been quite successful but further growth in pest control links was not necessary at the moment. HVAC’s link count, or at least those adopted, were relatively weak. Second, we began producing more HVAC-related content to grow the site’s overall content base. To do so, we continued producing monthly blog content relevant to both service lines while working to be more location specific in our content. Regarding HVAC service and conversion-oriented landing pages, we completed a content audit of the entire HVAC portion of the sitemap, developing new content and re-organizing the site to better optimize for organic search. This required a re-work and re-write of all HVAC pages and the site’s existing structure. Last, we added schema to each page and developed a schema map where pest control-related and HVAC-related ages would be tagged as such with related locations.
The project began in October of 2021. Our goals were to purposefully lose international rankings and related traffic, maintain local rankings for pest control, and gain local rankings for HVAC. We saw immediate results from the efforts and continued month over month growth in rankings, traffic, and localized leads.