Clearview Midlands July 2013 - Issue 140 - Page 62

BUSINESSNEWS CLEARVIEW EXCLUSIVE Making your website work for you Trevor Hind, MD of The Image Works Marketing Agency, explains how your website can be made to work harder for you and your business… The Image Works has been working with industry-leading organisations such as VEKA and Network VEKA for years, supporting them in supporting their customers. I was recently asked to speak at the Network VEKA AGM, explaining the many marketing services that are available to Network VEKA members. What became abundantly clear during my research was that installers and fabricators across the glazing industry are missing a wealth of opportunities when it comes to marketing themselves online. A huge percentage of websites in this sector are outdated and hard to find, while a number of companies (dare I say it?!) choose not to have a website. Part of my presentation at the conference focussed on the Marketing Portal we have created for Network VEKA, which allows members to log in and personalise a huge range of professionally-designed brochures, adverts, mailers and more. The second part detailed how a simple process of Search Engine Optimisation can help your website get found more easily. Here at The Image Works, we focus on ‘organic’ SEO, which is a more cost-effective, long-term solution than ‘pay to click’. In a modern market, where the majority of homeowners are more likely to pick up their iPad than the yellow pages - companies need to have a strong online presence. To put it simply; the internet has become the first ‘port of call’ for customers looking for a local home improvement company. It is reported that 80% of consumers who search for a local business on their smartphone will either call or visit within 24 hours. If your competitors have a better website than you, which is easier to find and simpler to use, how can you expect to be in the running for any new, local business? When it comes to websites, it’s all about location location location! You might have a great-looking website, but if it is lost on page 3 of Google, it’s not earning its keep. On the other hand, a bad website is a bad website, however easy it is to find. You need to be sure your site looks good and keeps people’s interest when they reach it. Do you have an up-to-date gallery of work carried out? Is it easy to request a brochure and contact your team? Is your text spelled correctly and presented in the clearest way? The Image Works has helped numerous companies rework their websites and float up through the rankings to find their place on the first page of all the major search engines. This can be achieved by focussing on local search terms, which allow your business to be found by potential customers searching in your region. Organic SEO can be carried out so cost-effectively that you could potentially get to a page one or two position within a month, all for the same price as a small newspaper advert. Plus, the really great thing about using this type of inbound marketing is that it is so measurable. You can see exa ctly how many people have visited your site and where your leads are coming from. By examining what people are searching your site for, and what is generating the most interest - you can swiftly adapt your campaign to convert even more web visits into sales. To find out more about SEO and how it could work for your business, give us a call on 01282 447385 or visit http://www. imageworksltd.com/. Top Web Tips: • Make sure your website has a ‘news’ or ‘blog’ section - so you can easily add fresh content and keep your target market updated. • Include testimonials - Potential customers look for reviews to offer the peace of mind they need to invest with confidence. • Keep any photo galleries up-to-date - so they reflect your best work and current product range. • Social media offer a free way to extend your online reach - Six out of 10 Twitter or Facebook users are more likely to recommend a brand they follow and it is estimated that 59% of Facebook users who have ‘liked’ a brand have mentioned it in a status update. • Make sure to set up a Facebook ‘business page’ - rather than using a personal profile. It looks far more professional and offers several extra promotional features. 62 JUL 2013 To read more, visit www.clearview-uk.com