From $0 to $3.1 Million In 18 Months

Case Study: Riverview Decks, deck building company in Knoxville, TN

Table of Contents

The Background

Nate came to us in the middle of 2022 while running a remodeling business. As we got the remodeling business to gain momentum, he realized that he wasn’t that passionate about remodeling and the money he was looking for wasn’t there.

Like most contractors, he was running a one-man show, and the combination of tight finances and wearing all the hats made the dream of having financial freedom impossible.

Nate Burket from Riverview Decks

Nate talks about his initial goals and current situation after just 18 months

We got to thinking, we ran some data analysis for him and found a great opportunity for him in the deck building space.

He agreed on making things work and committed to the long-term game. From experience, we knew that a new business with a new website on a new domain would take at least 3-6 months just to get the basic authority to start ranking on Google.

Because we make decisions based on data when we map your blueprint to success, we went over the best locations for Nate to target, analyzed competitors, identified opportunities, and set expectations and goals for the short term. 

We were looking for ways to help generate a positive ROI and set Nate up for success. There’s no point in having a long-term plan if you fail in the first 6 months.

After breaking down Nate’s industry piece by piece, we crunched the numbers and ended up budgeting around 7% of the marketing goal. The goal was to take $70,000 and make $1,000,000 out of it.

And guess what?

We didn’t just help Nate cross that $1 mil finish line, but we turbo-rocketed his business to take 3 laps around the track and brought him $2,800,000 in revenue in just one year.

What was initially a 7% marketing investment ended up being a measly 2.5%, even with the extra $30,000 we invested in ads along the way. 

As a rule of thumb, it’s always better to start from a worst-case scenario and make that work because when things work better, it’s like the icing on the cake.

Most coaches and marketing agencies talk a nice game and love to dish out cookie-cutter solutions, but this is toxic because that information lacks context. 

We constantly hear “10% marketing budgets” and “$50 cost per lead”, but to what exactly do these apply?

We adapt to your business and your personal goal to give you the freedom you want without sugarcoating the numbers. 

We bring real, sustainable results for your contracting company with transparent marketing and results you can actually rely on.


If you’re committed, we’ll help you get where you want to be.

Next, let’s dive into the nitty gritty of his challenges and how we helped him grow his business.

The Challenges

No Brand, No Website, No Nothing

Because this was a completely new business, there were no online assets for Riverview Decks

Your brand, your Google Business Profile (GBP), and your website are the most crucial assets to get right. You only get one chance at making a great first impression.

We invested over $100k just to come up with the framework for our websites. From studying over 200,000 contractor websites to marketing consultants, courses, and thousands spent on tools we did it all. 

All of it helps you grab the attention of your prospects, answer the questions they already have in their subconscious mind, and convert them to leads that you can sell.

You think you’re saving money with a $3,000 website, but besides missing out on all the opportunities in your market, you’re also losing your most valuable resource: your time

6 months go by, 1 year… the website isn’t converting visitors to leads, and the phone isn’t ringing. 

A website is just one piece of the marketing puzzle, and even that one is failing.

And you’re back to square one, needing a new website that should have done its job right from the get-go. 

And I think you can relate to this, because how many jobs did you come across where you had to completely redo or fix what was done before you?

We get this constantly where people talk to us, get a website for half the price, and come back to us within a year complaining that the whole online presence is in ruins. 

Now they lost a lot of time, a lot of opportunity, and a serious chunk of money.

That’s why we take our job very seriously. We’ve built over 300 contractor websites in the last 3 years. 

We innovate, analyze, track, and update things constantly, so your website is an asset, not a piece of furniture.


One of the challenges Nate had is one that many contractors have in their business, and that’s the seasonality of their services. 

That makes it very important to know how to roll out your marketing while taking seasonality into consideration so it doesn’t kill your business during the off-season.

And we know.

For Riverview Decks, we saw homeowners show a lower interest in deck-building services in Q1 and Q4 each year because of weather conditions and holidays.

We double-checked our data and research with Nate and adapted the whole strategy so he could still carry the momentum during the off-season. 

