Small Business Web Design to

Compete with Large Big Budget Companies

To compete with large companies with large marketing budgets we utilise growth hacking techniques while building websites to maximise SEO visibility of the website. The approach has been coined the Cinderella Technique after it started consistently transforming small businesses." Shane Drumm

Firstly, let me tell you a quick story about my brother that would be fitting in any Disney fairy tale....

August 2016, my brother Darren made a dramatic return to Ireland from Australia en-route via Vietnam.

Earlier that week he had a small accident where he jumped off a bridge while being chased by some outraged locals on scooters, breaking his shoulder and severely damaging his knee. (There was no water under the bridge!!)

It wasn't till he was in the hospital he discovered that his travel insurance had run out...

So he had to be rolled onto a plane, cast cut-off and sent back to Ireland, where our father collected him from the airport and took him straight to the airport!

Just a few months earlier, Darren had been living the high life in Western Australia working as a carpenter in the mines as a fly in/fly out. Then in a mere few months, he was broke, bandaged up and back in rainy rural Ireland.

My Brother Darren

While hopping around the place on one leg, he was lucky enough to find love of his life. Which was quickly the end of talk of him going back to Australia to reclaim his riches in the mines.

His focus changed and decided to lean on his carpentry skills to open up his own business...

Over the years he had worked with all sorts of carpenters from home renovations, fitted furniture, attic conversions, wooden flooring roofing and in the mines in Australia. So he started up a business and built a bit of a website and got some business advice from a local authority for SME businesses.

Me being his big brother I wanted to help out my brother in need to get him back on his feet with a new website

(I had built a few websites in college so was more than happy to help)

We listed every service he could provide 1st and 2nd Fixing, Fitted Furniture, Buildings, Attic Conversions, Patios, Tiling, Painting, Custom Made Furniture, Wooden Flooring, Wardrobes.

Created a page for each, found some images online added some text and made a excellent looking website, got some traffic...


The website was not delivering leads for Darren

It was getting some traffic with Facebook and Google ads, but not many actual concrete leads!!!

It wasn't like Darren had a huge budget or a lot of time to get results, so I had to come up with some out of the box thinking to turn this around before it was too late.

January 2018, I started reading up on marketing strategies and made a 3 staged plan to try to turn things around:

Stage 1: Find Your Magic Dust

With Darren's website, he has offered everything, but we gave everything on the website equal footing. We never prioritised services against each other mainly, because we didn't know-how.

We needed to Define a Clear Value Proposition & Service Offering

First thing was applying the 80/20 rule to Darren's current Service Offering

According to 80/20 rule if I could focus on the most critical 20% of services, it would equal 80% of profits

I started going through the last 3 months of Google Analytics data and quickly realized that 25% of traffic is looking for kitchen fitters - this was exactly the opportunity I was looking for

This was a clear opportunity, so started gathering more data on kitchen fitting. Google is full of user intent data as before anybody wants something; they Google it.

With these insights, we created dedicated webpages for all our localities instead of having one generic one webpage covering all local areas. This lets people know straight away we covered their location.

We also based the homepage around kitchen fitting and directed all links a new, improved kitchen fitting page

We now had 5X more focus on kitchen fitting which over the next 3 months, which very closely equated to 80% of website visitors seeing a kitchen fitting page.

We started to see a steady increase in traffic from January onwards after we implemented the changes

The new pages and dedicated focus on specific keywords also had a positive impact on the traffic coming to the site

The best thing was it was targeted traffic which wanted out services of kitchen fitting

Authors Note: Niche is always better, especially starting. A jack of all trades is not treated the same as a specialist and everybody wants the best service even though they are not all willing to pay for it. Top talented people are known for one thing so you need to ask what is your one thing. Laser focus is key.

We identified the kitchen fitting niche for Darren's website to focus on which was key to success.

Stage 2: Make an Memorable Impression

The next most important thing was making sure we the perfect first impression for anybody who came to the website...

