Just because your interest happens to be in a competitive industry it doesn’t mean you don’t stand a chance. In this post I will tell you the real story and process (in 6 steps), that we applied to a healthy recipes website to win a national (UK) award (Good Web Guide Award 2014) as best website for health and beauty in the UK.
We will take you on the path of strategic thinking and INCIsive DEcisions we took to succeed. A few months ago, I was offered a challenge I could not resist taking. This homemade website called HonestlyHealthyFood.com was not growing as much as its owner wanted. The main topic of the website was the alkaline diet and healthy vegetarian food. Food and health these days are two very competitive topics to build a website and business around them, on the plus side these topics also have a huge market and a growing trend. To be more specific the core content of this website was healthy recipes and as you can see from the graph below from 2004 to 2015 the trend has been a growing one as far as the UK Google Searches are concerned. (Snapshot of Google Trends>Explore>Search Term>’Healthy recipes’)
It was a challenge also because the team and resources were very limited as the business was completely bootstrapped and had not received any external investment. Thus, it was even more challenging to try to win the Good Web Guide Award 2014 for the health and beauty category without increasing the tiny marketing budget.
Other than my general personal interest in health, I knew little about the main specific subject (healthy alkaline recipes) and to my surprise, the data available on Google Analytics at that stage were a bit superficial as in-depth implementations had not been done.
From the brief strategic review I had done I noticed that the open rate of the Mailchimp newsletter they were sending out twice a week was quite high.
Step 1: KNOW MORE by setting up Google advanced analytics segments and customise the implementation of the tracking code on the website I was able to gather much more details on the traffic. I could understand better what pieces of content were more interesting to returning vs new visitors and what was the content that was bringing in more search traffic, together with the drop-off pages and overall user experience throughout the website. Furthermore, I was able to track the use of the internal search function of the website and with the in-page analytics (using the add-on on Google Chrome) I was able to have a visual maps of the most clicked parts of the website and do minor changes accordingly.
Step 2: LEVERAGE THE LOYALTY of returning visitor
The question was: how do I deliver more value to users looking for advice on cooking and healthy eating with a tiny team?
We needed to get votes to win the award so we needed our visitors to help out.
Solution: Implement a live chat service and start the conversation with web visitors, however not all live chats are the same. My choice was Livechatinc.com because of its interface ease of use and scalability thanks to the apps that work very well on mobile devices the whole team could have it on their phones and ipads and pick up a few questions from web visitors at any time. (imagine the the amount of questions we were getting on a daily basis with over 5000 daily visitors).
I still needed to filter during certain times of the day so we decided to create a pre-chat login with facebook or email and name to build more subscribers to our newsletter and have a lower number of questions. LiveChatinc.com is one of our favourite because it also allows you to use pre-chat filters and sign-up forms so that you can reduce the number of chats whenever you need to.
We automated the livechat to softly solicit visitor that had spent a minimum time on the website to vote for us to win the award.
Result: A substantial increase in the monthly subcriber rate and a substantial amount of votes. Virtually every chat we were starting was a vote at least. (Including some of the automated ones that took no time from our team)
Was this enough? I am afraid not we needed more votes faster.
Time for a bit of viral content among our users and some ‘AWW’ factor.
Step 3 : Produce ‘Aww’ Content
At this stage my main question was: How do we make a wealthy, upper-class, young pretty woman to generate the aww factor with a quick-to-produce video clip. Luckily, Natasha (that’s her name) had a dog, a cute little dog called Lottie. I gave it the title of Chief Barking Officer and made it the star of the video to generate some Aww response and some more votes in return.
Easy video, It had to look real and homemade not overproduced. It was shot with an Ipad and edited on the iPad itself. It did require a bit of preparation but all things considered we were done pretty quickly in 3-4 hours.
Step 4: Email Marketing with Mailchimp pushing the Aww Video Clip
It needed to get a little more effective in terms of CTR (click through rate) on email marketing campaigns to make sure we would get enough people to take action and vote for the website. Thus, it was time to unleash the power of one of our favourite chimps ; The Mailchimp.