When most people take their foot off the gas, we adapt to what the market is looking for and create an action plan where seasonality doesn’t dictate the pace.

The Strategy

If the numbers are high, the marketing must be working, right?

That couldn’t be further from the truth. Your marketing needs to create awareness in your market, get people’s interest, and build upon their desire enough so they become leads. Leads that you convert to money and then your business gets real and sustainable growth.

We build the brand image

We attract the right customers

We get them to trust you and pay for your services. 

We build the authority you need so people come to you first.

To do this right, it takes a lot of effort, strategy, planning, data analysis, resources, and a lot of time. 

It’s hard to compete with our results because we actually care and we go the extra mile.

The reality is that your business doesn’t operate in a void in the area that you serve. 

You have competitors, and how these competitors tackle their business will influence your results. You need to have a proactive approach when it comes to the competition.

It’s not a question of if; it’s a question of how and when.

Riverview Decks operates in Knox County, with many solid competitors looking to take the biggest slice of the pie. 

We’re always keeping our finger on the pulse, tracking market movements, reporting bad actors, and seeing what competitors are doing right so we can capitalize on those opportunities while being proactive about any threats that are arising.

Not all results are equal. Agencies love to flash big and shiny numbers, like millions of impressions and tens of thousands of clicks, but when you go deeper, you quickly see that it’s not the right people (or clicks), or even worse, you get purchased clicks from bot farms and China.

The Results

Local Searches In Tennessee

Speaking of tracking what’s important, contractors actually have an edge that is always obvious in hindsight. 

You don’t need billions of impressions; you need the right impressions. 

What good is it if someone in Alaska sees your stuff when you’re operating in Tennessee, right?

What matters to contractors are the local searches from homeowners who are actually in the market for your services. Those folks turn their clicks into cash for your business ASAP! 

Which do you prefer: a small billboard in your town or 100 in the middle of nowhere?

Local searches are what fill up your work schedule. It’s not about big numbers, it’s about the right numbers.

At a glance, here’s how 2022 looked like compared to 2023 for Riverview Decks. 

Since we built Nate a brand new website, all these numbers started from 0, which makes the growth even more impressive. As we launched the site in July of 2022 and ran the report in November, it’s only fair to compare the same time period.

Beyond the local SEO game, we also want to establish you as an authority in your market. When Google sees you as a trusted source on a national scale, it makes your business more credible – even at the expense of that national traffic never converting to leads.

Agencies love to flaunt national results as a headline, but for us, it’s more of a strategic move in the back of our minds. 

With us, you get both SEO and Local SEO so you can dominate the local scene that brings you leads while also building national recognition so Google sees you as an authority in the market.

The animation on the right shows Riverview’s 11×11 local map grid, with 2 miles between the dots.

Every green dot means that Riverview is ranking in the top 3 local search results, orange dots are rankings 4 to 10, and red dots are positions 10+. As we expand a client’s authority in the local market, we’re looking to turn red into orange and then green.

When we first started doing SEO and local SEO for Nate, his map was all red. Now, he’s in the top 3 positions for the best deck-related searches in his area.

So, even if he was originally aiming for $250k in his first year, we blew past that goal and were ready to make Nate even more money in 2023.

Thanks to our data-driven decision-making and ability to interpret numbers and understand how local searches work, we’ve created a system that allows him to dominate his local area. 

And I’m not talking just about the city he’s in, but a lot of cities in his area. It’s like being in the VIP section of local businesses.

In Farragut, for example, Riverview Decks is not only taking up that sweet number-one spot in the map pack, half of the page show his stuff. Same with deck repair. 

That’s what on-point local SEO and SEO look like.

In Oak Ridge, another target city for Riverview Decks, the company shows up in second place in the Google Map Pack.

Mind you, this was a combined effort. Our marketing expertise will get you very far, but not all the way. 

You also have to put in the work:

You need to take charge of the opportunities we bring. With your diligence and our strategic support, there’s no limit to what we can achieve together.

