This is the third in a series of posts focused on how Irish SMEs are delivering real results using Internet marketing. This case study features an interview with Patrick Buckley, Sales & Marketing Director at EPS Group, a client of Enterprise Ireland. EPS Group received support from the Enterprise Ireland Internet Marketing Unit to assist with the development of their Internet marketing strategy.
EPS gets website traffic flowing with SEO
A solid SEO strategy has seen EPS Group drive new business and raise brand awareness as it looks to expand into overseas markets.
Sustainable water solutions provider EPS Group has transformed its website into a key marketing tool with an SEO strategy that puts the focus firmly on content and clever use of keywords.
Operation ‘website transformation’
Following a marketing review in 2010, EPS Group realised that its website was not being used to its full potential. “We weren’t really focused on our site as much as we should have been,” explains Patrick Buckley, sales and marketing director with EPS Group. “As a result, we noticed that our site was quite poor; there was too much content and we were saying all the wrong things.”
With less than 150 website hits per month, it became apparent that EPS Group was pretty much “invisible” online. “Basically, if someone wanted to find us online, they couldn’t; we didn’t exist as far as online was concerned.”
EPS made a start by employing a full-time person to deal exclusively with its online presence, and dedicating more time to improving the performance of the site. It also worked with a web development firm, Webtrade, as well as a marketing company, AMAS, to develop a content and marketing strategy.
Identifying keywords boosts visibility
In the sustainable water solutions market, the majority of Google searches feature the word ‘water’ e.g. ‘ water harvesting solutions’, ‘waste water treatment’, ‘rain water pumps’, ‘water purification systems’, ‘waste water pumps’. Armed with this information, Patrick decided to include the word water in the group’s URL – www.epswater.ie, as well as snapping up epswater.co.uk, epswater.fr and epswater.com.
Using keyword research tools and analytics, EPS also identified a selection of the most relevant and popular industry search terms, and decided to scatter these words throughout its website content. “We consistently track these keywords each month to see what page we show up on in Google search results. Previously, with some of the keywords we were appearing at page 6 or 7, but now we are on the first page every time, which is a significant improvement.”
Regular tweaking keeps content relevant
Continuously adding content and making amendments to existing content helps keep the EPS site fresh and relevant, says Patrick. “We regularly add news items to the site and constantly tweak metadata words in the background. By keeping a close eye on Google Analytics we can see what pages people are coming to and what they are looking for. If there’s a page that’s not as active as we want it to be, we will tweak it to make it more relevant. If we want to direct people to a certain page we’ll add content to the homepage that highlights particular sub-pages and try to funnel traffic through that way too,” he explains.
How it presents itself online has become a critical factor for EPS. With such a diverse range of products and services, confusion was a common element with customers who weren’t aware of EPS’s full range. “Our website had to address that issue and raise awareness of all our products and services. With our previous site, there was too much content, and this was confusing visitors, who struggled to find what they were looking for,” Patrick explains. “With the new site we’ve improved the navigation and the content, making it easier for people to get to the relevant pages. Also, by focusing on key search terms, we are seeing more traffic coming through to sub-pages of the site, and getting the information they’re looking for, quicker.”
This strategy is reflected in EPS’s analytics, which show that as site page views have decreased, length of time spent on the EPS site has increased. “Typically, people spend between 3.5 minutes and 4 minutes on our site, and with the page views down it leads us to believe that visitors are finding what they are looking for a lot quicker.”
Focused approach pays off
In just over a year traffic to the EPS website has rocketed, 150 hits per month to a consistent 3,500-4,000 monthly hits. And all this new traffic is translating to new business for the firm, according to Patrick. “With this increase in visitors, we’ve seen a huge boost in the number of enquiries through our site. The majority of these are sound enquiries which have led to new business.”
But EPS isn’t resting there. The company plans to use some of what it’s learned on the Irish site to enhance its newly launched UK site, with the aim of hitting 1,000 visitors per month by June 2012. Also on the cards is a global site, which Patrick says will be used to drive more traffic back to the Irish website.
Patrick credits advice given by Enterprise Ireland as the impetus EPS needed to make changes to its website. “The Enterprise Ireland support and guidance was of great benefit to us at the beginning of this project. That investment in time and resources is now paying off for EPS in both our domestic and export sales.”
“We’ve learned so much about the importance of our website over the past couple of years. We now see our site as a very important part of our overall strategy in growing our business,” Patrick concludes.