The Case for Case Studies
By Debbie Nelson
Case studies are crucial for your business marketing strategy. Let me repeat: Case studies are crucial for your business marketing strategy!
But before I get into why case studies are so important, let me take a moment to define what a case study is. To put it simply, a case study is a full page on your site dedicated to one job rather than a gallery page that features all your images with only a title and description. A case study way of showing the work you is powerful—exponentially more powerful for both SEO and converting visitors to customers than the old-fashioned simple gallery option. Why? Here are 14 reasons followed by some important tips.
14 REASONS CASE STUDIES ARE CRUCIAL
- The most obvious reason for a case study gallery is that it gives you a chance to showcase your work in a detailed way, drawing attention to key points you want to make.
- A case study allows you to include multiple images to tell the story, each with alt tags and captions which are both great for SEO and user experience.
- Multiple images (vs one or two only) tell the story. Before and after are of course essential, but during is as important as well. Showcasing such things as how you carefully masked and protected, for example, wins prospects over.
- A case study is its own page which will be indexed by Google and other search engines and come up independently on search engine results pages (SERPS).
- A page of content is so much stronger than an image with a title and caption that a typical gallery would offer.
- Because it is a page in and of itself, you can have meta title specific for that job as well as a meta description. Compare this meta title from Google’s eyes: “Gallery of Before and After Images” (ho hum and no keywords!) vs “Commercial Travertine Repair and Polishing – Chicago IL”
- Case studies sell! Assuming your images are stunning, that is. You don’t want to feature pixelated, dark images that don’t capture the amazing work you’ve done. For case studies, quality is more important than quantity.
- Your case studies are ideal fodder for social media. When we prepare case studies for Partners, we always post them on social media pages. (Your social media strategy is crucial to your internet marketing strategy as well.)
- Posting new case studies regularly keeps the Google gods happy. It’s important to keep your site updated with new content.
- Case studies engage the user. One of the objectives for your site is to get the user to interact with your site – visit pages, click on links, and spend time on a page.
- The content is keyword-rich and specific. It could be for example a commercial travertine repair or a granite countertop repair and repolishing. (Want to hit hard and focus on getting particular types of jobs? Make sure to have plenty of case studies featuring these types of jobs.)
- Captions for each image not only improve the user experience, explaining and highlighting what you want the customer to know about that image, it helps with SEO.
- If it’s a recognizable building or client, identify it in the title and content. (This is assuming you do have permission.) If your client or your client’s business is well known, people will be automatically more inclined to trust the quality of your work. They will think, “well, if so and so uses this contractor – and they probably researched it first, and could choose from anyone they wanted… – then this is the contractor for me!”
- Featuring case studies on your website helps you on sales calls. Using your tablet to take a prospect to your case study gallery allows you to show them the kinds of results they can expect.
TIPS FOR CREATING COMPELLING CASE STUDIES:
- Take more photos than you think you need. Remember to take photos throughout the job.
- Take the best quality photos you can. Great lighting is important.
- You may end up using your photos on print collateral, which requires images to be in higher resolution than what you will need for your site. If you are sending images from your phone to your email, always send in the highest resolution. (Don’t choose the option to send the ‘faster’ way. Choose instead to send in the original resolution.)
- When you edit any images, save a copy of the original hi-res first.
- Take good before shots and when the job is done, get a few after shots. Make sure your after shots are taken from the same positions and angle as the before shots.
- Be sure to get some good close-up shots as well as your overview photos.
- Make sure you have permission from the client/customer to take the photos and use them.
- Tell your story. Present the challenge and the end result. Remember, the prospective customer is looking for a solution to their problem. Remember that keywords are extremely important but still write in a natural way.
- When finished with every job, ask the client/customer for a testimonial or review and include it on the case study page.
- Put a call-to-action on every case study page.
- You don’t have to call your case studies, “case studies.” If you are a fabricator, for example, you may want to call it your Gallery. The case study format vs a simple gallery is so much more compelling. Your story should explain to the viewer what they are looking at. Linking keywords to other pages of your site is also great for user experience and SEO. (Example: “In this upscales residential kitchen the customer wanted to replace their dark, dated kitchen with a light, bright, modern one. The customer chose Kashmir granite counter tops with a bullnose edge… “)
FOCUS ON YOUR BUSINESS AND LEAVE CASE STUDIES TO US
- Let a professional create your case studies for you. At SurpHaces, we know how to present your work in the best light and maximize the seo / internet marketing impact.
- Don’t step over a dollar to pick up a penny. You don’t want to be that PRO Partner that, to save a few bucks, is insistent on doing it yourself (or you have a nephew that will do it for free, or a neighbor that owes you a favor… ) and becomes one of those things that just never gets done. Imagine how many thousands of dollars in jobs you may not get because you were afraid to spend a few hundred dollars to put into place this most powerful marketing element.
- Consider video case studies. They can be extremely powerful. If you have a particular job that will give you great mileage as a video case study, let’s talk. It’s probably not nearly as expensive as you might think to produce. Plus, the way you use the video and the return you get from it could be substantial!