Making your website part of your business
Your website should be very much part of your business, and really there’s not many businesses that can’t use their website as a tool to promote offers, changes to the company or new contracts. I think it’s about time the the ‘news’ page, with its single, 4 year old ‘welcome to our new website’ post is gone.
This is a copy of a proposal we did for a specialist pet shop, which has a few examples of how a website can play a bigger role in the customers business. Not relevant to your industry or business? a lot of the principles are the same for any business: we look, we understand, we question…
Fangs n XXX website proposal
Fangs n XXX are looking at expanding their current website to be more representative of their current business, promote themselves to a huge online market and to position themselves as Lincolnshire’s no.1 in the world of specialist pet shops. But why stop there? It’s relatively easy to position yourselves, for example, as the UK’s specialist monitor dealer.
They benefit from being well known in the area and have some trade from further away and I believe this web based market is of great importance.
As I’ve previously said, I was very impressed by the ambience of the shop whilst XXX was in attendance. In the time I was there, there was something happening – reptiles being handled, cages being cleaned and so on, that made the shop visit more of an event than the traditional pet shop visit.
Needles to say, the current website does nothing to support this and at worst is detrimental as it suggests minimal stock levels. A long term web strategy needs to address this and SEO (search engine optimisation) and web marketing.
This is all going to sound negative, but bear with me.
URL – web address.
You’re confusing people with your URL, you need fangsandXXX.co.uk rather than fangsnXXX. I notice that it’s currently taken, is it yours? I’d also recommend you quickly buy fangsandXXX both .co.uk and .com and get these pointed at your website. I know it’s not your name! But you shouldn’t be losing sales because people mistakenly call you fangs and XXX.
I quote (taken from reptile forum)..
Originally Posted by jakethesnake
“fangs and XXX is good on grimsby rd cleethorpes”
The Current Website
Here follows a short list of negatives, sorry. They should however be seen as ways forward.
- Stock list needs to be clearly visible, not bottom right.
- Stock needs regular updating.
- No depth of information.
- No fish section.
- No shop facility.
- There’s a pretty complete lack of SEO work.
These are obvious and I know you’re aware of them, these need addressing.
It is quite refreshing to see that there’s not that many good websites out there, ‘Leaping lizards’ being a fine example. ‘Crystal Palace Reptiles’ is a better examples, but there’s still shortcomings – no depth of information on the individual stock, no care sheets or animal husbandry type areas and no real character to the site. It could be that they’re just positioning themselves as an authoritative dealer selling to experienced herpetologists, which is wrong, there’s a lot of beginners out there. It may be that they rely on facebook or their forum to put this across, but it’s interesting to see the forum is riddled with ads for viagra!
Before starting any job, we spend a lot of time looking at the opposition.
The website needs considerably updating to reflect Fangs n XXX’s new positioning, it needs to attract potential trade and win them over. Fangs n XXX’s new site needs to excite the user and give them a real ‘I want one’ feel, and really get over what Fangs n XXX’s can offer above and beyond just a retail outlet. There’s no excuse for ‘only’ having 4 or 5 pages, in terms of SEO and the need to make the site exciting.
From a creative perspective, the site must look and feel like the shop and people it represents. If it looks under stocked and understated, it is a presumption that your shop are too! (harsh I know).
Fangs n XXX’s have at least 2 separate markets to sell to, and we would recommend that by splitting the way the website works and looks, we can target those areas directly, in much the same way that the shop is divided.
- Fish – an area of the site dedicated to all things aquatic.
- Reptiles / Amphibians etc – an area dedicated to non aquatic
By dividing into these specific areas we can aim to portray you as specialists – would people rather travel miles because of a specific rare fish want to come to an aquarium specialist? There’s also good SEO reasons for giving each ‘product’ it’s own area.
An easily updateable stock list should provide the mainstay of the site. Easily accessible, navigationally understandable and full of real photography and good information. If we want to push online distance selling or tempt buyers into coming, a small blurred image and 2 words simply won’t do. But 2 or 3 nice pictures, technical descriptions and ‘Carl’s Comments’ will pay dividends.
There’s also loads of other ways to drive trade. Here’s a few ideas above and beyond the standard website and we can really start something different. How about.
- XXXX’s Comments – Under the standard names, latin names and description, there’s also.. ‘This is a lovely snake, a bit nippy but that’s to be expected because of it’s age. One of these has already gone to a member of staff’. ‘I’d highly recommend this leopard gecko as your first lizard, tame and as near as bullet proof that a lizard gets’
- Monitor Specialists – ‘we are the monitor specialists’ – dedicated page on this area on Varanus
- Care sheets – I don’t like the name ‘care sheets’ but we could include sections on specific breeds etc
- Temperature and climate control – Set yourself up as the authority and provide good, detailed technical pages on getting the best set ups.
