Today’s featured client is Sandra Brannock, owner of Expert Kitchen Designs, a custom kitchen design company serving homeowners in Northern and Piedmont Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC.
Sandra’s new website has been generating highly qualified leads for her through free organic search results, without spending money on expensive pay per click advertising campaigns. Sandra says her website paid for itself within six months.
Why did you choose Herbst Marketing to create a new website for you?
Well, I didn’t know anything about you until I met you at a seminar and I saw some of the work you had done for a few of the other folks there. In the back of my mind I knew that my current website was somewhat amateur and I felt like I needed to kick it up a notch. So I met with you and we sat down and we discussed the details of what you did and how you did it and what I could expect and how the process worked. And after talking with you I felt like you had this very focused and calm analytical demeanor. I realized that you weren’t just churning out websites, you were actually getting into the thick of what my business was about and transforming that information into the design of the website, which then convinced me that I should work with you.
So do you feel like your new website better represents your professional capabilities in its design?
Sandra: Oh, absolutely! Now I feel that my website has a more professional public presence. When I look at it, I think, “If I went to that site and I didn’t know anything about me, I would say, ‘Wow! She’s really into this! She’s a kitchen designer and she really cares and she’s knowledgeable about design.’ So definitely I can see the difference in the website and obviously in the leads I’ve been getting and the traffic! I love that I can monitor the traffic to my website and see exactly how people are getting to my website.
Yes, that is exciting, when you see how many people are actually visiting your website, where before you weren’t even able to tell that, right?
Yes, absolutely, my website was just something that was there and I didn’t know if it was just blowing in the wind. Now I can get actual feedback about what people are coming to see on my website and why they are coming to see it. My website is very user friendly, a lot more user friendly than I had anticipated.
It’s also exciting to see how many various keywords people are actually finding you for, correct?
Sandra: Yes, absolutely. In fact, I’ve seen that I’m number two for “expert kitchen designer” in some very very competitive markets. I’m not in a big huge design build firm, and the type of people that my website is attracting is the very type of client that I want. You want your website to attract people who think the way you do and who share the same kind of philosophy as you so that you are attracting the kinds of clients that you really like and want to work with.
A couple of months ago, the website generated an ideal lead for me. When I met the client for the first time in their home, they acted like they already knew me and so it spared me the awkwardness of the usual “getting acquainted” phase. They were already pre-sold on me as a result of reading through my website.
And these are people who weren’t referred by anyone you knew, so first of all they found you through your website, correct? You’d never met them before and they had never heard of you and they were already sold on you because of the information they found about you on your website, right?
Sandra: Correct. And they said the reason they wanted me was because by reading the website they knew I was “just the person they were looking for!”
Another thing I wanted to point out is that you spent absolutely no money advertising for pay per click leads to get this lead, correct? They found you through a completely free organic search.
Sandra: Yes! isn’t that wonderful? Because you get a lot of people trying to sell pay per click services to you and this is just a much more organic and authentic way to go about it.
One of the other things I trained you in is how to blog and how to leverage social media, so can you tell us a little bit about doing that? You weren’t doing that before, correct?
Sandra: Yes, I’ve especially been more proactive about blogging. You gave me some blogging examples and taught me how blogging helps to expand your overall web presence and sphere of influence online. For example, I read an article in a local metropolitan DC magazine about a particular kitchen remodeling project that I liked. The article mentioned how good the advance planning was for this particular project and I wanted to emphasize the point that collaborating with a professional kitchen designer can help ensure the outcome you want. So I didn’t need to spend a lot of time thinking up and writing original content for my blog. I simply wrote a short introduction to the article I was featuring, noting how the article illustrated that working with a professional kitchen designer can help ensure a successful kitchen remodeling outcome. Then, by posting my own blog article with a link to the source article that I liked, I was able to get another web link back to my website.
Right, the technical term for that is called “curating content,” so you are finding relevant content and then putting your own spin on it, and creating a link back to that authoritative article on your website, which helps to increase your perceived authority as well.
The other thing you are doing is using your blog to showcase actual examples of work you have done, and then using keywords strategically in the title and description of your blog article, such as “Kitchen Remodel in Oakton Virginia” right?
Sandra: Right. I’ve noticed also in the statistics of people visiting my website that they got there by searching for “kitchen remodeling Oakton Virginia” and then they come to my blog article on my Oakton, Virginia kitchen remodeling project. I never would have thought of this marketing strategy if I hadn’t talked with you first.
Right. So part of what is driving business to you is the blogging without having to pay exorbitant fees to Google for pay per click advertising.
Sandra: Right. Absolutely
And then we are posting links to your blog articles on your Facebook page to give you more social media reach and we could do that on your LinkedIn profile as well.
Sandra: Yes, and I’m still becoming familiar with how to do all this, and there’s no question that this is going to blossom and grow even more. And it’s not even been a year that I have had my website going with you.
So would it be fair to say that your website has paid for itself?
Sandra: Yes, within 6 months. There’s no question about it! When I first started with you, I was keeping my fingers crossed, but now I’m like “Wow! This is a no brainer, because of the actual results.”
So would you recommend me to other small business owners if they needed a website?
Sandra: Oh my gosh, yes! A couple of reasons why you are perfect for a small business owner is that you don’t just create cookie cutter websites. When you met with me you tried to get an understanding of my business and you did not come across with this canned “this is how we do it” approach. It felt very personalized to me for my business. I also like the fact that I’m not working with a big huge company that churns out websites.
How to Contact Sandra Brannock
The Original Website