An environment specialist which planted digital at the heart of its business has grown by 20% over the last two years. GPT Environmental used digital technology to market its new brand, which resulted in major new contracts and the opportunity to open a second office.
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The impact of GPT Environmental’s investment in digital has been impressive: website click-throughs from Google increased by 85% in the last year, while visibility in terms of impressions rose by a whopping 161% over the same period. This online success has also translated into more sales enquiries, which doubled from 2017 to 2018 and the firm is in the process of increasing its workforce, as well as planning to open a second office in Exeter within the next six months.
“A key driver for the rebrand was a need to reflect the growing ambition of the company”
“There were lots of positive benefits after re-launching under the GPT brand but one of the major challenges came in the drop-offs we experienced in website traffic as a result of changing website URL,” explained marketing manager Sam Chick. “The new website has been successful in changing perceptions, but we suffered initially in terms of visibility and the amount of sales leads being generated online.”
The team behind GPT Environmental had an established track record of providing a range of specialist environmental services, including pollution control, contaminated land management, and flood defence services. A key driver for the rebrand was a need to reflect the growing ambition of the company and position it as a business with the capability to handle major projects – a strategy that involved a full revamp of its digital marketing strategy.
Looking for new digital solutions, the company signed up for the Welsh Government’s Superfast Business Wales programme, attending a workshop on search engine optimisation (SEO) and receiving 1-2-1 digital business advice from a specialist consultant. GPT Environmental also qualified for a full review of its website and attended a business briefing on how to comply with the EU’s new data regulations (GDPR).
“After engaging with the programme, we made significant changes to our website and reviewed the entire digital strategy”
“After engaging with the programme, we made significant changes to our website and reviewed the entire digital strategy,” Chick continues. “Our content is now much more likely to be picked up by search engines and the way we monitor and track web traffic has vastly improved. We changed the way we analysed data from Google Analytics and Search Console and introduced new monitoring software from Moz, that not only helps us track how our own website is performing, but also benchmarks against our competitors.”
Around nine-out-of-ten Welsh SMEs currently have a website, although research shows that many are missing a trick by focusing solely on ‘promotion’, while ignoring how their customers make buying decisions online. According to the Welsh Economy Research Unit’s latest Digital Maturity Survey, there was a 13% decline in businesses using SEO and web analytics, suggesting more could be done to understand customers’ online behaviour – something GPT Environmental has fully taken on board and reaped the rewards from.
“We are looking at how using data and digital technology can help us make improvements across every part of our business”
GPT Environmental’s digital strategy has also succeeded in making the company more competitive, as well as enhancing its data security – a factor in tendering for major framework contracts. It recently secured a 3-year contract with energy giant Western Power, with the option to extend, and is now looking at ways of harnessing digital technology to make its internal processes more efficient and streamlined.
“We are looking at how using data and digital technology can help us make improvements across every part of our business,” added Chick. “We’re in the process of rolling out new Construction Manager software across our team to help them manage individual job costings and feed directly into accounts and our consultants are using tablets for digitally recording and submitting data gathered from site visits. Changes to the way we store our data has improved overall security as well as ensuring we are fully compliant with GDPR.”