Relationships: Working with GLAD Solutions

8 min read
Jonny Pathan
People discussing a business at an exhibition

Welcome to the second article in the ‘Relationships’ series, if you haven’t read the first one (not-essential) about Fantastic British Food Festivals  you can read it here.

Sometimes case studies aren’t enough to convey the whole depths of a working relationship. This is why we’ve decided to start a series called “Relationships” which delves into the detail of what it means to work with the WATB Team. Each article we produce is with the express permission of the client.

Relationships.

This time we’re looking into our relationship with GLAD Solutions, GLAD are experts in creating brilliant bespoke elearning covering a range of subjects. They provide custom elearning, customised, branded and written for all types of organisations. We’ve been with GLAD for over a year now, but we’ve been through a lot in that time, from a new website to on-going marketing and continuing design work.

How did it begin?

GLAD Solutions found us by using Google, I believe the term ‘Web design Surrey’ was used! They’re only in Redhill so it was a no brainer for us to meet up, have a coffee and discuss how we could help them. Ryan, the director, came to see us with a new website being at the top of his list.

Glad and Watb teams
Ryan and some of the GLAD team meeting WATB

GLAD already had a website, but it wasn’t really working for them, which is the case for many business, large and small. Anyhow, we went through our process with Ryan and devised a plan of attack. Sales generation is the most common goal we get asked about, and this was no different.

Glad Gif showing off their site
Here’s a GIF of what we made for GLAD Solutions in its first incarnation.

As you would imagine, over the year we’ve been working together there have been updates, feature add-ons and plenty of tinkering behind the scenes on the website itself.

As with any good website, continual evolution and monitoring user behaviour is essential to understand how to make it work best for business.

What happened next?

Whilst we all agreed that our objectives were met and the website was a great tool for GLAD solutions, we also realised that to start to get the quality and quantity of leads needed through the website, we would need to bring digital-marketing to the table. This in itself is a leap of faith for any business; how can you invest into something that doesn’t have instant gratification or a tangible quality? Effectively you are putting your faith in a team to guide your business in the right direction and help you achieve sales online.

At this point, I think it’s only fair to hear how this stage has worked out from Ryan himself, here’s what he had to say.

Interview with Ryan O’Connell, Managing Director of GLAD Solutions:

Ryan O’Connell
Ryan O’Connell

Jonny: Ryan, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, it’s very much appreciated! Ok, so my first question is, paying an agency a monthly fee for marketing must be daunting for a small business. How do you justify such an outlay on something such as inbound-marketing?

Ryan: It is! However, in order for any small business to grow you need to have a successful marketing strategy in order to generate leads, clients and show yourself as experts in what you do. We have worked with some excellent clients who have been kind enough to recommend us to other organisations, but we knew we needed to employ clever marketing strategies in order to reach new clients and showcase why companies looking for brilliant elearning should choose us.

Jonny: Why did you decide to put your faith in WATB to achieve these goals?

Ryan: We have worked with WATB for a while now and you built our website which gets very positive feedback. So we wanted to work with a company we trusted and naturally you fit the bill there. Also, we wanted to work with a company who’d taken the time to understand our business, our customers and client base, and how we wanted to be perceived generally – again, it was easy to choose WATB given the work you’d done in understanding our niche.

Jonny: As we know, you work closely with Graham, our Marketing Executive, has his input changed the way you think about websites and marketing in general?

Ryan: Yes, incredibly so. What I like about Graham’s monthly analysis that he provides us is that it forces us to look at what our competitors are doing and – importantly – what our potential clients are interested in. This makes us more customer focused in our marketing strategy and we have used that analysis to create interesting content for our website and marketing that people are really interested in. We are constantly looking at new ways to market and engage with prospective customers online and the information from Graham really helps focus the mind!

Jonny: Have you seen a correlation between what you pay us for and your business improving via the website?

Ryan: It’s fair to say we have! Yes, our return on investment has been impressive so far as we have made sales with clients who have told us they found us online and we can see from the stats that our ranking has improved for critical keywords immeasurably since we engaged with WATB for the monthly marketing strategy.

