Search techniques shift the balance for training firm

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Search-referred traffic to the Web site of Work-Life Balance Productivity Training Co. has soared more than 1,000 percent while visitor conversion rates have climbed gradually during a three-year campaign using Medium Blue's search engine technologies.

Almost 78 percent of visitors to www.worklifebalance.com arrive by searching the campaign's targeted phrases.

"Our return on investment with Medium Blue is more than triple anything we achieved with pay per click, direct mail or any other sources," said Jim Bird, founder of Work-Life Balance Productivity Training, Atlanta.

Mr. Bird was launching a growth plan for his company. He sought to boost brand awareness of Work-Life Balance as a human resources concept and his firm as the leader in enterprise-wide work-life solutions.

He began using various methods, including paid search placement, to raise online exposure but wasn't getting the desired online marketing ROI. Recommendations from business partners led him to Medium Blue (www.mediumblue.com), Atlanta.

Medium Blue conducted initial research, including on Work-Life Balance's business plan, to determine the terms and phrases potential buyers likely would search on and how to optimize Web site copy to appeal to them. Medium Blue performs further research a few times per year to expand the campaign's reach and the Web site's breadth.

The vendor also monitors Work-Life Balance competitors in case they violate search engines' terms of service. Medium Blue considers all sites ranking above clients' respective sites to be competitors, and it stakes them out regularly. Medium Blue reports them to remove them from the listings.

Introducing new phrases and site pages keeps the site high in rankings and expands the scope of the business. Mr. Bird's company now offers stress management training, so Medium Blue added phrases such as "workplace stress management training" to the roster. The Web site is currently first in Google for that phrase.

"The continued ability to work with Medium Blue to refine our target markets and phrases has allowed us to cut the length of our sales cycle and increase the average size of our sales," Mr. Bird said. "Plus, we have been able to expand our focus based on Medium Blue's research into just what our customers are searching for."

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