2,000% Growth with HLM: A 14-Year Journey of Trust & Triumph.
About CEI Materials.
Led by Co-Founders, Jeff Henry and Jason Sherrill, CEI Materials works with Architects, General Contractors, and Installers on all aspects of the project including Design Assist, Project Management, and Fabrication. In 2016 they averaged 10-20 small projects. Today they average over 100 across the country, producing well over a million square feet of architectural panel systems per year. When it became clear that GoDaddy wasn't going to take them where they wanted to go, they chose HLM for three reasons: our transparency, our professionalism, and our candidness regarding their total marketing opportunity, their current online presence, and what it would take, long-term, to achieve their business goals.
"Our business has grown over 2,000% since we first started working with HLM. We view HLM as a true partner."
Jeff Henry, CEO & Co-Founder- CEI Materials
Business Growth with HLM.
To compete in today’s digital landscape, a strong agency partnership is invaluable. For CEI Materials, a nationally recognized fabricator of Architectural Cladding Systems and Components, their 14-year relationship with HLM is a story of growth and expansion built on the strength of 3 pillars: the CEI website, SEO strategy, and a trusted partnership.
Website Evolution: Refining CEI's Online Presence and Brand Identity.
CEI's website is pivotal in securing its position in the architectural facade industry. The entire user journey is a testament to CEI's authority and expertise in the field. By presenting detailed information and showcasing their projects, the website inspires architects and fosters trust among contractors and installers, cementing its reputation as a national leader and driving new business opportunities coast-to-coast.
CEI's website has evolved significantly over the past 14 years. Starting as a basic, menu-driven site, it has transformed into a visually engaging and inspiring showcase of architectural vision, precision fabrication, and industry authority.
SEO Strategy: Scaling Locally and Across the U.S.
An integrated SEO strategy is vital for CEI to tap into markets from Michigan to Utah.
Authoritative blogging boosts organic traffic and positions CEI as an industry expert.
Individual product and service pages, optimized for key searches, ensure CEI's offerings are front and center for potential clients.
Ongoing website optimization keeps CEI aligned with search trends, while updated business listings enhance local discoverability.
Combined, these elements ensure CEI's broad and effective market presence.
As of April 2023, organic traffic for MCM panels is up over 150% year-over-year and the MCM panel page ranks #1 out of over 3 million results, generating tremendous opportunities for recognizable jobs across the US.
Trusted Partnership: The Backbone of Success
CEI's partnership with HLM wasn't just productive—it was transformational. HLM's deep understanding of CEI's vision formed the backbone of a dynamic and open communication framework, fueling unprecedented growth for CEI. With every challenge encountered, HLM's adaptability and foresight ensured that CEI not only navigated uncertainties but also thrived amidst them. Each strategy HLM put forth wasn't just about immediate gains; it was a blueprint for long-term dominance. This wasn't merely collaboration; it was a powerful alliance. With HLM at its side, CEI didn't just grow; it soared, unlocking unparalleled market opportunities and setting new benchmarks for success.
HLM's consistent delivery and proactive insights were pivotal in harnessing new avenues for CEI. Even during market uncertainties, CEI's trajectory remained upward, largely owing to the flexibility and long-term vision that HLM infused into the strategies.
When it comes to digital marketing, flexibility, open communication, and a trusted relationship are crucial to long-term success. The digital playing field is always changing and it's a balancing act between what's best for the customer experience, the brand, and the search engines. Here are some of the most recent pivotal moments that showcase the benefits of sticking together through challenges.
2021: Website Update & Google Algorithm Update
Roughly two years ago CEI approached us for a website update. The biggest requested change was a hard prune of SEO-rich content. This change occurred during one of Google's big algorithm updates and CEI got hit hard. We had a lot of hard conversations but ultimately CEI put its trust in our long-term plan to update and reintroduce the previously removed content and eventually resecuring CEI's positions with Google.
2022: Name and URL Change
In 2022, CEI made a slight name change and wanted its URL to reflect it. For an established business online like CEI, a lot can go wrong. With Google, you have to be strategic or risk losing website authority, page rankings, or worst of all, a flagged Google Business Profile.
Again, CEI put its trust in HLM. Rather than simply flipping the switch, we created a strategy to help prevent issues resulting from a sudden name change. We worked together with CEI to strategically and gradually introduce the new name to Google. We took time to inventory the hundreds of pages and links on the site, secure the domain, initiate the redirects, begin sending off-page signals, update website content, update directory listings, and many other things to secure the stability of the website and send the right signals to Google in preparation for the change.
Demonstrating Value and ROI
Many agency-client conversations revolve around "What have you done for me lately?" Google reports don't tell the whole story and it's challenging to connect the dots between what we're doing and the impact we're having.
In 2023, major updates to HLM's Footprint Dashboard were essential to connecting those dots and reinforcing our value as a partner, especially the Lead Tracker Tool.
The Lead Tracker enhancements allow CEI to pull up and rate every lead form filled and mobile phone call, making it easier to communicate value and ROI.
The journey of HLM and CEI Materials is a testament to what trust, loyalty, and a well-thought-out SEO plan can achieve. Through website evolutions, algorithmic challenges, and business expansions, the partnership has not only endured but flourished, turning challenges into milestones. "In a way, we have grown together. Our relationship has always been strong and remains strong today. We view HLM as a true partner."
“We started with 3 employees operating out of a home in Dexter to over 90 employees with plants in Michigan and Utah.”
—Jeff Henry, CEO & Co-Founder- CEI Materials