Develop Coaching | Business Coaching

// PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Websites the POP with Angie Wilkes

**[00:00:00]**

**Host:** So, how is your website performing? Is it showcasing your company well, or are you a bit embarrassed when you have to give that link out to someone? In today’s podcast, we’re going to be analysing websites and the importance of getting the design side of the website right. It really does showcase your company, and not only that, it helps people find you if you get the SEO right too.

So in today’s podcast, we’re talking to Angie Wilkes. If you recognise the surname, Angie is my sister, and she runs a company called Construct Virtual, which specifically helps construction companies with their digital marketing. One of the showcase parts of their company is their websites, and they deliver some amazing quality websites. So today, we’re really going to dive into what makes a website stand out, and we’re going to be discussing something called StoryBrand. Now, you may not have heard of StoryBrand before, but StoryBrand is a really good way of making a website convert because we don’t want a website just looking good; we actually want it to convert into clients that click on it and request a quote.

So Angie knows exactly how to do that. So let’s dive in and see what she’s got to say.

**Greg:** Angie Wilkes, great to have you on the podcast.

**Angie:** Hi, thanks for having me.

**Greg:** Awesome. So, I really wanted you on today because I know that your company is doing some outstanding work with websites at the moment, among a number of other things. So today, we’re going to be talking about websites that pop, and it’s really important to get a website right. But first of all, let’s just talk about your background and what you’re currently working on in business. Do you want to tell us a bit about your company?

**Angie:** So, my company is called Construct Virtual, and we provide digital marketing solutions specifically for construction companies.

**Greg:** Fantastic. And I know you work closely with a number of clients in our masterminds, which is awesome and great, and you are doing a great job for them. So, the reason I wanted you on today is because we’re really noticing a transformation in some of the websites that you’ve been working on. But firstly, maybe let’s just talk about why websites are so important for clients to get right. What do you think the problem is with a lot of companies when they don’t focus on their website?

**Angie:** Well, you will attract what you’re putting out there on your website. So often in construction, you see these really poorly made sites, and people will come to me and they’ll say, “I’m getting all these time-wasters calling me,” and then you look at their website and you can see why. You really will attract the sort of people that your website is appealing to.

**Greg:** Yeah, 100%. It’s an interesting little exercise we do sometimes. We did it at our last event, where we got someone who didn’t know anything about the company. They sat next to someone, and we asked them to show them their website on the phone. So, you’d show the person you’re sitting next to your website, and without saying anything, we wanted the person to analyse that website. In 30 seconds to a minute, they had to describe the sort of company they thought you were. It was amazing to see how wrong it was at times, where people were looking at a website and they couldn’t actually decipher very easily what the company is. So, in our heads, we can think that our website’s okay, but it’s so important to see what the client’s perception is of a website. Otherwise, it can be completely wrong. As you say, you’re just going to attract the wrong type of clients. So, really important there to get the website right. Now, obviously, there are tons of website templates out there, and there are tons of ways of doing different websites, but you’ve come across a particular way of doing it that seems to work really well. Well, it doesn’t seem to work; we know it converts extremely highly, and this is why you offer it. Talk us through what it is that you offer as part of your website packages. What framework are you following?

**Angie:** Well, I’ve always known from my experience within marketing that you need to make it about the client rather than the company. But then I read a book by Donald Miller called “Building a StoryBrand,” and it just resonated with me immediately. So, I started then building my websites with his StoryBrand framework, and it was just a game-changer.

**Greg:** Okay, so we’re going to dive into what that framework is. Before we do that, let’s just briefly talk about what you touched on there about the importance of having the client in mind on the website rather than talking about ourselves. So, what’s the common mistake that most people make with websites? How do they end up talking about themselves?

**Angie:** The first thing they don’t do is actually identify their ideal client. At the very beginning, before we even start on the website, you need to identify who is the ideal client because you can have two companies that offer what seems on paper like a very similar service, but they have completely different ideal clients. Here’s an example: I’ve got a client in Devon, and he offers extensions, new builds, and renovations. I’ve got a client in London, and he also offers extensions, rebuilds, new builds, and renovations. But the client in Devon, his ideal client is people that have second homes. They’ve already got a home in London, they are sort of wealthy, and they want a second home, a retreat, somewhere to relax in pure luxury in Devon. Whereas this person in London, his ideal client will be a family man, again high-end and wealthy, but they have very different pain points and very different requirements even though on paper they’re offering the same services. So, the one in Devon will be worried about not being present at the build. They’ll be in London, worried about not supervising it, whereas the one in London will be worried about getting the maximum space and the impact on their family. So, before starting anything with a website, it’s vital to really identify who that ideal client is, and then you can start building the website targeted to them.

