Jason Hall, Westbury Garden Rooms
Our regular readers will have seen Eve Ashwell from Virgin Balloon Flights discuss her experiences of redeveloping a website in October.
Today, we welcome Jason Hall, marketing manager at Westbury Garden Rooms, to share his experiences of going through a company re-brand exercise.
Not something that should ever be taken lightly, a re-brand can be an SEO nightmare (we told them not to do it!) but a methodical approach should help minimise the pain and Jason’s experiences show that it is not always the catastrophe that us SEO types often predict.
A big thank you to Jason for finding the time to contribute to the blog. Any reader interested in improving their home should have a look at some beautiful garden rooms and then get in touch with Westbury!
You recently changed business name – why?
Westbury rarely make ‘conservatories’ anymore – perhaps one or two a year. Changing from Westbury Conservatories to Westbury Garden Rooms was a logical progression, as the market has evolved and home owners need something quite different to our humble beginnings over twenty years ago. The increase in desire for less glazed orangeries and garden rooms has been a natural evolution to a more functional room all year round, which is where we are today. The modern family require a more informal, open plan style of living, with space and light.
Westbury Garden Rooms is a company that moves with the times and always provides our customers with a building that is ideally suited to their needs and fits in with the existing architecture.
How important is online to your business?
Our business is of course a bricks and mortar business (literally). That said, ensuring our online presence is aesthetically correct, representative of our standards and values, and of course easy to find is essential to Westbury.
Although the majority of our marketing is through print, in many of the major lifestyle and home magazines, consumer research and buying behaviour is very much supported by the world online. As a modern company we of course embrace this and ensure we invest wisely in our online presence.
Search is a very important source of traffic for us and we can see that the quality of traffic from search engines is typically very high.
What process did you go through to manage the transition from old domain to new?
Although we consider ourselves to be “media savvy”, we would be foolish to belive that a change of domain would not have its potential pitfalls. Therefore we placed our trust in those who know best.
Browser Media helped steer us through all the steps you should take when migrating a site. From setting up all the necessary 301 redirects to managing the migration via Google webmaster tools, we made sure that we had ticked all the boxes that should be ticked when making such a move. In addition, a comprehensive review of existing links to the old domain was performed and Browser Media is working through those to update as many as possible – whilst the user journey will be handled by the redirects, it is always best to update the links if possible.
How turbulent has it been and what advice would you give to others going through the same process?
I think it is fair to say that “so far, so (very) good”.
Although our migration is still in quite an early stage, we have so far found the transition to be positive with very little loss of position when comparing the rankings for the old domain and the new.
Through careful forward planning and an attention to detail, Browser Media has managed to avoid the dreaded “sandpit” effect and we have seen that most of the rankings we previously attained have been updated with the new domain and it would appear that the search engines have managed to cope with the change.
Westbury Conservatories is dead, long live Westbury Garden Rooms!