One Internet Marketing Case Study is Worth a Thousand Words

In this blog, I frequently give a lot of internet marketing and social media marketing theory, best practices and advice. But I know that nothing makes an impression and drives home the point quite like the good old “case study.”

So let’s see how some of these best practices worked for a real life company, one you might have heard of: Parelli Natural Horsemanship.

Building and solidifying relationships with your customers is one of the main assets of social media. However, if you are not being pro-active in this area, your fans might be way ahead of you. This was the peculiar situation Parelli found themselves in when I first started working with them in 2009. Although company founders Linda and Pat Parelli had built a huge brand with many enthusiastic fans, as far as their online efforts were concerned, they had no control over what was going on and therefore couldn’t take advantage of it.

Here were their main issues:

  1. They never managed to create a website that really supported their fans, allowing them to express their devotion. So the fans were doing it on their own, via unofficial Facebook fan pages, YouTube videos and even blogs about Parelli’s theories and techniques. (Yes, I’m sure you wish you had that problem!)
  2. Their website ranked poorly in search engines. When it came to connecting with new customers, unless that potential client knew to search online specifically for “natural horsemanship,” Parelli’s site was nowhere to be found. Someone searching for horse training or horse problems would not find Parelli, even though those are their specialties. (I doubt you wish you had that problem, but if you do, please read on!)
  3. They were nonexistent on social media – in any official, company created capacity, that is.

Here is how we helped them solve these issues:

  1. Parelli went all in, creating a brand new website with a more keyword-search friendly domain name. Their original site was, but for the new site, they chose Why? Because “horse training” was one of the keywords they wanted to be found under. Having a main keyword in your domain name, if possible, is a valuable SEO asset.
  2. They also had all their content rewritten with search engine optimization in mind.
  3. They engaged full on in social media, collecting and uniting all their followers under their official company pages. Their followers responded happily, to the tune of well over 50,000 Facebook fans, close to 9,000 Twitter followers @OfficialParelli and legions of fans making their YouTube channel rank as the 22nd most popular.

Are you wondering about the results of all this change? Parelli is now ranked multiple times under both “horse training” and “natural horse training.” They have increased their exposure by over 167,000 searches each month… and their legions of fans are evangelizing their brand for them, every single day.

I hope you can see how helpful a multipronged approach to internet marketing and building a brand can be! If you’d like to read a bit more about exactly how we improved their website, check out my book Thumbonomics, Chapter 14 for the full Parelli Findability Makeover.

Heather Lutze
Author, Internet Marketing Speaker, Trainer and Consultant


Heather is the acclaimed speaker, trainer, and consultant who literally wrote the book on search engine marketing. Two books, in fact—The Findability Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing and Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap for Social Media & Mobile Marketing. Her writing and in-demand keynotes are delivered with the same witty, “no-geek-speak” style that has managed to demystify internet marketing for countless business owners. Breaking free of corporate “cubicle” jobs over ten years ago with nothing more than a dream of entrepreneurship and a computer in the basement, Heather built her business, The Findability Group, into a multimillion dollar company. Today she leads a dedicated and slightly obsessed team of search marketing pros—their mission—to connect clients with their perfect customers online.

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