The Mandall Upholstery website was one of the first websites I built after I decided that I’d like to focus full-time on building WordPress websites.
As I look back on it now, I’d dearly love to rebuild this site using some of the experience and improved tools that I have gained over the past six years.
The problem is …the website is still performing so well that it’s hard to realistically justify the cost and effort of a rebuild.
In this post, I’ll explain some of the features of this site and the reasons why it is still performing so well.
- Fundamental structure – Core Web Vitals
- Keyword research and SEO
- Local Search – Google Business Profile
- Regular updates of blog posts
- Quote request form with photo uploads
Each of these factors contributed to the success of this site.
Fundamental structure – Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals is a term referring to a set of measurements that Google introduced a few years ago to indicate a webpage’s overall user experience.
There are three central parameters which measure loading, interactivity and visual stability. The technical names for these three indicators are largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift.
There is also a second set of parameters: mobile friendly, safe browsing, https and lack of interstitial popups.
Although this website was built years before these core web vitals were introduced, the fundamentals of the site were such that it still measures well. The goal is to have each of the measures in the green zone, ie above 90%. As you can see, this site meets the requirements of Google core web vitals,
There are many factors which contribute to the good user experience indicated by such a CWV report, including:
- The site’s domain name is hosted on a fast DNS server – dnsmadeeasy
- The site is hosted on a optimised managed WordPress hosting server on the Google Cloud platform
- Hero images are served from Cloudinary image server
- All pages of the site are cached at server level by the LiteSpeed cache and smaller images throughout the site are optimised by the LiteSpeed image optimisation facility.
- Fast delivery of the site to visitors is assured through the use of the Google Content Delivery Network (CDN).
All of these factors become the foundation upon which the functionality of the site is built.
Keyword Research and SEO
The beginning of any website project should involve a detailed analysis of keywords and phrases that encapsulate the business’s unique selling proposition (USP). This involves both discussions with the business owner and analysis of trends in keyword traffic using tools such as SEMrush and Ubersuggest.
The questions to the owner include “Who is the customer that you really want to attract?” and “What is the product or service that you are offering them?” Most owners will need to be directed away from the belief that they want “everyone” as a customer.
The answers to these questions will be the starting point for analysing keywords and phrases in the online tools. Typing a phrase such as “upholstery quote Brisbane” will reveal data such as the popularity of that phrase, the level of competition for that keyword and an indication of the difficulty to rank for that phrase.
Once a selection of target keywords is decided the basic layout of the site can be determined. Pages, posts, FAQ’s etc can all be planned to present the content for the search engines to index, and hopefully rank, the website for.
A list of phrases such as “upholstery quote Brisbane northside” and “upholstery quote insurance” were targeted for this website and content was then built around them.
For many of these phrases, the site still ranks at the top of Google’s “local pack” and also natural search. Over the years, the number of phrases for which the site ranks has increased as further content has been added and pages have been updated.
Local Search – Google Business Profile
Local Search is a specialised field of SEO which focusses on enabling potential customers to search for both WHAT and WHERE. With the increased convenience of smartphones with their inbuilt GPS location facilities, an enquirer can find products and services in the vicinity of their actual location. Searches such as “coffee shop near me”, or simply “coffee shop”, will display businesses that are within the local area.
This doesn’t just magically happen. Businesses need to have setup their local search profiles online with the major directories such as Google Business Profile and Bing Places for Business. Google Business Profile (GBP) is by far the major player in this space.
Yvonne Clark of Local Marketing 101 setup, and continues to maintain, the Google Business Profile for Mandall Upholstery. This involved optimising many parameters such as categories, services, products and NAP (name, address, phone). “Near enough” really isn’t “good enough” in this space …the details need to be exact and consistent in every citation.
Successful local search is not a “set and forget” proposition. Google (and customers) want to know that the business is alive and active. This means that the business must make regular updates to their profile with posts, photos and reviews.
Yvonne continues to write regular keyword-rich blogs on both the website and the GBP profile.
This activity progressively increases the number of search terms for which the business is found by potential clients – especially in the areas immediately surrounding Albany Creek where the business is located.
Because I live in Brendale, which is a neighbouring suburb to Albany Creek, Mandall upholstery website is displayed at the top of the “local pack” and at the top of the natural search for many terms.
The term “modern country upholstery” was the subject of a post which Yvonne had written both for the website and for the GBP. It has been indexed and is ranking in the search results.
Quote request form with photo uploads
Quote request form
The main purpose of the website is to lead visitors to the form where they are able to submit a form requesting a quote.
Website forms have been a standard feature for many years now, but in recent years there have been many improvements and added features. My experience has been that the file upload feature is one which is extremely useful, but one that doesn’t work really reliably in many of the implementations.
The form on this site has gone through a number of iterations until I settled on using Gravity Forms with an extra feature from Gravity Wiz. In the near future, I’ll be swapping over to using Fluent Forms as I now have an unlimited lifetime license for this product and I’m very impressed with the product and the support.
The file upload works will on smartphones and the majority of quote requests are accompanied with a number of photos taken directly on the phone while filling in the form.
The feature I have submitted from Gravity Wiz is to display the uploaded images in the Thank You page which visitors are directed to after submission of the form. In this way, a visitor can be confident that their images have been received correctly.
Some technical aspects of the website
|Hosting||The site is hosted on the Google Platform through the Closte managed WordPress hosting application. It is a LiteSpeed server and so LiteSpeed cache and LiteSpeed image optimisation are available.|
|Content Delivery Network (CDN)||Closte delivers content through the Google Cloud CDN.|
|Theme and Page Builder||The site is built using the Cornerstone page builder within the Pro Theme from Themeco.|
|Backups||Along with the regular backups provided as part of the hosting platform, the site is also backed up using UpDraft Plus to the Microsoft Azure platform.|
|Domain Registration and DNS||Management of the domain name is provided through my associate site – through my reseller relationship with TPP Wholesale. DNS records are handled on the Closte platform through Google Domains.|
|Search Engine Optimisation||Rank Math, SEMRush|