Step 5: Share, Share, Share on Social Media
Needless to say, social media did generate a significant impact while running for the awards. Especially if you have done a good job at delivering useful and interesting content within your network don’t hesitate to ask for your follower support because they will. We did not miss an opportunity to share, the video the images and the links on all social media networks. Out of 10 posts every day on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, at least 3 of them were asking our follower to support the website and vote for us. To manage our social media we used Hootsuite which we believe is a great tool you can use with a limited budget or even for free.
Step 6 : This is a secret step if you want to know this one subscribe to our newsletter and receive it via email
You approach to business challenges is part-shaped by your personal history, your nationality/culture and your education. It is also often shaped by how long you have been staring at the same problem in frustration. It is entirely understandable that after some time all you can see in front of you is the obstacle and why it cant be done. Sitting on the chair of gloom pending defeat it is difficult to stand and see over the wall and hear the distant sound of success. Let alone leap over it.
UK BrandVoice Study
This survey compares how the top 200 companies in the UK greet their customers and suppliers.
Telephone interviews were conducted amongst 191 company receptions in the UK. Each receptionist was asked to name two senior personnel within their organisation, their responses were then ranked on a basis of 1-10 against the following criteria:
Speed of answering
Knowledge of key personnel
Over 15% of companies have a policy of not disclosing names of senior management to outside callers. 13% were found to be horribly slow in answering the phone call in the first place; taking more than 8 rings to answer.
Only 52% of companies were found to be friendly to callers and 64% were rated as sounding professional. 9% of companies were downright unfriendly.
The overall rankings of companies are as follows:
Top 5 Companies Rank The Boots Company PLC 1 Barclays Bank 2 Bravo 3 Bank of Scotland 4 Marconi PLC 5
BottomÂ 5 Companies Rank Pfizer 187 Powergen 188 Financial Service Authority 189 Woolworth PLC 190 Kodak 191
There are a number of ways that members of our team help CEO’s and their direct reports:
– Strategy Workshops
– Leadership Communications
– Implementation Support
For this level of work we adopt an approach we call Associative Interpellation.
This phrase may appear baffling or pretentious but when we tried to define our approach, no standard wording quite did the job.
Associative because many inter-connected elements are triggered and brought together. ‘Interpellation’ commonly used in French and Italian indicating a combination of to seek wisdom from, question and ask for involvement.
This is a management consulting style that is markedly different from the traditional linear process model (and diagrams) that suggest all progress can be likened to a scholastically simple and sequential domino-like cause and effect continuum.
We know that life and business is a little more complex than that. Our model, and we have one for the sake of clarity, is more akin to a three-dimensional venn diagram in constant evolution.
If we accept that gut-feel and intuition are actually complex thought patterns founded on learning, experience and perhaps something inexplicable combined, then yes, gut-feel is involved. Definitely.
Only a team of people that is multi-cultural, has worked and succeed in several countries and industries can offer this. There are people who ‘interpel’ data, people, personal case studies and a deep familiarity of subject matters and who have an adaptability quotient way off the culture scale.
Is this an intellectual approach? You bet. Is it practical? Most certainly. Our team members have made things happen time and time again with results to prove it.
Associate Interpellation. A term born from the very approach that it represents. So now let’s speak about your business.
At INCIDE our life and business has always been naturally balanced as company life has always taken account of the lives of our partners as a matter of course.
When one of our partners decided to move to Hong Kong we opened an office there. She then moved to Sydney and we did it again. Why? Because very early on we realised that to remain invigorated consultants we needed variety, the freedom to live and work anywhere and the flexibility of going with, and therefore keeping, good people.
The client benefit of this is that we are adaptable and consistently still excited by new challenges, countries and cultures and in turn that we bring that renewed knowledge and breadth of thinking to bear on our next projects. We have lost count of the number of countries we have worked in.
