When it comes to copywriting for websites, a lot of the end ‘results’ that a business can achieve is often quite intangible or un-measurable. This is because copywriting utilises a whole lot of emotion and connection and sales psychology – which is people orientated and people (and how they feel) can’t necessarily be measured.
We can however measure some website basics, such as traffic, conversion rates, the average time people spend on your page, how your Google rankings improve etc. For eCommerce stores, you also have other metrics such as abandoned cart rates, average order value and more.
Trouble is, in many circumstances, I don’t ever really get to see those results.
I get some feedback from my clients as to whether they love their new copy when I hand it over to them – and I might get a testimonial, but rarely does a business owner find the time or the inclination to reach back out months later to let me know any of the measurable statistics etc.
(Unless of course they’re working with me for an extended period of time on a marketing plan – but then they often don’t want any of their inside ‘results’ to be publicly broadcast, which is fair enough!)
It is quite frankly, to be expected. Life and business is busy and while I’d love to know these things, the last thing I want to do is interrogate my clients asking for statistics for my sake.
However, in this particular case, I have first-hand knowledge. Billing Metals & Manufacturing is my husband’s business. And while he is brilliant at ‘making cool stuff’ (that I have no clue about!) he’s not so great at websites or marketing. Which clearly, is where I come to his rescue.
This means I can track and measure his results over time, after I make changes. Which is super cool. I can literally use his business as an experiment – to validate and develop my skills and knowledge.
Luckily, my changes and enhancements are indeed working well for him. As I keep telling him, I’m not just a pretty face :p. I do know plenty about how to optimise websites and get real results. And it’s obviously the results for his business that I’m going to run you through here.
It’s necessary to note however that I have broken his website and marketing makeover into THREE stages. We’ve literally only completed the first and in the very early stages of the second.
So, what are the ‘Stages’?
Because my time is limited and because my priorities lie with my own paying clients (sorry hubby!) we decided we would break his business website makeover into stages.
And this is certainly something that can be done for any business, depending on where a business might be and their specific needs and goals. You don’t necessarily have to do everything at once – although the quicker you get these things done, the faster you get the results.
Stage 1 – Website Design Upgrade & Refresh
The first step for Billing Metals was to refresh and upgrade the general look and feel of the website. The website is built on the BigCommerce platform which makes it super easy as you simply switch over to a new template, which goes over the top of all existing product and page content.
Stage 2 – Basic Content Marketing Plan
Next, was to give hubby some ideas on how he could start getting a little more active on social media to start building his audience and begin engaging with them.
I’ve also started helping him to get some blog posts written and published – and then sharing them on socials.
Stage 3 – SEO Keyword Research / SEO Website Copywriting
This stage we haven’t even started. I’ve made a few basic optimisations to his meta data and I’ve made sure his website has all the bare basic content pages he needs – but I haven’t written his copy properly.
(We’ll be sure to provide an update when we do so you can see how that changes things)
The Process For Stage 1 (Website Re-design)
What we started with…
The original website for Billing Metals was thrown together very quickly about four years ago, in a very hectic time of our lives.
I used a very basic template on the BigCommerce platform and made sure it was functional. And by that I mean, it allowed my husband to upload his products, it displayed those products in a basic fashion and then allowed people to purchase those products. End of story.
It certainly wasn’t anything flash.
What we did…
As we know however, technology, platforms and trends change rapidly. It’s therefore important to make sure you stay as up to date as possible with all the latest and greatest strategies and functionality, to make your user experience as solid as possible.
On a platform like BigCommerce, that’s constantly evolving and improving, you do need to perform the occasional upgrade to ensure you’re making the most of the features they offer.
So – we found a fresh, modern template design – uploaded it over the top of the existing website, and then I customised the template to my husband’s business branding.
And I use the term ‘branding’ very loosely. Because hubby didn’t really have any ‘branding’ as such, so I basically created it on the fly.
What we ended up with…
A modern, clean and highly functional eCommerce website that looked far more professional and commanded attention.
It features and highlights certain products and categories on the home page and has a clear navigation structure, with easy shopping functionality.
