When we began the rebrand of Geartech Midlands we knew it was important to understand the personalities that drive the business. Husband and wife team, Tony and Louise love nothing more than a weekend at the Goodwood Revival, they have a passion for racing motorcycles from the 1930s through to GP machines of the 1970s and early 80s. The team at Geartech strives to maintain old-school ethics which are often lost in today’s modern business.
Communicating the strengths of business with history
Geartech Midlands is a well-established transmission specialist located in Hartlebury, Worcestershire. The existing logo lacked individuality and wasn’t very memorable, they had a basic website and various little-used social media channels. The site had been built by Yell.com using their standard template and was populated with predictable library images of cogs and gears. The body text was vague and didn’t really communicate anything about their breadth of experience and specialist services.
A retrospective take on good values and workmanship
Our first task was to prepare a selection of vintage-style logo options. We presented a mood board that showed an array of inspiring references, including bearing packaging from the 1930s to mid-century workshop signage. Colours, patterns and typography started to come together. Working with the customer, we developed the preferred options into the final logo with a suite of graphic assets. The design is modern enough to sit comfortably in today’s world but with a nod to a bygone era.
Getting the rebranded business online
One of our first tasks was to unravel the mysteries of the existing website. As we find with many new customers, they did not know where it was hosted, who had registered the domain names or where the social media channels had come from! We unified the domain name and email address and embarked on a rather difficult battle to extract various assets from the control of Yell.com.
We changed the social media profiles to one consolidated username, set up a Google MyBusiness account to include all their business information. We populated profiles with images, biography text, opening hours and reconnected their deactivated Google Maps account at the correct location.
Design and build of a bespoke website
We visited Geartech’s premises as soon as the Covid lockdown lifted enough to travel and carry out work. Once on-site, we took extensive photographs and video which would provide us with unique and personalised content for the new website.
Following this, our wireframe plan was presented along with visuals and an explanatory video to describe how the new site would work and look. Following approval, the design quickly got underway and finally it was built using WordPress and Elementor to enable cost-effective updates into the future. The site benefits from a host of unique graphic assets including bespoke video and photography, dividers, buttons, call-out boxes, colour palette, fonts and custom navigation. The content was carefully and strategically written to be informative, relevant and enable customers and search engines to digest it easily.
Geartech’s owner Tony Perkin campaigns a TZ350 in GP Originals – the new brand was applied to the bike in vinyl applied by our preferred vinyl wrap partner Studio 997.
Building the brand with more assets
Whilst the website was taking shape we worked on getting the Geartech van liveried up in the new style. We collected their Citroen Dispatch and our vinyl partner Studio 997 in Windsor removed the old vinyl and then translated our design perfectly onto the vehicle.
A suite of stationery rounded out the transformation with letterheads, compliments slips, business cards, NCR invoices, guarantee form, stickers plus a vintage-themed telephone sheet to give out to customers. Of course, a new sign to go above the entrance to the office was an essential addition.
Delivering a designer service
We know that our customers must concentrate their expertise in to their own field of business. It is unreasonable to expect them to start learning about the complexities of the Internet and how to leverage its potential. Increasingly we are finding that new customers have previously been sold expensive subscriptions for services they do not understand or need.
We always try to lead the customer with a defined strategy for their new website to be sure it will satisfy both visitors and search engines. We research their services and prepare body text to be subsequently checked and amended by the client ensuring that technical references are correct. Each stage is signed off before embarking on the next part of the build which keeps the budget on track.
There is a wealth of information that should be ‘under the hood’ including search engine optimised (SEO) hidden text applied to every image, social media cards and meta descriptions for every page. Most customers are completely unaware of these vital missing ingredients because they can’t see them and web design is a complex topic.
These essential back-end details will not be offered with websites that are built on a subscription service, free as part of a wider marketing package or supplied for a few hundred pounds. Think of it as buying a car with no engine installed, you have a shiny new car sat on the drive for passers-by to look at but you won’t be going anywhere in it!
Our web design services and deliverables
Below are some of the details required for a site to start to be organically visible on Google without relying solely on pay-per-click advertising:
- Unique design and content for each client.
- Every image has a custom-written descriptive ALT tag.
- Incoming authorititive links from other relevant sites
- A strong url
- Customised Search Engine Results Page (SERPS) text for every web page.
- Social media cards to serve meaningful links and images on Facebook and Twitter – these also work in WhatsApp, Messenger, LinkedIn and other sharing platforms.
- Long-tail key phrases to best capture your customer’s search queries.
- Favicon (the little icon saved in favourites).
- email sign-up integration where required.
- Google Analytics and Search Console integration.
- Submission of XML site maps.
- Implementation of Google Maps API to work correctly on your website.