From Zero To 130,000 Visitors and 70,000 Social Media Referrals 

A Digital Marketing Case Study: Neil Adams MBE

Over the last two years it has been my privilege to work with a hero of mine, Neil Adams MBE and this case study will explain how we have taken his website from a brand new domain to having over 130,000 visitors and 70,000 referrals from social media 

Neil Adams MBE is a former Judo World  Champion and 2 x Olympic Medal Winner and was at one point a household name in British and global sport.

Neil came to Zoogly in 2015 with a website that was gaining few visitors and also a Facebook page that was under performing. It was key that we create Neil a long term strategy for digital growth.

But first I must add that Neil Adams and his wife Niki are exceptional clients to work with. I fully believe that having great results with any marketing agency requires a superb relationship with clients and while we may have helped Neil to show case his knowledge more effectively in the digital world, none of this would be possible without the brilliance of Neil Adams.  

Where They Were

When Neil Adams came on board with Zoogly Media he already had a website that he was using as both a blog and e commerce site. The site was at the time of its creation quite advanced but as time passed it had shown its age and it had become difficult to maintain.

In addition their Facebook page stood at around 6,000 followers but due to work commitments the page was not updated daily. 

After an initial meeting we created a digital strategy for Neil that was based around content creation.

Our goal was simple, to grow his brand and to increase his website growth, product and services sales and this case study will explain what we did for Neil and how we did it.

Brand Marketing Versus Direct Advertising

The number one issues facing business owners looking for growth via digital marketing is the failure to understand the difference between brand marketing and direct advertising. 

Direct Advertising is the process of using an advert or other medium where you ask for the reader or viewer for a specific action.

For example: Running a Facebook advert where you ask for the customer to purchase your product is a way of  direct advertising. Google Adwords  are another. This type of advertising is often preferred by the small business owner because it can be tracked and monitored easily.

The issue with Direct Advertising is that it is incredibly difficult to craft high performing campaigns. After all, if you hit on a great campaign that provides sales at a profit you can scale this campaign forever. In fact some of the best performing  adverts of all time have been used for years and for good reason, they work.

The other two issues with direct advertising are increasing cost and buyer trust. 

Once you have a 'great advert' it is only profitable for as long as the costs remain within your profit margins which makes you totally dependant on the platform you are using. Buyer trust is another issue, after all how often do you purchase anything just from an advert? 

Brand Marketing is different. It is what your business invests in to become 'something' to a particular group of people. 

Your brand is the sum of your marketing and when done effectively creates 'long term results'. It will allow your fan base to find you and  follow you across all platforms as they change. The metrics you track are very  different from direct advertising and as such this scares a lot of people. 

In this case Neil was looking to create his legacy online and allow a new generation to discover his knowledge. As such brand marketing was ideal for Neil to focus on.

New Website Built With SEO In Mind

One of the first things we did  for Neil was to create a new 'destination website' on a new domain where people would come to visit. This site was created using WordPress. 

WordPress remains one of the most flexible and easy to use website tools on the internet. It is great for the creation of landing pages, SEO (search engine optimisation), content and at any time should Neil wished to cease using our services he would (with a little training) be able to create his own content and make site changes with ease.

One of the issues with most web design services is that they stop at 'web design' and either offer SEO as an up-sell to their design skills or do not offer any SEO advice at all. It is a bit like a mother 'kicking their newborn out of the nest' without teaching it how to find food.

A website is next to useless if you do not have a plan to get visitors (web traffic) to come and view your new shiny object.

As Zoogly Media is a performance focused digital marketing agency all of our websites are built with growth in mind. We build a site after conducting a thorough SEO assessment and every page is maximised for SEO.

For this reason we had a traffic generation strategy, lead generation strategy and also SEO strategy in place before the site was finished.

List Building

There is a saying 'the money is in the list' and I have always know this to be true.

Having spent a lot of money and time on the creation of a  new website, social media growth and of course content you need to try and 'capture' a visitor so you can access them again for free.

To assist with this we worked with Neil Adams MBE to create a free Judo course. This course was an email 'auto responder sequence' that we built so that anyone that signed up for the course received an email a day from Neil packed with Judo knowledge.

The result of this method is that Neil now enjoys a superb brand following an email open rates that out perform the industry average providing him with traffic to his website 'on demand'


SEO Strategy: Search  Engine Optimisation

As certified and experienced SEO experts our plan for Neil was to use our unique 'Layer Cake Traffic Strategy' to ensure he had a regular audience interested in his services.

