Once we define what the business purpose of the site is and how we’re getting traffic to our site, the next thing we want to do is understand the minimum necessary site elements are to accomplish the business purpose.
You might have a big grand plan of a very large site or of a site that does lots of different things but when you’re starting from scratch, you have to begin by defining what is the minimum necessary in order to have a viable, effective site. And that’s what we’re going to define in this website review – the minimum necessary in order to make the site effective.
Review the Current Site
So in that regard, I think there are probably 4 minimum necessary requirements for a site. But let’s begin by browsing around the site, it’s called securedtech.co.uk.
This is his Home page. He’s got a Services page that is sort of a landing page for his core services and then pages for each of those services. So on some level or another he’s describing the services that they can provide. He has a Why Hire Us page which I think is a very important page to have in his situation. It’s essentially his listing of why he thinks people should hire them to take care of their IT security needs.
Prices is I think a very useful tool for people who are trying to scope out costs. If someone says “I wonder how much that kind of a security service we looking for here might cost us.” then they have a way to answer that. Prices might actually be a very good source of information for them.
Downloadable Security Report
He has a Blog with a single blog post on it. He has a Special Report which is essentially a little description with the ability to click to download the report and actually, the report is fairly extensive.
It’s a report on security systems for a computer with lots of good suggestions so this is something that people will look at and could consider to be a useful takeaway. In some context you might call this an eBook although I think in his context calling it a report is probably good approach.
He has an About Us page which shows his picture and a little of information about him and a Contact page with the contact form. So that’s the extent of the site and I would say by on large this contains the bulk of the skeleton of what he needs for the minimum necessary in order for this website to accomplish its business purpose.
1st Site Requirement – Services/Solutions Offered
So the first point in that list then is he needs the descriptions of the services offered or more specifically the solutions offered by his business. From my perspective that includes a couple of things.
One of them is it includes the types of services or the types of solutions. Again, I think he’s got a skeleton of that right here but what is missing from this is the service area. If you did not read the URL you wouldn’t know that this was a UK business and in fact, this could be anywhere.
There’s no way for a person who arrives at this site to tell whether or not there is something useful to them in their location. The closest you get to that I think is in the About Us where he says that Secured Tech offers a comprehensive range of IT services technology reliance for small or medium-sized business across the UK.
But in our conversation he said that it’s usually West London or Greater London. That’s not clear anywhere on the site and so when we talk about that first element which is the description of services or solutions offered, he’s got the bare bones for the types of services but he’s entirely missing reference to a location or to the service area.
I think that needs to be a prominent aspect of the description of services because so many of the services are on site work that really it doesn’t make any sense for him to generate a lead from Ireland or a lead from California because he’s not going to be able to provide them that kind of local service.
So point number one, description of services offered including an emphasis on the service area.
2nd Site Requirement – Proof of Expertise
The second thing, in terms of the minimum necessary for the site, is proof of expertise. If you’re going to consider hiring somebody, especially for something like this, you want to know that they have the expertise to do the job.
Let’s look at the Why Hire Us there are personal, moral values of employees that are eluded to here – they’re diligent, vigilant, caring and committed, professional, problem solvers, motivated and well-managed but that doesn’t really say anything about their ability in IT security.
The site it says, it’s focus on security but again it doesn’t really indicate that Faris or his team have any actual experience or ability in that regard. They listen and they speak plain English but again, there’s nothing convincing here that this company is going to be capable of providing secure IT services beyond them just saying that’s what we do.
Let’s look at the About Us. There we learn that the company is a brainchild of Faris and we know he’s a 15 year IT Industry veteran. Even that he was a senior engineer for many years but again it still doesn’t provide us with any sense of real expertise and I think that’s a big hole in the content.
He needs to add essentially proof of his expertise in handling the kinds of problems his services address and I think that proof needs to come in two ways
First, articles where he explains problems and their solutions. To a certain extent that is addressed a little bit in the one blog post but if you read this carefully this could have been written by somebody on Fiverr who wrote 150 words for $5.00.
It’s not specifically targeted at a specific industry problem that an industry executive or somebody in the position of making a decision would recognize as a problem point for them that suggest that he has any expertise in that.
The closest thing he has to something that demonstrates his expertise really is in this Special Report because the Special Report does go into very useful information. But that’s the closest that he has to anything demonstrating that Faris and his company are experts in the field and are capable of solving problems of healing the pain points of the businesses that are looking for his services.
