Better Than Par in Competitive Ecommerce


Better Than Par in Competitive Ecommerce

The Challenge 

The online golf retailer space is becoming more and more competitive every year. There is also a growing market for golf equipment. Golf Datatech states, “According to the 2019 report, the golf equipment business grew by 4.1 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, reaching $8.41 billion.” With so much opportunity, but so much competition, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. Our challenge was to help one of the top golf retailers in the country continue to grow despite new online golf retailers popping up seemingly every day. To beat the competition and get a larger share of the growing pie, significant effort and granular focus was given to both SEO and Paid Search strategies.  

The Objectives


Objective #1: Increase SEO traffic by 5% year over year

Objective #2: Increase SEO transactions by 15% year over year

Objective #3: Increase SEO revenue by 20% year over year

Objective #4: Increase PPC spend while maintaining a 6 ROAS or better

Nominee - Best E-Commerce Campaign of 2019

Target Audience

Golf & Tennis Players & Enthusiasts, Friends/ Family of Golf/Tennis Players


Our SEO & PPC teams worked with this online sporting goods retailer in the areas of both SEO and Paid Search. SEO: Focus efforts on optimizing product pages and structuring new products in SEO-friendly ways. Paid Search: Invest effort in the data feed to improve Google Shopping Ads. Continuous manual oversight was applied to produce strong results that justified an increase spend. This included consistent testing of ad copy, significant bid adjustments based on product popularity and profit margin. Use of in-house developed AI to make bidding decisions based off performance of products, audiences, devices, locations, and more to make the best use of media spend. This resulted in consistently surpassing our goal of a 600% ROAS while continually justifying increases in ad budgets and adapting to a dynamic product line.


Increase in SEO Traffic


Increase in SEO Transactions


Increase in SEO Revenue


On-Page Optimization, Existing Pages:

  • The SEO team focused extensively on optimizing current product pages in order to gain high rankings, generate more traffic, and increase sales.
  • Significant focus was given to the on-page product descriptions, H1 tags, meta descriptions, title tags, and alt text for images.

On-Page Optimization, New Pages:

  • The SEO & Content teams assisted with new product pages, creating a structure for the client to follow with content wire frames. This process helped the client differentiate their product descriptions from other golf retailers and ensure SEO best practices.
  • The content team also helped the client build and structure multiple special pages, such as a general gift page, ‘Cyber Monday’ and ‘Black Friday’ Page, in order to increase sales for different queries and holidays.

Additionally, the SEO team made multiple technical recommendations including:

  • Unblocking Google Mobile Bot Smart Phone user agent. The following user agent was being blocked, and unblocking it resulted in more mobile traffic: (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; Nexus 5X Build/MMB29P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/41.0.2272.96 Mobile Safari/537.36 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +
  • Redirect mapping for site migration
  • Performance testing for site migration

The Results Were Amazing


This major national golf retailer saw huge increases in revenue through organic search. Additionally, despite early concerns that increase Paid Search spend would significantly reduce the ROAS, we were able to maintain a 6 ROAS with increased spend. This is a highly competitive space, with power brands like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Amazon, and Golf Galaxy. All these brands have huge budgets for digital marketing. We were able to not only compete but win market share in a highly competitive space.




  • Objective #1: Increase SEO traffic by 5% year over year: We increased sessions by 19.59% (from 3,191,012 to 3,815,999)
  • Objective #2: Increase SEO transactions by 15% year over year: We increased transactions by 32.93% (from 33,801 to 44,932)
  • Objective #3: Increase SEO revenue by 20% year over year: We increased Revenue by 36.11% (from $5,630,770.69 to $7,664,156.25)
  • Objective #4: Increase PPC spend while maintaining a 6 ROAS or better:
    • Spend for 2018 was $1,292,967.96 and revenue was $7,800,385.92 for an ROAS of 6.03 (This includes Bing)
    • Spend was increased by 27%

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Content and Local SEO for the Win



Content and Local SEO

for the Win

The Challenge

Every client, no matter how large or small, deserves the best return for their search marketing efforts. The relationship between Apogee Results and The Bug Master is an example of how conscientious and creative application of best practices in local SEO, data, and content writing can positively impact a client’s bottom line without spending big marketing dollars.

