Halter’s Cycles

Digital Strategy, Web Development, and Merchandising for Central NJ’s Top Bicycle Retailer

Why Would a Bike Shop Hire a Marketing Agency?

Central NJ’s #1 Indie Bike Shop

Halter’s Cycles, has been serving the Central New Jersey cycling community since 1987. They stock a huge selection of road, mountain, and hybrid bikes from top-rated brands like Cannondale, Santa Cruz, Felt, Haro, Masi, Surly, and Kona. Staffed by avid cyclists and top-notch mechanics—they know their stuff.

Halter’s website wasn’t mobile-friendly, easy to update, search-engine optimized, and it wasn’t generating the web and foot traffic it once had.

Halter’s Cycles’ owner, Jason Fenton, is deeply invested in the NJ cycling community. The trail-steward at Central NJ’s Six Mile Run mountain-biking trails, he has worked diligently to form a vital partnership between the State Park there at Six Mile Run and the Jersey Off-Road Bicycling Association (JORBA). He also acts on the Board of Directors of the NJ Chapter of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) and sponsors the races held every year at Six Mile Run.

Like Many Small Businesses

Mr. Fenton does a lot of his own marketing. He actively maintains his social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and manages very responsive Google My Business and Yelp accounts. When he’s not in the shop, on the trails, or with his family, he’s often found on online forums offering advice and encouragement to bicycle enthusiasts of all ages, skill-levels, and preferences. In short, he understands the importance of his digital footprint and works incredibly hard to ensure Halter’s Cycles’ brand stands for something bigger than just another place that sells bikes.

Facing stiff competition from online retailers Halter’s is always looking for cost-effective ways to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

As many bicycle shops around the country are squeezed by online retailers Mr. Fenton wanted to reinvigorate the energy around the shop’s brand and bring new customers in the door.

Crafting a Visual Narrative for Halter’s Cycles

Bikes, Bikes, and More Bikes

The best small businesses are run by enthusiasts who eat, sleep, and live with what they sell. They give their passion and knowledge to the community and no doubt Mr. Fenton would be doing exactly the same thing even if he wasn’t getting paid for it. It’s our task to translate that energy into the first thing most new customers will see—the website.

Storytelling: Show Don’t Tell

Halter’s has a substantial social media presence built around photos of their favorite bikes and cycling gear and customers with their new bike purchases. We created custom content types to repurpose this valuable content they were already creating for social media channels for the website itself. Now every social media post that gets translated to the site creates a unique, search-friendly web page containing a contact form and call to action that ensures visitors are given plenty of opportunities to contact the shop.

Promoting Halter’s Other Services

We Created unique landing pages for Halter’s main services then we spread calls to action throughout the site to drive customers to them. We made sure the content architecture of every landing page was search-engine friendly and contained relevant information and content that provides value to their visitors which helps tremendously when it comes to search engine rankings.

Bike Repair and Maintenance

Along with bicycles, gear, and apparel sold in the store, Halter’s Cycles has one of the best services departments in the state and their expert mechanics perform bike service and repairs on all reputable brands of bicycles. They maintain the bikes they sell (often for years) and provide complete warranty coverage through the manufacturer for any defective bikes or parts a customer may come across. We created a service and repairs page that includes the shop’s price menu for common repairs and provides a detailed list of the manufacturers who’s bikes they work on.

Bike Fitting

Along with the traditional sales and service, Mr. Fenton has invested significant time and energy in developing his custom bike fitting service and maintains a huge inventory of parts allowing him to ensure every road bike he sells is configured to conform to the unique geometry of his customers’ bodies and providing the most comfortable riding experience possible. Here we developed a long form sales page complete with custom contact form and call to action.

Bike Trade-Ins

Halter’s Cycles now takes trade-ins through Bicycle Blue Book. Designed to help customers unlock the value of their used bikes when they are shopping for a new one. The bicycle trade-in program serves to help customers value their bikes and make better informed decisions about whether to upgrade individual components on their bicycle or purchase a new one.

On-Demand Branding: WordPress + WooCommerce + Printful

Bringing to life the Rainbow Unicorn logo on American Apparel T-Shirts

With WordPress, WooCommerce, and Printful, Halter’s Cycles gets a unique way to  market their shop while customers get some funky threads. Better yet, since the T-Shirts are only printed after the customer places their order there’s no upfront investment in merchandise. Printful offers more than just T-Shirts, they make everything from coffee mugs and die cut stickers to trucker hats, jackets, and tote bags. We look forward to working with Halter’s to develop their branded merchandise sales through the website into an important part of their integrated marketing strategy.

Website Features to Drive Conversions and Foot Traffic

Telephone, Text, and Directions

Finding out basic information about the store’s location and contact info is one of the most important tasks visitors to a retailer’s website want to complete. We addressed these first by making easily accessible controls in the header and footer of the site that pop-up and give the user the information they need.

Hours of Operation

We also include the store hours of operation in the footer of every page along with callouts, navigation, and links to all of the major pages and sections on the site. While the site itself is designed to respond to the visitor’s device, either desktop, tablet, or mobile phone we made sure these controls would offer complete ease of use, especially for mobile users.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are the social proof that often helps convert a visitor into a customer. We wanted to highlight Halter’s Cycles’ hard-earned reputation so that new visitors would feel comfortable investing their time and money visiting the shop.

Customer Gallery

We created the I ❤ My Bike gallery to complement the customer reviews and offer added social proof that Halter’s Cycles creates happy customers.

Results that Speak Volumes

Within a week Halter’s Cycles search engine rank positions and site’s Trust score climbed dramatically. They entered the first page for critical keywords that before had been lagging in the fifth page and or even deeper. Organic search traffic increased a whopping 2,000% and essentially doubled the traffic the site was getting through direct, social, and referral traffic before. We are looking forward to working with Halter’s Cycles as part of our ongoing support to ensure the continued success of their website and business.
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