We partnered with Leverable in 2017 with roughly 2,000 impressions, and now we’re in the hundreds of thousands of organic impressions, which has been tremendous for our business from a marketing standpoint.
– Kellye Pigott, Director of Operations at Nelson Tractor Company
Establishing Nelson Tractor as the go-to tractor dealership online
When seeking help and advice, would you rather work with a down-to-earth, family-owned business specializing in customer satisfaction or take your chance with a faceless corporation chasing after higher profit margins?
While the answer is clear for many people, numerous family businesses find themselves fighting an uphill battle as deep-pocketed competition dominates most marketing channels.
But it shouldn’t be that way.
After seeing the explosive growth of online marketing channels, Nelson Tractor Company decided it was time to step out and establish its own online presence. As a family-owned business with over 70 years of history, they recognized the value of staying at the forefront of customers’ minds.
Kellye Pigott, Director of Operations at Nelson Tractor Company, explains that upon witnessing how some companies treated their customers, putting Nelson Tractor on the map was not simply about increasing revenue. It was about pushing the industry standards up.
“Customer service is what we hang our hat on—and that’s what sets us apart from the competition. It’s easy, and it’s free. And I’m amazed and appalled at how many people don’t subscribe to customer service anymore,” she says.
“They act like they’re doing you a favor (we hear so many of our customers saying, ‘They didn’t call me back’), they’re rude, and just all of these things that I don’t understand why on earth would you act that way. It’s crazy. And it’s not just in this industry,” she adds.
Seeing a clear gap in the market, Kellye decided to play to the company’s strengths, doubling down on the belief that treating people right is always the best policy and using this messaging to carve out a niche for the company.
“The manufacturers, they’ll give you a co-op, but it’s all about them; it’s not necessarily about the dealer. We wanted to re-brand ourselves so that it doesn’t matter what equipment we were selling—we would take care of your equipment needs,” Kellye explains. “So, we started on this journey to re-brand ourselves to make it all about Nelson Tractor, not the manufacturers.”
As the company took its first baby steps, Kellye immediately recognized that going the same route as large manufacturers wouldn’t move the needle.
“The way that it was set up here was we worked through agencies with the manufacturers, and it was all just very basic, very cookie-cutter—we weren’t getting very much for our money.”
Understanding that Nelson Tractor had to find a different way, Kellye decided to bring Matt Meeks, the COO at SquareFrame Media, on board. Meeks, in turn, saw a clear need for a seasoned SEO consultant and called in Emory Rowland and the Leverable team.
“We stepped away from the manufacturers’ ad agencies, and we brought on Matt Meeks at SquareFrame Media. And the more we worked with him, the more I learned about SEO and organically establishing yourselves online,” Kellye recalls.
“So, Matt introduced us to Emory because we didn’t want to just have a canned, cookie-cutter website. We wanted our site to be a resource for our customers to educate themselves about the equipment and to learn what they needed for their particular application.”
Building an SEO-driven content machine from scratch
For many people, creating SEO content seems like a straightforward process: write blogs, wait for a bit, and watch your traffic grow. Happy customers will beat down the door and throw money at you.
In reality, most blogs fail at SEO—91% of blogs get zero traffic from Google and never see the light of day.
To ensure Nelson Tractor didn’t become a statistic, the Leverable team knew that they needed to understand the fundamentals before they created any content.
First came the website. SquareFrame Media and its design partner Alight Media revamped the corporate site with Leverable’s input, laying the foundation to transform it from a small number of core pages into a modern structure to showcase the new content.
In addition, Leverable performed SEO analysis to make sure no technical issues took the wind out of Nelson Tractor’s sails.
However, when the time came to build content, it became clear that Emory and the Leverable team needed to dive deep into the inner workings of the business—and the industry in general—to create truly expert-driven content, not cut-and-paste SEO copy that drives little or no impact.
“We did baby steps initially because he was learning the industry and the business since he hadn’t worked with an equipment manufacturer before,” Kellye says.
“So, looking back on it, we helped him just as much as he helped us. He needed to understand the terminology and what customers would be searching for online. Once he learned the terminology, he would go behind the scenes and work his magic.”
To make blog content a valuable sales and marketing asset, it’s absolutely critical to deeply understand customers’ needs and price points.
Nobody knows your company better than those who work in it, so investing time in showing your SEO partner the ropes can make a massive difference in the results you get.
The Nelson Tractor team was wise about that and went the extra mile to help Emory and the team so they could help them in return.
“I learned a lot from Emory. Emory’s the nicest human being, first of all. He’s a laid-back, easy-to-work-with fellow.” Kellye smiles.
