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The work we are doing for London/south east property inventory firm Smart Inventory Service makes an excellent case study for the importance of SEO in designing a website:

Since Codastar re-made our website and started a SEO and PPC campaign we have noticed a huge increase in visits to our website and last month had nearly 1,000 hits with an impressive average sticky time of 3 minutes.

In terms of business generated, we have at least 40 new landlords book us to carry out inventory check ins and check out reports with an average value of £110 per job or £4,400 per month. In addition, we are getting 3-4 new letting agents every month worth £6000 of business over the last 2 months.

Steve Hickling MAIIC

Getting the Look and Organization:

Smart’s previous website had not been working for them. The content wasn’t engaging visitors and only really offered a static presentation of the company. There was no news, and no updating or changing information.

Before: Smart’s previous homepageSmart Inventory Service - Old Home Page

We needed to rebuild everything so that it would offer the best experience for the increased traffic from the SEO and PPC campaigns.

We transformed the site, making it look professional and appealing with a slick colour scheme and header (with links to the social media accounts and buttons for call-backs/contact to maximise engagement). We got things animated with a carousel banner that shifts between different images, and we made sure all the information was well organized and easily navigable.

The site we created is fully responsive to any device it is viewed from. There’s no point doing the SEO work to drive more potential clients to Smart if they’re not going to be able to view the site when using a smartphone or tablet.

And once on the site – from whatever device, viewing whatever page – the information is always encircled by calls to action, ensuring maximum conversion and allowing users to get going quickly.

After: Smart’s homepage nowSmart Inventory Service Website Design Homepage


Creating Content:

To improve the site’s ranking we knew that, as well as updating the look and making the existing content more dynamic, we also needed to add new elements to the site. Thus we included a testimonials page, a latest news page and a case studies page.

What had been a fixed page with three customer testimonials now has embedded feedback from Feefo. This updates live as clients leave their ratings for Smart – making their site dynamic and helping with the firm’s credibility.

Before and After: The Testimonials pageSmart Inventory Website Redesign, Feefo Testimonials

The case studies page shows visitors how the firm works and gives a little of its personality, greatly improving visitors’ perception of the firm.

This is also true of the blog, with the added bonus of the SEO work regular posting does. Every time Smart write a new blog post a new page is created for search engines to find and index – and they’ve all got Smart’s name on them.

So content is key. Giving users ‘value’ – simply something worth looking at and sharing. The updates to the website show up, and they make the firm show up. Users sharing content will generate links back to the website. Other people might follow these links, and more importantly Google will note them and improve Smart’s ranking.

Content is Key: The Latest News page is regularly updatedSmart Inventory website redesign, Latest News


The SEO Nuts and Bolts:

We needed to improve the visibility of Smart’s site, making sure everything was optimized to get Smart turning up at the top of relevant search results.

We researched the optimal keywords to include in the site’s page names and tags, carefully wording meta page titles to ensure all the top keywords were included.

The old site’s home page had this page title: Smart-Inventory | Inventory clerk in London

We made it: Smart-Inventory | Inventory Clerk in London, Inventory Check and Services

We included a comprehensive set of keywords for the page and wrote a fuller description than it had had before. The results are described by Smart’s director, Steve Hickling:

[We] recently secured the business from a housing association who have a stock of 1,500 properties and are giving us an average of 60 jobs per month. The reason we got this business is that they were let down by their existing inventory company and typed into Google ‘inventory company London’ and we came up number one on the first page – the rest is history. In two months their turnover with us is over £6,000.

“Inventory Clerk London” – Smart’s positions in the resultsSmart Inventory SEO website design, SERP

Now every page of Smart’s site is carefully set up with its own distinct title, description and keywords (the previous site had used the same titles and description for all the pages). We want them all to turn up in users’ searches, and to have every page working towards improving the site’s ranking.

Users are also more likely to stick around on the website if the page they reach through their search is the specific landing page for the terms they actually entered – not just a homepage.

A more detailed understanding of how SEO improves your chances of getting found can be had by looking at Smart’s keyword ranking for ‘Inventory’ – as coupled with the most popular keyword permutations:

Smart Inventory SEO, search engine ranking

And we keep on producing these reports and testing the site in other ways to see how the SEO is working, making any changes to improve things along the way. There are a lot of details to get right behind the scenes, but doing so really gives results.

The sitemap provided in the website’s footer? That helps Google crawl the site better, producing a search result that breaks down the sections of the website.

Pay Per Click:

These adverts can offer significant returns, and as long as they are doing just that they offer companies real value. So it was important for us to set them up properly for Smart.

We knew we had to get the keyword research spot on to maximise the effectiveness of the ads. The only keywords you want to include are the ones that genuine prospects are most likely to be entering and clicking on (it’s pay per click, remember).

For the same reason, we do the audience research and make sure the times and places the ads appear are right for the firm’s core market.

Smart Inventory PPC ad

And again it’s all about testing – trying out different ads to find the most effective one before the campaign starts proper, and following up with ongoing tests to see how things are working for the firm further down the line.

With everything set up by us these ads are driving targeted traffic to the Smart Inventory Service site. What with the redesign and the SEO campaign, the result is growth: both for the firm (taking on more employees) and its income (Smart attracts 3-4 new letting agents a month, and each of these represents several jobs a month – and ongoing)

The Future

Codastar are still testing new areas for the company. Smart have been so pleased with the results so far that they have asked us to develop a mobile app for them, allowing clients to book online from any device.

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