More than just wind power. Combining SEO and PPC

Better Web Presence for Multi-National Company

Background

Windhoist install wind turbines across the globe. They have a massive fleet of impressive cranes and a large workforce of specialised engineers. With their head quarters in the same town as our head office we were delighted when Windhoist, one of the biggest employers in the area, contacted us to ask if we could help them with a website they had launched.

The company had established a new training facility and launched a dedicated website for this. They were happy enough with the content that had been put on their website. However it looked a little dated and most importantly was performing horribly within the search engines. Even for very specific searches they were ranking below the first few pages.

The First Step

We were given a fairly simple brief: Improve the website’s look and performance within the search engines. Windhoist offer Global Wind Organisation training and the company felt their position should be high within the search results if someone searched for this type of course.

We carried out an evaluation on the current website and quickly identified some fairly major issues that were negatively impacting the website’s performance within the search engines. We also discovered that the website was being managed by an out of date content management system that was limiting the functionality of the site.

Taking both of these factors into account we came to the conclusion that the best way forward would be to replace the website entirely. Our recommendation was to use WordPress for this website and for a program of search engine optimisation work to be implemented both during the development of the website and ongoing thereafter.

New Brochure Website

The website in which the training centre required did not have any complicated functionality (or at least to start with, but we will come to that.). The site had to showcase the experience the company have within the industry, list the different types of courses they provide and of course allow people to get in contact.

The brochure websites we create come with responsive website designs as standard and have features such as contact forms, photo galleries, traffic monitoring, social media integration and news sections to name some of the most common.

Our design phase starts with a basic wire frame of the website. This allows us to present a basic layout to the client quickly and allows for changes to be made at an early stage. We also find this really helps to inform the discussion about content, pages and processes that need to be in place in order to complete the project.

Design Concept

Windhoist had an existing brand for the training centre that they wanted to keep which makes perfect sense. The training centre brand was very closely related to what was in place for Windhoist. This meant that before we even started we knew the fonts and colour scheme that we were going to use.

Uur focus was then on the layout and design elements with a goal of tying the new website together with the existing brand. We would also have to look at the user journey and messaging to ensure the finished project performs perfectly for the client.

Here at Nexus we pride ourselves on our agile approach to every project. We achieve this by presenting our progress at various stages throughout the process and then working with the client to refine the ideas where required.

We have two aims during this process, firstly we want our clients to have a website they love. Secondly we want a website that performs well. After all even if a client loves the look of their new website it will not be long before they are unhappy if it’s not performing well. This is a trap many other design agencies fall into.

We feel that our approach strikes a good balance between these which is one of the many reasons our agency has grown over the years. After all, our philosophy is that if our clients are successful then in turn we become more successful.

3 Month SEO Review

So let’s fast forward 4 months from the launch of the brochure website we have created for Windhoist. Within the first two weeks of the new website being live we were top of the search results for specific search phrases. That’s not all that impressive as this is normally fairly straight forward to achieve, although this was a big improvement on where this company was before.

We are also now first page when searching for the course names, something which is used across the board in the industry. This is a little more impressive. However, remember we mentioned the client was a provider of Global Wind Organisation training? Well the site is top of the results when searching for this country wide! Now that’s a result.

So what does the client think?

We have fairly regular meetings with this client to discuss a range of on-going work we do for Windhoist and the SEO performance of the website is normally on the agenda. They have seem a large amount of enquiries generated from the website from clients not known to them before as well as allowing existing clients to get detailed information on what courses are available, indeed bookings are up 74%.

So what’s next for this happy client? Phase 2 of the website, ecommerce addition to allow courses to be booked and paid for online.

Ecommerce – Phase 2 of Website

So we have a happy client who is seeing an increase in the revenue form the work completed so far. The next logical step for a company in this position would be to capitalise on this success. We started work on introducing a calendar of courses into the website which customers can book and pay for online. These courses would be categorised into the different types of course, allowing customers to locate alternative dates quickly and easily.

At the same time there were new regulations hitting the industry that required some specific information to be gathered when taking a booking for these training courses. This is where our ability to provide both design and development services to clients proves very important. We were able to take an off the shelf WordPress plugin that provided the vast majority of the functionality the client was looking for and create an additional plugin that customised this to fit the clients requirements exactly.

You maybe thinking why we did not just customise the existing plugin to meet the clients requirements (you may not be). The reason we tend to take this approach where possible is for one reason… Updates. If you ever ran a WordPress website in the past you will realise that there is a lot of updates made both to WordPress and to the plugins it uses.

By creating a stand alone plugin that changes the functionality of one of the off the shelve plugins you can still receive updates that don’t effect the code you have written. This approach to software development within WordPress is not always possible, but when it is, we would recommend taking it.

This phase of the website also seen the introduction of custom designs icons for each of the courses and the creation of a PPC campaign to drive traffic at the new ecommerce section of the website.

Pay Per Click Campaign

The decision to introduce a PPC campaign for the client was very much about filling the gaps in the search results while SEO work was being carried out to close these gaps. This is often a sensible approach, especially when you are selling a product or service online.

We are able to focus Google Adwords at key words and phrases the business is not achieving an organic ranking on and stop adverts from appearing on terms that the client is organically appearing at the top or very close to the top. This mixture on outbound and inbound digital marketing is both cost effective and effective.

Final Thoughts

We have spoken in depth about the work carried out on the training centre website during this article. How establishing a quality website, optimising this for search engines and how a PPC campaign can be used to bolster gaps.  Windhoist have since moved all of their web sites to us. This includes the main corporate website, their Irish Crane Hiring company and a Scottish Crane Hiring company they recently purchased.

One thing is for sure the work both Windhoist and Nexus are doing together is set to continue and we look forward to a long and fruitful working relationship as we both look to grow our businesses.