CREATING ONLINE VISIBILITY SKYROCKETS SALES
Structural Panels Inc. (SPI) is an all-Canadian manufacturer of high-quality, steel-skinned structural building panels. When SPI wanted to increase its online visibility and capture new markets, it turned to Canopy Media.
The result of this partnership?
- 86% increase in sales in two years
- 81% increase in website traffic
- 204% increase in website leads
- 50-70% increase in keyword visibility
- 3491% Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI)
We sat down with SPI’s Co-owner and Business Development Manager, Lee Rogers to learn how life was before Canopy Media— and the awesome results that came from the partnership.
We had an opportunity recently to sit down with Lee from Structural Panels and discuss our work with him. Here’s an unedited transcript of what Lee had to say about our marketing efforts during his interview with a third party!
Q: Why did SPI seek out Canopy Media?
Lee: I joined the company in 2013 from a bigger online conglomerate based out of the East Coast in America called drugstore.com. When I got to SPI, we had a landing page with our phone number, a couple of memes, and a click-through link to send an email. It was a fairly primitive website.
What I brought over from drugstore.com was that people prefer to do their own legwork and research and figure out if a product is good for them or not. SPI’s old website wasn’t really telling customers much about our company or what we manufactured. After a little bit of time here, I realized that it wasn’t meeting our needs anymore.
Q: How did SPI get its leads if it had minimal online presence?
Lee: It was a combination of trade shows, word of mouth, cold calls, referrals, and existing customers. A lot of new leads came from the trade shows and we attended as many as we could and we tried to talk with lots of people. We did a lot of sales hustling, it was speed dating basically with people you didn’t even know, trying to make sure that they remember you when they wanted to build.
Q: How successful were those customer acquisition methods?
Lee: We were either way too early or way too late by the time we went to trade shows. We were catching people at the wrong time. People would walk past our booth and say, “this is a very interesting product. I’ve never heard of it before.” But often they had just completed a project or were going to start another one the next year. By the time the next project rolled around, they had forgotten about SPI.
Q: Did you have a marketing team in place before you hired Canopy Media?
Lee: When I joined SPI, there was somebody else in charge of marketing, but they didn’t really drive a lot of change. If something needed to be changed on the website we sent them an email and within a couple of days, they would go and make the change, but I never saw any reports on anything, I was never in a meeting about anything, there was no SEO optimization and there was no marketing.
Q: What was your goal when you hired Canopy Media?
Lee: We wanted to make our company and our products as visible and as Googleable as humanly possible. We wanted to turn the tide so that customers would find us instantly rather than finding us too early or too late.
It was a matter of getting our name out in front of people at the right time.
Q: How did your partnership with Canopy Media start?
Lee: The initial contact was by phone and then Kai Hulshof from Canopy Media came down to the site for a visit. He wanted to get a basic understanding of what we manufacture and who our market is to see if they would be a good fit. They have always maintained and demonstrated that they don’t want to squander people’s time and money.
Q: What happened after the initial meeting?
Lee: Kai put together a proposal that said that step one would be overhauling the website and making it more modern, interactive, and user-friendly. Canopy Media then created blog posts and pages that explained what SPI did and the products that we manufactured.
Q: Can you walk me through the tactics that Canopy Media employed to increase SPI’s Googlability?
Lee: Keyword optimization was a big one. It was a matter of what do we call the panels internally? And then, what do people refer to them outside of here or the industry beyond what we do? For example, a lot of times, our panels get called SIPs, which is Structural Insulated Panels. They’re not technically SIPs, but people call them that, they’re actually called IMPs (Insulated Metal Panels). So we would use SIP as a keyword to be searchable for the panels, even though technically, that’s not what we are.
Kai and his team have been very helpful in making sure that the language we use is the language that customers are using.
Q: How has keyword optimization benefited SPI?
Lee: Because SPI panels are used in building cannabis production facilities, Canopy Media made sure that we had cannabis-related blog posts and events to help cannabis producers find us. And it worked because for a year or two, cannabis customers were paying a lot of bills around here because everybody started big and now they’ve kind of switched over to micro-cultivation.
Q: How about Google Ads?
Lee: Whatever budget they have suggested or whatever money they say we should spend, they’re always right. But if they weren’t, then they recommend that we back away and say, no, we’re not going to do that anymore.
Q: Was Canopy Media able to help SPI turn the tide?
Lee: Yes, 75% of our leads come from the internet now. Before, 75% came from word of mouth and tradeshows, so we’ve reversed it. The website had very little impact 20 years ago and now it’s the reverse.
Q: What type of leads does SPI attract from the internet?
Lee: Our salespeople say that the quality of leads is much better and most of them turn into lucrative orders.
Q: How has working with Canopy Media benefitted SPI?
Lee: We’ve increased sales, started a staff bonus program, hired more staff, and taken on a partnership. I’m fairly certain we wouldn’t be doing as well as we are now without Canopy Media, they’ve done a lot for us.
Q: Where would SPI be without its partnership with Canopy Media?
Lee: I’m 100% confident that we wouldn’t be able to survive on trade shows alone. I don’t know where we’d be without the work we’re doing with Canopy Media because there’s no way to reach people other than what we’re doing presently. That’s the way people shop now.
Q: How was the experience of working with Canopy Media?
Lee: The Canopy Media team has a lot of really good ideas. They understand how people shop and they’re committed to our success. They’re very helpful, present, communicative, and easy to deal with.
SPI continues to work with Canopy Media to increase its online visibility and attract even more customers.
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