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Case studies in the world of search

We all like to have case studies on our websites. They serve many purposes, including acting as testimonials. The problem is that few potential customers ever read them. I have access to many businesses’ website visitor analytics, and trust me, in the number-of-page-views report, the case studies are usually hidden away down at the bottom, alongside the site’s privacy policy and T&Cs.

The usual reason for this is that when the website was set up, nobody paid much attention to these unloved pages, and they just got put in a directory called ‘case studies’ or ‘applications’ which now languishes unloved as the last item in the website navigation bar. Nobody thought to make them sub-pages of the products they relate to, with links to them as a ‘read more’ call-to-action within the product pages.

Here are two things you can do which will bring even your existing case studies back to life. The first is to link them from around the site, especially from the pages of the products they relate to. The second is slightly more ambitious, and is something I hinted at yesterday. If the case study shows how a particular customer used a product, why not turn it on its head, and make the application the focus? Yes – what I’m suggesting is that you turn the case study into a ‘how to’ article. I reckon that for many case studies, this rewriting could be done in 10 minutes. Instead of “Acme Engineering chooses the Blue Widget Company’s BlueWidget™ in its Bigsprocket Counting Machine”, why not retitle the article “How to count sprockets using a Widget” and rewrite the piece to answer that, using Acme’s Bigsprocket Counting Machine as a demonstration to prove it can be done?