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A website or a white elephant?

The BB Team
The Beautiful Bells Team

Having celebrated the first year of the Beautiful Bells bell tent hire website at the end of January, we thought we’d take a look back and see how it had developed.

In our earlier blog, the Beautiful Bells’ website was just two months old.  Even then, its SEO performance was impressive.  Now the site has been live for a year and we’re delighted to say it’s exceeded every expectation.

We’re tracking the performance of some 130 key search terms on the website and this is what happened in the first year:

  • Over 40,500 unique visitors to the site
  • On average, 70% of traffic comes from Google searches compared to 3% from social media
  • 90% of enquiries and bookings have come from the website
  • 73 regional and national keywords are in first position on Google
  • 115 regional and national keywords are on the first page of Google

This post isn’t about bragging or giving people a pat on the back.  There is a powerful lesson to be learnt from this. We regularly meet small business owners who have neglected their websites in favour of social media sites like Facebook. But the Beautiful Bells’ results speak for themselves.

Social media accounts for only 3% of the traffic to the Beautiful Bells’ website.  That’s around 1200 visitors compared to over 28,000 from Google. 90% of the bookings come via the website. That’s a substantial return on investment.  The site appears on the first page of Google for 98% of its target search terms.

As we said in the earlier blog, the key to this site’s success isn’t just its performance. Katrina and Steve of Beautiful Bells have done the one thing their competitors haven’t.  They have recognised the potential of their website and invested in it.  And there are countless small businesses out there who could do the same. If you’re the one person in your area or in your business sector to invest in your website, you have the potential to turn it into a powerful sales and marketing tool instead of a white elephant!

The Beautiful Bells site has grown with the addition of several new pages and blogs. In October, Katrina blogged about their first season giving a summary of their activities. They accommodated more than 850 glampers, providing bell tents for every occasion – from hen parties and weddings to kid’s birthday parties and corporate events.

The company’s tent stock has increased to 17 and more are on order for this season. Already, they are fully booked for several peak weeks and weekends throughout the summer.

In 2014, their single vehicle wasn’t enough, so a second van was purchased and a third will be needed very soon.  They have had enquiries from a remote location on the west coast of Scotland, all across England and even one from Gibraltar!  This year they will be extending their service as far as Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

But of course, these achievements aren’t just down to a high-performance website.  The Beautiful Bells’ team have put in huge amounts of hard work, effort and attention to detail, not to mention delivering the highest standards of service.

Not bad for a very serious enterprise that started out as a hobby just a year ago, eh?