Nate’s now dominating all major cities around him like Louisville, Farragut, Friendsville, Alcoa, Lenoir City, Rockford, Oak Ridge, Greenback, Maryville, Loudon, Kingston, Oliver Springs, and we’re slowly moving in to capture Knoxville.

Getting in the top 3 from the map pack guarantees that your listing gets a search-to-click ratio of about 18%. This means you can capture quite a chunk of homeowner searches. With thousands of searches happening, if you’re not in the ”pack,” you’re missing out on potential customers ready to hire a contractor right there in their neighborhood.

Pouring Gas on the Flames

When we do SEO and local SEO for your business, we’re looking to build your organic traffic as soon as possible because it’s a multiplier. 

Dave takes out his phone, searches for a contractor in his area, and finds and clicks on your website.

That’s organic traffic.

You’re not paying Google to show your business; people are finding you naturally when looking for your services. We have clients coming to us that don’t even show up for their brand name on Google because of how bad their SEO is. 

Imagine people looking for you online and not being able to find you.

After a few months, when Riverview’s organic traffic started to pick up and he had good brand equity, we moved to the next stage of putting Nate on the map – running ads to multiply the results.

Many contractors think that ads are like this magical on/off switch. 

The reality is that good ad results are a combination of money and time. When you don’t set the right budget for ads, and you don’t give them time to do their magic, you’re not giving Google’s Ads AI time to optimize for the right conversions, so your cost per lead will remain high.

We started rolling out ads for Riverview Decks in 2023, with a budget of around $5k/mo.

The result?

Close to $1 million in revenue from the jobs sold!

Because we’re always invested in your business and we want to see you win, we like to take things one step further, which is what we did with Nate, too. We create a lot of brand awareness to get homeowners excited about Riverview Decks.

After studying the market and homeowner psychographics, we created engaging posts and boosted them, getting Nate’s business in front of 180,000 new eyeballs while generating more than 38k engagements for a measly budget of $4,000/mo over 8 months.

What was meant to be a brand awareness campaign even brought in 13 leads, which is what happens as a side-effect when you have the right marketing systems and strategies working for your contracting business.

In the long term, Riverview Decks is on top of the minds of more than 180,000 homeowners. When you’re constantly in front of the right people, you create the touch points needed to build a relationship that later turns into money.

Neverending Content Optimization

As you can see in the screenshot below, in a very short timeframe in 2023, we generated over 1.53 million organic impressions on Google for Riverview Decks.

If you had to spend money on ads to generate this kind of traffic, you’d be $8,000 short each month. Imagine getting a check for $8,000/mo without lifting a finger. That’s what SEO & local SEO do for your business as an online asset – it’s an investment, not a cost.

We’re not only ranking Riverview for more than 3,700 keywords related to their services, but we also brought in specially featured results, like the one you can see below. 

When Google features your content like that, it’s because it sees your website as a high authority in the space.

Most marketing agencies publish content on your website and let it die out. In other words, you pay for blogs or whatever content they create, and this does its job for a short while. Then, your money goes down the drain because other people make content, too.

To avoid losing that investment and keeping your website relevant, you have to keep your content fresh and up-to-date. That’s how you tell Google your website deserves to be at the top of the search results.

In our process, not only do we create unique content, but we also identify the content pieces that need more tender-loving care and bring them back to life.

You can see this transformation below.

Based on data and research, we identified what kind of content the homeowners were actually looking for, and turned this blog post about fire pits from a useless page to one that brings more than 300 impressions every month and is slowly becoming an authoritative piece of content on the website.

Innovation, research, and content updates are things we do as a given, not as an afterthought. Google loves to penalize websites with outdated and irrelevant content, so we’re always making changes and even removing content that might do more harm than good.

All of these efforts are meant to keep your website relevant so your website doesn’t die but instead rises to be in the top rankings so homeowners in your area know you exist.

Key Takeaways

By putting together our marketing system for Riverview Decks, Nate got some spectacular results in terms of local online visibility, leads, and sales:

If you like what you see and are ready to invest at least $30k for a year’s worth of marketing, we should talk.

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