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Nuts & Bolts - Case Study : The Scooter Store Mobilizes Paid Search

July 2012 By Heather Fletcher
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Challenge: Dominate search engine results pages.

Solution: Team with a digital marketing firm to create and manage a new website to help occupy top search result links.

Wisdom may come with age. But the propensity to choose large print books and enlarge print on Web pages seems to arrive at the same time.

Marketers at The Scooter Store, headquartered in New Braunfels, Texas, were hoping to capitalize on both of those tendencies when they decided to dominate the paid search listings for "Scooter Store." The reasoning was that consumers interested in the motorized wheelchairs and scooters it sold might only see the paid resultsthree of them—and the organic listing with zoomed-in text. So it was important to dominate all of that real estate, says Quinn Britt, vice president of consumer marketing at The Scooter Store.

But at first, Britt didn't accept what he later determined was sage advice from Response Mine Interactive (RMI), an Atlanta-based digital marketing services firm.

Three years ago, RMI proposed creating a third site in addition to The Scooter Store's main site, thescooterstore.com, and its e-commerce arm, thescooterstoreonline.com.

What would become electric-wheel-chairs.com seemed like flawed thinking, because Britt was sure The Scooter Store would be bidding on its own keywords twice.

However, after some convincing, The Scooter Store partnered with RMI and brought the third site live about two years ago. Britt says what finally won him over was realizing that consumers would have a different user experience on electric-wheel-chairs.com, which would be copy-heavy and display an entire form that didn't involve clickthrough for home page visitors. Plus, he says, "we didn't see [the site] cannibalizing and just increasing our paid search cost, generally."

The RMI-managed site helped The Scooter Store acquire 8 percent to 9 percent more leads in 2011 vs. 2010, according to Britt. That's an incremental lift, not just leads who would've come through the other two sites, anyway, he says.

Most importantly, Britt says, he was able to ensure the third-party site didn't violate any Medicare, insurance or search engine rules. For instance, Medicare rules mean The Scooter Store can't legally cold-call prospects who may be interested in scooters or motorized wheelchairs. So the site provides the phone number or a way for visitors to opt-in to be calledby filling out a form. (He says speaking with customers is important, because working through the Medicare and insurance process is a bit involved.)

RESULTS
  • 8% to 9% year-over-year incremental lift in leads
  • Filled 3 top paid search results slots for target keywords
  • No. 1 organic search ranking for target keywords maintained
  • Keyword costs remained stable on existing sites
 

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