What was the scope of their involvement?
The goal was to build a web presence in our industry. A little over 10 years ago, I contacted Active Web Group and they helped revamp our website. They also helped us develop a strategy for acquiring more business through the website by adjusting our shopping cart content and by strategizing with SEO, email, PPC, and so on.
Before we started working together, the website was very static. It didn’t have any shopping cart capabilities or SEO. So I approached Active Web Group because they were in the same town. They had smart people working in various fields like design, optimization, and marketing. I was actually able to go in and sit down with them to discuss my product, business, and goals.
I don’t know the specifics, but the website was created with custom programming. I contributed the shopping cart content since I’m knowledgeable about my niche industry. They were able to take that content and maximize it for SEO, staying current as the algorithms used by search engines like Google and Yahoo changed. They made sure we remained at the top of search results related to my industry.
They have targeted over 125 words that I currently have and they’re in the process of revamping our current website into a new Magento site that will have enhanced capabilities. I have a lot of confidence in that. As far as the design goes, they are going to be implementing one-click shopping carts to replace our old school five-click tool. They also will help us handle abandoned shopping carts to remarket to existing customers.
To get to the bottom line, the most important metrics for me are my sales and revenue. We look at shopping cart orders, which they call conversions. We also look at RFQs through the website and we look at our positioning in the search results. For example, how many of our 125 key words are in the top 3 or the top 10. We also identify the really strong strategic keywords that are going to transfer into higher value conversions. We get monthly web reports from them and I’ve got complete access to their marketing department to go over their strategies and ideas.
What is the team dynamic?
We work with a group. I typically work one-on-one with one manager who is my main point of contact for all of the work. If I have a specific issue like a design change or an error in the shopping cart, I’ve got one person that I go to. I also have a manager that handles the big picture planning. I also have access to people behind the scenes who do the programming, SEO, and design, but not so much on a day-to-day basis. They’re really coordinated and they’re brick and mortar. Most stuff can be handled over the phone or via email efficiently, but it’s nice to be able to go down the road and visit them in person. If I want my site to look a certain way, they can tell me whether or not it’s going to work with SEO.
How did you come to work with Active Web Group?
I had been looking around and I liked that they were brick and mortar. I had gotten emails and cold calls from companies and some off-shore offers. I knew that the website was going to be a key integral part of my business at the time (about 10 years ago) to grow nationally and internationally. I was driving down our street one day and I saw their sign. I actually stopped in, got a business card, set up a meeting, and I liked what I saw with how accessible and well-established they were. I was very comfortable right there and I basically signed a 10-year contract to work on the website, SEO, and development.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together in November 2008 and the engagement is still ongoing.
How much have you invested with them?
We have spent a significant amount of money with them every year.