As the internet matures, technology evolves and improves - this is particularly evident with websites. The landscape of web design has changed drastically over the past 5-10 years and what might have appeared modern and sleek back then, now looks tired and dated.
We receive a lot of requests from clients to "update" their websites, so in this article we'll take you through a recent case study and explain the thought process we took in designing and developing this businesses website, which has led to improved web traffic and organic bookings.
Let's begin with the requirements of the site. The client is a Lawyer that specialises in Notary Public services, located in the Bayside area of Melbourne, Australia. His existing site was roughly 5-10 years old, which received a small amount of monthly traffic.The goal of the client (besides updating the website design) was to increase his exposure and generate more organic traffic with a targeted focus on bringing in people that required Notary services.
Choosing a new domain name
In this particular case, we knew that the domain name we chose would be important. The domain name we came up with was Notary Bayside, as the Lawyer is concentrated on a very niche area of legal practice and is located in a geographically specific location (bayside area), we knew that we could improve the SEO benefit by choosing a name that leveraged both. In searching for services, it is most common that people will type the name of the service and the location they require the service in. In choosing a domain name, it's important to think about what people might type into the google search when trying to find a business like yours. If you are unsure what the popular search terms are in your industry, you can always use a keyword planner like Google's Keyword Planner or Moz.
As we were producing a site for the legal industry, we wanted it to have a regal and dignified feel to it, something befitting of a lawyers office. The colour palette that popped to mind was rich mahogany browns, shades of grey and deep inky blues. The colours of your brand and website are critical to get right as it sets the tone and creates a certain ambient mood/feeling as people browse your content. In choosing your colours, you may want to do some research on the psychology of colours and how they make people feel. In our case, we chose Blue for tranquility, loyalty, security and trust, Brown for friendly, longevity and conservative and grey Grey for reliability and intelligence.
One of the tools that we knew our client would benefit from was Calendly. In short, Calendly is an online booking system that can be implemented into your website. It allows you to setup appointment types and integrate it with your Google Calendar, so that clients can book appointments with you quickly and easily. For our client, we setup a simple appointment type "Notarise documents" and setup a function so that he would be notified by text every time he received a new client booking. We also setup a follow up text reminder for his clients requesting them to leave him a Google Review 1 hour after the appointment time. At Wicked Sites, this is the kind of end-to-end technical solutions that we like to implement to ensure small businesses succeed.
Google reviews (and positive ones at that) are essential these days in acquiring new business. The first thing that people do these days in assessing a business or when choosing between different businesses is look at the businesses Google reviews. Negative reviews can certainly hinder your businesses success and also the lack of reviews can be enough to send people to choose another business with reviews. Put simply, reviews create trust and the more positive reviews your business has, the more new/cold clients will trust your business. Since launching the new Notary Bayside website last October, our client has received a number of positive 5 star reviews, which has boosted his credibility and google search ranking.
Many small business owners tend to opt to placing their personal mobile phone numbers on their business website. While this may be a cost effective method when you a starting a new business venture, it may not be viable/tenable in the long-term. To site visitors not familiar with your business, including a mobile number as the contact may give them the feeling that your business is small and unproven, which may lead them to choose another "more established" business with a 1300 or 1800 number. The other typical problem with this method is that clients (old/new) can ring you at any time. As a new business, you might be fine with this in the beginning, but it is generally untenable long-term. At Wicked Sites, we use a 1300 number. This is generally considered to be the most popular type of business number in Australia. The great thing about our 1300 number is that we have programmed it to ring both Matt and my numbers simultaneously when we receive a call to our 1300 business number. What's more is that it will only ring us during our specified office hours (9am-5pm). During other times, callers will receive an answering message directing them to contact us via our website. This is done automatically and avoids the hassle and disturbance of constantly having to answer client calls outside of business hours. Our client has absolutely loved the inclusion of this service as he is open (8am-8pm) Mon-Sun, but doesn't want the disturbance of client calls outside those hours.
Overall, we were extremely lucky to work with such an open-minded client that allowed us to be creative in delivering an end-to-end technical solution that worked for him. It involved him changing some of his processes and adapting to new ones and that isn't always so easy to adjust to. Since launching the new site, he has seen an unsurmountable amount of new organic business and is truly one of the Wicked Sites success stories. Out of all the services we used to improve this clients online presence, he's received tremendous positivity over the fast and easy way clients can now book online. At the very least, we suggest looking into Calendly and if yours is the type of business that might benefit from appointment scheduling, we certainly suggest implementing that as a bare minimum.