I’d only recently heard of this phenomenon of herbal weight loss tea when I was approached to do a website for a new brand. The owner and I spent time together reviewing the current websites, him showing me which ones he liked, together discussing the merits of them. My opinion of these sites was that most looked like they were built by amateurs and we’d do well to follow our own path. They have enjoyed considerable success though and the owner of Pure BodyTea was understandably reticent to deviate too far from a proven formula. So here’s a little story of what unfolded.
My honest analysis was that these other companies had done well to capitalize on a growing market but that we would have to be cleverer and do better. They’d left considerable scope for us to do this, having in many cases failed in a number of important areas. Most combined a poor knowledge of marketing, website usability and SEO. Where they had succeeded was with an innovative and aggressive use of Instagram for marketing. They had grown large followings quite quickly and sold directly to these people. But when in came to their websites some were doing a good job and some were doing a terrible job.
There’s a great deal more to websites than meets the eye. For instance, SEO, usability, the website’s aesthetic, and the need to convert visitors into sales can compete against each other if not handled properly. Balancing the various demands and maximizing the potential of each is the role of a good website designer. Along with these concerns is balancing the desires of the website’s owner. In many instances the goals of the website’s owner and the website’s owner’s demands on that site can be at variance with each other. For instance, they know it’s desirable to have good SEO outcomes. Better positions in Google relate directly to more traffic to their site, which should relate to more sales. But if the owner has fixed notions for the site (and is, for instance, copying other sites that are poorly designed) then they can defeat their own goals by preventing the designer from incorporating elements of design that would achieve the very goals they find desirable.
Sometimes also, the website’s owner isn’t too sure of their own goals. Designing Pure BodyTea was a challenge because of constantly moving goals. The owner’s opposition’s websites, which he using as his reference for how we should design his site, had taken wildly different approaches. And at times he wanted to copy them all. Our job was to advise, to be his advocate for a better site, to listen carefully to his concerns, and steer the site toward the final solution. In this case that often meant making wholesale changes to the design, changing it back to how it was, changing it again slightly, then another about-face followed by another change. In all the design is very similar to how we at Pogo first saw it but the way of getting there was complex and time consuming.
All’s well that ends well except what’s been lost in this approach is very important. The website has no cohesive strategy and has not, for instance, any search engine targets, and so is unlikely to get much organic search traffic. Most of the text on the site has been left without copy editing. This represents lost opportunities, as part of the art of writing good web copy is writing SEO-targeted copy. Our client supplied us with a wealth of good information and gave us the kind of head-start few clients give us. It’s a pity we weren’t able to make good on this great start for him.
Pure BodyTea uses Paypal Pro, newly available in Australia, making Pure BodyTea one of the first websites in Australia using Paypal Pro. This represented some challenges, as getting 3rd party applications to support the payment portal within Australia and within the systems we already had in place wasn’t straight forward. The result is a seamless payment process, with onsite credit card processing handled by Paypal. This is a great option as a payment portals as it does away with lengthy negotiations with banks and other payment portals.
We love smart offers and know from feedback from the site’s owner that it is resulting in increased sales. This website application throws up an additional offers at the cart or checkout, in this case a bag of cheaper tea when purchasing a full price bag. It’s helped grow Pure BodyTea’s sales and we’d definitely use it again. (Update: the latest version of Smart Offers has a bug that prevents it from removing the discount item when the full price item is removed from the cart. We have removed Smart Offers from the site until they can rectify this problem. We can’t have people buying discount tea without buying the full price tea also.)
Summary for Pure BodyTea
The Pure BodyTea is a good example of what we can achieve in a website. We’re pleased with the results and can see that Pure BodyTea is preparing for future growth. Like many processes that are difficult and time-consuming at the time, they’re forgotten and forgiven when the results are satisfying. While we will probably always regret the lost opportunities (mainly SEO) for this site we’re happy that we’ve presented a good site and strong back-bone for Pure BodyTea’s future growth. We continue to work closely with Pure BodyTea and can report that their sales are growing. They’ve been very successfully using Instagram to grow an audience for their product and are looking to introduce new products. We’re hoping to experiment on some You Tube advertising with them as a collaboration some time soon and are working on other ideas to draw and convert more traffic into sales.