**Greg:** Yeah, great. So, that’s really important: get that ideal client in mind, or we call it maybe an ideal avatar. So, really important there. And then, just again, talking about the mistakes that people often make, because sometimes when we’re analysing websites initially, people just talk about themselves, don’t they? They might say, “Oh, we’ve been in business for 30 years, and we’ve won these awards, and we’ve done this, and we’ve done that.” That’s not really what people want to see on a website, is it? How does that end up not attracting people?

**Angie:** No, what you need to do is highlight their pain points initially because people aren’t interested in how long you’ve been in business and your background. They want to know they’ve got a problem and they need it solved. They need it solved there and then, so they want to come onto the website and resonate with the highlighted pain points. They want to see that their concerns are understood and addressed, and then you take them on a journey from there.

**Greg:** Yeah, great. Okay, so let’s dive into what that journey is then because the whole point of this StoryBrand is that we’re creating a narrative, a bit of a story that guides a customer through a process. So, just talk us through the overview. I know you’ve touched on it, but what is the overview of the StoryBrand framework?

**Angie:** The StoryBrand framework is like a roadmap to help companies achieve clarity in their messaging. It makes things simple, not with big thick paragraphs. It takes people on a journey and really highlights that people have got short attention spans. We need to grab their attention initially, highlight their pain points, and then show how you become the person to step in and solve that problem for them. It’s really important within your website to highlight how you can solve all those pain points that you’ve listed initially, and then follow on from that. The framework will show your credibility with testimonials, case studies, and experience of how you can actually achieve those USPs that you mentioned.

**Greg:** Okay, great. Yeah, I read the book a long time ago now and really found it interesting. I think it had a seven-step framework, wasn’t it? It talked about telling the story, having a hero in the story, and having a villain. Do you remember the exact steps of it?

**Angie:** Yes. It’s kind of based on a film where you go through a story. In the film, you have the hero, so you make the customer the hero, not your brand. The customer will have a problem, so every hero has a problem they need to solve. Identify your client’s problems, then position yourself as the solution, the guide. You position yourself as a guide who will help the hero solve the problem, then provide a clear roadmap of how the customer can achieve success with your service. Then you have other components like call to action, success stories, failure avoidance, and identifying what sets you apart from your competitors.

**Greg:** Fantastic. Yeah, I do remember it, and I think he used the analogy of Luke Skywalker and Yoda, giving examples in films of how you always had a guide that helped a mentor through something. Basically, you’re helping your client through their problems and getting them to a solution. So, it’s a really interesting book and really is based on how we go through narratives when we make decisions. So, quite interesting. Why does this work for construction then? Why did you decide to adopt this framework while you specialise in construction companies? Why does it work for them so much?

**Angie:** Well, you

might be listening to this and thinking, “How can I make the customer feel like a hero when I’m fixing a toilet?” But it doesn’t have to be dramatic. The person has an initial problem that needs fixing, and you know, it’s how you differentiate yourself from all the other companies out there by being very specific with how you’re going to solve the problem. It’s about being specific that makes all the difference. For example, plumbers and electricians are probably the worst examples of websites where they nearly all look the same. So, when somebody’s going onto a website, how are they going to decide who to choose? It will be the one that is completely specific. So, that person with a leaking toilet is worried that there’s going to be more damage or whatever in the bathroom, they need an immediate fix. So, they go onto one website, and it says, “We’re reliable and we provide quality work.” It’s wishy-washy. But if you go onto the next site and it says, “Hey, we’ll be out to you within four hours or send you a quote within 24 hours,” or whatever it is that you can actually achieve and stay within the guidelines, those specifics will make all the difference.

