From Zero to Hero – total digital presence creation
How can a new business like mine get on Google, social media and trade sites within a month? I don’t have a website or a logo and I only have access to limited funds
This is a common question in the digital age. The rate of growth for new small businesses in Sydney has skyrocketed in the last five years.
Large enterprises have the ability to throw caution (and cash) to the wind. They can spend tens of thousands of dollars every month for overpriced solutions that are as much about brand name as they are about problem solving. Small-to-medium ventures and not-for-profit groups, on the other hand, don’t often have this luxury. The savvy CEOs and Directors of these organisations will invest copious amounts of time in research, trying to find the best resolution to this problem, all the while falling behind on the other tasks that require their attention (all small business owners know the strain of being a jack-of-all-trades). In frustration, smaller ventures often fall prey to the seemingly “affordable” tools provided by DIY web design, search engine optimisation, hosting, management companies. While not naming names, this situation often goes one of three ways (and in south west Sydney, Echelon has seen an unbelievable number of these unfortunate instances);
1. The organisation has a surplus of funds, time, staff and resources required to learn, utilise and master the tool, and then the technical knowledge and expertise to create a website, brand, logo and marketing strategy that satisfies the need (we often see turn-around times of 4-9 months for this).
2. The organisation does not have one or more of the aforementioned factors needed to master the tool and as a result create a “half-solution” to their need (think companies that never exceed an “under-construction” or sub-par website, Facebook pages with no activity or images, or even an inability to locate an organisation on google). More on this later.
3. The organisation has none of the factors required to familiarise themselves with the tool and as a result become paralysed with fear - worried of ruining their brand image with low-quality content, they completely abandon using the tool they JUST paid for, in order to focus on more pressing matters such as where the next sale will come from. They’ll “get ‘round to it later”.
At Echelon, we work with businesses from many different industries and different locations around Sydney and Australia. Unfortunately, some of our clients do come from the latter two possibilities you see above.
Ryan Carroll, CEO of Carroll’s Mobile Tyres in south west Sydney, was not one of those clients. Before even starting his business, Ryan already had a functional understanding of the importance of digital strategy to business success in the internet age. He approached Echelon in mid 2015 with the exact question you see at the top of this page. Ryan started a fantastic business designed to assist motorists and truck fleets in south west Sydney and greater Sydney, by providing them with 24 hour assistance in his areas of specialty. These areas included roadside tyre repair, replacement and removal (for things like burst tyres), through to complete tyre sourcing and distribution for entire truck fleets and car yards.
Phase 1: Consultation
The strategists got to work straight away - first and foremost personally meeting with Ryan to establish not only the goals that he wanted to achieve and the budget available, but also to understand the culture that his business carried and the needs that had to be met. These strategy meetings continued throughout the course of the project.
Phase 2: Research
Research is a vital, yet often overlooked tool when it comes to Digital Strategy. Market research and competitor research was conducted to identify:
- Which target audiences would be most responsive on various social networks,
- Which long-tail SEO keywords would ensure the highest level on online visibility
- What online niche was most suitable to the brand and how this translated to design and content
- Which competitors existed in that niche, what their weaknesses were and how likely it was that the brand would eventually be seen as a market leader in that niche
Phase 3: Brand Design and Feedback
This phase utilised the consultation and skills of Echelon’s designers and copywriters and covered an array of topics from Logo design, through to site design and content planning. This phase was vital to identifying how the website design and social media profiles would look and feel to customers in south west Sydney and greater sydney in general. Upon final consultation with Ryan, a brand image and content strategy was decided on.
Phase 4: Coding, Development and Design
Coding and website development are often stereotyped as the most repetitive, time consuming monotonous stages of any digital strategy.
This is completely true.
That being said, back-end development and coding are vital and have a far-reach when it comes to things like effective search engine optimisation. With the consistent frequency of updates that google implement, it pays in the long run to have coding and development completed by professionals.
Phase 5: Social Profiles
It was determined in the research phase that effective social media marketing would yield the highest return on investment via Facebook.com, Linkedin.com, Google+ and a variety of specific trade sites (such as yelp.com.au or truelocal.com.au). All social profile content was created by professional copywriters, in conjunction with SEO experts who were able to implement advanced SEO techniques that carried over from the website and strengthened the brand standing on google.
Phase 6: Search Engine Optimisation
The average digital marketer in Sydney understands the difference between the 4 factors of SEO:
1. On-page optimisation (focusing on keywords and how they’re used)
2. Off-page optimisation (focusing on other websites linking to yours, a.k.a “link-building”)
3. Technical implementation (the coding side of SEO)
4. Social Activity (Social profiles, shares etc.)
(If you’re interested, head over to http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/basic-areas-seo.html for more info on this )
Unfortunately, you’d be hard pressed to find one who understands this vital planning factor:
5. Niche planning and establishment
This Fifth factor entails researching which area within your industry would be most receptive to your SEO efforts and also has the least amount of competition, thereby improving the effects of the four other factors of SEO. It should be completed in the research phase of a project. If you’re interested in this particular factor, keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming blog post here (underline “here”)
This process (including the fifth factor) was completed not only for the organisation website, but also for each of the individual brand listings and social profiles by our strategists and Sydney based SEO experts.
Phase 7: Completion and Testing
Once complete, testing was scheduled and finalised on each of the new brand channels. Final revisions were actioned and Ryan was consulted to make sure that he was more than happy with all of the work.
Phase 8: Monthly Audits on SEO and Return on Investment
Until now, Echelon still audits Carroll’s Mobile Tyres on a monthly basis. Results are forwarded through to Ryan in the form of a report and discussions are facilitated where necessary regarding SEO movement, lead generation and business growth.
In the first post-launch week, Carroll’s Mobile Tyres experienced an impressive growth rate - overnight the business went from zero online presence to an interconnected, impressive network of brand profiles - spanning from a professional, classy website through to lead-generating social profiles and brand strengthening trade site listings.
On one particular social profile, Carroll’s experienced an 1100% lead growth rate, in under a week.
Echelon loves making these stories possible. Our role is to partner with organisations to simply bring to light their true benefits and connect them with keen customers who are looking for their exact services or products!Echelon loves making these stories possible. Our role is to partner with organisations to simply bring to light their true benefits and connect them with keen customers who are looking for their exact services or products!
If you find yourself in a similar situation as Ryan once did, or if you’re unsure what your next step is, get in contact with us today and we’ll go through a free advisory session with you.
Otherwise let us know below:
What was the most challenging part of launching your online presence?