Case Study: Schwartz Communications
Bringing New Business to a Market Leader with an integrated Internet marketing strategy
A website design and search engine marketing case study
October 12, 2004
Schwartz Communications is the leading PR agency for technology and healthcare companies. They have achieved outstanding results for a range of companies, including the household names of ebay and Lycos, along with a wealth of other technology companies. In February 2004, Schwartz Communications selected Backbone Media to help redesign their website and generate leads and complement existing sales channels.
Background Marketing Goals
The original website, created during the Internet boom, was primarily designed to attract new employees. Now that the agency has more than 160 employees, this was less of a priority. The company’s vice presidents-most agencies’ traditional source of new business leads-are focused on providing strategic counsel and running their accounts and not on generating new business. So Schwartz decided to update its site to better communicate its brand and support its business objectives. With the revamp, Schwartz realized it had the opportunity to turn its Website into a powerful tool for generating leads to complement its existing sales channels.
Schwartz turned to Backbone Media Inc., a leader in search engine marketing and website design to make this a reality. Seeing an opportunity to evolve the Schwartz Communications brand, Backbone enlisted Bowman Design, as Creative Director and Designer for the project. During the discovery process the team identified Schwartz’s core strength as being its ability to help clients articulate compelling stories and leverage the power of media. The team set out to do the same for Schwartz.
The goals for the project were to:
- Differentiate Schwartz Communications as a high tech PR firm that turns complicated stories into plain English
- Reinforce Credibility
- Increase capability of the site to generate leads, and secure pitch meetings
- Provide easy to navigate site with multiple opportunities for users to contact Schwartz
- Create a consistent brand representing core values
- Implement easy-to-learn and use content management system
- Attain top search engine positions on specific public relations terms
The team worked closely with Schwartz VPs to produce an online B2B strategy that incorporates a compelling website design with an integrated search engine marketing approach. The result is a website that leverages an impressive public relations client list, a vast collection of PR success stories and a steady stream of client media coverage to create an online marketing advantage for Schwartz.
Many agency sites rarely change their content, or simply contain lists of all the clients for whom an agency has ever worked. Schwartz understood its prospects would want to know what it was doing now and would be interested to learn that Schwartz delivers consistent results. To emphasize results, the site design features three key sections-a constantly updated listing of Client Coverage, Case Studies and Expertise to educate potential clients about Schwartz through real examples and accolades about its achievements and its specific vertical / industry expertise. The implementation of these content sections enriches the overall user experience while also providing increased content relevancy for improved search engine rankings.
To emphasize Schwartz’s take no prisoners approach to PR the team created a website design that utilizes bold messaging and typography, accompanied by dramatic background images as well as concise engaging content. You will notice a number of “S” words on the site, which are attributes of Schwartz-Savvy, Spirited, Strategic and Stirring Up Markets. Branded “Start Relating” callouts throughout the site promote the ultimate goal for the website by providing potential business customers with quick and easy access to Schwartz contact form.
The backdrop for the bold messaging and content incorporates many dramatic images of The Guggenheim Museum, located in Bilbao, Spain. “We chose The Guggenheim Museum as a central image in the Web site design because the building is regarded by many as the most beautiful and innovative man-made creation of the past several decades,” said Steve Schwartz, president of Schwartz Communications. “The titanium-clad building could not have been envisioned or produced without marvels in imagination and software. In short, The Guggenheim Museum is a perfect symbol of what we are doing at Schwartz.”
As a leading public relations firm, Schwartz’s credibility is also reflected by the quality of the content it publishes about itself. Schwartz required a Content Management System (CMS) that enabled authorized personnel to instantly make changes to the website in a way that would not harm the visual integrity. A completely customized content management system was developed. Built from the ground up, this custom Backbone Media CMS provides a search engine optimized technical architecture that features text navigation links, short spider friendly urls and user managed meta and title tags. The CMS is another example of how search engine marketing concerns were addressed throughout the design and development process.
A robust tracking system enables the marketing team to analyze web traffic and the ROI of search advertising campaigns and monitor search positions.
The results speak for themselves, according to Steve Schwartz: “Since the new Web site launched we have noticed a substantial increase in qualified leads that come in through the Web. The site is clearly effective at conveying the messages we wanted to communicate and attracting qualified prospects. Backbone Media has been a great partner in making this happen.”
Since the new site launched on May 5, 2004, Schwartz has:
- Closed multiple new business accounts
- Experienced a 450% increase in new business leads via the website
- Seen a 94% increase in search engine traffic
- Experienced a 170% increase in visits to the “Contact Us” page.
- And reached top positions in Google for specific phrases, including 5th position for the phrase “PR firm”
Establishing a Platform for Long-term Internet Marketing Success
The Schwartz website project is an example of Backbone Media’s commitment to partnering with its clients to capture the essence of their business and transform that into an outstanding visual experience for their clients’ on-line prospects. The end result is a site that provides a highly engaging user experience while also boosting target keyword positions and establishing a platform for long-term success in the editorial search engine results pages.
To learn more about Backbone’s methodology and how they can be of help to your company, please go to www.Backbonemedia.com
As early as 1996, the firm saw the advantage this would give their clients over their competitors in achieving to search engine rankings. Since the success of search engine optimization relies greatly on the synthesis of website design and search engine strategy, Backbone Media’s clients realize that it is more efficient to work with a company that offers an all-in-one integrated solution. As a specialist of online presence, Backbone Media keeps themselves and their clients on the cutting edge of optimum marketing technology.