Consumers and prospects are
looking for your products and
services. They must be able to
find it easily and quickly, and
their expectations must be met
after landing on your page.
In each issue of Website Magazine,
I will examine a business’
website and give recommendations
that will increase their search engine
presence with little or no cost.
Even better, I’ll give readers the
same easy, low-cost tactical suggestions
I gave these businesses. In addition to attacking the issues
surrounding a website’s visibility, we will also incorporate specific
tactics to help consumers find the company’s purpose and convert
browsers into loyal readers, buyers and brand evangelists.
Our first subject is Scottish Home Improvements, in business since 2004 and on
the Web since 2005. They provide quality siding, windows
and window film products and services to homeowners in
Colorado. Owner Martin Faith understood his website was
not fulfilling its potential and the company was missing out on
valuable opportunities to extend their brand and drive revenue.
Our job was to uncover ways that Scottish Home Improvements
could gain exposure with its prospects by making
the site easier to find and to establish the business as a trusted
Scottish Home Improvements has plenty to offer consumers,
but prospects simply didn’t know the business existed —
the website had almost no search visibility under key local
terms, from either a SEO or a PPC position. “My biggest frustration
was the small number of conversions from our Ad-
Words campaign and the fact that other sites of much smaller
companies were ranking higher than ours,” says Martin Faith,
owner, Scottish Home Improvements.
The website had a water-themed header that looked like it
was promoting a plumbing company. There was too much
boring, empty white space with no graphics, a phone number
that was hard to find and a home page paragraph that talked more about the sister company than itself. From a technical
standpoint there was also no way for the owner to update
the site without outsourcing it to an expensive, non-time sensitive
Clearly there was much to be gained. Not only did the
website need to rank higher in search results, but prospects
needed a chance to get familiar with the brand.
I gave pre-makeover www.ScottishHomeImprovements.com
a 22 percent for Findability.
Three Big Tips for Scottish Home Improvements
Always Start with Research — Gain Quick Visibility
with Pay-Per-Click Advertising
To get Scottish Home Improvements to page one in Google
quickly, as well as help them connect with their best keywords,
we provided some recommendations to put their PPC
accounts back on track.
1. Build Negative Keyword Lists
Figure out ways you don’t want Google to associate with your
company (i.e. free, wholesale, or perhaps plumbing in this case) and add them as negative keywords to your PPC account.
“Eighty percent of our budget was being wasted on clicks from
the wrong target audience,” Faith says. “The simple act of
adding negative keywords saved us thousands of dollars.”
Conduct preliminary research on your keywords to see how
consumers search for you online. Google’s External Keyword
is a great, free resource to find appropriate and highlysearched
keywords to target.
Time to Embrace 2009 — New Site Design with
Increased Conversion Opportunity
Next, we recommended Scottish Home Improvements consider
a new look and feel with a more appealing layout,
warmer color palette and more calls-to-action.
1. Color Counts
Find a professional color palate that works for your product,
but never sacrifice the readability of the text on your site.
Changing colors and images focused on the structural, earthy
elements of siding and windows.
2. Don’t make users think
Never make it hard for the customer to take action. Also, give
consumers options. Some consumers like to contact businesses
with a phone call, whereas others like to send an email
or use a form. After their Findability makeover, Scottish
Home Improvements features an easy-to-find phone number
and a prominent contact form.
Give consumers more opportunities to engage your website.
Photo galleries, YouTube videos and testimonials help customers
get to know you and your products.
Social Media Setup
To help Scottish Home Improvements start to dominate
under their keywords, we recommended they take advantage
of free social media sites.
1. Blogging is the king of social media
It positions you as an expert in your field, keeps your website
fresh (which Google search spiders love), and it offers many
opportunities to optimize for certain keywords. Scottish
Home Improvements features a highly visible link to their
blog, which they use to announce industry news, publish testimonials,
announce business news and promote a key element
of their windows business — energy savings.
2. Other sites
In addition to blogging, we recommended profiles on
LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter. These
profiles helped Scottish Home Improvements take control over search engine results, and gives them a point-of-contact on
websites popular with consumers and other businesses.
Implementing these social media tips allowed Scottish Home
Improvements to increase their Findability Score from 22 percent
to 72 percent. They are now seeing more qualified leads
and are continually updating their social media pages to keep
their customers engaged.
“Our improved Findability has made us rise organically in
Google rankings and we now have a steady stream of website
conversions at an acceptable cost per conversion,” Faith says.
By improving their Findability, Scottish Home Improvements
truly added an entire salesperson to their staff without
increasing payroll. Their business is easier to find, the website
is more engaging and consumers have more ways to connect.
Do you know a website that could use a facelift, or have
you tried out any of these suggestions on your site? Send your
suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration
in our next Findability makeove.
About the Author: Heather Lutze has spent the last 10
years helping business owners get their enterprises noticed on the Web
by their target audiences. She is the author of “The Findability
Formula: The Easy, Non- Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing.”
by Wiley & Sons. She is a Marketing Speaker and runs a Denver Internet Marketing agency.
Visit FindabilityFormula.com for
tools and resources to increase your site’s findability.