This comes down to improving conversion, and I went through the thought process of a website visitor:

  1. Are they a professional service? "Is the website new, mobile, and loads fast?"
  2. Do they offer the services I'm looking for? "Does this match what I typed into Google before I arrived?"
  3. Do they have any pictures or testimonials of previous work? "Do they have a facebook page I can check out for reviews?"
  4. How do I contact them? "Where is their phone number or an easy contact form?"

That is the split-second thoughts that go through 80% of website visitors...

The website needs to load quickly and look professional

Most stick around less than 15 seconds. That’s how long you have to capture someone’s attention on your website. So, if you don’t do that in less than a quarter of a minute, you’ve lost them. dubbed this “the 15 Second Rule.”

If you haven’t generated interest in 15 seconds, then you probably aren’t going to!

We wanted to make sure the website focused on delivering a great website visitor experience by having a quick and easy website providing what they expected

Authors Note: We choose WordPress as all WordPress sites are mobile optimized and look professional straight out of the box when you use a theme. What we did different second time round was to apply conversion techniques to the website that were bespoke to Darren's business instead of leaving theme defaults.

We choose Siteground for hosting the website as it was quicker than Blacknight and Bluehost. Also, had LetsEncrypt which mean'tr we could install a free SSL cert.

The website should make it very easy to contact you

If a person has decided they want more information we wanted to make it as easy as possible to contact us

We had an engaging popup contact form and the phone number on every single page

This appeared as they scrolled past 25% and if they tried to leave the website

Also, popped up if they clicked "request a quote" button in the header

The content should match what users typing into Google before they arrive are

Luckily Google provides people with this search data - all I needed was a list of seed keywords

So I started gathering a list of all keywords by merely begining to Google kitchen fitting and seeing what auto-populated, then found a tool called Ubersuggest that did this for me

Also, noted all competitors who had ads appearing (ads cost money, and somebody else had already done their research so could piggy back on the work they did previously)

From there was able to plug these into SEM Rush (an SEO ninja tool that provides you with in-depth keyword analysis)

It gave me the best opportunity keywords of my list and I was able to apply the 80/20 rule to that list even further narrow down on focus areas. 

Cash & carry is a kitchen flat pack company in Ireland and have a wholesale factory in our locality, and there was a clear market need for people to install these types of kitchens.

These were similar to IKEA flatpack kitchens...

The More Niche the Better to the point there is reasonable demand

So we had a target niche of kitchen fitting and even more niche in "fitting flatpack kitchens"

We made this loud and clear at the top of the page so there would be no question for any new visitor

The website needs to show pictures of previous work and an active social media presence

This was the next section of the webpage - showing some work in progress and a screenshot of a facebook review

We also had a link to the Facebook page for people to check out...

Authors Note: At the start, Darren didn't have a whole lot of images, so we used pixabay a free copyright image downloader, but once he had his images we replaced them. 

Darren had only done 1 kitchen previous so we tried to showcase that as best as we could. There was a significant increase in leads with his own photos.

Stage 3: Be Your Own Best Advocate

Finally, the last thing I wanted Darren to start doing was broadcasting his work

My preference was email marketing but Darren had no email list of contacts so we had to look at utilizing social media in particular facebook. On facebook he had the advantage of quickly building an audience by asking friends and family to share his new facebook page

The reason email was my preference because its an expected medium for B2C marketing and usually permission based, where the consumer has given the brand permission to contact them by providing their email address

Permission-based email marketing is the foundation of every successful email marketing strategy. published some B2C Email Marketing Statistics in August 2019

  • Welcome emails are incredibly useful: on average, 320% more revenue is attributed to them on a per email basis than other promotional emails.
  • Consumers who purchase products through email spend 138% more than those that don’t receive email offers.
  • Email subscribers are 3x more likely to share content on social media than leads who came through another channel, according to QuickSprout.
  • 80% of retail professionals indicate that email marketing is their most significant driver of customer retention (the next closest channel? Social media identified by just 44% of those same professionals).

