Case: 5 Dillon is a brand new boutique selling fabulous, high quality, new, gently used, and reinvented items at incredibly accessible prices. As the boutique is located in a small town there are limitations on the number of customers that may visit the store. 5 Dillon wanted to expand their potential customer base by having a strong online presence and an online boutique where selected items will be available to purchase.
Solution: We created a site that mimicked the look and feel of the beautiful cottage that the boutique is run from. The E-commerce facility enables 5 Dillon to maintain their online shop and receive payments online. The built-in Content Management System gives them the ability to manage and update their website text as required. The site has also incorporated features to maximize marketing opportunities, such as signing up to 5 Dillon’s mailing list, and friend referrals as well as links to their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Results: As a physical store 5 Dillon’s customer base is limited to the residents of their town. Now they have an online presence 5 Dillon can now reach a far wider target market, maximizing their opportunities for sales and income.
Case: Shiraz Software delivers state of the art printing solutions on all major platforms for all related large format printing markets with very strong after sales support. As they did not previously have an independent website, instead they shared web space with another company, they were not in a position to capitalize on potential opportunities for web promotion. They wanted their own website to showcase their product range.
Solution: We created a professional site that allowed Shiraz to promote each of their products. The site is clean and easily navigable. We have provided the facility to view video demonstrations of products when they are completed and view resource materials for each product in pdf format.
Results: Shiraz Software now has a professional site that enables them to compete on a global level with other major large format printing companies.
Case: Denbigh Under Fives is a small pre-school near Ladbroke Grove in London located in a mews off a quiet side street. The pre-school wanted a web presence to promote themselves as they felt that many people were not aware of their existence and due to their physical location, there was not much opportunity to be noticed by passing traffic.
They did not have a web presence and had spent a lot of time with a web designer to create a website. However, time constraints of the designer meant the project was at a standstill.
Solution: We were approached by Denbigh who asked if we could complete the website. Denbigh already had a design concept they liked so the core design was recreated by us. We added an online registration form for new students, downloadable information guides for parents and a blog so the pre-school had a place to promote and showcase events.
Results: The pre-school now has an online presence so can compete with other local pre-schools for internet traffic. They have an information source to direct potential students to and several online registration forms have been completed which is the testament to the success of the site already.
Case: Kensington Physio is an established physiotherapy practice located off Kensington High Street in London which has been in business for nearly 20 years. They had a website but it had become outdated both in its style and the information it contained. Kensington Physio was constantly evolving, including the addition of the second practice off Kings Road in Chelsea and a third in the pipeline, but their website was not keeping up. Adding to their difficulties, the domain name, web hosting, and website design were handled by three different companies which made getting things updated much more complex.
Solution: We firstly consolidated the management of the domain, web hosting, website design and maintenance which meant that Kensington Physio only had to place one call to us if any problems occurred.
We created a bespoke Content Management System (CMS) website for them with a blog. If any changes were needed to their site they were now able to make them themselves. This gave them complete flexibility to manage all content on their website which was ideal considering the ongoing changes within their business.
Results: Kensington Physio now has an up to date website with a wealth of information on their practices and the industry in general. As information changes, they can update the website instantaneously so they have full control of their site. Through the blog, they can also engage customers with additional updates to their business practice.
Case: The Reel Poster Gallery is situated in west London and renowned for its collection of vintage original movie posters as well as related books. Trading for over 17 years, the company was certainly well established and successful but its online presence was poor. The Gallery had obtained many rare items that would be of interest to a number of international niche markets but did not have a way of reaching those people. Four different companies managed various aspects of the website from domain management to website design and development. The Reel Poster Gallery found it difficult to manage the website effectively having to communicate with so many suppliers.
Solution: We offered a comprehensive programme that included enhancing the capability and ease of use of the existing site; using the same design and brief to develop six further sites to promote individual collections; rigorous optimisation to ensure heavy presence in the search engine rankings; taking over the complete management of all aspects of their online business.