**Greg:** Okay, fantastic. So, let’s imagine someone’s listening to this now, a construction business, and they realise that their website is shocking. Maybe they tried to do it themselves a few years back and they need to upgrade their website. Now, there’s obviously a process that they need to go through, and we’re not only talking about website mistakes, but there are also mistakes in how people go about the process of getting a website done. So, let’s talk about the starting points. If someone’s considering a new website, what initial things should they be thinking about? And maybe talk us through if they are going to work with a company, what are the questions that company should be asking them for them to be able to know if it’s the right company for them to go with or not?

**Angie:** The very first thing, back to what I said initially, is starting with identifying the ideal customer, the buyer persona. You can use the help of ChatGPT even to create that. But yeah, you need to build a buyer persona of your ideal customer and identify the pain points that they might have. You want to be able to identify your USPs as we mentioned, being very specific with them, and how you differ. You’ll want to be able to pull together decent photos. I can’t stress how important professional photos and videos are. If the worst comes to worst and you don’t have them, you could use stock photos, but make it a priority to make sure that you’ve got that in your pipeline to get professional pictures and videos done. Again, so many websites you see that are failing are using grainy pictures from their phones or even mid-build pictures, and that just causes stress for a client. So, when you’re going to somebody, if you’re going to go to a digital agency, are they going to ask you these questions or are they going to say to you, “You give me all the information and I’ll put it together for you,” because that is what the majority of them do. And then you’re not the designer. So, you’re going to end up coming up with, builders are so proud of their mid-build work and their mid-construction work, but the client wants to see the end finished product, you know, they want to be sold the dream.

**Greg:** Yeah, just because I think it’s a really important point, let’s talk about that mid-product because we do see it all the time, not just on websites but on social media, where the builder will post the progress picture. But that is so stressful for a client to think about that house half ripped apart. What we really want to see on websites are inspirational images, aspirational things of what the client actually wants, the end product. So, if you’re looking on an Apple website for a phone, you’re not looking at how the phone’s built in the factory. You’re actually wanting to see the end product of how it’s going to look in your hand.

**Angie:** 100%. I mean, before and afters can work well. That can give you credibility in case studies. You can have the odd picture within a case study, but in general, it’s the finished product that the customer wants to see.

**Greg:** Okay, great. So, we’ve got a few ideas there. First of all, make sure you get those professional photos done. When we say professional, we mean someone who can do photo shoots on property. There are people out there who do this. You could go on the internet and look for people who do photographs for companies on Rightmove and things like that. Estate agents know how to take good pictures of property and make the maximum use of rooms. What we don’t want you doing is going in with your iPhone, even though iPhones are great now and have great cameras. You’re not going to get the lighting and everything right if you start using that. So, we really want to use professionals who know what they’re doing to maximise your project. So, do pay out for those professional photos. If you were going to get someone in to take pictures of a project, we used to do it years ago, I think we used to pay anywhere between £150 and £250 for someone to go in for about an hour and do a bit of a photo shoot on some of your projects. It might have gone up a little bit now, but that’s potentially what you might be looking at if you want to get some professional photos done.

So, let’s talk about other features then that are needed. We’ve talked about the buyer persona, case studies, professional photos. What else do you need to start thinking about when you’re preparing this website?

**Angie:** The simple process sounds simple, but you want to take your customer on this journey that’s very simple for them to know what to do next. So, your simple process of what’s going to happen next and your call to action. Sometimes people can put a million and one different calls to action, and that defeats the purpose because the person doesn’t know what to do. So, make sure you guide them and be specific. We want you to make this call, call us, book in a meeting, or whatever it is that works for you. Just make sure that you’re always directing them with plenty of calls to action on the site. Other things as well: testimonials. If you can get video testimonials, amazing. But even if you can’t, testimonials will really show your previous clients’ happiness. That’s definitely something you need on your site. Any accreditations or awards need to be showcased and highlighted if you have them. As I mentioned before, case studies are brilliant to put on the website.

**Greg:** Yeah, case studies are so important and often neglected, but again, remember that we’re trying to get into the customer’s head. They need to be able to go onto the website and say, “Yeah, that’s me. That’s exactly my situation.” Case studies are great for doing that because you can go in and say, “This is a problem that the client had. They didn’t…” Let’s use your London example. “They had a property in London. They didn’t have enough space. We had to come in and help them design it and maximise space. And this is what we’ve done. These are the problems we had to overcome. We had a really tight street we were working in.” All of a sudden, if you get a client that’s on that, they think, “That’s me. I live in a road like that. I’ve got this problem with that neighbour. I’ve got this.” All of a sudden, they really resonate. Case studies are so impactful, aren’t they? They get people to really buy into the story and also establish you as an authority in that area when you can deliver a case study like that. Once we’ve got all of that together, let’s talk about the next steps then. How do you put that together? What do you do once you’ve got all of that?