It is still the same principles you wanted to use when it comes to content on facebook business page and email...

  1. Showcase Work that you have done with lots of pictures
  2. Highlight any upcoming offers or benefits to followers
  3. Broadcast business updates such as new services

Authors Note: It is hard to take any credit for this. Darren took pictures of everything he did which made broadcasting so much easier. At the start, it was friends and family, sharing but the facebook page snowballed thanks to the high quality content Darren was providing.

The Results 3 Months Later 

To recap, I accomplished what I set out to do when I made a plan in xmas 2017 to help my little brother turn his business around.

We create a 3-staged plan to:

  1. Narrow down his service offering to be more niche
  2. Convert more website visitors by providing a great user experience
  3. Start broadcasting about his work to as many people as possible

Darren started got 31 enquiries about kitchen fitting from February to May!!!

He kept putting up more pictures of his work on facebook which built his following to over 1000 people on Facebook

He was hired by Cash & Carry to become their registered flatpack kitchen fitter on a contract role

Then he was hired by a luxury kitchen fitter in South Cork on a contract basis to lead a team installing $50K kitchen units

Started expanding his niche service offering slowly to custom-built wardrobes. Still, the facebook posts acted as a flywheel and brought attention to other services we listed out originally such as building, roofing, attic conversions.

That was only the start for Darren.....

I have provided an update at the end of the page where he is now nearly 2 years later coming up to xmas 2019

What I did for Darren, I did subconsciously for all other websites going forward

I started thinking about the end customer needs instead of the business owner

The majority of websites have too much information with no clear service offering - missing the real opportunity

Then they take too long to load and aren't even mobile optimized

and worst of all 99% of companies I have worked with actually have email lists but chose not to send out emails to them.

When I apply my 3 principles to their business, the results are consistent with Darren.


The Cinderella Technique helps transform SME websites to compete with the big established companies and by creating an Extraordinary Impression on prospects and website guests.

Stage 1 - Find Your Magic Dust
Transformations are hard. Just because you are not getting invited to the ball, do something about it. Come up with a plan on how you can change your situation by reviewing your current service offering and identify areas to improve to find your magic dust.

Stage 2 - Make an Memorable Impression
Once Cinderella had a gown on, no one recognised her; dressing the part transformed her into a different proposition. From polishing up a website to providing insightful content, positioning yourself as a thought leader. Stand out from competitors by making an memorable impression. You do not want to look like every other website - you want to bring your own personal touch to connect with your audience.

Stage 3 - Be Your Own Best Advocate
At midnight Cinderellas transformation expired, but when the prince was looking for the owner of the slipper, she stood up for herself, and claimed what was hers. She was her own best advocate and that is what you need to be for your brand. From using social media to monthly email newsletters, you need to showcase your work and not be afraid to ask for what you want.

To make a transformation, you need to be willing to put in the work and sacrifices as there is no easy way. You want to dress the part before you are  there to help others see you in a new light and then finally be willing to stand up for yourself.

Darren's Results 2 Years Later

Just coming up xmas 2019

2 years later I tried to help Darren's business by applying The Cinderella Technique mentioned above

I can report the mission successful...

After working for Cash & carry and a Kitchen Fitting contractor he developed excellent business acumen all while still doing work for himself on evenings and weekends

With the website always bringing in leads and after building up an active audience of followers and email list, it made logical sense to start selling his kitchens.

He experimented with this and has sold over 20 kitchens to date and ready to invest further into the business.

He is in the process of building a new shed for his company and hired an apprentice to help with the new workload.

The future is bright if he keeps up the hard work and I highly recommend follow his journey on Facebook as his work is awe-inspiring:

Darren's Shed for Storing and Making New Kitchens

Finally, most importantly he is now married to the same lady he didn't go back to Australia for and had 2 children with her.

I'm lucky enough to be godfather for one of them a real fairy tale.

And they lived happily ever after.

The End.

Read how you can do the same in our step by step guide below: