I’ve just finished the second week of being my own boss for the first time. Starting up my first business has been a crazy, scary and exciting ride. It’s already been incredibly valuable to experience how sharply a brand jumps in value for you when it’s your own. It’s given me a new found appreciation for the importance of any branding or marketing efforts to small to medium sized businesses.
I plan to share my marketing efforts, especially optimisation of my own company website. If you’re interested in being looped in on my strategy, tactics and implementation, sign up to our newsletter in the box below.
Securing meetings, networking and getting the ball rolling with branding and marketing collateral have been at the forefront of my agenda. A key part of this has been working with a top notch designer (shout out to Richie Evans at Spark33), to get the branding right. We agreed to stagger the production and rollout based on what was going to be most urgent. Naturally, the logo came first and then business cards – no additional design work can happen without a logo, and, networking without business cards is a non-starter, right?
It took a total of 8 days to have a logo I was happy with and business cards printed and in hand. (8 DAYS!!! Hats off to Richie). However on the flip side, I had 1 single day before a string of meetings I had planned in. I also had business cards with a web address printed on them but no website to load.
Why The 8 Hour Website Challenge?
Now I’m really not a fan of holding pages or under construction pages. I’ll be 100% transparent. It’s because pride in my work is a huge thing for me. If I have a website live I’m not completely happy with, it’s going to be improved very soon. Chances are I could have lived with a really nicely designed holding page for a little longer.
So I gave myself 4 hours to build a website as good as I could within the timeframe. I quickly realised this was ridiculous and settled on 8 hours – one working day.
Let’s not create any illusion here, the website I ended up with isn’t one I would recommend as a final working version. There are lots of things missing. The main ones for me include:
- An about page
- Blog posts
- Video & explainer content
- Services pages
- Bespoke graphics (not stock imagery)
There are many improvements already on a rollout plan with a longer lead-in time. But I am much happier with my 8 hour temporary website than I would have been with any holding page. And what’s in place is a solid foundation to build from.
So here’s what was achieved in 8 hours, and all for free (as a designer has already been commissioned, I didn’t want to pay twice).
- Hosting purchased and implemented
- WordPress installed
- WordPress theme researched
- WordPress theme (Ample) implemented
- Lead magnets decided on and implemented
- Google Tag Manager implementation
- Google Analytics implementation
- Google Analytics goals setup
- Google search console setup and connected to Google Analytics
- Site Search set up in Google Analytics
- 4 pages of web content
- 3 custom graphics
The strategy was to start on the conversion pieces. It meant that softer content had to be sacrificed. The type that builds brand affinity, explains why the work I do is so valuable and demonstrates why potential clients should choose me. But at this stage, all of this would be done in person, and the role of the website would be to convert visits to the website after having some great conversations and exchanging business cards.
Without the softer content I mentioned before, this website is not going to convert many people who stumble onto the site without a prior conversation (organic inbound traffic). But as I add this content over time, as traffic grows and brand affinity with it, so will the efficiency in converting anonymous traffic to leads.
So, here are the results of my 8 hour website, let me know your thoughts and drop me a note if you’d like to hear more about my lead generation or conversion rate optimisation plans. I’ve included screengrabs as the website will undoubtedly change.
Yep, it’s a short one, but, you know, 8 hours. As mentioned, starting with the conversion points were the most important thing for me. My conversion points as can be seen clearly from the below are:
- Book a free audit (to help me get a deeper level of context and to start sales conversations).
- Book a free 30 minute consultation (to help me prove I know my stuff and show that I’m ready to listen and come up with tailored, workable solutions).
As I build out my softer content, these conversion points will start to become more strategically and less blatantly positioned.
Google Ads Audit
Clicks and impressions are both important metrics, but I’ve always cared much more about conversions. A hard ROI and a metric that takes skill and experience to influence. It’s because if I was the client, this is what I would be focussing in on too.
I’ve been lucky enough to see many hundreds of different Google Ads accounts over the past 9 years. There are often a few of things missing. By offering a free Google Ads audit we can make sure that any Google Ads accounts are thoroughly set up. Streamlining conversions from the campaign structure right through keywords and ads to the landing page.
Facebook Ads Audit
Pretty much everyone on the world is on Facebook. Along with Google Ads, it’s become a mainstay in the typical digital marketer’s toolbox. It’s super easy to get a campaign set up. It’s so much more difficult to get a Facebook Ads campaign set up correctly. Strategy in place, pixels implemented, audiences researched, benchmarks and reporting metrics agreed on. These are all essential if the aim is to drive conversions.
The Facebook Audit will enable us to provide a checklist of what’s missing. And, most importantly, create the platform to recommend how to drive more business (aka conversions).
Google Analytics Audit
I’ve worked on so many Google Analytics accounts over the years that haven’t been appropriately set up. Whether it’s more thought needed in measuring Events or enhanced features not having been set up, there’s usually something that needs to be done. This is why I personally believe that a free Google Analytics audit is an extremely valuable freebie.
To the same extent as installing conversion pixels from advertising platforms (Google Ads, Facebook Ads etc.) I can’t stress how important it is for Google Analytics to be configured correctly. In order to tell if it’s all working, we need the data, and this data can’t be backdated. This is why we need to go the extra mile and put everything in place at the beginning.
If we stick to what’s available out of the box, we miss out on things like the demographics of our website visitors, what people are typing into the search bar, where we’re ranking in Google, and how many people completed a conversion.
So that’s it. It’s not perfect, but I’m quite pleased with what was accomplished in 8 hours and am really looking forward to expanding on these foundations in the coming weeks. Next on the website agenda: audience setting. I’ll be sharing my strategy and content implementation much like in this article. If you like what you’ve read, head over to the Web Marketer website and allow notifications.
So that’s it. It’s not perfect, but I’m quite pleased with what was accomplished in 8 hours. I’m also really looking forward to expanding on these foundations in the coming weeks.