No business can afford to be missing out on potential customers. The power of exposing your business to a receptive audience on the internet just keeps expanding. It has been proven in many ways that performing search engine optimization (SEO) and integrating internet marketing strategies are best practices for any business web site, but do they work and how? This article covers a real business that implemented these practices and the results achieved in a specific timeframe.
Pristine Detailing Services, www.pristinedetailingservices.com, is a family owned business in Souther Oregon thats been around for several years. They are professional vehicle detailers with an actual brick and mortar shop where they get ‘er done. Their comprehensive services are unmatched in the local area and they have an excellent reputation from their clients. They offer more that just “wash and polish” services as they remove minor scratches and paint buildup, rejuvenate headlights, do steam cleaning, and a whole lot more to revitalize any vehicle. Pristine Detailing in Ashland is recognized nationally as they qualified to be members of the Air Force One Detailing Crew. Additionally, they were selected to participate on the detailing team for the Museum of Flight in Washington to detail a B-29 Super Fortress. Your get the picture, theses folks are no ordinary detailing shop.
On that current site the best practices were invisible. They had no social marketing links. The content was not capturing the attention of visitors which was evidenced by a pagerank of zero and only five backlinks. There were no invitations or opportunities to visitors that allowed a free connection, i.e. subscription. Lastly, there was no e-commerce ability in place.
When checking the search engines the web site of Pristine Detailing was invisible. They could not be found by their biz name or any key phrase on the first two pages of search results. A recent report found that 93% of all internet traffic comes from a search engine (Forrester 2006).
Mark and Travis had one saving grace working for them in the search engines, which demonstrates the power of social marketing. In this case they didn’t do that marketing, one of their customers did it for them. Nicole was so satisfied with the work on her family car by Pristine that she went out to YELP, www.yelp.com, and put in a five star review about them. Her review was the first entry on the first result page in Google for their two key phrases: auto detailing ashland and pristine detailing. Unfortunately, clicking that YELP link took the user to YELP and not to the Pristine Detailing Services site.
“42% of users studied selected the topmost search listing from the results. This was far and away the most-clicked single link position in the study. However, it is still interesting to note that the majority (58 percent) of all users studied did not select the top search result.” Nielsen Norman Group, 2005
Building A Web Presence
Mark and Travis have a couple of CDs packed with photos displaying the before/after look of their work but no where to put ‘em. They decided the best approach was using the web site as a show case using those photos. And, they wanted to get on the first page of the search results. At that time when you googled “pristine detailing” they were not even listed in the addresses with a thumbtack on the map that Google displays for matching search results.
The current web site content is designed around photos of the vehicles they have serviced. The site design uses colors and textures that represent a quality, subtle look. Today, site visitors get educational information starting at the home page where there are several videos to choose from. To satisfy social networking, buttons for FaceBook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, and a Blog were added Their blog is connected to the Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter accounts to insure every post is distributed automatically. With their upgraded site they now have an assortment of features available:
- Gift certificate sales can be purchased
- Testimonials are available from every page
- There are two galleries:videos and pictures
- Educational articles are available: FAQ, Odor and Germ Control
- Ability to receive payments on line is in place
SEO best practices were built into their new web pages and standard internet marketing techniques were implemented. A major result was they obtained search engine results ranking on the first page - in Goolge, Bing, and Yahoo -within 90 days of publishing the new site on their two key phrases.
I don’t suggest measuring search engine results by googling a business name because potential customers don’t know your business name; they are more likely to find you by your services, products, or marketing slogans. However, it’s worth noting that pristine is a common key word with auto detailers across the country. Even so, today they are easy to find found by “pristine.” For example, when you google or bing “pristine ashland” they are the first result.
Steu Mann is an SEO Specialist. He has been successfully working with online technology since 1997. Follow him on Twitter at @EzWebManifest. If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe to receive Free Web Site Tune Up Tips in the future. He can be reached at 406.285.1778.