Jonny: Thanks so much for your time Ryan, is there anything else you want to add?

Ryan: I look forward to seeing our monthly marketing report each month. We see improvements in rankings, keywords, domain authority etc. each month and it’s great to see how we compare to our competitors as we improve each month.

Scaling the website to handle loads of great content and build leads.

Our marketing executive Graham has a great working relationship with Ryan, they’re in constant communication talking about progress, ideas and all things ‘elearning’. We also provide a content calendar to GLAD every month with a week by week schedule on what content we think will help them improve their rankings and also, their general appeal. Yes, content is great for Google but it’s even better for your users.

The GLAD team started to pump out some fantastic content which meant we needed to elaborate on the existing blog functionality. We needed something that could handle elearning and industry news, educational material, tips and tricks and other content that users would find useful. You can see their blog here, which now has filters and sections to make it easier for users. One thing to mention, GLAD took our advice whole-heartedly and really committed to creating content on a weekly basis, it’s this partnership that has led to success. There’s no doubt in either of our minds that this approach has led to increased visibility and enquiries for GLAD Solutions.

Creating great, shareable content is a hard challenge and takes a lot of time and effort, but when it’s done right, the results can speak for themselves.

“WATB created our website for GLAD Solutions and I am delighted with their work. They have totally understood our business and objectives and the website reflects this. We are continuing to work with them on social media and marketing projects and heartily recommend them.”
– Ryan O’Connell

Where are we now?

We’re working closely with GLAD Solutions on a regular basis, constantly trying to improve their online presence with website updates and content creation. We recently made an infographic for GLAD which we got featured on a leading elearning resource. This of course is a really powerful link for GLAD, which is always of benefit. One thing to mention about backlinks, quality over quantity always wins!

Our relationship with GLAD has evolved over the last 12 months into a partnership. Working with an agency should be collaborative, and we both need each other to make things work well. Ryan knows his business inside out, and we know about digital marketing. Together we are constantly improving results, search rankings and awareness of GLAD Solutions.

We’ve gathered lots of useful tips from Ryan, he’s a small business owner too. There’s always something to be learnt from each other in all aspects of business. Marketing aside, Ryan clearly knows how to run a business and of course, when he talks, I’ve got my pen and paper ready.

Side note: Collaboration and forward thinking are key attributes to running a successful digital marketing campaign. Ryan is a prime example of how client relationships thrive when the client is willing to prioritise marketing alongside other vital business activities. Whether supplying us with feedback on an idea, signing off on a piece of content or providing some of the more technical industry lingo and knowledge, Ryan is always on hand to answer our questions. With that, we are in the best possible position to deliver a successful marketing campaign which yields results. If you succeed, we succeed.

Glad Website on a mobile device

As with all relationships, it takes both parties to be as involved as each other. Collaboration, continuous communication and trust are vital.

More information

Want to discuss a project with a local web design agency or just fancy a chat about the web?

Social Media Management Software

In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.

By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.

In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.

At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.

Screenshot of Hootsuite's homepage

We recommend: Hootsuite

There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).

They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.

The free version of this software lets you:

  • Manage up to three social media profiles from a choice of channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Schedule up to 30 posts in advance at any point in time
  • Track follower growth, likes and comments
  • Integrate two RSS feeds in order to find and share compelling content
  • Access Hootsuite’s online help center and community forum

Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.

But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.

Website Tracking Software

We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.

By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.

There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.

Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.

Screenshot of Hotjar's homepage

We recommend: Hotjar

Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.

Hotjar tools include:

  • Click, move, scroll, download and share heatmaps that can also be split by device type
  • Visitor recordings that allow you to replay sessions of real site visitors
  • Conversion funnels that identify on which page and at which step the most visitors are leaving your site
  • Form analysis that can help you to discover which fields take too long to fill, which are left blank and why your visitors abandon your form and page
  • A customizable widget that allows you to create pop-up feedback polls
  • Responsive surveys that can be distributed through web links and emails, or featured your site just before your visitors abandon the page in order to discover what their concerns are
  • The ability to recruit test users in order to get instant feedback on your site

Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.

While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.

For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.

Remember

Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.

What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.

If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.

Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.

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