We work together even when we are physically apart and make grateful and full use of modern technologies. Our work and lifestyles would not be possible without them.
Work is a necessary part of life for most of us, yet structured in this way and working with the right people, both clients and colleagues, it becomes life’s nexus. Many of our clients become friends and several friends have become clients. We could not really wish for more.
In our daily routine we monitor several Google Analytics accounts for our clients and we can’t say it enough: Knowledge is power. How to implement and read Google Analytics at the basic level is something that is quite easy, regardless of the CMS (content management system) you are using for your website. (If you are starting check this article from Google)
However, getting what you really want to know about your website from Google Analytics, requires a more complex implementation and a bit more knowledge.
Just so we are clear on what we mean by Basic Level Implementation, when we deliver a new project this is what we include in our Basic GA Implementation Package:
Basic Google Analytics Implementation Package
- GA Account User Setup
- GA Basic Tracking Code Installation
The basic GA tracking code will be populated and provided for implementation across your site.
- Views Setup (3)
A maximum of 3 standard views (Default, Raw/Unfiltered Test) will be created for your property
- Basic Filters Setup (3)
A maximum of 3 basic or common filters will be applied to your property.eg: excluding internal traffic data, filters to re-write urls to be consistent etc.
- Basic Conversion Goals Setup (3)
A maximum of 3 conversion goals relevant to your website will be identified & setup.
- Funnel Setup
Funnels will be setup & configured for applicable conversion goals.
- GA Implementation Review
A thorough audit will be carried out post implementation in order to verify and finalize the tracking setup to ensure accurate and reliable analytics data.
- Integration with other Google Products
GA will be linked to other Google Products like Google Webmasters, Adwords & Adsense if available
- Custom Dashboard Setup (1)
A dashboard will be setup based on your business conversion goals.
(If you can’t implement it by yourself buy the get the basicÂ implementation package and we’ll do it for you and teach you how to read it)
Let’s face it, knowing how many visitors and how much time they spend on your website (Basic Implementation) is better than not knowing any of it, but knowing the demographic (age) their interest in your market (in-market segments) where they land( landing/entry pages) and where they exit (exit pages) your website gives you a whole different level of knowledge and power. OnceÂ you have a clear idea of those metrics you can take action to improve.
One step forward, getting to know what are the keywords and keyword phrases that convert into subscribers, leads, or paying clients gives you a whole different level of control towards your marketing spent.
Google analytics can and should also be integrated with Google Adwords which allows you to create PPC campaigns to generate visitors to your website but also to generate phone calls (inbound leads) to your sales team (Yes you can track phone-leads and exclude most calls from suppliers and job-seekers).
Also Google Analytics allows you to track the clicks and leads coming from your Mailchimp email marketing campaigns so that you know what piece of content performs best.
If you are using Worpress and a basic server package (shared server I personally like Fatcow ), you don’t have much server power so you also want to be rather careful on how you implement Google Analytics code on your pages. Why? because GA tracking code generates dynamic calls and dynamic calls require server power every time a visitor display your website. This means that the more dynamic calls you have the more time it will take a visitor to fully load and display your website. The equation is very straight forward Higher Page Load time Lower amount of visitors and often lower conversion. If your website is loading in more than 4.0sec you need to act now (test it with this tool it’s free Pingdom SpeedTest)
- Mailchimp Training for your business£199.00This Mailchimp training session will not only teach you how to use Mailchimp but most importantly how to make Mailchimp email marketing work for your business needs and how to leverage its full power to grow your business.
- Purple Patch£50.00You'd want a solution that increases you sales at virtually ZERO risk to you, wouldn't you? Get our purple patch! This is how it works: You tell us how much you sold last month. You pay us £50 and we 'purple patch' your business. If we can't think of something to do for you fast, we'll give you your money straight back (and decline to purple patch your business). If sales don't go up, we'll get nothing more. When your sales do go up, we'll just receive 5% of the uplift for three months only. Not a great risk to run is it?
