So, at Brilliant Bookings, we make websites. Good ones too! With high Google rankings and great design a must, sites need a formula. One successful website project should dictate what makes another good. Surely?
But in fact nearly the opposite can sometimes be true!
Let’s take two recent clients.
We’ll call the first one Tony. Tony runs a range of apartments in one of our UK capital cities. Tony was in distress when he came to us. His old website had been turned off when he began discussing moving to another service with them. Luckily, we had taken a full backup of all the content, and images as well as the page structure after our initial conversation with him.
This meant that we were able to get something up and running within a couple of days.
Tony uses a range of booking portals to rent his apartments. These required embedding within the site, so that it was a seamless link between his site, and booking.com etc.
The site also has full SEO optimisation tools within it, as well as a service to promote accommodation during key events over the next few months. On top of this, Tony had a Facebook profile of 4000 friends, but on his own profile, which means people have to ‘friend’ Tony to see the news on his site. The business page had little on it, and few followers. We have turned that around, so that he’s building page followers, and posting there as well, to drive the business through social media.
They key elements driving the strategy here are that there is a global reach required for the website. Linking directly with booking.com allows him to be ever-present in searches, while also being able to promote through the website direct. Competing with hundreds of accommodation providers in his city for top slot on Google would cost him thousands. The commission paid to third party agents is a necessary part of doing business in his sector.
The second client we’ll call Jimmy. Jimmy has run a cleaning business for over 30 years in and around one of our biggest cities. Emergency carpet cleaning, end of tenancy cleans, as well as some commercial carpet cleaning, Jimmy wants to move into more commercial, and regular contract cleaning. For Jimmy and his requirement for local business reach, we need a different approach.
Of course, a good looking website is a must. Here we have chosen not pictures of carpets being cleaned, or floors scrubbed, but aspirational images of clean, tidy offices, and a professional look to the website. A high focus on commercial cleaning, as well as clarity on his offer, combined with our early discussions on pay per click through Facebook – a well proven tool for local advertising. Facebook can cost as little as £15 a month to get your page in front of thousands of people in a defined area.
Jimmy has also invested in Yell.com, which is an effective tool for local advertising, albeit expensive.
Jimmy had heard that video would help him get higher on Google. Well, that’s true in some respects. Longer time on site, links with Youtube are obvious benefits. However, one video does not make a huge difference. The cost he was prepared to spend on video has been ploughed back into social media advertising, and great SEO tools, which will have far greater effect than one 45 second video.
So, the perfect recipe for website success? It’s this…
- A great design
- Clean and simple navigation
- Well thought through, simple content
- Clear images
- Calls to action
- Good hosting
But it might also be this…
- A little promoting
- Targeted social media
- Blog about your successes
- Look at your target market
- Be flexible
- Try things, keep what works, and ditch what fails – quickly!