Hunt & Sons is a California-based petroleum products distributor. They offer a variety of services including bulk fuel delivery, access to thousands of cardlock fueling stations for commercial truckers, industrial lubricants, and more.
“Working with Post Modern Marketing was an absolute pleasure. It was a simple and straightforward process…”
Building a Website From Scratch
When Hunt & Sons approached us, it quickly became clear that their website was long overdue for a complete replacement. 5 or 6 years previously, one of their main products suppliers offered them a deal on a low-cost website for the business. The result was a website that was technologically out of date when it was launched, and was now bordering on nonfunctional.
Hunt & Sons had the usual reasons for wanting a website overhaul, including:
- Making the site more visually appealing and modern
- Adding mobile-friendly functionality
- Fulfilling customers’ needs
- Improving the user experience
- Reflecting new company branding and messaging
- Adding new products and services
After some discussion, we agreed to provide them with mock-ups for a new design, develop the approved design, add stock imagery where appropriate, and write content for products and services not already on the site.
Uncovering an SEO Issue With Duplicate Content
When we work with clients who have existing written content, we usually take some time to do at least a bit of a polish. However, while our copy editor was going over the website content, he became a bit suspicious about the source of the content, as some of it seemed canned and vague. Vague language is suggestive of duplicate content, meaning that the website’s content wasn’t written specifically for the website, but was instead borrowed from elsewhere.
Googling for phrases used on the old Hunt & Sons website, such as “comprehensive lubricant solutions for industrial, commercial and agricultural use,” turned up more than 200 websites for gas stations and fuel suppliers all over the country that used that exact phrase in their content. All of the websites had been built by the same company that had built Hunt & Sons’ old website.
On all of these websites, almost all of the web copy was identical from one site to the next, with details such as the businesses’ names, locations, and other bits of specific information plugged in where appropriate. In essence, it was corporate Mad Libs.
Discussing this discovery with the Hunt & Sons team cleared up how this had happened. As it turns out, it’s not unusual for businesses that supply transportation-oriented businesses with their signage, branding and marketing materials to offer pre-built websites as well as part of an all-in-0ne starter marketing package. But given that the website development service was simply a low-cost add-on, the supplier apparently cut corners by taking a cookie cutter approach not only with the design, but with the content as well.
The problem with duplicate content is that it results in very poor search rankings, and even manual penalties that relegate flagged websites to the back pages of Google’s search results. As a consequence, if Hunt & Sons wanted their website to perform well, the duplicate content needed to replaced with fresh, original copy.
Thankfully, the Hunt & Sons team approved the change in scope. So, using their old content as a starting point, our copywriter spent some time interviewing an employee of Hunt & Sons in order to gain additional insight into their products and services. Based on all of this information, he then wrote original copy for all of the services and products pages.
This newly written and expanded content would allow their individual service and product pages, as well as the site as a whole, to perform much more strongly in search rankings than would have been possible otherwise with duplicate content.
With a New Website Comes New Features
Hunt & Sons really wanted to the new website to communicate the scale of what their business had to offer customers, as well as in-depth information about key services that weren’t properly covered on the old website.
By far the most challenging part of the site was building a map-based business locator that allowed customers to find cardlock gas stations owned by Hunt & Sons, as well as affiliate stations. A key part of the locator’s functionality is that that it works on mobile devices, and is integrated directly with Google Maps. This means that truckers on the go can pull up the website on their phones and tap on a nearby station in order to launch the Google Maps navigation app.
This was actually a major challenge which required a great deal of collaboration and accommodation of last minute input from the client, but the result was worth it.
In addition, as noted above, we wrote new content to replace all of their existing content, and created new pages with information on services and products not covered on the old website.
Why Industrial Companies Benefit Hugely from Web Design Services
Industrial, manufacturing, and agricultural companies like Hunt & Sons are some of our favorite companies to work with for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the biggest reason is because they can recoup their websites costs extremely quickly–far more so than businesses in other industries–and begin to generate a return on their investment.
This is because many of these businesses websites that are approaching a decade or more old. There’s often a belief that there’s no need to spend the money on a flashy new website, since that’s only really necessary for popular and trendy B2C companies like restaurants, retail outlets, etc. But that’s not the case at all.
Looks aside, a well-designed new website delivers benefits such as improved search rankings, and improved customer conversions. For industrial-scale companies, a single sale can be worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even more. And when their website is suddenly appearing in the rankings, and delivering an improved experience, they quickly begin to see additional sales. In many cases, a single additional sale means that the cost of a new website has been paid for, and then some.
We enjoyed working with Hunt & Sons for many reasons, and while it was rewarding to be able to give their business a fresh new face, what we were really proud of was creating a website that would, without a doubt, lead to increased visibility and lead conversions. Ultimately, this will result in a meaningful return on the money they invested in their new website.
Shortly after the new website launched, a Hunt & Sons team member that we worked with extremely closely throughout the development process sent us a short message thanking us for our efforts. In his email he wrote:
“Working with Post Modern Marketing was an absolute pleasure. It was a simple and straightforward process, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.”
In turn, we enjoyed working with Hunt & Sons to provide them with a website that will provide them with a measurable return on their investment. And we hope that when the name comes for a website refresh, that they’ll turn to us first.