What do you do when you’ve returned to the UK after running a backpackers’ hostel in Malawi for eight years? Setting up a business that sells children’s teepees may not seem the most obvious of answers, but for 123-reg customer Sarah Phillps-Chirwa it was the perfect next step. And so she founded Teepees By Lulu and Weasel.
“I moved back to the UK to have my second child and I was unsure what to do and it evolved from not being able to find what I wanted,” she said.
“I’ve got a 6 year old who loves to build dens out of anything possible and I was looking for something for her but I couldn’t find anything so I made one.”
That was back in February 2014 and from the desire to build something for her child to enjoy grew a now-thriving business. Sarah attracted a lot of her early customers through Facebook and the company’s Facebook page now has almost 16,500 fans.
But Sarah also knew that on its own this wasn’t enough, which is why she turned to 123-reg for help with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Sarah understood a good PPC campaign could ensure her site was appearing in prominent positions when potential customers search Google for terms relevant to her business.
“We have to keep up with everybody else. Everybody Googles, don’t they? We’re living in a society where every single person Googles. My husband calls me Mrs Google. He’ll ask me a question and I’ll just look it up and say here’s the answer. It’s something that everybody does,” Sarah said.
PPC allows Sarah’s business to grab a share of the huge number of visitors who use Google to find answers and products every single day.
“The traffic to the website has increased a large amount. I’m a little bit obsessive about Google Analytics and I quite like to watch it when I’m bored and I like look and seeing where the people have come from and I’m seeing more PPC than I was before,” she said.
“It’s either the PPC or the Facebook advertising that brings in new customers.”
And it’s not just direct sales, PPC ads have also helped Teepees By Lulu and Weasel make an initial connection with people who may become customers further down the line.
Sarah said: “PPC brings more exposure. It’s not just for sales. It’s planting the seed of a teepee in somebody’s head when they Google and they go ‘oh, that’s pretty’. And they might not necessarily buy at the same time but they might click through from the website and like the Facebook page then order later. It might not necessarily be the ad that makes them buy straight away, but it’s something they might come back to later.”
As for getting started with PPC, Sarah says 123-reg made it easy for her: “I think it was Sascha. He kept calling me telling me it was a great idea and I should do it and I was ‘I’ll call you back. It’s definitely a good idea, I’m just not ready yet.’ And he was very patient. He waited and when I was ready we set it all up in a couple of days.”
She also recommended businesses that haven’t yet tried PPC give it a go, as there’s “nothing to lose”.
As for Sarah, she’s got one eye on the future: “Realistically the next step would be to get a bigger workshop and have more staff. I have a friend of mine helping called Frances, and we’re really busy. There’s just two of us at the moment. It helps to have 123-reg to take some of the stuff of my hands. The bits that for me are complicated, but are easy for someone else to do.”
If you think your business could benefit from PPC advertising, get in touch with our team on 0333 014 4550, or learn more about our PPC services here.