As part of the easyGroup founded in 1998 and led by Stelios Haji-Ioannou, easyCar.com is one of the leading car rental brokers in the world. It operates in more than 60 countries and follows the easyGroup mantra of offering low prices for basic services, with an emphasis on simple terms and conditions.
Since it began trading in 2000, the brand has developed into one of easyGroup’s more profitable ventures.
The goal for easyCar.com’s collaboration with Vertical Leap was to attract more traffic to the site using a combination of search engine optimisation (SEO) and news content marketing. The customer signed up in April 2011 to achieve greater website visibility, more conversions and higher revenues.
Using an integrated approach, easyCar.com could see how the delivery of quality news stories by a team of professional journalists could drive traffic, while Vertical Leap’s SEO experts enhanced and maintained the company’s performance with the search engines.
James Daniels, Search Manager, easyCar.com said:
‘We needed to take our already established online brand to the next level in terms of awareness. With more than a decade of experience on the web we know how many opportunities there are, so it was all about getting ourselves out there and grabbing them.
‘Opting for both SEO and content marketing seemed like the right thing to do to achieve the ambitious goals of our search marketing strategy. Vertical Leap were confident they could help us push the brand and we were keen to see what they could deliver.’
To boost the organic reach of the website a list of 39 ‘benchmark’ keywords would be optimised and monitored to boost easyCar.com’s search engine rankings and attract more visitors to the website. The team would also analyse and collate data on other traffic driving terms, with a view to expanding the SEO campaign going forward to continually deliver optimum results.
Supporting the SEO campaign and building brand presence in Google News, the major search engines and social networks, Vertical Leap’s trained in-house journalists aimed to position the company as a trusted source of information. This was achieved through the careful research and production of regular news articles covering the latest news on the motoring, travel and car hire industry. The news articles featured benchmarked keywords and were fed to the easyCar.com website, adding a fresh stream of new content that would attract and retain new and repeat web visitors, and enhance the impact of the SEO campaign.
Content marketing campaign:
In the first few months of the campaign, the statistics show that the influence and efficiency of the news pages have grown enormously.
- Number of overall monthly page views more than doubled from April to August 2011.
- Volume of users clicking through to the easyCar.com website from news articles rose by 516%, demonstrating the significance of consistently producing quality stories in the long term.
- The greater reach and success of these articles was supported by publishing links on Twitter and Facebook.
The team succeeded in positioning easyCar.com as a media publisher, with news articles featuring in Google News alongside established news providers such as the BBC.
In the context of easyCar.com’s broader visitor figures, the content marketing campaign has supported:
- 14% rise in people heading to the site via certain branded keywords.
- 16% more users visited the webpage directly.
The work carried out by the SEO team was measured from the beginning of May to the start of September 2011. In order to improve visibility, the campaign focused on boosting search rankings for their 39 benchmark keywords, while monitoring revenue levels and conversion rates.
Given that about 90% of searches are carried out on Google, it makes sense to display here the statistics relating to Google.co.uk, but significant progress was made on other search engines as well.
- 35 of the 39 benchmark terms gained increased search rankings. This includes the ongoing defence of two #1 rankings.
- At the start of the campaign, easyCar.com placed in the top three rankings for three keywords, in the top five positions with four keywords and in the top ten rankings for 11 keywords. Five months on, we had secured nine terms in the top three, 18 terms in the top five and 32 terms in the top ten
- Traffic from non-branded keywords increased by 78%.
The firm’s total revenue for the period stood at £3.8 million with £2.5 million coming from search traffic rather than referrals or direct input. The fact that search accounts for around two thirds of the company’s income is a firm indicator of its importance. The SEO team’s efforts helped easyCar.com to achieve a conversion rate of 2.15 per cent in this area.
More than £1.5 million of these revenues were achieved via organic search, as opposed to paid links, with conversion rates reaching 1.76 per cent.
In addition, the SEO team ensured ongoing search engine coverage through that website integrity was maintained by checking for broken links, while monitoring which current benchmark keywords were underperforming and which non-benchmark terms were driving sufficient traffic to warrant greater focus.
Integrated search marketing successes:
With online visibility of easyCar.com enhanced via improved search rankings and more web surfers visiting the site as a result of news articles, brand awareness developed significantly over a four-month period.
However, the project does not stop here; the authority of the website’s news section should continue to grow over time and the SEO will keep optimising keywords to drive quality traffic, which should boost revenues.
‘Both the SEO and content marketing teams have been great in helping us drive traffic during our vital summer period. The stats are pretty impressive considering Vertical Leap had only been working with us for four months – I can only imagine what they are capable of in the long term.’