So in that regard he’s missing one of the most crucial aspects of the minimum necessary in order for this site to accomplish his business purpose. So let’s talk about how to show proof of expertise. I said that this doesn’t really say anything about his expertise but what I didn’t say was what would talk about the expertise.
If Faris has examples where he has provided these kinds of services then he should create them in the case studies. If the company doesn’t want to be named it doesn’t matter, you can just say in the case study, “Well, this company is in the such and such London area, for privacy reasons they don’t like their information withheld but this was the situation”.
Then in those case studies you describe the problems that they had, the reasons why they contacted in and the solutions that you gave for solving those problems.
Along with the case studies, he should write blog articles and those articles should be some nice general articles but really probably ought to focus at first on emerging issues. So if there’s a new virus out there then that’s probably the best thing to write about, right?
You talk about a new virus, you talk about a new security threat, you talk about something in the news and the reason for doing that is that if he’s talking about stuff that’s on the cutting edge, that just comes up then he has a better chance of ranking for it because there’s less information out there.
The more general the information is the more likely that there are lots of sites out there with that information and the less likely he will to be served up in search results. So the opposite is also true that if he speaks specifically about emerging issues when there’s less coverage then he has a better chance of showing up in search results.
If he speaks authoritatively about how to solve those problems or about how those problems caused IT issues or how they affect a specific kind of business or anything like that and how his services could solve them, that’s another way of providing proof of expertise.
So both blog posts which I’m calling Articles, I probably wouldn’t call it a blog, and case studies I think are critical for demonstrating expertise in this kind of thing.
3rd Site Requirement – Social Proof
The third thing that I believe is necessary in order for the site to accomplish his business purpose is social proof. Social proof takes two forms generally. In the first place, it takes business information right. You want to make sure that you’re working with an actual reliable company and there is no company information here.
If you’re a mid-size business and you’ve got 25 employees and probably at that point hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in your IT systems both in training and education and hardware and software that’s just too important and too valuable to you for you to take risks with.
Specific Location/Contact Information
You see the company name there Secured Tech but there’s no business address, there’s no business telephone number, there’s no specific name of a person to contact. Let’s see, there might be an email address actually now that I say that, “Call or Email Us Now”, well actually there isn’t one. There’s no email address and no phone number.
There’s nothing here that says that this is not just some fly by night operation set up in Sri Lanka, right? If you search for professional services, you know that there’s all kinds of junk out there purporting to be professional services. The sort of minimum social proof you’re looking for is that it’s a legitimate company in your area.
I have a practical example of this from yesterday. We’re doing a remodeling project on this home we just bought here in Desert Hot Springs and I needed to rent a construction dumpster so I did a little search for a “Dumpster Rental” and “Dumpster Rental in Desert Hot Springs” and what I got was a ton of results that had absolutely nothing to do with a local dumpsters.
I got all kinds of nationwide services that were obviously affiliate marketing services where they got some kind of commission from referring you to an actual dumpster rental company. I got just a ton of entirely useless help from that and what I was really looking for was a local company whose local address I could see, they have a local telephone number and I could call them to find out what their price was on delivering me a dumpster and hauling the trash away.
I used that tool looking for a local address and a local phone number to help me narrow the range down to get passed all of the sort of the nationwide marketing companies down to an actual local company who actually does the work.
So I think that’s a critical aspect of social proof for a business, is to have a real business presence. Obviously I work from my home but at the bottom of every page on my site is an actual phone number where people can call me. My skype address, my actual regular email address that I routinely use.
You get all the emails from me at rick@byobwebsite, it’s my real email address and my actual address of where I do business which is my home in Edmonds Washington and I think that’s an absolutely essential aspect of a small business presence even though it is just a house.
If you don’t want to use the actual address of where you are because it is some place that you don’t really think says internet security then you go get a post office box in a part of town that represents where you want to be and you use the address of that location. But somehow you provide a real email address, a real address or real phone number, real contact information.
How to Combat Spam Emails?
Somebody asked, “How do I combat spam?” Well, I personally combat spam by using Gmail to filter my email so I almost never see spam. Very, very infrequently do I see spam. Today I got an email message that actually showed up in my inbox a spammer but it almost never happens to me because Google’s Gmail is very effective at filtering out the spam and not delivering it to me but we have a reasonably high traffic site and that email address has been on there for 4 years now and it’s certainly not a problem that’s impossible to manage.
There are very few instances of spam getting through. It’s well worth it to give full contact information because people are pleasantly surprised, right? When somebody calls me on the telephone and I answer, they’re always surprised.