Results: ReelPoster.com now has excellent presence in the search engine rankings for keywords such as ‘original movie posters’ and ‘vintage movie posters’, consistently achieving high positions on the front page of Google and other search engines. The online business is greatly enhancing The Reel Poster Gallery, reaching a large number of international buyers and sellers, allowing The Reel Poster Gallery to tap into more niche markets. The co-owners, Tony Nourmand and Bruce Marchant, are free to continue their search for original items whilst Notting Hill Web Design manage all aspects of their online business from web hosting to optimization, website management to Internet marketing.
Case: The Back Shop is a well established retail outlet selling orthopedic furniture, trading for over 20 years, with a showroom in central London. It had an online presence but the website was not generating enough interest nor had it been updated and therefore did not truly represent the company’s products or services. The domain name, web hosting and website design were handled by three different companies. Therefore, when a problem arose it was difficult for The Back Shop to identify the source and rectify it quickly.
Solution: We firstly consolidated the management of the domain, web hosting, website design, and maintenance. This meant that The Back Shop only had to place one call if any problems occurred or if amendments were needed. We then provided an eye-catching design displaying their vast range of products giving the visitor the ability to buy directly from the website. We also embarked on a comprehensive search engine optimization programme to boost the visibility of the website as well as providing a full webmaster service to ensure all products were continually updated.
Results: TheBackShop.co.uk has grown beyond their expectations. It is ranked highly on search engines such as Google for keywords such as ‘Back Care Solutions’. They are also ranked in the top three for nearly all of their products. As a result, the number of visitors to the site has steadily increased. The Back Shop now receives a good proportion of its business from online inquiries.
We were approached by Blanka – who impressed us so much, we employed her! – and asked how she could showcase her photography and art. Our solution was a simple, yet professional website that displayed her images in an attractive and uncomplicated way. The result was InfinityImages.co.uk.
Case: Blanka Sadilkova had amassed numerous of images and needed an online presence to showcase her work.
Solution: As a local person, struggling to start-up her photography service, we provided a free website. The website needed to be artistic yet simple enough for the images to be viewed on their own merit.
Results: InfinityImages.co.uk is now providing Blanka with an online presence allowing her to promote the photography service – which has grown so much we expanded the website to accommodate various galleries.
Case: Vincent House is a residential house based in west London, providing medium and long-term accommodation. Their website was functional, yet very basic and they required a site that would allow them to expand and enhance the marketing and communication possibilities. The style and design of the website required updating to provide a more contemporary look reflecting the unique, friendly and ‘club style’ character of Vincent House, whilst also being simple, accessible and informative. The website did not offer an e-mail link so anyone interested in obtaining further information had to make a follow-up telephone call. Whilst Vincent House is currently in the privileged position of not having to promote itself to potential new customers, it was important that the site was up to date, appearing professional and providing accurate information.
Solution: Vincent House approached us to redesign their website, based on their current branding and logo design. We implemented a sympathetic theme to match the look and design of the house, which is a beautiful Art Moderne building with many original features. Following a detailed brief, we worked closely with Vincent House to achieve their goal of producing a much more accessible and professional looking website without losing the ‘friendly’ feel of the House. A new contact form and detailed application form has been developed to cut down time spent on the phone and to assist the front of house staff with bookings and scheduling.
Results: Notting Hill Web Design is now producing a Content Management System so that Vincent House can manage the updating of information on a regular basis as well as acting as webmaster for the creative changes needed to keep the website fresh. A blog is to be introduced for both staff and residents and there are now discussions to develop an intranet for the House management.
Have you ever watched a mechanic tune up a bicycle? The changes he makes are generally small: some oil, an adjustment to the brakes, perhaps, and a good pump to the tyres – and yet, when you get back on, everything runs so much more smoothly than before.
In a way, we do something similar to websites: small changes that make them work to the best of their capacity.
What we find fascinating about our business is that sometimes, it only take a few alterations to make a world of difference to your visitor numbers, conversions, or sales. Sometimes those changes are based on a knowledge of typical customer behaviour; sometimes they are based on best practice. It’s always fun to weave some design changes in with some solid SEO work, and stand back to watch the website come into its own.
From the customer’s point of view, the best thing about this is that minor alterations, by their very nature, cost very little.
