As I sit at a Starbucks a distance from home, a person named Phil is sitting next to me eating a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. He starts up a conversation while he is eating, stating he is traveling through the area and owns a paving business in Lombard, Illinois. He's on the road actively looking for bad consumer driveways to make money.
Phil asked me what I do for a living after a few minutes, and I tell him we focus on websites, search engines, and social media. He was now intrigued as he spends thousands on his marketing and isn't getting the results he wants. We talked for over two hours about what his company is doing and how to grow. First, he's not a customer and locked into a two-year contract with his current provider. Let's look at our conversation and his takeaway from that conversation. You too, can take advantage of our conversation and grow your business.
Define Your Customer
As we talked, I broke out a pad of paper, and we started talking about his ideal customer. He doesn't want commercial; he wants residential customers. They are a higher profit for him and a lot less haggling on price. He doesn't want those with concrete driveways, and the age range he targets is 35 and older. He prefers to correspond with the male as they are the ones that typically sign, but it is the wives that do the initial research. When he said wives (never said husbands), he also is looking for married couples. With this information, we now knew who he should be targeting.
Once we defined his ideal customer and we started talking about who he runs up against on sales calls. He never was asked the question this way. He focused on those that had better websites than his. A good website (we'll cover that next) is critical, but you first have to figure out what contention points you are running up against as you are making sales. You can then figure out what topics and keywords to target as you are doing on your website.
When we finished the conversation, only one of the ten competitors we came up with was in his website comparison.
As we pulled up his website, I moved away from the mouse and keyboard. I asked him what he was selling. He told me paving services for married couples that were in their 30's. With that statement, I asked him, who do you think you are selling to based on your website? He had a corporate parking lot filled with cars. There was no home with a paved driveway.
We then looked at how his website would look when viewed on a mobile device. All it had was his logo, phone, and the picture of the same corporate building. No pages, no navigation, etc. I asked why his mobile went to such a minimalist view as I had never seen it that way and was hoping to learn some big city expert knowledge. I didn't. The answer was to keep the cost lower on building the website and have a faster mobile experience.
Speed Doesn't Kill
The talk about a faster website I loved, but why did we have to have a single page on a mobile device? The answer was that the main website took over 10 seconds to load. After looking, it was due to the images all being 10,000+ pixels wide because they wanted to have the highest quality images possible. We optimized one picture and put them side-by-side. He couldn't tell the difference even when compared to a 4k resolution.
Having his business card, I asked why the card didn't match the website as consistency is something we always strive to achieve. He stated that after building the site, he got new business cards, and they liked the new business card design better. He said they agreed that the website should match and, with the latest business cards, gave him a quote for a new website.
Analytics & Heatmaps
I asked how many people come to the site, how many filled out his lead generation form, and how many just "bounced" away from the page they initially landed. He didn't know, which is often the case. I wouldn't say I liked his lead generation form as it popped up before I could even read anything on the site.
I asked if he knew where people were looking on his site and what areas were more likely to be clicked on.
I asked why he had no blog page on his site. It came down to he didn't have time or fully understand the process of why you would want one.
After our conversation and he completed his sandwich, he left with a handshake and a more determined focus to fix his business. What we came up with for immediate actions were:
- Optimize the site for speed and get rid of the billboard size of images.
- Make the mobile experience a lot more informative, even condensed.
- Change the lead generation form to come up after a user hits specific criteria that showed interest in purchasing.
- Install a free heat map tracking solution so that he knows where people are and are not going.
- He will start writing a blog that is around 1-2 pages each (1,000-1,500 words).
- He's going to read or blog articles with the first on "Crafting the Perfect Blog Article".
- Search Engines
- He will create his Google My Business page and keep it regularly updated.
I look forward to hearing about his journey and watch his progress. Now I did do some "sales pitch" during our talk. I asked him to keep what we talked about in the back of his mind as he is under a multi-year contract.