- Set up Google analytics on WordPress£149.00Having trouble setting up google analytics on wordpress? This service pack is for you. Use our Google Analytics experts to implement on your site correctly.
A wearable device review was long due especially because we love to try new products and review them. If new products come to life much in line with our ethos (tag line) – Applied Human Intelligence – we usually like them even more. I have put my hands on the Misfit Shine and Allard was given the Fitbit from his son (lucky dad), as a consequence we are fully tracked human beings now. Not only we tell Google all about our businesses, commuting and travels and we tell Facebook about what we eat (essentially) who we hang out with. Now we tell two more servers all about or physical movements and (by manual input) our health parameters (Health kit on iPhones).
There is plenty of solid research available about how an healthy lifestyle intertwines with work productivity, if you haven’t seen any yet here is a good one from the University of Warwick (See the full research in PDF here). There are also exceptional cases such as that of Technogym that just launched the Wellness Accelerator program for young entrepreneurs.
Back to my point, here below my first impressions as a user, a fitness aficionado and entrepreneur about the Misfit Shine (and the Misfit Flash).
What I love about it:
1) It’s water resistant so I can go swimming with it. (The only one in its price range that I know of)
2) Its design is discreet so you don’t have to wear it they way the manufacturer decided but the other way around. As an end-user you tell them (by writing on the Misfit App) where on your body you are wearing the device.
3) The App is pretty well done and rather easy to use
4) It tracks your sleep too.
5) Price point is pretty accessible both for the Shine and even more for the Flash (basically made in plastic instead of metal frame)
6) Battery life – hard to say for sure but I feel this is going to be an issue only once a year or so.
What I am doubtful about:
1) User-Friedlyness: Â I am pretty good with my hands and at first I had trouble using the little tool that was in the box to insert the battery. The tool edge was not sharp enough to fit in the allocated space to open the device. As a result I have slightly damaged the small space where you are supposed to insert this iPhone-like device to insert the battery (instead of the SIM card on the iPhone)
You are supposed to tap it every time you want to see where you are at in the process of reaching your daily goal (in points) but I feel it doesn’t always respond to the double tap. Sometimes I have to do it multiple times to actually make it work
2)Accuracy: I admit, I might be a little biased (or out of the core target market) because my level of activity is very high and I started tracking physical activities a long time ago. (with the shoe sensor of Nike+ since I started I logged on the Running App more than 5000km of running). The issue is that they have developed various algorithms to track different activities (swimming, running, walking, cycling, basketball, football etc.) however, because the device is based on a trip-axial acceleromenter it actually lacks to track resistance. What this means in simple English is that if you move your fore arm up (like lifting weight for biceps) it would track the movement but it would not know if you are lifting 20kg. The simple solution would be to integrate a heart monitor which would be able to process the real time difference in energy consumption. On the negative side a heart rate monitor would hugely impact energy consumption. (the iWatch which does embed an heart rate monitor indeed, will require to be re-charged frequently)
3) Style: I get the idea of upgrading it with a leather wrist bandÂ and other fancy accessories like necklaces etc.., but, business wise, if you are doing a more upmarket version (the Misfit Shine) and an entry level version (the Misfit Flash) with differentiating prices and feel to it (metal vs plastic product) it would be a good idea to add a better looking wrist band than the one provided.
Overall consideration: Good value for money, the product and brand have a lot of room for improvement. The product won two design awards. From a business point of view we feel that it might cause a problem that suchÂ a beautiful looking ‘core’ product does not currently have stunning accessories to go with which might diminish its perceived value to prospective buyers. “The product” should be considered as a whole to include accessories, experience and thus its first impression from a branding point of view (including the experience). The Misfit is a good product but the whole product experience could be improved, although the price point if kept at this level, doesn’t allow much upgrades.
The experiment: Allard and I will attempt to adapt and correlate the use of these devices to our work productivity and try to come to a conclusion if these can be used to partially track work productivity too. Subscribe to our newsletter below to receive updates.
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