Positive Fallout from Hurricane Irene

by | Aug 31, 2011 | At Checkerboard, Integrated Marketing | 0 comments

Thankfully, Hurricane Irene didn’t live up to the forecasters’ worst-case scenarios. For one of my clients in Minnesota it could even have some positive fallout.  I was with Rob from the Tree and Stump Company last Friday and, of course, I was talking about his website. I pulled out my iPhone to look at his site statistics and was taken aback by his visits for the day. I was surprised by the statistics because we have a very simple strategy for his site updates:  Just post the work, the service he is providing and the city where he is doing it.

Additionally, Rob uses his mobile phone on the job sites to collect before and after photos, and sends them to his website for processing in his down time.  It has worked very well providing very targeted traffic from people looking to buy his services, which allows Rob and his crews to focus on what they do best: falling and trimming trees. After talking with Rob, it is clear that having this system in place has allowed him to focus on doing the work instead of finding business. With nothing spent on advertising, his business comes straight to him.

MN Map

Typical traffic by location to TreeandStumpCo.com

Click these example searches to see where he is landing on search lists:

Tree Trimming Bloomington
Tree Removal Eden Prairie
Stump Removal Shakopee

When viewing his statistics again last Saturday, traffic levels were 16 times above normal. By the time Rob asked me where the traffic was coming from, I had switched from my Google Analytics iPhone app to the full version online to get more in-depth analysis. I investigated the visitor map overlay and discovered the traffic coming from North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, DC and other locations on the east coast. I was concerned because I would much rather have seen 95%+ of the traffic from MN since that is where Rob’s company is based.

Traffic to TreeandStumpCo.com during the storm


When I looked at the report on the keywords driving the traffic it clicked for all of us:

What to do if a tree falls on your house.

His traffic was skyrocketing because of East Coast residents searching for what to do in the hurricane’s aftermath. It really is a great post targeting his customers who need his expertise.  Here is the whole post or your can read it on his blog:



Rob has seen positive effects from this traffic on his statewide searches as well and he continues to climb in search engine results. He is a great example of writing to your target market, especially if it is a niche target market. If you serve a specific geographic region be sure to target your content accordingly.

It was great talking with Rob throughout the night about all of the meaningful ways he can connect with his target audience by adjusting his day-to-day processes to include sharing them on his site.  One idea that came out of our discussions was a way to make it easier to get content into the system. Imagine this:  Rob still takes before and after shots of his work and shares them to his website via his cell phone, but also in between jobs he can call a special number and leave a message.  His site will pick up the call and post it as a draft for him (or our editorial dept) to format into a blog post.

UPDATE FOR ROB:  We got something up and running, and are testing the concept this week.  I am trying to determine how many people might be interested in a plug-in like this.  If anyone else would be interested adding this to their site let me know in the comments.

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