1 App. 160 Websites. How we did it and the lessons learned.
25 Days Ago in Effective Promotion and Marketing
LocalPI wanted a fully localised website for every town and city in the UK.
Each site required unique combinations of services, prices (and of course SEO). All the sites were to be managed centrally via a secure client portal.
Go to any of these sites and hit About > Branch Finder to view the full list.
Some bits we're much easier than we imagined, for example:
There were some difficult bits. But most of these pertained to the sheer quantity of websites, and were out of our control. For example:
Good planning was also essential. My first idea was (naively) to base pricing on the website location. But there was an obvious flaw in this approach that I didn't consider initially. What if somebody lived in Grantham (cheaper pricing) but required the service to be carried out in London (more expensive)?
This was a big challenge. There is a maximum of 100 websites per certificate, and each website requires 2 (one for the www version of the address and one for the non-www version).
The only way we found to achieve this as clunky at best. We created 4 different deployments of the master website, each serving https certificates to 40 domains.
Because we were managing 160 websites, some of the bulk management work was very repetitive and monotonous.
Making these actions easy for the client to perform and understand required some careful planning with the back-end code and within the client's user interface
Making each site regionally relevant was essential for both SEO and to engage meaningfully with customers in each area.
To this end we required plenty of unique data for each town and city. For example we had
These had to be gathered and organised in the first instance. And once live, they need to be easily managed, updated and maintained by the client's staff.
This project required a lot of work.
Not only from a development standpoint, but also from the client's staff in terms of compiling data and their management team in terms of aligning prices and services.
SEO was easier than expected in many areas, but achieving good results in challenging areas like London, Birmingham and Manchester was significantly more difficult.
My name is Martin and I've been your host for this article.
I am by no means a strong writer, but I hope you found it of value.
If so, why not sign up to our newsletter?
It's sent once a month with our latest tips and advice. We don't spam, share your info, or any such sort thing.
I also run a Facebook group called Small Business Website Help. It does what it says on the tin.