Hurricane StrIKEs, Conversion Rate SpIKEs

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Just over a week ago, Hurricane Ike decided to make landfall and inflict destruction on the Texas Gulf Coast. For most of us, things are getting back to normal, and we are once again enjoying life’s little luxuries: electricity, running water, fresh food, etc.

Despite all the mayhem of the last couple weeks, one benefit of living in Houston is having clients located within the Houston/Galveston area. While Ike may have hurt some of them (many restaurants and retail businesses have not yet reopened and may not for weeks), he has been quite kind to others, particularly those in construction-related businesses.

One client, Houston Siding, has seen been happy to see such an increase in traffic over the last couple of weeks. As I checked my work email from home over the hurricane weekend, I noticed the client had begun receiving more leads through its web site than usual. As more and more residents began to regain electricity and internet access, the number of leads went up even further. So, as a keen marketing specialist looking to capitalize on the current conditions, I began writing ads for my client targeting customers whose homes have suffered damage from Ike.

I then analyzed the affects of those new ads on our PPC campaigns. The results? Natural disasters are undeniably good for business!
Houston Siding has seen its click-through rate triple and conversion rate quadruple:

CTR: 2.45%
Post-Ike (w/ old ads):
CTR: 1.67%
Post-Ike (w/ new Ike-related ads):
CTR: 6.67%

The example below shows a comparison of the original ad I was testing and the new Ike-related ad for one ad group Houston Siding’s campaign. Clearly, the Ike ad has so far been a bigger draw for customers as its click-through rate is almost double that of the original ad, and the conversion rate is up to an impressive 50% in just a few days.


In conjunction with the PPC changes, we have also updated our home page calls to action to reflect the ads in the hope that the changes will further increase our conversion rates. Time will tell how successful our changes will be, but so far the stats bode well for Houston Siding’s post-Ike success.


Obviously, we could have predicted an upward swing in traffic and conversions based on the increase in demand for these services after the storm. However, our decision to create compelling ads and include relevant imagery and copy on our site has helped ensure greater exposure of our client. Through our efforts, we have shown prospective customers that Houston Siding is not only aware of their problems and can offer services to help, but we give visitors a visual and emotional reassurance that our client understands their issues and how seriously they have been affected.

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1 Comment »

  1. On September 21, 2009 @ 6:13 pm Kevin YuNo Gravatar said

    Awesome job on the new website! glad comments are enabled now. Glad I could be part of Houston Siding’s success :)

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