From Science to Sales: International Website Optimisation
Murray Consultancy is a full service market research agency based in Liverpool. It was established by David Murray in 2000.
Murray Consultancy provides both qualitative and quantitative market research services for the public
Murray Consultancy’s core market had always been the public sector in the UK, working with clients such as the NHS, Merseyside Police and Liverpool City Council. However, as a consequence of the economic downturn in 2008, much public sector funding was cut and David predicted a dramatic fall in sales. “We wanted the business to continue to grow”, he explained, “and identified two potential growth areas: developing business in the private sector in the UK and exporting our services overseas”.
Their export journey began when they joined an international business group comprised of independent market research consultancies throughout Europe called BIG (Business Information Group). With this group, Murray Consultancy undertook a number of international research projects across Germany and Eastern Europe. “We realised we had something to offer an international market and decided to invest further in our export business”.
In 2011, David Joined UKTI’s Passport to Export Scheme, a structured programme of advice and support to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to develop their export business, and worked with Margaret Bourke as their International Trade Adviser (ITA). It was at a UKTI course on ‘Web Optimisation for International Trade’ that David realised the Murray Consultancy site was not fit for purpose and could work so much harder for the business. Margaret recommended the Export Communications Review (ECR).The ECR provides practical, impartial and straightforward advice to help companies improve their communications with overseas markets and often begins with an appraisal of the company’s website. Each review is conducted by a communications expert and is tailored to the company’s individual requirements.
Emma Johnson, an Export Communications Consultant, met with David in his offices and undertook a thorough review of Murray Consultancy’s website in light of the plans for export growth. “Emma’s review was very, very good!” exclaimed David, “and she followed it up with a comprehensive and detailed report of recommendations”. Some of the key points in Emma’s review included:
- Use international domains for the international audience and the ‘.co.uk’ for the UK: a ‘dot com’ domain, or the specific country domain (such as ‘dot de’ for Germany), appears more relevant to an international audience than a ‘dot co dot uk’ domain
- Have a call to action: ensure potential clients can see the international (+44) telephone number on the top right hand side of every page and can easily make contact by email
- Sell yourself! Emma pointed out that the tone of the website was overtly scientific rather than promoting the benefits Murray Consultancy offered to clients. She recommended specific improvements and also suggested including a ‘glossary of terms’ for those less familiar with market research jargon
- Include more international case studies: these help to demonstrate international credentials and also enhance local search engine optimisation
Whilst it’s early days to fully appreciate the impact of the new website, David’s had some promising feedback: “Our former representative in Sweden passed our details onto a potential new client. As a result of checking us out via our new website, this new client felt confident to invite us to pitch for an exciting new piece of business!”
Since the start of their export journey with UKTI, Murray Consultancy now has 14 overseas partners and export business is growing.
“The best thing about the ECR’, said David, “was that it helped us to rethink what we wanted from our website: before we’d seen it as an opportunity to promote our scientific credentials, but Emma helped us to realise that it’s also an important sales tool and showed us how to make the most of it!”
If you are thinking about developing your website for an international audience then maybe an ECR could help you too?
The Export Communications Review
The Export Communications Review (ECR) is delivered nationwide by a network of specially-trained accredited export communications consultants. Together with the client, the consultant puts together a programme of reviews to suit the needs and complexity of the exporter and their goals. Each review costs £500 + VAT, however, established companies with fewer than 250 employees may be eligible for a UKTI subsidy of £250 towards the cost of each of their first three reviews.
For more information please contact your ECR team on 0845 0342111 or [email protected].
Please follow this link to see how other Companies have benefitted from the ECR