Just like designing and installing a fully baked smart home system, building a great website for your custom integration company is part art, part science. But unfortunately for most integrators, the skillsets that serve them well installing A/V and control equipment do not translate over to website creation. Not even close.
CE Pro 100 integrator Dave Gilbert, senior vice president at Hi-Fi Sales in Cherry Hill, N.J., found out how difficult it is. The established company, which has been in business for 36 years and earned $3 million in revenue in 2015, operates in a competitive marketplace and was looking for a way to distinguish itself from the competition.
Hi-Fi Sales had no search engine visibility, meaning it was not discoverable via Google, and its marketing collateral did not accurately reflect the brand. The company's website was outdated and did not accurately reflect the organization or its many services. The copy, imagery, page structure, and site design lacked readability, continuity, and specific calls to action. Some of its most profitable solutions like lighting, shading, networking and high-performance audio were not effectively highlighted on the website and in some cases were absent completely. The company also lacked a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy and effective marketing collateral to support the sales of its services.
The approach was twofold: The website needed to convey its services and how Hi-Fi Sales improves its customers’ lives. At the same time, the website needed to be optimized for search in order to generate sales leads. The bottom line is that Gilbert needed help.
So, just as homeowners turn to Hi-Fi Sales for its expertise, Gilbert teamed up with industry marketing consultant One Firefly to improve the entire user-experience of the website, revamp the company’s marketing collateral, and ensure it was positioned to show up in organic search results. Historically, Hi-Fi Sales has relied on referrals for its new business.
In just one month and with an investment of about $7,000, Hi-Fi Sales now has:
- A fully optimized mobile website generating 1,750 unique sessions per month.
- Overall pageview traffic higher by 1,700 percent
- The No. 1 in Google ranking for 25 keyword searches
- A site that generates actionable leads that have led directly to sales
Where to Start?
Gilbert first met Ron Callis, president of One Firefly, at the ProSource Summit in February 2015.
“I met Ron and we talked and he completely got what I was saying and made me feel that he and the team could accomplish the goals I wanted,” says Gilbert.
Like many well-established companies, Hi-Fi Sales found it hard to change the status-quo and evaluate the company with a critical eye. As a result, marketing efforts often suffer. The company required an agency to revamp its inbound marketing strategy, design a mobile responsive, and refresh the brand with a brochure that was informative and engaging.
The process of building a new website with an outside vendor requires a discovery process between the integrator and the web team. This pre-production phase includes an in-depth conversation between the two parties to help Hi-Fi Sales think differently about its business and the way in which customers view the company.
For example, the messaging and imagery on the previous website focused on the technology rather than how Hi-Fi Sales enhances people’s lives. The new Hi-Fi Sales website features a mobile-responsive design, rich content to engage and educate visitors, prominent calls-to-action, as well as lead capture forms embedded throughout. The site also helps Hi-Fi Sales build credibility with referral sources as well as generate new leads.
Gilbert says it was “a fun process that had me thinking a lot more about the services we offer.”
Among the key areas of focus for the new website are:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — Getting discovered online requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. One Firefly performed an SEO audit and analysis to determine how best to leverage Hi-Fi Sales’ content so that the company received the search engine credit and recognition it deserves when prospective clients use the Internet to search for the services and solutions that Hi-Fi Sales offers. An SEO configuration of the new website was deployed to generate best possible search engine performance outcomes based on Hi-Fi Sales’ target markets.
Among the terms that Hi-Fi Sales has No. 1 Google rankings for search in his local markets are:
- Whole home audio
- Smart home automation
- Home lighting control
- Commercial automation
Content Marketing — The site includes monthly blogs that are custom crafted to target referrals and customers based on topics and geographies that help optimize local search engine performance.
The blog posts also show the personal side of the business while building trust and increasing likeability. It establishes Hi-Fi Sales as an expert within the custom electronics field and provides them a platform to share important industry-related insights and news.
Additionally, Hi-Fi Sales is a member of the Bravas Group whose national branding strategy complements the local marketing initiatives.
Live Chat — To complement the new website, Hi-Fi Sales signed up for Lead Concierge, a personalized live chat service staffed by industry experts who provide customers with instant answers to their questions. The service also increases conversion rates by engaging qualified leads. Between August 1 and October 23, the service generated 35 leads.
“The live chat feature has been an amazing performer for us. Once a visitor to our site interacts with a One Firefly agent, and the chat is deemed by the agent to be worthwhile for use to follow up, I get a summary of the chat and what action the chat person is looking for from us. Often it’s a request for a site survey or product quote. We follow up on each one,” he says.
“The volume of chats and leads coming from the new Lead Concierge service from One Firefly has blown my staff and I away. It takes our customer service and lead generation up a notch in a way that we never thought possible. Now, we can’t imagine ever running our business without this live chat service. It gives our website visitors instant gratification of getting their questions answered in real time,” says Gilbert. He admits he has not be tracking the ROI as carefully as he should be, noting that the chat-to-sales conversion ratio is “relatively decent.”
Video Library — In an effort to better educate both prospects and customers, Hi-Fi Sales added One Firefly’s library of HD training videos to its website.
The videos, which depict how to operate the various aspects of an iPad-controlled system, enable the sales team to demonstrate how the technology can enhance the end-users lifestyle. Using the tool has helped to alleviate customer concerns and the videos can easily be shared via email and social media.
Contact Page — One of the most visited pages on the new website is the contact page where Hi-Fi Sales receives several inquiries a month.
On the previous site, people didn’t know what information they should submit and when they did the emails ended up in a spam folder. Now prospects fill out a simple lead generation form and with correctly configured form software, notifications are sent straight to Gilbert’s inbox allowing him to quickly respond whether he is in the office or on the road.
Marketing Collateral — Once the website project was complete, the company’s marketing collateral was tackled. The new brochure picks up where the old one left off and improved on every aspect from messaging and imagery to the quality of the paper it’s printed on. The brochure is now the main leave-behind whenever Hi-Fi Sales representatives meet with prospects.
To further unify and enhance the company’s brand, One Firefly designed a sleek business card. Now each member of the sales team has a professional business card that accurately reflects the brand image and makes a strong, positive first impression.
“The graphics team knocked it out of the park,” says Gilbert. “They presented a draft and worked with me to incorporate my feedback. I am extremely proud of the brochure.”
The overall results have been impressive:
- One-third of the company’s showroom visits are being generated by the website.
- Hi-Fi Sales is on the first page of Google search for 38 keywords
- The website is No. 1 in Google search for 25 keywords.
- The website traffic has increased by 1,732 percent and the number of pages visited per session has nearly doubled.
- 40 percent of potential customers who call Hi-Fi Sales say they found the company through the website via a search engine.
In summation, Gilbert says the key was using a professional service like One Firefly that “has my best interests at heart and treats me more like a partner than a customer.”