**Angie:** Then you’ll obviously bring that to your digital marketing agency. With ourselves, we would then put all that together, focusing on your pages and services, and try to bring some of your expertise into those services. So, it’s not just a dull page of “This is what we do.” Try to add value to that. If you’re on a page and you might be talking about extensions or something like that, talk about the different types of extensions that a property can have and how they’ll affect your particular property. Helpful, valuable information that will keep people hanging around on the website pages.

**Greg:** Right. Is there an ideal amount of pages that people need? Sometimes you see websites with literally just one page, and someone’s just scrolling from top to bottom. What do you recommend with that?

**Angie:** I mean, for SEO purposes, you really want at least 30 pages to build up to. You can start initially with five to ten pages with the services, and then with blogs and things like that, you want to develop that eventually to have that many pages as you go.

**Greg:** Yeah, 30 sounds a lot, but let’s break down the actual main site structure. So, if we were talking about the main pages, those five to ten pages, what were the big things that people should be thinking about?

**Angie:** Your homepage. A lot of people have an “About Us” page, but you could have an “About Us” section on the main page. You don’t need to have a whole page about us. Your services, it’s important to have service pages per page for SEO purposes rather than bundling all your services into one page. A gallery or where you have your case studies is important. And then a contact page.

**Greg:** Great. And I guess some other pages you can think about like case study pages and things like that, but then again, you could mix them onto others

, can’t you? You see some people have media and blog pages, which is what you were talking about earlier to build those out and get into that 30. Obviously, you’re probably not going to go to a website designer and say, “Right, I want 30 pages off the bat.” That’s a lot to ask for.

**Angie:** Exactly.

**Greg:** Just to highlight what you said there, how do they build up to those 30 pages over time that benefits SEO?

**Angie:** Yep. They might have five or six pages to start with, but one of those pages will be for blogs. Each month or week, you might add a different blog article, and that will count as an additional page.

**Greg:** Perfect. So, if you’re doing two blogs a month, before you know it, you’re going to be up to your 30 pages in a year or so. That’s really useful information there. Often, those pages aren’t all on the main menu search bar. That would get too crowded. Obviously, you’re going to have your three to five main sections at the top. A lot of those will be hidden pages anyway, just for SEO to pick up. That’s useful. Let’s just touch on SEO briefly. I know this isn’t the podcast to talk about SEO, and we can have other ones on that, but let’s talk about the importance of SEO and why it’s so crucial because there’s a delicate balance between getting a website right for design but then getting a website that actually ranks well on SEO. Why does that balance need to be found?

**Angie:** Well, obviously, you can have the best-looking website in the world, but if you haven’t got SEO on your website, then you’re not going to be found on Google. So, you’re missing out on all those customers searching for those key terms. It’s basically finding the balance of making sure that you’ve got those keywords in there, but it’s still a beautifully presented website.

**Greg:** Yeah, that’s right. It is a difficult thing to get right. I know when I was designing… well, no, I wasn’t designing. When I had websites designed for me many years back, there was always the battle between the designer and the SEO specialist. The designer would come up with something absolutely beautiful, and you’d think, “Wow!” Then the SEO person would get their hands on it and completely destroy it by adding words here and there, different titles, and you’d think, “Oh, now it looks awful.” But I guess one of the big phrases that I’ve always remembered is, “Where’s the best place to hide a dead body?” And they say, “Page two of Google,” because no one’s ever going to look there. That’s so important to remember, isn’t it? Exactly what you said: the best-looking websites, if you can’t find them, it’s absolutely pointless. You do need to strike that balance. The good thing about going to a company like yours, where they’re specialists not only in design but also in SEO, is that you can strike that balance of having a really beautiful, aesthetically pleasing website that also ranks well. Thinking about SEO, what are the expectations with SEO? You can have a brand-new website done. Where is that website going to rank? Even if the best SEO in the world is put on it, what’s initially going to happen?

