One of our main goals when we work with customers isn’t just to make great looking websites. It is in fact to help you do business online once you get a website.
All too often website companies don’t make it clear that a website is just a tool that needs to be worked with to generate business. The unwritten and incorrect assumption is that website = business.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Here is how we helped a client who had no online presence (bar a weak one on Facebook) to get 4-5 new customers per week outside his normal sales.
This may sound quite strange coming from a website designer but the actual website in the initial days is not really that important. Yes it needs to look good if not great (and we DO that), but what is more important is getting people to the website in the first place. There is often an optimistic “build it and they will lcome” attidude from customers who don’t embrace the fact that the steps below are “Marketing 101”.
Now this may read as if I am trying a hard sell of marketing – I am not. This is just a fact. I often say to clients that if I had the time I could rank on Google faster than them witha competing site in 2-3 months following the steps below if they don’t . We live in a competive onlien space where the days of popping up a 5-6 page website and hoping for the best just don’t cut it anymore.
People’s eyes glaze over when they see the word content. But we live in a content world. When did you last check your phone. You were looking for content. Perhaps not to make a huge purchasing decision but to amuse yourself, to learn something, to plan an event and so on. We have never been so connected to online. So much so that personally I turned off all notifications on my phone about 18 months ago even ring tone as we are so easily distracted these days. But look around in any social setting and people are graspingtheir phones and looking expectantly at them.
So content what should you do?
- Built a strong landing page for his services showcasing them clearly (he has 6 main ones)
- For each of these services you offer we created a unique page of 1500-2000 words outlining the service with pricing for variations on the service.
- You may scream in pain at the thought of writing this much but without fail I find people write their initial drafts of services for themselves and not for their target buyer. Invariably technical terms need to be expanded. Even the simplest concept needs to be gently expanded into laymans speak. And you needn’t do all of this in one day or week it is an ongoing activity.
- For this client it. took a few weeks and I helped with my content person to do a lot of the heavy lifting as he wasn’t a natural writer.
- We created a clear contact form on all pages to allow people get in contact and an onboarding process so that the email was followed up with a call and often a sale.
- All too often people are link blind and miss the Contact link even though it cleverly says Contact. Give people as many chances as possible to contact you on all your pages.
- Over a period of 8 weeks we also built out 4 blogs posts and a Frequently Asked Questions section on the site answering real questions that his customers asked him
- On his Facebook page we posted twice a day with news and updates on what was going on in his business and with a small budget boosted posts once a week with a special offer advertising one of the six services above.
The content alone ended up with his site having nearly 10,000 words of decent readable search engine friendly content.
Before starting we installed Google Analytics and linked Google Search Console and set up reports so that we tracked progress from obviously zero trafic day one to decent traffic after 8 weeks.
We then did some simple internal linking on the site from Service pages to FAQ pages and vice versa so that it gave a solid internal linking structure which Google loves.
We optimised every service page to that it had
- Keyword titles that had decent search volume.
- Page layouts with the above internal linking and where applicable external links for added information (mostly in blog posts)
There is a lot of cynicism about the value of content but most of the competition’s content was both short form and or poorly written. Writing at length is a signal to Google (although the debate rages as to what length is best) but a good rule of thumb is 600+ words on a service or topic does help and in the example above we wrote more. Most of the competition in this space (and we see this in many spaces) was a few paragraphs with pretty bland text.
All of the above is pretty basic stuff for helping a website get business but after week 2 the client was getting 1-2 emails a week from the site and when we pushed Facbook 4-6 contacts about his service which in some cases we directed people to the website to book his service or dealt with directly over the phone.
So all told the client is now getting 6-8 leads per week from the site on top of his normal bricks and mortar business contacts.
It must be said that the client wasn’t convinced initially as to whether this would work but has now signed up for additional work to grow his online volume of work through
- More content creation
- Paid search (Google Ads)
- Exploring other social channels
- Link building.
All of this work and planned work is results based. What he pays us for the help in his digital marketing is more than covered budget wise by converting the above leads.
The client in question does not run a huge business. He works for himself one other and was bit cynical (in the nicest way) about whether he could get business online. the transformation in his thinking based on results is a delight as he now wants more of the samed and sees a market he never had before.
This is just the tip of the iceberg on what could be done with his online presence but we are not hard sell just slow measurable results over time