The Objective

Objective: #1: Increase Organic Search Traffic by at least 20% year over year in the first year of the engagement.
Objective #2: Increase revenue from Organic sources by at least 20% within 6 months (and ongoing). This is to be achieved by increased form fills and phone calls.

WINNER - Best Local SEO Campaign of 2019

US Search Awards

Small Budget – Big Impact

Target Audience

The target audience for The Bug Master is all homeowners and renters in the Austin Metro area who experience pest and insect problems. Additionally, service areas in Temple and Waco were also a priority. Pet owners are a sub-audience among these groups that particularly use pest services.


Our strategy for The Bug Master was two-fold:

1: Clean up citations and produce enhanced schema local markup to gain more exposure from Google Maps and the local 3-pack for Austin, Temple, and Waco.

2: Create new, SEO optimized content pieces related to bug and pest infestations that would be valuable to consumers and help answer common questions about different types of pests and infestations in Central Texas. This new content would establish The Bug Master as the go-to resource for the Austin area when it comes to bugs and other pests.


Increase in Organic Search Traffic


Increase in Form Fills


Increase in Phone Calls


Technical Remediation Included: 

  • Updated Robots.TXT 
  • Updated Sitemap

Local SEO Practices Included:

  • Citation cleanup and new citation building
  • Creation of local pages for each service area, content created using query analysis
  • Creation of local schema markup for each local page

Content Creation

Through deep query analysis, intent analysis, and competitive analysis, we determined the right topics to write about that would gain traffic for The Bug Master’s website. We also took the further step to publish pest topics according to seasonal peaks in search volume for each particular user query.

The Creative

Creativity comes in the application of the research to match data to human behavior. While there is high search volume for general terms like “termites,” national companies like Orkin have such a high domain authority that they will outrank a local service provider nearly every time. Also, the more general terms tend to include people looking for information and not necessarily services. Creating content for the longer regional phrase enabled the team to filter The Bug Master’s potential search traffic by a higher intent to hire services in their area and rank with authority for queries that are much more specific to Central Texas.

Over the course of a year working with The Bug Master, we produced over 50 content pieces for the website high local or regional intent and timed with the highest peaks in queries for particular pests. 

The Results Were Amazing

Despite starting with a low floor of traffic and a limited marketing budget, the team was able to achieve significant increases of qualified traffic, driven by blending query data and creating useful content. This local focused strategy had a huge positive effect on the bottom line for this client.


Objective 1: Increase Organic Search Traffic by at least 20% year over year in the first year of the engagement.

We found significant success in driving traffic for The Bug Master, with significant gains over time:


By December, we saw an increase of 33.21% in year over year sessions. From this point forward, our gains became increasingly dramatic. Here is the growth in sessions over the last 3 months (June is just through the 26th)
● April: 66.16% increase
● May: 74.18% increase
● June (through the 26th): 98.10% increase

Digging deeper, we can see that individual pieces created by Apogee contributed significantly to this, with the 4th and 5th top organic landing pages pieces we created:

Overall, 5 of the top twenty organic landing pages were built by Apogee.

Objective 2: Increase revenue from Organic sources by at least 20% within 6 months (and ongoing)
● Revenue from organic sources increased by over 22% year over year in December of 2018 according to the client
● Revenue from organic sources has nearly doubled this spring according to the client
● Form Fills increased 80.31% year over year from October 2018 through June 2019 (goal was not created until October 2017):

● Phone Calls increased 19.81% year over year October 2018 through June 26th 2019 (goal was not created until October 2017)

The Results Got Even Better

UPDATED Results through October of 2019:

All results above convinced the US Search awards to grant us the Best Local SEO Campaign for 2018/2019. In the 4 months since the creation of this case study which won the award, we have seen even more dramatic increases in traffic and goals.

Here is a look at June 2018 through October 2019:

Despite the fact that the growth seen in early 2019 was significant, the growth from July through October was such a huge improvement, it makes earlier gains look like almost nothing.

Here we see the actual difference in acquisition growth numbers between these two periods:

June 2018 – June 2019





July 2019 – October 2019





Why did this happen? Multiple pieces built by Apogee Results gained featured snipits and showed huge ammounts of growth.