“He was just tremendous in helping us pull the information from us because we didn’t really know what we wanted to talk about or how, so he groomed us in that way to help us get the most out of what we were trying to accomplish—which was the blogging—which has been phenomenal.”
As Kellye recalls her experience with the Leverable team led by Emory, she was impressed by his willingness to take on the challenge of creating expert content for a difficult niche.
“What stood out about Emory is that even though this was an unfamiliar subject matter for him, he took it on like a champ. For a lot of people, it’s intimidating because there’s a lot to understand,” she explains.
“I don’t know a lot about the equipment myself,” Kellye laughs. “But he really took it on and made it a personal project for him to understand it.”
After getting expert input and ideas from sessions with Nelson Tractor, Leverable was able to gain industry knowledge to develop and execute an effective content strategy that drove phenomenal results for the business.
But they didn’t stop with blogs. Having gained momentum, they decided to test out video content provided by SquareFrame Media:
“Now that we’ve established this library of blogs, we’ve done some videos, and we’ve tried to make videos for the blogs, so we just keep one step up, leveling up,” Kellye says.
To enhance the performance of the content, they launched several digital PR campaigns including link building to help the content gain initial traction in organic search. Once that momentum was underway, the rest was history.
When asked about her experience working with the Leverable team, Kellye answered the following:
“Because they are professional and they know what they’re doing, I don’t have to stop and feed them information. They are respectful with their questions and the timing, and they’ve learned when we’re busy and when they’re probably not going to get a lot from us; and when we’re slower, we have more time to work with them, so they’ve taken advantage of that. That’s been a tremendous help.”
“March, April, May, and June are the busiest times in our world, so they know when our slower times come, that’s where we really need to be working on content, and that’s when we try to get together more often,” she explains.
“If we’re not having fun, then I don’t want to be a part of it, and these guys have made a lot of this fun—even though it’s work.”
Explosive growth in organic traffic and an established brand image online
Most companies don’t have the patience to wait six to twelve months for SEO to kick in. But not Nelson Tractor. For them, the hard work paid off many, many times over the investment they put in.
Here are some of the results Leverable delivered thanks to the data-driven SEO strategy:
- Monthly Google organic search visits increased by 1,415.63%
- 700,000+ Google organic impressions
- Organic search phone calls up by 495.67%
- Google Business Profile visits up by 557.36%
Looking at the results of the mission to establish Nelson Tractor online, Kellye recalls:
“Our growth online—it’s been phenomenal. And it, in large part, has to do with the side of what Emory has done SEO-wise. Our presence is far more advanced online than ever, and I’m not talking just about Facebook or Instagram; I’m talking about the whole World Wide Web. We have a name out there, and that’s all thanks to Emory and the Leverable team.”
But what truly surprised her was the brutal honesty of Emory and the Leverable team when it was time to scale back their SEO efforts and just work on maintaining the content machine:
“There was this point where he even felt like he kinda hit a plateau and not necessarily wanted to step down, but he didn’t want to take advantage. And that spoke volumes about his character, for sure,” she says.
On top of the results, the Nelson Tractor team walked away with unique insights that completely changed the way to approach their business:
“It’s fascinating to me because Emory is so knowledgeable. It’s been a great experience for us to understand how customers use the Web, and what they’re looking for, and the bounce rate, and all of this terminology that we’ve learned,” Kellye beams.
“It’s interesting looking at our customers from a psychological standpoint now rather than just dollar signs. There’s a psychological factor there now from what we’ve gained from an SEO perspective.”
Looking into the future, even though the lion’s share of the work is done, Nelson Tractor has maintained a close relationship with Leverable:
“All of us are a team that we consider part of the family now: Emory, Matt, Leverable, SquareFrame Media. They’re here to stay. They’re part of our family because they have been so easy to work with, so it’s been a seamless process,” Kellye says.
When asked what she’d say to those considering Leverable as an SEO partner, she wouldn’t hesitate to encourage everyone (except for Nelson Tractor’s competition, of course):
“Do it now. It’s worth every single penny. You will not be disappointed. Professionalism, knowledge, skillset—he’s got it all. He’s the full package, the total package. Emory is the man.”
She continues, “Because he’s just a nice guy, and you don’t find a lot of nice people in this world anymore. It’s all about the dollars, and Emory made it clear that he was here for us and not for just a paycheck. He’s very considerate, very kind, and I think he grew as we grew.”
Are you ready to become our next success story? Get in touch with Leverable today to speak with an experienced SEO consultant!