In order to achieve this we undertook a full keyword assessment of his industry and selected keywords that could be targeted. We then worked with Neil to craft unique content for the website. The way we did this  was to give Neil the target subject and he would record his views on an MP3. We would then create the content inline with his views and pass it back for conformation before publication.

Our content was often highly practical and in a long form style that we call 'Power Pages'. This type of content is often over 2,000 words in length and is designed to rank on page 1 of Google for a chosen keyword and also gain traffic for a variety of other search terms.

A great example of this was the article on Judo Belts. 

This article now ranks for 244 different organic Keywords has gained 13 backlinks (with zero outreach). In addition the article has generated over 50,000 website visitors.

As if this was not enough the article has also received over 2,400 social media shares.

Social Media Management And Growth

Social Media remains one of the best ways to communicate with your target audience however few truly get this right.

Over the time Neil Adams has worked with us as a client we have seen the Facebook page grow from 6,000 page likes to 17,000.

We have always viewed a Facebook page to be like having your own TV Channel and newspaper all rolled into one.  As a result we post content daily that is a combination of curated content from other sources, Neil's own content, blog content and the creation of videos and memes.

This regular approach to created content that is useful and engaging to his audience has resulted in this page growth without any extra funds. 

Our approach to Facebook page management is geared to the creation of a 'destination' for your audience and customers. We aim to give value daily. This has also lead to over 1.8 Million video views to the page.

In addition to our long form Power Pages we are also aware of the power  that short form content can have if  written in the correct way.

We use a system of  Viral Marketing to ensure that we gain maximum traffic for all our posts, but short form articles which carry a great deal of social currency have been a key part in our digital strategy. This can be seen in Neil's article on how to  beat Judo legend Teddy Riner:

YouTube SEO And Channel Growth

YouTube is an incredible platform for any brand to fuel their growth and we were also able to assist Neil in the growth of his YouTube Channel with the use of SEO. 

YouTube is a search engine as well as a video platform and people come to YouTube to search for a wide variety of terms.

We worked with Neil on the SEO  of two videos.

The First was around a technique called Uchimata:

This video has now been viewed over 69,818 times and ranks number 3 on YouTube for the target keyword 'Uchimata'.

The second video we worked with Neil on was his Judo Workouts video.

This video has now been viewed over 55,447 times and ranks in YouTube for the target keywords as follows:  Number 4 for 'workouts for Judo', number 5 for Judo Training, number  3 for Judo Fitness, and number 3 for 'fitness  training for Judo'.

The reasons these 2 videos have been so important are they are directly related and linked to products and services that Neil sells.

One of the key benefits with YouTube SEO is not only the ability to rank in the search results but in their suggested videos. YouTube wants to make life easy for viewers and take the decision process around 'what to watch next' out of their hands. As such they show users suggested videos.

Good SEO in YouTube will allow you to crack into the incredible volume of the 'suggested video world' and  open you up to new users for FREE!

The Results

I know that it can be daunting when you hire a digital marketing agency as  you are investing in the unknown.

However there are some factors that you must consider. 

It is natural for you to keep asking 'what will the ROI be' with any service you use however as I have explained you cannot track ROI of brand marketing in the same way you can with direct advertising.

Neil Adams used methods which are free (apart from my service charges) and the results have been as follows:

  •  Website traffic increase from an average of 84 visits per day (on his old website) to an average of 2,000 per day.
  • 220,000 website page views from 132,000 site users (showing the visitors read multiple pages).
  • An increase from 6,000 to 17,000 Facebook fans and over 1 million video views.
  • Assisted in gaining over 100,000 YouTube views
  • Email subscriber list with an open rate of  around 40%
  • 70,000 web visits from social media.


For many business owners it is really tempting to ignore Brand Marketing and focus on direct adverts and Google adwords. However that rarely builds stability in your business.

Smart business owners can and should invest in direct marketing but they MUST invest in Brand Marketing if they are to have a business that thrives in a growing digital economy. 

The number one factor you must consider is this: If you don't start investing in brand marketing now, what  will happen to you when your competition does!

How We Can Help You

If you have been reading this and thinking 'I wish we could have results like this' the good news is that you can.

Zoogly Media is a performance focused digital marketing agency and we believe that means something special.

As a business we live and die by our results orientated approach and as such there is a good chance we can work together. 

However we only work with a few businesses at any one time. This ensures we provide a quality service every time and if we have not got the capacity right now we will tell you when we are likely to become available.

Our service costs vary and we offer everything from digital  strategy, training, web design, SEO, Copyrighting/ content creation, content marketing and of course social media.

Our goal is simple, to grow your brand and get you more web traffic!

If you would like to discuss how we can help your business feel free to get in touch today.