The two pieces highlighted above really took off:






Overall, 12 of the top 20 landing pages were pieces built by Apogee Results at this time, and these pieces accounted for over 87% of the traffic during this time.


Through this work and significant increase in traffic, Bugmaster gained more customers through phone calls and form fills (Goal completions include both conversions):

Overall, during the period from October 2018 (when YoY data for Goals begins) and June of 2019, goal completions increased 45.28% YoY.

In the four months since these incredible results, goal completions increased 78.48% YoY.

“I enjoy working with Apogee – because they are good people. But in addition to that, they continue to generate quality traffic that converts! Apogee brings a deep understanding of their craft that’s actionable; and ultimately, it adds real business value. It certainly makes my job a lot easier. Our traffic is up, and not just up, I mean UP. The content they produce, coupled with the deep SEO knowledge/experience, is relevant and adds real value to our visitors – which, in turn, creates more customers. That’s what it’s all about. I couldn’t be happier; I highly recommend Apogee Results. “

Jesse Alaniz

Director of Marketing, The Bug Master

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Quality Over Quantity: When Rankings Data Matters Most



Quality Over Quantity: When Rankings Data Matters Most

The Challenge

Not all client goals are the same Datical came to Apogee Results with declining overall traffic. And while we were able to reverse that trend and keep traffic steady, we did not significantly increase it. Instead, we focused on the quality of traffic based on industry-specific terms the client needed to rank for. Because Datical is in such a niche area of database software, traffic quality is much more valuable than traffic quantity. That said, these terms are highly competitive in this software niche and this was no easy challenge. Given the client limitations and resources our efforts rose beyond the client’s expectations.

The Objective

Objective: #1: Increase rankings and get at least 30 of 34 high priority keywords ranking on the first page.

Objective #2: Increase PDF Downloads by at least 50% by the fourth quarter of 2018.

Objective 3: Improve engagement metrics, such as bounce rate, time on site, and pages per visit by 5% year over year.

Winner - Best SEO Campaign of 2019

Target Audience

Database Developers and Administrators, particularly those involved in the application release process. This is an extremely niche space, with a very limited audience for this type of service.


Typically, clients want to see increase in traffic year over year as one main indicator for strong Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work. However, Datical is in a unique situation: being in a highly-niched market traffic is not the number one goal. SEO efforts could have easily boosted traffic by going after a broad set of queries; however, Datical’s goal was to rank on the first page for as many of their 34 high priority queries as possible. These queries werevery specific to Datical’s extremely-niched space.. In this situation, traffic growth was not the number one goal; instead, boosting qualified traffic, defined as traffic that engages more and fills out forms to download content, was the number 1 goal.

The strategy for 2018 was to more deeply understand and optimize the content on the website in order to better rank for specific qualifying queries. Following this, the team focused on optimizing existing pages in an effort to boost the high-priority queries based on customer behavior and client market research. Some technical tasks were completed at the outset to help Google better understand the website. Additionally, the team focused at the end of the year on building links to internal pages on the website to boost keyword rankings out-of-the-gate in 2019.

Page One Keywords

#1 Ranked Keywords


Increase in PDF Downloads


Decrease in Bounce Rate


Technical Remediation Included:

  • Significant Schema Markup was created and added to the site
  • Site Speed recommendations
    • Fully loaded time improved from 6.8 to 3.6 seconds
    • Time to first byte improved from 444ms to 301ms
  • Implementation of missing canonical tags on 37 pages
  • Internal 3XX & 4XX link remediation
    • 37 internal 3XX redirects fixed
    • 8 internal 4XX errors fixed

Content Restructuring and Subfolder Optimization:

  • The client had a vast amount of content that wasn’t earning much traffic or desired rankings. Datical also had a large amount of highly technical content that needed to be retooled for SEO purposes.
  • The Apogee Results SEO team took the route of revamping content and organizing it into optimized folders to target more “general” or short tail queries because these queries often have large amounts of user “uncertainty”. E.g. database dev-ops vs. database dev-ops automation software.
  • In order to rank well for generic queries which could lead to many places in terms of other questions a user may need answering, Apogee Results restructured related content under short tail keyword buckets and then redirected the new optimized content to subfolders that only contained highly relevant content.
  • From there Apogee Results implemented optimized internal linking from these guide/resource sections that were made from previously underperforming content.


