Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane may seem like a bad idea to some, but for the team at Skydive Central North Carolina, it’s all in a days work. Based out of Laney’s Airport in Maiden, NC, near the western shores of Lake Norman, the company provides tandem skydiving for thrill-seekers and bucket-listers alike.
At just 33 miles away, Skydive Central North Carolina is the closest Drop Zone from downtown Charlotte and draws folks not just from the local area, but many routinely make the drive from as far away Asheville, Greenville and Spartanburg. With great views of the Lake, foothills and the Charlotte skyline, they offer some of the best, most scenic skydiving in the Carolinas.
In a lot of ways, Skydive Central NC and Tangled Web Media are in a very similar situation. Both of us have been at our respective trades for a long time, but both companies are looking to get a foothold in the local area after officially opening shop in 2015. It’s never easy breaking into a new market, so when owner Kelvin Wilkerson Jr called me up asking for some help with Skydive Central NC’s online presence, I was excited to oblige.
Their main priority: a boost in search rank. I got to work ensuring that the fundamentals of their website’s code structure was optimized to be SEO-friendly, all elements of the site were accessible, the content featured targeted keywords and loading times were reduced. All good things, but I knew there was more to be done.
A high ranking on Google is a great goal, but usually when a company asks for SEO help, what they’re really looking for is a way to make their website generate more business for them. Getting eyes on the site is obviously a crucial step, but it’s all for nothing if the site isn’t converting those visitors to actual customers. Without a definitive plan to identify and address the needs of visitors, a website is nothing more than an online phone book ad – it lets people know you exist and how to contact you, but it doesn’t provide them with a reason to do so.
After spending some more time analyzing not only SkydiveCentralNC.com, but also many of the competitors in the local region, I began to see some shortcomings. Putting myself in the shoes of someone searching for a company to do my first jump with, there was nothing about his site that would make me choose his company over his competition. After further discussion with Kelvin, we agreed that while more could and would be done to improve his domain authority, a more holistic approach to improving his website from a user perspective would likely go a lot further towards creating customers than solely trying to push his site up Google’s results.
Keep in mind that Skydive Central NC had just built their existing site less than a year before, so committing money to a revamp so soon couldn’t have been an easy pill to swallow. It says a lot about Kelvin and his commitment to his company’s online success that he was willing to go out on a limb and trust me that an overhaul was needed. I stressed to Kelvin that everything we needed was already out there – a great product, positive reviews, an awesome reputation, lots of photos. All those things make choosing Skydive Central NC a no-brainer. We just needed to consolidate those elements and present them more effectively.
After sitting down and discussing next steps, we identified the areas to improve. This meant going back to basics to identify their target visitor and figure out what SkydiveCentralNC.com needed to provide those people in order to convince them to book a skydive. When you have the type of business where people are literally putting their lives in your hands, you can imagine that potential customers will be extra thorough in their research before making a commitment. We both felt strongly that without creating a degree of trust and confidence through the website itself, we’d continue to see lackluster results, so we set out to accomplish that in several ways.
- Give the site an updated look to improve perception of the company.
- Refocus the home page content and layout to emphasize social proof. Draw from their many positive testimonials on social media and stress the company’s perfect review scores on both Facebook and Google+.
- Strive to build a larger social media review footprint – specifically on Google+ – so that the rating score is displayed to searchers in Google’s results.
- Display certification crests in high visibility areas on the site to establish credibility and emphasize the team’s vast experience and qualifications.
- Use images to convey excitement and fun while stressing safety, family atmosphere, location and affordability in the content.
- Create more visible and consistent calls to action throughout the site.
Once these goals were accomplished our next challenge was figuring out ways to market the company more effectively online. We agreed that a great strategy would be to create a new landing page advertising how Skydive Central NC will match competitor’s Groupons to draw in searchers looking for competitor discounts. A corresponding Google AdWords campaign with that focus will further augment the campaign.
I’m very proud with how the new website is shaping up. I believe now when visitors come to the Skydive Central NC, they’ll have the confidence and the information they need to make the leap (pardon the pun) from visitor to customer. More exciting improvements are in store. Head on over to skydivecentralnc.com to have a look at our work-in-progress. If you’re a local in the market for the thrill of the a lifetime with a great skydive operator who treats everyone like family, book your adventure today!