We recently launched a new site for Impulse Advanced Communications, a local voice and data services provider, and I thought it would be educational to review the project and look at the results of putting into practice all the things I’ve been writing about here for the last several months.
First of all, it’s important to realize that Impulse is an awesome company. We’ve been a customer for over 10 years and have come to depend on them for everything from our phone system, to our Internet connectivity to the data center space that provides a reliable, high performance home to many of our and our client’s servers. So, we can’t take all the credit for the success of this project.
It took us a long time to convince Impulse to give us a shot at rebuilding their website. Like most of our customers, they had a lot of options in terms of who they went with for their online marketing. They tinkered with using in-house resources and went through a few web developers before they decided to work with us. It’s a good lesson in persistence – most companies will go through multiple vendors for many of their services so if at first you don’t get their business, try try again!
Being a technical company, they were well versed in the lingo – they knew they needed a blog, SEO, a content management system (CMS) and many of the other features of a modern website. However, what they (and most businesses) really needed was help with their marketing strategy. Marketing strategy is where it all has to start – be wary of a web developer who starts the conversation with you by talking about their fantastic design or programming skills. Those are a given. But what needs to drive the design, programming and all other aspects of a web development effort is core marketing.
We started with creating a positioning statement based on the simple formula we discussed in the article Writing Compelling Content for Your Website. Creating a positioning statement, or tag line, is a great way to focus the conversation around the company brand, benefits and target market. We did this WITH the help of the client, as we usually do, and it took about 30 minutes to come up with a positioning statement that everyone was happy with. From that flowed the design concept for the home page which was to feature some of their best customers on their home page. The idea was to build credibility through showing off some great clients as well as to attract more clients just like them.
We also agreed to include several other elements on the home page that were intended to build credibility and drive conversions. A summary of recent blog articles shows that the company has a pulse and positions them as experts in their field. A video from the president is short and gets right to the company’s main differentiators. And of course, the Free Download, which is one of the primary ways the site drives conversions. Finish it off with a nice set of partner logos, like Cisco and Polycom, and you have a home page that is focused on representing the company in the most professional light, building credibility and driving conversions of visitors to prospects.
Of course, the proof is in the pudding. On the second day after it was launched, the new site pulled in 2 new prospects, one of which was a significant sized new customer. Landing that one customer will more than pay for the entire cost of the website. The previous site hadn’t produce a prospect in over 6 months. Virtually every day since, the site has produced a steady flow of prospects. Of course not all of them become customers, but inbound leads are a wonderful thing.
By the way, these results are PRIOR to any additional SEO, social networking or other methods of driving traffic. These results are simply due to better conversion techniques utilizing the existing flow of traffic to the site.
Stay tuned for the results of the next phase which will be to drive additional traffic through SEO, banner ads on FaceBook, LinkedIn and local sites as well as tweaks to the social networking strategy.