$8 Million in Revenue from Correct HREFLang Implementation

Large multinational tech company implements HREFLang XML Site maps in English markets and increased their lead volume by 843% and Search Influenced Revenue by $8 million in less than 60 days.

While working on a keyword data mining project for a large company we found a couple of localized problems with the lack of conversions in a few markets. During that project, we were mapping the customer journey and developed a series of “waterfall conversion models.” When presented to the local markets a few said their lead conversion rates were not even close to the numbers we presented. Something was strange as they were getting anywhere from 5 to 40 percent of the organic search clicks so why were they not filling out lead forms?

Assuming it was a problem with the lead process we called the local toll-free number, we completed the eCRM forms and they all worked and could not find what the problem was. While the forms worked, the leads were not showing in the Salesforce accounts in Australia.

While the demand generation team checked that side of things we made an interesting discovery. I just happened to notice in the rank report that the page ranking was the global English page and not the Australian page. We scanned the rest of the rank report and found that nearly 90% of the URL’s ranking were from the US or UK and not Australia.

We took all the words from Google Search Console Search Analytics Report for Australia. We isolated specific keyword phrases where they were ranking in the top 3 and had at least a 10% click rate. A number of the words, especially product and branded terms had click rates of over 40%. We ran a rank report and all the pages that had high click rates had US or UK pages ranking.

These ranking landing pages had US and UK phone numbers, the lead forms worked but we asked these teams and yes, the leads came in but since they were from Australia they viewed them as junk and just moved them into the junk bin. We found the problem – the wrong page was ranking. Note, had they been using a PLP monitoring process they would have seen this, but their agency just reported on the number of words ranking for each country at different levels.

The DG team reviewed the ignored leads and using their normal conversion funnel calculations conservatively estimated they were missing out on around $2 million dollars a month in revenue. Since this was an “IT issue” they quickly scoped the project and estimated it would take 3 to 4 months to implement a custom solution. This means in addition to the cost of the development, the lost revenue would be between $6 and $8 million dollars.

They immediately updated Google Search Console and set the geographical targeting but that did not change anything. After some haggling and an intervention from a senior manager, we were told to implement HREFLang XML using HREFLang Builder for at least the English language markets.

Once the files were loaded we started noticing changes in URL’s switching over as soon as 48 hours after posting the XML files. No rank changed just the pages were switched from US/UK to Australia. Within two weeks nearly all the pages switched over and the demand generation team in Australia and Singapore had their best lead generation month ever. In total, leads increased by 843% with a total search influenced revenue attribution of over $8 million dollars in the next 60 days. If we take an average, that is $4 million per month which was twice the estimated amount. Had we waited for IT to develop a solution, the actual lost revenue opportunity would have been more like $18 to $32 million dollars.

How much money is incorrect country pages costing you? If you have HREFLang Elements in place test them using our HREFLang Testing Tool or get started with your own HREFLang XML today.