Case studies are a fantastic marketing and sales support tool. They serve to reassure and give insight into your procedures in real life situations. If written correctly and positioned in the right place on your website, they can bring in traffic and aid lead generation, perhaps tipping the balance in your favour during the research or buying process. However, when you are faced with creating one from scratch, the process can be a little daunting. 

You are aiming to create:

A simple short story…
A case study is a story with a beginning, middle and a happy ending. The content should be easily digestible, clear and concise with no jargon. Start each section with a summary paragraph, allowing readers to skim through. 

… with endorsement
Use at least one great quote from your client.

… & clear results,
Include tangible results and statistics – percentages, ratios, graphs, ROI figures, etc. It’s all good, concrete evidence of what you helped your client achieve. 

… that is search engine friendly!
As with any content, your case study is a vehicle for bringing in web traffic. Before writing, decide which keyword phrases you would like to focus on and bear these in mind when you are writing the headline and first 100 words particularly.

Here’s how to do it:
Whether you are writing them yourself or using a copywriter, firstly work out what the customer needs or service area you want to address and tailor a list of questions for the client interview accordingly. Make sure other customers or prospects will be able to relate to the ‘problem’. You may even prefer to draft the case study before the interview and then edit and fill in the gaps once you have spoken to the client. Before the interview, it’s a good idea to send the list of questions in advance to your client and then chat through them over the phone in a relaxed conversational manner. 

Now it’s time to write it up. Below is some guidance on the order of content. 

Headline
Include a relevant keyword phrase (customer need or service area) as part of headline.

Introduction (100 words)
This paragraph is the most important for search engines. It should be a short summary of the case study and not your client’s business. Remember, if you focus too much on their business, you will simply get traffic meant for them, which will bounce away again pretty quickly. A balanced view on what you have achieved for your client, using relevant keyword phrases is what you are after. At the same time, don’t oversell yourselves. This can be the trickiest part to get right!

Challenge (100-200 words)
This is a factual recount of the client’s problem and why they came to you. Include a client quote if appropriate here.

Solution (100-200 words)
Factual recount of how the challenge was addressed and overcome. This can be detailed but try to avoid jargon – the reader should gain an insight into your processes. An internal quote could go here.

Results (100-200 words)
This is where readers want to see some real numbers so should be quantitative results. Some audiences will skip straight to these details. From a website design perspective, they will also serve as headline stats / pointers on other pages in the site. Include a client quote regarding the outcome here.

Other things to consider:
Logo – The client’s logo is a must for any case study. Try to use a high resolution jpeg or PNG.
Imagery – Use an image to illustrate the case study. Engaging images and diagrams/graphics tend to reduce the bounce rate and increase time on your website leading to higher Google rankings.

Finally, don’t forget to tell people about your case study by pushing the link out via social media and email.

If you need help with your case studies or search engine optimisation, give us a call.

Written by. Debbie Parsons

Debbie Parsons