Case Study: SEO with Paid Advertising

SEO and SEM Services for a Private Boarding School

Generate Web Design was contacted by a private boarding school to help with SEO and SEM services. Their web traffic was mostly driven by SEM (Google Ads) and they received very few visitors by SEO (organic search results). Instead of investing more on Google Ads, the customer made the right choice by hiring Generate Web Design as a partner to grow their sales through multiple strategies.

Generate Web Design set out to achieve the following objectives:

  • Help make Google Ads more effective by creating search term specific ads and matching search term specific landing pages
  • Boost on-site and off-site SEO
  • Add other traffic referral sources including social media advertising

January 1-June 30 Growth Results

The report below titled, “January 1-June 30 Growth Report” is a 6-month snapshot of the overall performance of this company’s online traffic as a result of our SEO and SEM initiatives. The start date is January 1, 2019, and the end date is June 30, 2019. Our efforts to improve SEO began the first week of January 2019.

As we can see from the report complied in Google Analytics growth increased from an average of 178 to 934 new visitors per day. This represents a 424.71% increase in growth in just 6 months without increasing the Google ads campaign budget at all.

This was done through improved SEO, mostly as a result of creating long-tailed keyphrase-specific landing pages. We started with a comprehensive report detailing key phrases the company should use, looking at terms with high and low competition. We made a list of key phrases to target without landing pages that would most likely lead to conversions.

It is also worthwhile to note that paid traffic dropped to only 33.6% of overall traffic when it had previously been over 50% of all traffic. This was due to the dramatic growth of the organic traffic channel.

January 1-June 30 Growth Report

2019-2022 Paid Advertising Results

Our final objective was to twofold: 1) increase paid visitor conversions through improved Google ads that better-targeted search phrases and 2) optimize the client’s advertising spend by incorporating social media advertising.

Please see the graph titled, “2019-2022 Paid Advertising Report” for details regarding our success at achieving the client’s goals. The red line represents the number of clicks or visitors the client received on their website as a result of Google ads. Notice how they averaged about 11,500 to 12,000 clicks during their busy school enrollment season.

When we took over in 2019, clicks grew, year after year, to hit 23,000 in 2021. This was achieved while the blue line fell year after year, which represents the total dollars spent on advertising. The spend was reduced from $68,000 per year to $33,000 per year, all while PPC traffic increased. This was achieved, in part, through improved Google ads that better-targeted search phrases.

2019-2022 Paid Advertising Report

July 1-September 30 Social Media Acquisition Report 

From July 1 to September 30 we designed, tested, and deployed a number of social media advertisements for the client. Many, if not most of the clients we have worked with do not fully understand the benefits of social media advertising. Our client was hesitant to spend any resources on Facebook (Meta) advertising, so we suggested a $1,000 initial allocation.

The graph titled, “July 1-September 30 Social Media Acquisition Report” details the results of this $1,000 spend, which was deployed over 3 months. As a comparison, the PPC budget for the same time frame was $18,000.

As you can see, social media advertising brought in 18.8% of visitors versus 27.9% of visitors from PPC advertising (Google ads). This is not a bad return on investment for only 5.55% of your total advertising budget.

July 1-September 30 Social Media Acquisition Report


Private Boarding School (name withheld per client request)