The Process For Stage 2 (Content Marketing Implementation)
What we started with…
As mentioned, hubby is more at home out in his laboratory and workshop, then in front of a computer. Marketing just isn’t his thing.
Initially, while yes, he had a basic Facebook presence – he certainly wasn’t posting very often or doing so with any strategy. He also only had around 70 followers after four or five years. Yikes!
What we did…
I gave hubby a loving but firm push towards posting more content, more often.
I made him put a teeny tiny bit of budget towards a Facebook ad as an experiment. It was merely a ‘Page Like’ ad to grow his audience slightly (which is not the most sophisticated way of advertising) but it was a start.
I also encouraged him to get more of his acquaintances (who were relevant to his business) to ‘like’ his page.
And – we put together his first couple of official blog posts.
What we ended up with…
With these very basic beginnings of some content marketing, we great hubby’s audience from the initial 70 to 260. Still not huge, but it’s certainly better, and you should always go for quality over quantity.
Hubby has also been aiming to post three posts per week to his Facebook page. Sometimes he meets this, sometimes he doesn’t. But as I said, it’s a start.
The All-Important Results
As you can see, we’ve only just scratched the surface with Billing Metals. It’s worth noting too, that hubby does a lot of his business on eBay, which doesn’t factor into these results. We are however doing what we can to try and move his eBay audience over to his own website – purely because eBay charges extra fees and because it’s always better to have things on your own real estate, as much as possible.
That said – hubby isn’t silly enough to shut down eBay as a sales channel as it does bring him much more exposure and traffic than his website can achieve alone.
We launched the new website for Billing Metals & Manufacturing on the 29th March 2020.
In the six weeks between the 1st of April and the 16th of May, these were the results:
Website Visits: +286%
Conversion Rate: +235.82%
Average Order Value: +110.29%
I then ran the reports just recently.
Between the 1st of April and the 1st of September 2020 (so just 5 months) these are the results:
Website Visits: +251.42%
Conversion Rate: +48.83% (To 3.17% which is well above the standard average)
Average Order Value: +35.11%
In case it isn’t obvious – these are some pretty impressive figures. I’m sure many eCommerce businesses would love to achieve these increases in just a few short months.
Has it been influenced by Covid-19, with more people shopping online? Quite possibly.
But no one will ever take a website seriously, if it doesn’t look professional and trustworthy, no matter how much demand there is for your products (or services).
Old, outdated, clunky website designs will do your business a huge disservice. Trying to do a lot of this stuff yourself, when tech or websites aren’t your forte – also won’t get you the results you need.
When any client comes to me looking for help – with the question of ‘how do I get more sales’ I always suggest that we look at the basics first.
- Website Design & Layout
- SEO & Copywriting
- Content Marketing
And generally, in that order too. In hubby’s case we took a slight detour in focusing on website design and basic content marketing first (with just a few basics in SEO & Copywriting due to my lack of time).
I’ll do my best to tackle his SEO and Copywriting properly as soon as I can – as quite frankly, this stuff excites me. I firmly believe it will bring about even more awesome results. And I’ll be sure to share those results when I can.
So, if you’ve always wondered whether this website and marketing stuff is the real deal, let you ponder no more :p
What I do gets clear results. And not just a little bit, but a reasonable amount.
And if you’d like me to help you achieve the same with your eCommerce business (or service business for that matter), feel free to reach out to me, anytime.
In case you’re wondering…hubby is pretty pleased with the results:
“I always knew my wife was pretty clever but still resisted when she suggested I put a little more effort into this ‘marketing stuff’. When I finally handed my business over and placed it into her capable hands…everything started to go better. My new website portrays a much more sophisticated image and I’m finding more and more people are being drawn to what I offer. I’ve even attracted lots of interest (and orders) from high schools and universities for my metal samples, to use in education programs and classes. I now realise that none of this happens by accident. It requires a professional online presence and effective content marketing to demonstrate expertise and trust.” Toby (Billing Metals)
And that my friends, says it all :)
Sarah (The Rural Copywriter)
P.S My Website Review is a great place to start.