  • 10 articles were written and pitched on topics around database release cycles and automation.
  • This yielded 7 links to client targeted queries in the goal list by using anchor text and contextual linking.
  • The average domain authority (DA) for the earned links was 40.3. While DA is not a ranking factor, it is a decent identifier to determine how trustworthy a site could be.

The Results Were Amazing


  • Objective 1: Get at least 30 of the high priority keywords to rank on the first page of Google.
    • Apogee Results was able to get 32 out of 34 keywords ranking on the first page by the end of 2018. By March of 2019, all 34 keywords were ranking on the first page.
    • When the campaign started, only one search term was ranked number 1- by the end of 2018, 8 terms were ranked number 1. By March of 2019, 11 key terms ranked number 1.

  • Examples of individual keywords ranking #1:
    • Database Continuous Integration Tools: We were able to gain a position 0 featured snippet for this content. We also earned a knowledge graph spot as well. (see above screenshots)
    • Database Release Automation Tools
    • Database Continuous Deployment
    • Database Continuous Integration
    • Database Change Management Tools
    • Database Change Control Tools


  • Objective 2: Increase PDF Downloads by at least 50% for Q4 2018.PDF Downloads increased 69.9% YoY- 124 vs 74
  • Objective 3: Improve engagement metrics, such as bounce rate, time on site, and pages per visit by 5% year over year.
    • We decreased the bounce rate by 9.52% for Organic Traffic
    • We increased the pages per session by 18.21% for Organic Traffic
    • We increased the average session duration by 36.56% for Organic Traffic


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Marketing Integration from Zero to 60



Marketing Integration

from Zero to 60

The Objective

When a top physician’s insurance provider came to Apogee Results, they had no content marketing plan in place. Everything they had tried since launching their website on Hubspot in March of 2014 had been one-off testing with no clear objectives or strategy.

The client’s objectives for this campaign were to create content that converted a lead to a customer, increase the overall site traffic, and increase Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) from 6.21 (historical average) to at least 50 per month. With the implementation of proper data tracking, The client also sought to convert at least 20 Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) each month.

Campaign Activities


  • Content Creation
  • HubSpot Marketing Automation Management
  • Paid Media Distribution (Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn, MultiView, and various other Display placements)
  • Technical and Content-Based Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
  • Organic Facebook management.

Winner - 2018 Drum Award for Best Content Marketing Campaign

Nominee - US Search Award for Best Content Marketing Campaign

Content That Closes Business

Target Audience

The target audience for this content is doctors (MDs) and practice administrators for small to medium size practices in the 28 states the client was authorized to write medical malpractice insurance.


The overall strategy was to build awareness and interest among qualified members of the general targeting audience and drive them through a series of website content engagements that would create urgency to fill out a quote form and ultimately end in the issuing of a new malpractice insurance policy. While implementing the traffic building process, the marketing automation processes in Hubspot were concurrently mapped and implemented to track leads through an email and website engagement series that would provide sales ready contacts for the underwriters.


Return on Investment

Marketing Qualified Leads

Sales Qualified Leads

Lifetime Customer Value


Implementation began with the improvement of the technical SEO foundation, including increasing crawlability, fixing site speed issues, mobile optimization, migration to SSL, and solving multiple indexation issues. The content strategy was then built on that strong technical foundation. This strategy included deep keyword research, intent analysis, competitor analysis, and the creation of new content specifically designed to build traffic. The client earned a wide variety of “position zero” featured snippets in a marketplace of big players who had significant budgets and the ability to commoditize their services, thereby increasing qualified traffic and MQLs. That “position zero” validation was leveraged to gain high-quality backlinks to the client content through an ongoing influencer outreach campaign.

The Creative

Carefully crafted resources pages and blog content were written to serve high-intent queries, significantly increasing both traffic and leads.

Social media was tasked with distributing content to highly qualified, top of funnel audiences based on the client’s existing database, site visits collected by social pixels, and layered interest targeting.

We used a blend of Facebook creative to serve video content as a first-touch brand awareness play and then segmented and served retargeted video viewers with blog articles and landing pages to drive them deeper into the customer journey.

