With so many consumers heading online to buy everyday items, companies that once focused their business on phone sales are learning they need to have a website and make sure they are properly using search engine optimization (SEO). This is something 1-800-MATTRESS learned after seeing online sales drop almost 18 percent.

In an interview with Econsultancy, Evan Saks, regional head of advertising for the mattress chain, says it was difficult to do anything with the site because the parent company had complete control over the domain. Calling it a "terrible, terrible site," Saks says the company stopped all online marketing, including stopping their search engine optimization (SEO) campaign.

Because the franchisees weren’t allowed to set up their own site, Saks says a landing page was created at 1-800-mattress.net and with the help of search engine optimization (SEO), Saks says the site saw almost double the business the main page was getting.

The 1-800-MATTRESS story should be a lesson to companies that think the web is not necessary for their business. Despite finally getting some online traction, the company filed for bankruptcy and was sold to NewCo Holdings – the company which owns mattress retailer Sleepy’s.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.