Marketing/Just not sure
QUESTION: Mr. Hubbard your expertise sounds like the person I should talk with. I have been in the tool and machinery design business for 30 years. The last 5 years business has dropped off a lot. Not one year in business did I advertise and local customers kept me busy 7 days a week. Not no more. So I feel I have no choice but to create a website to see if I can generate some customers from other states. Can you tell me what sites that offer website building are safe to deal with in every way? And is there red flags I should look for in a website company offering these services? And I really want to make sure my site comes up in a google search, Is there something in the website creating I need to know to make sure I have this in my site creation?
Thank you very much,
ANSWER: Hi Jerry,
That is a very frustrating position to be in. Websites are critical these days and I do believe you should have one, but that is not the first step nor the only steps you should take. I normally do not give specific referrals, but in this case I will because your lack of experience working with web developers could really hurt you if you mistakenly hire the wrong people. I use a company called Need a VA (needava.com ). Talk to Jenny. She is in Australia and uses labor primarily from the Phillipines, but her staff and performance is very affordable and absolutely top notch. The only catch is finding the right time to chat on the phone because of the timezone difference. Just use Skype and/or email to communicate.If you are negotiating with another company you should: Check references and actually follow up on the references. Ask the other client what type of performance they received after their site was built. Make certain the web developer knows exactly what results you want and that they can prove to you that they have provided those results to another client.
To optimize your site for Google Search rankings is very complex issue, but here are a few best practices:
1. Create a Gmail account with Google and add Google services called Google Analytics and Webmaster tools. Make sure your web developer adds Google analytics tracking code to every page on your site. Webmaster tools will let you know if you have any errors they find when crawling (robotic analysis of your website pages). Any errors should be fixed by your web developer after site is published, so you want to make sure that at least 90 days of site maintenance is included in your contract. You'll need to make adjustments based on analytics results and performance results.
2. Create as many inbound links to your new site as possible from legitimate and popular web pages. This could be link from your vendors and suppliers, links from website directories such as Yelp, Google Places, Yahoo local,Merchant circle, yellow pages, etc. You can pay a monthly fee for Yext Powerlistings, which will automatically populate and update over 100 online directories for you. Highly recommended.
3. Create profiles of your business on all social media sites with the most important being: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and make sure you add links to your website. Post content and information about your company, updates, photos, and videos as often as possible.
4. Find authors of blogs and news articles who talk about your industry and send them content or press release information about your company and industry news. Newspapers and online bloggers are always looking for content and if you write a nice article about your industry or services they will post it for the readers and that will create a link to your site and get people in your target audience to notice you.
During construction of your site or afterwards you should:
1. Make sure all the pictures and graphics on your page have keyword rich names and alt image tags so the search engines will know what the picture is. The robots that crawl your site to index your content for search results are blind. You must tell them what the images are or they will only see an image as blank real estate.
2. Decide what action you want website visitors to take when they land on each of your pages.This is called a conversion. Do you want them to call you? To fill out a form? To visit your shop? Whatever it is you need a call to action on each landing page. You can have 1 page or 200, it doesn't matter, but ALL pages must direct your visitor to the appropriate action even if the action is to read a paragraph of information.Put a Call To Action (CTA) on every landing page.
3. Treat each page on your site as a separate website. Google does not send traffic to websites, they send traffic to the specific page that has the most relevant content based on the specific keyword or phrase you enter into the search pane.
4. Use educational based marketing. Not everyone is ready to immediately buy your product. Make sure that you use a blog, an expert site like this, press releases, articles, etc. to publish useful content where your prospective clients will see it. When they are ready to purchase they will think of you.
5. Use the marketing equation every time you write a promotional piece of content, every promotional email, and every landing page. The marketing equation is: Interrupt; Engage; Educate; and Offer. Example:
Interrupt: Have you ever seen what happens when a high speed tool breaks in your employee's face? (insert image)
Engage: We design equipment that can be abused for 3 years before it even needs a tune up!
Educate: At ABC tool design Company we save you time, money, and stress because not only have we invented a way to make the most affordable equipment in our industry, we have 30 year old relationships that allow us to use incredible #Gazillion strength steel and the most innovative design process in the industry, which means you'll get to reduce injuries, save money, and have a tool you'll be so proud of you'll put it on the first page of your website and your employees will beam with pride!
Offer: Click here to download our free Ebook that will teach you about the 9 most dangerous trends in machinery design that you must know before you buy even one more tool.
6. Write an Ebook or brochure that is filled with useful benefits and information that will make absolutely sure that you are thought of as the undeniable expert in your field. Make sure you use the Feature Advantage Benefit (FAB) model when educating your clients. They don't want to only hear about you, but you should have a very interesting story about your company or product and the story should include a huge benefit to an old or prospective customer. If you're not familiar with FAB, here is a brief, made up example:
Feature: Twelve inch, triple slick bearing system.
Advantage: We are the only tool designer who can supply this because we invented it 30 years ago.
Benefit: Customer saves time and money because our drill cuts through tempered steel 3 times faster and only needs minor maintenance every 3 years unlike our competition, which requires costly, monthly maintenance. Also, according to a recent study by UCLA, our drill design results in 98% fewer job site injuries because our triple slick system.
7. Create a strict inbound lead handling and nurturing system. Every employee should treat EVERY inbound call and email like the future of their job and company depends on it because it does!
This is obviously just a very small list of ideas to help you, but they are well worth learning more about. Good luck!
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Mr. Hubbard I don't feel I want or need to get so complex. What I do takes a lot of time just working on one small project with a customer. At this time right now I am looking to generate just a few customers at most. I think my most important part is for my site, Or maybe just creating a blog might be good enough, Is to have key words pull you to my site/blog in a google search. If I want to continue to grow more I would go deeper into the advertising. What do you think? The google search is the most important to me.
And thank you very much for the detailed response to my question.
If you want to keep it very simple, i would start by creating a very simple 1 page website w/ a parrallax design. Heer is an example: https://onepagelove.com/currl-bundle
This is blog style and you can use less or more images and different styles and colors to suit your taste and audience. You could build a great site like this with support for under $300.
For the search results just follow the best practices I described above as much as time or budget allows. Creating "free" webpages on online directories like Yelp and Merchant Circle and Google and Yahoo will be sufficient to gain some new visitors and prospects. If you want to increase traffic to your site you can purchase premium packages with Yelp and Merchant circle, which will drive more traffic to your website, blog or telephone.