The Results Were Amazing

Overall ROI
The total return on the client’s investment (including all management and digital media spends) was 308.31%. The lifetime value from new premiums was $1,307,225, taking into account both the historical retention rate and the time value of money. In 2016 and 2017, the website brought in on average 6.21 MQLs per month. In 2018, the client brought in 71.25 MQLs per month (855 total). It is important to note that due to the length of the client’s sales cycle, numerous new premiums were sold in 2019 due to 2018 efforts, but these numbers are not reflected in this snapshot.

Organic Traffic:
In 2016 and 2017, the average monthly organic traffic was 666.79 sessions. In 2018, traffic increased significantly each month; There were 31,895 total organic sessions, coming out to an average of 2,657.92 organic sessions per month (an increase of nearly 400%). In November of 2018 the client first broke 4,000 sessions (UPDATE: In January of 2019 we broke 5,000 sessions). Organic traffic was also the highest driver of MQLs for top-of-funnel tactics, with 230 Organic MQLs over the course of 2018 (an increase of 535% over 2017).

Paid Search:
Paid Search contributed 529 MQLs at a cost per acquisition (including management) of $364.76 per MQL. The average value of an MQL for the client in 2018 proved to be $1,528.92, which means Paid Search efforts provided a return on investment of 419.2%.

Since starting Facebook marketing, the client has gone from 383 total social media referred visits from March 2014 to December 2017 to 1,029 organic social referrals and 14,543 paid social referrals from December 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. Of the increased traffic driven to the site, approximately 1% of social media traffic is converting to leads on that social visit. Lift in both direct and organic correlate closely to social media awareness and engagement.

The medical malpractice industry has become extremely commoditized over the years. Doctors don’t want
medical malpractice insurance – they are legally obligated to carry it. The industry is highly regulated, and
pricing differs little from carrier to carrier. These industry conditions make differentiation incredibly difficult. The
role of marketing is extremely important when attempting to distinguish such a highly commoditized industry.
Despite having tried multiple agencies and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on
marketing over the last few years, we had almost nothing to show for it. We were on the verge of giving
up on marketing through digital means in order to drive business. We decided to give it one more shot, with
a new agency, and learned that when done right, digital marketing can be highly effective, even for medical
malpractice. Through this partnership, we have seen incredible success, and a road map for continued
success in the future.


Chief Marketing Officer, Anonymous Company

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Local Search for Retail

Local Search for Retail- Cavender’s

The Client Story

Cavender’s is a large regional western-wear retailer with 54 physical locations, as well as an Internet Retailer 500-sized web commerce operation. Privately owned, Cavender’s has grown to become the second largest seller of western-wear nationally and are strongly challenging the much larger chain Shepler’s.

Cavender’s worked with Apogee Results and achieved strong success in running profitable SEO and PPC engagements. Our work allowed them to outrank Shepler’s nationally on some incredibly challenging category and industry keywords such as “western wear” despite being outspent more than 5-fold by their larger competitor.

The Challenge

Although Cavender’s core online operations were performing strongly, the individual 50+ retail establishments were not getting visibility within Google Places for keywords other than the Cavender’s brand, therefore missing an opportunity to reach out to the millions of potential customers searching Google for a retail establishment where they could buy products such as “cowboy boots”, “western shirts”, and other similar items without the branded term “Cavenders”.

The Solution

Apogee Results worked with Cavender’s teams, both marketing and retail operations, to reconfigure the Google Places listings for each store, and also worked with the store locator pages on the main Cavender’s web properties. Our work included on-page efforts, link and citation building designed to give the Google search engine the appropriate credibility signals to display Cavender’s more frequently, and also some training materials to help local store operations encourage customer ratings and reviews at the local level, which is an important component of the local search algorithms.

Rapid Results

Cavender’s retail stores, within a very rapid time frame, saw their local listings show up in Google search for a broad range of desired product categories beyond simply the Cavender’s brand. These enhanced listings helped the retail / divisional executives at the company have trust and confidence in the corporate marketing team running the online campaigns, where before there had been a concern that the online group was possibly in competition with, and certainly not in full alignment with, the physical stores.