**Angie:** It’s not an overnight job at all. Basically, make sure whoever’s doing your SEO gives you a good report, so you know what keywords they’re tracking. You’ll be able to see where they are and where they rank each week, each month, or however often they send you the reports. You want to be able to see them climbing up until you get to the top spots. You also want to see how popular those keywords are because you might be able to rank for a keyword, but no one’s searching for it. So, that doesn’t help. It needs to make sure that you’re searching for the strong keywords. Also, with Google My Business page, for a lot of construction companies, local SEO is really important. Having that Google business profile up to date and seeing where you are on the map is really important. Sometimes, it can take as much as six months to really get some results and see some stuff happening. But within that six months, you will see where you are in the scheme of things and how you are climbing up the ladder as you go.

**Greg:** Fantastic. Okay, so that just manages expectations a little bit, I think, for SEO, that it’s a long-term play. But the good thing about SEO is you’re spending every month on getting SEO done and optimised. Any SEO company you work with should be adding to the site and adding keywords, blogs, and all that sort of thing every single month, helping you be found by the algorithm. That was really useful information on SEO there and just really helps us manage expectations about how long SEO may take. So, thanks for running through all of that, Angie. Let’s just recap on some of the things we’ve been discussing today. We spoke about the importance of having the right website for your clients because we really want to show clients who we are as a company, but it doesn’t want to all be about us. It really needs to be about the client. So, what Angie was talking about specifically was focusing on their problems and the solutions that you provide uniquely as a company. So, that’s one of the first main things you need. You then spoke about the importance of using the StoryBrand framework of taking them through a narrative journey of how you’re the guide, getting them from their problem all the way through to their solution, and you are the go-to figure in that whole story process. We want to really build up your credibility on the website, and you can do that through things like case studies. We then spoke about the importance of design versus SEO and having the right design mixed in with the SEO. You want to make sure you get that balance right too. There really is a lot to think about and some practical steps to take away from that. One thing we always recommend on this show is giving the podcast out to people to give them a load of information so that they could potentially go out and do things themselves. One thing I would say is that websites are not really something that should be done by a construction business owner. That’s really important. There’s a lot that I do advocate doing yourself and saving yourself some money or getting someone in your team to do. Maybe just to throw that over to you, Angie, why do you think that a builder shouldn’t be taking on his website design? Because sometimes there are companies out there like Wix and Squarespace that will actually say, “Oh, we can get a website up in a few minutes.” Why are those so problematic?

**Angie:** I think you’ve got to stick to what you know. If you’re building your own website and you’re not a designer, and you don’t understand SEO, and you don’t understand the clients, where they’re going to click, and what gets them to engage, and making sure everything’s working, then you’re not going to end up with a decent website. Just like I wouldn’t go on to the building site, I think you should leave the design to the experts.

**Greg:** Yeah, 100%. I agree with that. It is something that you should pass off. We need to bear in mind that a website is going to last you maybe five years before you have to have a complete revamp, maybe longer. But it’s really important to make that investment into a website, get it right, get it popping, because that website can be responsible for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of pounds or dollars worth of work for your business. So, really useful information. Thanks so much for coming on today, Angie. If someone wanted to think about their website and maybe people have just got questions on whether their website actually looks any good or not, is there any tool or help that you can offer them?

**Angie:** Yeah, we actually offer a free website and social media audit. That’s no obligation, completely free. They just fill in a form and we’ll get back to them.

**Greg:** Perfect. Okay, so what does that audit do? They submit their website and you’re going through and analysing it, are you?

**Angie:** Yep. They submit their website and just tell me a bit about who their ideal client would be. Then I’ll go on with completely fresh eyes and give them a detailed review of what they’re doing right, what I suggest they improve on, and I’ll look at their website and their social media.

**Greg:** Perfect. Okay. Social media too. That’s really useful. So, what we’ll do, Angie, is we’ll put that in the show notes so people can click on that link and grab that. Just tell us what your website is called if people wanted to have a little browse around at some of the websites that you’re doing and what that StoryBrand framework looks like.

**Angie:** Yeah, it’s constructvirtual.com. On there, if you go onto the website page, you’ll see some examples of websites that we’ve created.

**Greg:** Fantastic. Alright, so thank you for your time today, Angie. Really appreciate it.

**Angie:** Alright, thank you.