If somebody sends an email here they think it’s admin@byobwebsite, who knows what’s Google is going through but in fact, you know this is real contact information for a real person and I think that’s a necessary aspect of social proof.
The second thing you need for social proof is testimonials. If you are first starting out your business and you don’t have any testimonials then I have a couple of suggested strategies.
How to Get Testimonials for a New Business
One of them is go find somebody to give the service to for free in exchange for a testimonial. So go find a company that will let you use their name and their company name as a testimonial once you provided them the service. So Faris could go to a couple of mid-size companies in the Greater London area, offer them to give them the service for free in exchange for a testimonial and use that for testimonials.
The other thing you could use for testimonials is references from other people in his business. He would probably have to edit them carefully so that it doesn’t look like “I think Faris is a really good guy and it was great when we worked together”. It would be better if they were more focused on “I was continually impressed with Faris’ ability to really handle customer support, etc.”. As long as the kind of reference spoke to the sorts of things that you are advertising.
Getting testimonials is going to be one of the most important things to do right off the bat and if you have to pay for them by providing services for free if the testimonial is good, it’s worth it’s weight in gold and it’s certainly worth doing. That’s the other aspect of social proof.
4th Site Requirement – Call-to-Action
Finally, what he needs is a real call to action. This contact form is not a call to action, right? It’s a contact form and “Call or Email Us Now” is the closest thing he has at the moment to a call to action.
Further Develop “Free Assessment”
This element here, “Free Onsite IT Security Assessment & Report”, this needs significant development to become a real call to action because this is doing what he wants it to do, right? What he wants them to do is call him or send him a contact request for an assessment of their security situation.
So this needs to be a very well developed call to action and that call to action needs to show up in multiple places.
Clickable Phone Number
Now, as part of that call to action or as maybe a more subtle call to action, the site also needs very prominently a clickable phone number, right? When we’re done with this site it’s going to be mobile responsive. I believe chances are very high that someone will be looking for these kinds of services on some sort of mobile device and there’s no easier or quicker call to action than clicking on the button for the phone number.
Skype Phone Number
Now, some new businesses have a problem with having a phone number that they can publish and if Faris doesn’t have a business phone number then I strongly would recommend you look at a Skype phone number.
That’s what BYOBWebsite’s phone number is. Our phone number is actually a Skype phone number, I pay 50 dollars a year or something like that for it which is incredibly cheap as compared to what a regular commercial telephone number would cost me here.
Then I have it set up to forward calls on to my cellphone and if I’m actually logged in to Skype then my Skype rings and I can take the phone call that way. But it’s not just a Skype address, it’s an actual phone number and until I told you it was a Skype phone number you wouldn’t have known, right?
This is a very inexpensive way to get a real phone number with an area code specifically where you’re located and even if he lives outside of London he could have a London based phone number with the London based city code or whatever they call it in the UK by purchasing a Skype phone number.
It’s very inexpensive, it’s very easy and it gives you a sense of presence, right? There’s a real phone number people can call, you can have it forwarded to the cellphone and no one will know that they’re calling their cellphone. I think that’s a critical aspect of the call to action that there would be a clickable phone number, very prominently placed.
So even on the header here some place, there would be some kind of a clickable phone number that will get a live person once somebody clicks on it. If not a live person at least a decent answering service.
Using Someone Else’s Voice on Answering Service
Now, something to consider would be to have someone else’s voice as your answering service. I don’t do that. Everybody knows my voice so my voice is almost part of my trademark, right, or part of the way people know me so I use my own voice on my answering machine but Faris may choose to use somebody else to record his voice for his answer on his company phone number and one place to be able to do that is fiverr.com.
My video with the gal with English accent, I got her voice over here on fiverr.com. We’re looking for phone message. It doesn’t have to be a joke – you can get a professionally recorded phone message.
And I know that there are people specifically with English accents so it sounds like they’re from the UK, you can look for something like that and you can get it for 5 bucks and it would be a very inexpensive way to add a professional presence to the phone when somebody calls.
Recap of Minimum Necessary for the Site
So those are the minimum things necessary that I think that he needs. He needs a description of services offered and solutions offered. The thing that’s most missing from that is service area.
He needs proof of expertise so articles and case studies. He needs social proof again which is entirely missing so that is testimonials and business contact information.
He needs a call to action that’s a much better, a more specific call to action and a contact phone number. And that’s what I think are the minimum necessary elements. We’re going to talk about all those things more in here in a few minutes.