Old-fashioned businesses are a well-respected cornerstone of American commerce. However, with changing economic landscapes and ever evolving technologies, some industries have nearly gone extinct. While the marketing world primarily caters to new technology and services, there are some industries that may find themselves at a loss in trying to keep up.
Older businesses that have survived the test of time have done so by adapting to the changing world. As an experienced web design and development company, we are able to help businesses to connect with new and existing client-base. We do this by utilizing the company’s rich history, their time-honored branding, and the stories that have followed them throughout the years.
For most old-fashioned businesses, they tend rely on word-of-mouth recommendations and their brand recognition, which comes from decades of creating and perfecting the same product. Some of these products or services may now be bordering on obsolete, depending on newer solutions.
So, how do these hard-sell companies get an extra boost in clients and revenue?
The answer to that is a complex one. The first step we recommend, is an updated website. Without a quality modern website, these companies are likely to fail at any future marketing efforts. Think of your site’s home page as the welcome mat of your business. Here, we’ve compiled a list of what a modern website can do for your old-fashioned business.
Top 4 Things a Modern Website Can Do For You
#1 Broaden Your Customer Base
Your existing customer base will always be your strongest. After all, they have followed you through the time before the internet existed, into the early period of the internet, through to present day. With a modern website, you can gain new customers without losing out on your favorites.
Once your new website is built, you can utilize various internet marketing techniques. A website that looks and works great will have a better chance of retaining visitors and capturing leads. There are two ways we recommend doing this:
1. Organic SEO
Organic SEO is a high-effort, high-reward approach to gaining more website traffic in the long term. Starting with keyword and competitor research, our SEO plans are custom-tailored to your industry and demographic. With the right approach, search engines will begin to recognize the legitimacy of your website and the quality of your content, helping you to rank higher for searches. SEO may take time, but it will get better over time and will prove to be most beneficial to gaining new customers.
2. Paid Advertising
In your travels throughout the internet, you may have noticed that the first results are normally accompanied by a tag that reads “sponsored” or “Ad”. These companies are participating in paid advertising. This approach works immediately, improving your ROI. With Google AdWords, you will be bidding on certain keywords in order to show up in the paid results section of the SERPs.
There are, however, two caveats to exclusively pursuing paid advertising. The first is that many customers will recognize that it is a paid advertisement, and may glance right over it. The second is that once you stop paying for clicks, you will go right back to having no rankings in search engines. For this reason, we recommend a combination of paid search and organic SEO, in order to kick start your new web presence.
#2 Effectively Explain Your Product or Service
Landscapers landscape and painters paint, but not all industries are so easily understood.
At times, customers can be wary of purchasing from, or even considering a business that they do not fully understand. This can be a hurdle for old-fashioned businesses with products or services in a niche industry.
Modern web design and development techniques have helped a company’s ability to give the site visitor a complete vision of what they’re offering. Elements such as typography, graphics, images, and videos help to tell stories and explain your company. Improving your visitor’s experience will improve your lead generation.
#3 Keep Up With Your Competitors
According to a recent article from SmallBusiness.com, 71% of small businesses report that they have a website. Furthermore, 79% of small business owners with websites reported that their websites are mobile friendly.
This means that small businesses without websites are in the minority, as are non-mobile friendly websites. While this will probably won’t affect the company’s existing customer base, your outdated website will likely not attract new customers. Prospective customers are likely to prefer a modern website with engaging visuals, easy navigation and ample content over an old, disorganized website.
#4 Improve the Perception of Your Business
It’s great that your brand is recognized positively by existing customers, but how do you show potential customers that you are reliable and good at what you do? A potential client visiting your out-dated site will not know that you have a classic brand and company that has stood the test of time. With a modern redesign, you can alter the perception of your company. Being “old” might not matter to the customers that know you, but it will to the modern internet user.
an outdated website will indicate that the company is not interested in providing information beyond essential contact information. It could also indicate stagnancy, a decline in quality, or that a company has gone out of business. A modern website can help your old-fashioned business to come across as dedicated, hardworking, and self-aware.
Case Study: Lawrence Metal & Post Rope
Lawrence Metal & Post Rope has gained renown for over a century as the designer and producer of the world’s most popular metal stanchions. In simple terms, this means that they have been producing metal barrier posts since 1881 – a quintessentially old-fashioned business.
Their website did not make it easy for users to understand, compare products, or make purchases. It was not viable in the competitive area of modern eCommerce.
The Lawrence site was outdated and, frankly, very ugly. The colors were not pleasing to the eye and the layout/placement of the website sections made the checkout process confusing. The site failed to be a successful way to sell products on the web.
As you can see by the attached images, the website doesn’t show the classic, history-rich brand that is Lawrence. New businesses that need to use their products will not understand the experience and quality of the Lawrence brand.
Working Towards Solution
Our solution was to make a modern design, while utilizing the classic branding image of the company. There is a clear and concise navigation, which helps guide the user though the checkout process. In addition to the design elements, we also developed the site using modern software. This website was coded and developed as a custom Magento website. The backend content management system makes it easy for the company to manage customers, orders, and their inventory.
We made some major visual and interface touch-ups, improved the product descriptions, and added customization options. After that, they were better equipped to sell their product.
This modern website takes the best elements of an old-fashioned business’ identity and makes it visible to the world. Appealing to an entirely new audience while maintaining branding helps earn new business and maintain old customers.
Since the site’s completion, the website has seen a 66% improvement in organic search traffic. Additionally, existing customers that typically rely on faxing in orders can now order (and, more importantly, reorder) their products quickly and efficiently.
New customers have been purchasing through the online eCommerce system. Lawrence has taken back sales that they had previously lost to websites like Amazon and eBay, where resellers have been selling their custom products.
Now that Lawrence has a shiny new site, it’s time for some effective internet marketing. Typically when we redesign a site, we like to allow search engines to register the changes and give it a chance to see what has improved for the company. Since we have seen the instant improvement in search and on-site sales, we are more prepared to optimize the website and improve upon what is already effective. With a combination of organic SEO and paid advertising (as noted at the beginning of this article), the Lawrence website is sure to continue improving by leaps and bounds!
As a full website design and development agency, our staff specializes in designing websites for all companies. We understand the intricacies of creating websites that cater to specific demographics, while still being accessible to all customers. For specific details about how we can help build your old-fashioned business a robust website, contact us.