We helped build the brand of an eCommerce startup from nothing. Here's what we achieved and how we did it.*
An entrepreneur had achieved moderate but encouraging success with an offline, brick-and-mortar store. His startup had dedicated significant time and resources to building new IP, and they had seen encouraging movement in both the B2B and B2C verticals. They wanted to take a fledgling website and turn it into a meaningful conversation with their audience, building new fans along the way. His key strength was building a company using remarkable people from day one, and his company culture continues to be outstanding.
To start with, they had a massive collection of items for sale, several hundred to numbering in the thousands. It was clear this project would be extensive from the get go.
However, for the dedicated marketing agency, this is a dream come true. Why? Because a large catalog gives you plenty of chances to show attention to detail, and it rewards those who are truly meticulous in their work.
We began from nothing in May, 2017, and in September the website did nearly 25k in sales.
Of course, building the brand’s reputation for quality led to many more, offline sales and greatly enhanced brand perception. Building a brand is about much more than online sales revenue.
A focused approach and SEO/content plan helped us overtake relatively established competitors quickly and gain market share. Overall traffic exceeded their three main competitors within 3 months.
We put top-notch SEO to work, making sure that each and every product was competitive in its own space. We actively worked on about 100 keywords, but putting best practices into place, we were able to rank for many, many more.
We employed a multi-disciplinary approach to improve all aspects of the brand’s online presence, thereby helping their brand reflect the quality and attention to detail that they put into their products. Previously, there was a strong mismatch between the highly quality of their products and the quality of their marketing message. We implemented improvements across five key sectors:
Using industry-leading techniques and our suite of top-tier analytics tools, we were able to get huge insights into the data of their competitors, learn about untapped opportunities/underexploited areas of attack, and develop a comprehensive keyword strategy that would fit with their unique and expansive product line.
Since much of the site was barren other than to sell products, the entire project had a “cold” or “clinical” feel. There was no connection with the buyer, and worse still, there was nothing to reflect the passion and dedication of the company’s employees in the online content. When we were in meetings, we could tell that it was a highly motivated, extremely passionate group of people behind the work, and nowhere did that voice come through.
We wrote all new, SEO-friendly copy that created a strong, authoritative-but-approachable brand tone of voice, and made sure that the voice was consistent across all products and channels. We needed to make sure that every aspect of the brand reflected the true nature of the products themselves.
As various internet technologies improve, the way we expect to interact with websites has changed. Especially for digital natives and millennials, there are certain expectations when it comes to how websites should look and behave. Here, attention to detail is critical. How do the various components support the products? Does the design language match with the copywriting? Do all aspects of the content – visuals, coding, UI, copywriting – line up to create a unified feeling that reflects the brand values?
We employed cutting-edge CSS and design to completely reshape each element of the site down to the smallest detail. The result was a greatly streamlined, decidedly more “modern” feel that wowed customers from every landing page.
Along with UI/UX design, one of the key problems with SEO as a standalone skill is that you always need to bear in mind what you are attracting attention to. If you stand on the street corner, and tell someone that a store is amazing, the store had better be amazing. If it’s not, unhappy customers will walk out, never come back, and they’ll probably tell their friends, too.
We look at SEO and advertising as ways to draw people in. However, you need to show them something incredible once you have their attention. Furthermore, a modern website needs to be clean and sleek, with an obvious call to action. We revamped every landing page, greatly simplified the design, and made sure that the focus of every page was immediately clear and never cluttered.
We now live in a data-driven world. We set up a wide range of analytics tools (including Google Analytics) to make sure that all work could be measured. Analytics doesn’t mean that numbers will always be going up, after all, only Facebook achieved that, but it does mean that when things slip, you can trace it back to decisions that were made and better understand challenges that may arise.
By now it should be clear that great marketing is a truly multi-disciplinary field. The question for us always is: are all the components adding up to something greater than the parts themselves? Does everything look and feel in alignment?
Here are some of the side effects of implementing all the changes we made. These side effects are not measurable, but we believe they are extremely important:
It should be noted that offline sales went up tremendously during this same time period as well, and that online sales were but a small fraction of the company’s total revenue.
Much more than just the measurable, data-driven results, building a great brand is about so many intangible things. The sum total of all of these elements create something more than just rankings alone.
*Note: Each client, each company, and each competitive landscape is different. Results are NEVER guaranteed. What can be achieved with one company may not work for another. We advise focusing on the process rather than just the results, and not setting expectations based on the performance of another project.