Moving up the Google rankings
Like many small businesses, ABC Glass & Mirror, Manassas Park, Va., was looking for an affordable marketing approach in this challenging economic climate. In September 2009, the family business enlisted the help of WSIeWorks, a digital marketing firm in Capistrano Beach, Calif., to make changes to its Web site and Internet marketing plan. Since then, the company has moved quickly up the search engine rankings, increased the number of Web leads it receives, and added staff to accommodate the resulting increase in business.
Following are the key areas the company focused on to grow its Web presence.
Design: ABC Glass & Mirror's Web site, www.abcglassandmirror.com, was outdated. The company made a few changes to clean up the design, but kept it similar to the original to maintain brand consistency. While the overall look will stay the same going forward, the company will make minor additions on an ongoing basis.
The company made a few changes to clean up the design, but kept it similar to the original to maintain brand consistency.
Blog: Search engines quickly index blog articles, so ABC rebuilt its Wordpress blog and integrated it to the company Web site. The staff-written blog highlights interesting projects and products, and allows site visitors to add their own comments. Overall, the blog presents visitors with reliable information when researching and choosing products.
Search engine optimization: ABC Glass & Mirror used a few methods to increase its SEO. In addition to integrating the blog, the retailer enlisted the help of its digital marketing firm to write copy on its behalf and submit it to marketing Web sites. This generated 123 links back to the ABC Glass Web site, building credibility for search engines. The company also registered on local and major online business directories such as Kudzu, Super Pages, Service Magic, Google Places, Yahoo Local, Bing Local + Yellowpages.com, and about 100 supplemental links. Before implementing these strategies, ABC Glass & Mirror had no search engine placement at all. Now, the company has a total of 321 first page rankings, including 111 No. 1 rankings across all of the major search engines (Yahoo, Google, Bing, etc.).
Online advertising: Previously, the retailer spent roughly $1,000 per month on creative print advertising and $5,000 per month on different Yellow Page listings. The company eliminated all print advertising and reduced Yellow Page listings by approximately 75 percent in favor of online advertising. Its Internet marketing consultants uncovered additional marketing territories to expand the glass company's reach in the SEO arena where the cost per lead was the lowest. Now, more than 80 percent of ABC Glass & Mirror's leads are generated through the Web. The company maintains its $6,000 per month advertising budget, which now includes a 30-hour-per-week employee to take care of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn , blogging, etc.
Social media: As part of its new Internet marketing plan, ABC Glass & Mirror also got involved with social media for the first time. The company decided it would like to monitor and manage its own social media initiatives, but its staff wasn't educated on how to do so effectively. It hired a firm to train its staff on specific social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Wordpress. The company also added links to its Facebook and Twitter pages on its home page. Under the guidance of the digital marketing firm, ABC is steadily building up its fan and follower base as a precursor to a marketing strategy that includes coupons and contests.
Reviews: To allow Web site visitors to read and submit reviews, ABC Glass & Mirror added a "reviews" icon to the home page. It also added "trust icons" from independent third parties like the Better Business Bureau and Angie's List to build consumer confidence in the company. To encourage positive customer reviews, the company also asked its installers to have customers fill in reviews immediately after the installation, using iPhones or iPads. Customers who left reviews would be entered into a quarterly drawing for an iPad. The drawing would be held during a barbecue at the company showroom, making it a community event.
Micah Howell, manager of ABC Glass & Mirror, says the SEO and social media training were the most beneficial parts of the process.
"In a tough economy, we have experienced growth over the last two years and have brought on two new members," Howell says. "While sales only increased a few percent each year, bringing on the two new employees has freed up time to take care of some internal [issues]. As a result, we have become more efficient and ultimately more profitable on our projects," he says. "We may need to look for additional members if business keeps up. In all, we have kept our marketing budget the same, but are experiencing much greater results."