Today, I’m going to describe some of the small changes we suggested to a client: it’s a perfect example of how a few basic modifications can make an enormous difference to a website.
London Relocation Services is the business of Anthony Gallo, who specialises in finding rental properties for Americans moving to the capital. Clearly, when you are based on one side of the Atlantic and your entire customer base is on the other, a website is absolutely crucial. Not only will it help you source your customers, but it must also engender trust. Moving house is a fraught experience, and if you are going to solicit help, you need to be sure that you are going to someone both genuine and competent.
Anthony came to us with an existing website which was performing adequately, in the belief that it could be working harder for him. We agreed.
After a chat with Anthony, we identified several major issues:
It’s always best to start with a clean slate, rather than try to tinker with existing labyrinthine architecture. By applying fresh eyes to the business, we were able, after asking Anthony what his basic needs and aims were, to suggest a very simple site structure that adheres to the principles that have evolved since the internet’s inception.
We built the site around it, and the result is a site structure which anyone can navigate. Anthony’s customers might well be web-savvy students who have practically grown up online, or they might be elderly travelers who still find the web a daunting place. Good usability benefits both groups: it’s what the first expect, and what the second need.
Our solution was simple but effective: we put a form on every page. This allows the user to browse through the pages, find the information he needs – and when he has, fill in the form. If Anthony wants to get clever, he can monitor which page of the site most of his inquiries come from, and thus gain insight into what specific information impels the user to make contact. He can then use this knowledge in other, offline media, or in his subsequent calls.
At the foot of every piece of text, a link suggests the next page the user should visit, making sure that they are not left to make decisions for themselves – one of which may be to leave the site!
Those who use relocation services can broadly be broken down into professionals, students, and corporate clients. Clearly, marketing for each of these groups will be markedly different. By providing a category on the site for each group, we were able to optimize each page individually.
What’s more, Anthony can examine his site’s log to find out which page is drawing in the most users via search engines and thus find out where there is the most need for relocation services. He can use this knowledge to control his spends on marketing such as Google Adwords and concentrate on the sector or sectors which display the highest level of demand.
A small headshot of Anthony, and suddenly the site was transformed: no longer could London Relocation Services have been an unanchored firm, possibly run by any fly-by-night. No, this company has a founder who is not afraid to put his face as well as his name to it. Suddenly, you are dealing with a person.
Our second suggestion in this area was that Anthony starts a blog. We always think that speaking directly to the customer, sharing stories of the business’ triumphs and setbacks, and offering frequently-refreshed content, adds immeasurably to the human side of a website. Quite apart from the many SEO benefits which a blog will bring, it will bring you regular readers, some of whom you may even build up an online relationship with. As such, it’s one of the most valuable tools in a small business’ armory.
We design hundreds of websites every year, and we have a lot of experience in matching the right tone to a range of different businesses. After enlarging Anthony’s entire site from 800 pixels wide to 1024, to take advantage of the average user’s wider monitor screen, we applied a subtle range of colors and an elegant backdrop of a London map, immediately matching the site’s theme to its subject-matter.
When customers are anticipating a new life abroad, they want to be able to visualize it, and no site suffers from the addition of attractive photographs. We encouraged Anthony to source photographs of real properties in which he had placed clients.
It’s hard to imagine living abroad before you have even been there, but photographs allow the user to place themselves in a physical environment, and as such are absolutely invaluable.
Anthony’s inquiry numbers increased greatly on the very day the new version of the site was launched. The few simple changes we made turned an adequate online business into one that is performing to the best of its capacity.
Would it benefit your business to be receiving many more inquiries than you currently do?
As you can see, there’s nothing revolutionary or even terribly surprising about the changes we made to the site. As ever, we are happy to share our knowledge, and wouldn’t mind at all if you apply the same precepts to your own site. At Notting Hill Web Design we like to operate in complete transparency: if you do not feel confident making changes like this yourself, you may hire us to do it for you, and we will do so quickly, efficiently, and at a price, you may find hard to believe.
Like I say, you may find this incredible. All the changes detailed above cost Anthony only £350.00 – possibly the best £350.00 he ever spent.
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