Little Fish, Local Pond: Customer Focus and SEO for SS Custom Landscaping and Dirt Work
We admit, we kind of like Steven Springer, owner of SS Custom Landscaping & Dirt Work. SS Custom is a small, local operation; but Steven is a hard worker, creative, not above handling the little things, and he always gives his best. What we like the most is that he provides excellent customer care. Basically, he reminds us of Midwestern Interactive.
Baiting the Hook
SS Custom is a small business among larger, better known companies. Steven doesn't want to be one of them, but he does want to compete with them. He weighed his marketing options and discovered the highest return on investment is a well-designed website with high search engine ranking.
Word of mouth is still effective, and Steven has optimized customer Testimonials. But according to a study sponsored by Google, 4 out of 5 consumers search the internet for local businesses. Steven needs to be at the top of the search results for customers seeking any and all the services he provides.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn't as easy as repeating key words. In fact, search engine algorithms penalize sites for too many keywords. SEO includes web site structure, content focus, user interaction, and interweb connectivity. Steven's site needed to be developed, not just designed, by successful professionals with a pulse on current SEO practices.
Midwestern Interactive can do that. And we did. SS Custom Landscaping and Dirtwork stands at the top of the first page for related searches.
Midwestern Interactive built a SEO substantial, user-friendly website to attract customers, keep them on the site, and compel them to call in one visit. In all aspects, we considered user need, expectations and habits, something a template just can't do.
Content and Menu
User satisfaction keeps a customer on a website--the desired information is there and easy to find. Instead of frustrating users with lots of options, Midwestern Interactive developed SS Custom's site with user-focused content organized by an intuitive menu.
The menu holds five basic options with clear titles, focusing on the information a customer is likely to search for: Services, Testimonials, Before & After photos, About Us, and Contact. These few options provide customers with the information they are looking for as well as visuals to excite them, testimonies and personal information to ensure them the company is personal and reliable, and contact information to enable them to hire.
Users also need the option to navigate a website as streamline as possible. We placed all site content on a continuous scrolling page. Users are encouraged to browse through the information they want and continue through the additional compelling content.
When the site opens the menu is located at the bottom right of the webpage, spotlighting the brand (brand name, tag line, full-color photo) and contact information. As a customer scrolls down, the bar moves to the top and remains static. Selecting any of the menu items will direct the user immediately to that section.
The mobile version varies based on the way mobile users interact on various devices. We developed the mobile phone and tablet versions to optimize the screens for high-impact visuals. The desktop's static menu robs precious pixels on a mobile screen, so the mobile version features a Menu Navigation Icon (MNI) that can be expanded and collapsed. Users can access the static MNI while scrolling though the site.
User experience and recognition relies heavily on visuals. And since Steven's business is improving appearances of homes and businesses, a focus on visuals is essential. Both the desktop and mobile versions feature visuals more than just photos.
Blocks of text for Services are separated by fields of green and have visually identifiable headings.
Testimonials feature full-color photos, but also utilize white space to reinforce the number and quality of satisfied customers.
Before and After photos can be flipped with just a click, simulating the project being "flipped" and compelling the user to interact.
On the browser site, blocks and photos are oriented so multiple can be seen at one time. The customer can immediately locate the service they are looking for, but other services lay in their periphery, increasing the likelihood for engagement.
Strategies on a mobile site change based on the size and shape of the screen.The mobile site features one block or photo at a time, filling the screen to improve visual impact and optimize the user tendency to scroll down.
Steven wanted customers to be able to contact him easily. The desktop site features contact information in the initial visual and at the bottom of the continuously scrolling page. Midwestern Interactive also developed a contact form to message Steven.
Desktop users are given the convenience of detailing their needs since they have a traditional keyboard. Steven can receive details about their needs, prepare for them, and ensure he has adequate time to focus on the customer.
Filling out a form on a mobile device can be cumbersome, though. The mobile user is much more likely to call, and the easier it is to call, the more likely the customer will call immediately.
The mobile site features a static top bar with options to Call or Contact through the same message form found on the desktop version. Customers are encouraged to call because the contact bar is always accessible, so users won't have to navigate to the contact information, manually open a different app or enter a phone number encourage the customer to call.
SS Custom Landscaping and Dirtwork may be a small operation, but they are giants in service. Steven provides quality work, but what sets him apart from the other guys is his focus on the customer. He personally meets with the customer and who is found on site during a project. He provides fully customized services. He even prioritizes the customer on developing his website.
Yeah. We like him.