- Vivarium setup – the 4 (or so) different setups. How to set up a viv for desert / arboreal / rainforest / spiders and so on.
- Health Problems – just a few simple things to watch out for. Removing Ticks. worming /fin rot etc
- Handling you pet – confident and strong. how to handle an angry iguana. etc
- Blog – ignore the word! People want to be involved with the shop – you’re selling hobbies not car parts! So let them. ‘Got a good delivery of some rare geckos this morning,’ ‘think I’m going to build a new rack system.’ ‘ That rat snake has some Houdini in it. will someone please take it off our hands’ ‘we sadly lost one of the xxxs despite all our attention’ Adds great interest to the site, changing content for the search engines and a reason to come back to see what’s happening.
- What’s to see in Cleethorpes – cross promotion, recommend places to eat – 10% off at Ginos with a fangs and fins receipt etc
- Facebook – not too easy to moderate but a lot of people communicate via facebok nowadays.
- HTML email – take the shop to your users, monthly email to a subscribed list from a website form. Promote whatever you like, drive trade and keep Fangs and XXX in peoples minds. Special offers, promote nights etc.
Moving slightly away from the site, but as a way or promoting yourselves more..
- Monthly presentations – after hours in the shop. 10 places @ £10 a head with 10% reduction on things bought at that time. Just 10 seats laid out in 3 rows in front of a desk, topics such as..
- Setting up a vivarium
- First time buyers introduction
- Breeding reptiles
- Keeper for a day competition, or maybe just 2 hours!
- PR, Fangs and XXX donates. love or hate the telegraph – it will drive trade
- PR school visits, fairs and events focussed on educating
- Competition – win a micro clime XYZ in our free draw – give us your email.
There’s loads more of these, some more relevant than others. It all depends on what you want and how much time you want to put towards things – I’m already suggesting 3 – 4 hours of work on stock lists and a good hour on the blog as a minimum. You might be able to put some of this onto staff members but you mush have someone dedicated to updating the site frequently.
Pay per click
I think that as well as an SEO campaign you ought to concider a ppc campaign (Pay Per Click) This is the paid for advertising on the right hand side and top on google. People searching for ‘Reptiles for sale’ will see your ‘Fangs and XXX, Lincolnshire’s biggest and best’ displayed. But more of note and of further discussion is that you can set this up.
If someone types..
Varanus acanthurus wanted then your advert
Spiny Tailed Monitors for sale at Fangs n XXX, lincolnshire’s etc. Very accurately targeted and cheap advertising.
This needs to be discussed in more detail – are you selling livestock, are there going to be limitations to delivery – is it linked to the stock list (should be) and as part of the website?
However this pans out, we can find and execute the best e-commerce solution based on your needs and budgets, from a simple fully hosted to a fully integrated one.
An approximate plan of areas could be something like this, although this will change as a brief is developed, and it does not represent the number of pages:
- Home page
- General description
- Shop description
- Staff descriptions – detailed
- Detail on XXXX’s past for credentials
- Fish – Home Page
- Featured Stock
- Stock Lists
- Fish Blog
- General Information
- Aquarium setup
- Care sheets
- Health Problems
- Reptiles etc Home Page –
- Featured Stock
- Reptiles etc blog
- Stock Lists
- Corn snakes
- Monitor Specialists
- Special events
- Snake nights
- Beginners nights
- Information Pages
- Vivarium heating
- Vivarium setup
- Shop Images
- Field Trip images
- Other Pages
- Contact Details
- Terms and Conditions
- Delivery etc as needed
All our websites are built with Google and the other search engines in mind, it’s an important part of website strategy. Why build a 5 star hotel without any roads to it! But you can opt for a further SEO option.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Strategy & Marketing
To optimise your website we start by understanding your industry, your competitors and your customers needs. From there we can develop a clear strategy to ensure high rankings and deliver the right traffic to your site. All work carried out will make use of best practice methods of technical site design, visitor interaction and usability, and both on-page and off-page optimisation techniques.
We add Google analytics to all our sites, so you can really see your site working.
A strategy for further SEO can be looked into once the site goes live.
To do a website justice, we need to understand you, your product and your target audience. We also need to research the market to be able to position you as you need to be positioned, before we start the creative process. Our websites start from £xxxx to allow time for all this, and we could build you a good solution for that. But based on our conversation and where we think you need to be, we’d recommend the following…
Costs and detailed recommendations followed