Nuts & Bolts - Case Study: For BrickHouse, Search Is a Winning Hand
BrickHouse Security has mighty, mighty paid and organic search marketing results. But that wasn't always the case for the New York-based security and surveillance solutions provider.
Before BrickHouse hired Wpromote-an El Segundo, Calif.-based online marketing agency-in February 2013 to optimize its paid and organic search, results were a bit weaker.
"We used to use a separate agency for SEM and did SEO in-house," says Todd Morris, founder and CEO of BrickHouse. "And one of the reasons ... we made our change ... was that we realized that, from a customer perspective, it's all just search. And it's really all about getting as much real estate on that search result page as you can."
Morris sees other benefits to combining SEO and pay-per-click, too: "There are a lot of leverages going back and forth between search and paid; especially as Google has made organic more difficult by taking away the keyword data ... You leverage what you learned in paid to focus your efforts in organic. So I think, as of now, they go hand-in-hand. And working with an agency that doesn't have a strong grasp of both would be very difficult."
That stacked up for BrickHouse when the security and surveillance solutions provider changed its e-commerce platform, and 40 percent of its organic traffic disappeared. The company took a closer look at its PPC campaigns and found return on ad spend wasn't as good as what had been reported, says Morris.
At that point, some of the company's top-performing keywords were at the bottom of Page 1 or somewhere on Page 2 or Page 3 of the search engine results pages (SERPs), and Morris says Google AdWords accounted for almost all of BrickHouse's search revenue.
After getting to work with Wpromote, BrickHouse made a few back-end code and structural changes to its site, moved content around-adding it to product categories-then figured out what Morris calls the "gold list" of 1,000 keywords.
Starting from scratch in the Google AdWords interface, they built campaigns that broke out keywords by brand, non-brand, category and, in some situations, business case. Under the gold list keywords "GPS trackers," for instance, Morris says "we have a subset for the business-related keywords. So we know we're willing to spend more on some of the B-to-B keywords. And it doesn't affect the return on ad spend on the others."
BrickHouse now outranks Amazon for high-volume terms such as "hidden camera."
"We got back up to No. 1," Morris says of the SERP rankings, and Bing and Yahoo revenues at least tripled.
"We've actually gotten our organic [search ranking] to higher than it was when we lost it, and the paid has become much more efficient," he says.
During the fourth quarter of 2013, BrickHouse saw year-over-year organic search increases of 75 percent in traffic, 49 percent in transactions and 29 percent in revenue. Total traffic from paid and organic efforts rose 28 percent.
Going forward, Morris says BrickHouse will continue to focus its direct marketing efforts on search, while adding in targeting and acquisition through display and direct response television at the beginning of 2015.
So BrickHouse isn't built like an Amazon-its results are more mighty. And that's how the story goes.