Columbia Precast Products Case Study

Strategy and Approach

Driving results through branding and marketing.

As a digital marketing agency, Webfor partners with companies across the digital timeline. We redesign websites, create content for existing sites, and provide SEO services for sites that aren’t ranked at the top of Google SERPs. And, of course, we build an online presence for businesses that don’t yet have one. This includes Columbia Precast Products.

Although their management team and work crews have many decades of experience, Columbia Precast itself was born just a few years ago. While they could tell you the specifics of a Monobase Type 3 48” Manhole and were the first buried infrastructure facility to be SMaRT Certified in the U.S., they didn’t know their SEO from their UX.

First things first. Before optimizing a website, you need a website. Before you get a website, you need to understand what it will be used for, what others in the industry are doing (good and bad), and the best way to get where you want to be.


Find the Right Company

The first step is to find someone to help you along the way. Through connections made at a Vancouver co-op, Ron Sparks soon found himself discussing what he was looking for with Webfor.

“I was pretty impressed,” Sparks said. “Before our first meeting, they asked about competitors. I gave them the major suppliers that had reasonable websites, a couple I’d like to be on par with or better. When they showed up for the first meeting, I could tell they’d really done their homework.

“They explained the difference between a homemade, low-cost website as compared to one that you invest a little more money into to get better results. You could really see the difference. I liked what I saw and what I heard. I didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else.”

Armed with that information, Webfor went to work: designing, implementing user experience (UX by the way) best practices, and providing content for the new Columbia Precast Products website. An open line of communication made the process that much easier for everyone.

Once the website went live, it didn’t take long for Sparks to realize he’d made the right decision.

“I started getting, almost immediately, responses from folks that I know,” Sparks said. “A supplier or a customer, and it was along the lines of ‘I saw your website and it looks really nice.’ This was within the first few months we started to get those kinds of comments.”

Taking it Up a Notch

It was then Columbia Precast Products made the decision to implement search engine optimization. Instead of pushing top-shelf solutions, Webfor created a plan that made sense for Sparks.

“We decided to start small, get the website going,” Sparks said. “Once that was done, we turned on the SEO. We weren’t selling products online or anything like that, so we picked a mid-level package.”

Although Webfor provided monthly reports, Sparks didn’t need them to know the efforts were working. Even if the responses he was getting didn’t necessarily lead to sales.

“After about six months with the SEO, I knew we were doing well when we started getting calls from Tennessee,” Sparks said. “There’s a Columbia Precast in Tennessee. When you plug in Columbia Precast, we’re on page one, and off you go.”

Of course, delivering a few tons of concrete grease interceptors is cost-prohibitive. But people were finding Columbia Precast quickly and discovering the site was full of relevant, easy-to-find information about their products. This included others in the precast concrete industry.

“When the National Precast Concrete Association internally surveyed the producer member websites, ours ranked No. 1,” Sparks said. “They talked a lot about a handshake. When you open up our website, it felt like we were reaching out and shaking their hand and introducing ourselves. Like a digital handshake.”

Ron Sparks, Columbia Precast Products

“We were a brand new company in 2013,” General Manager Ron Sparks said. “We didn’t have a website, and I knew that I needed one. Everyone has one. I didn’t know about SEO back then.”

Ron Sparks, Columbia Precast Products

1000Goal completions (contacts) in the last 4 years.
134,515The number of site visitors the last 4 years

Building Trust

After more than three years together, the relationship is still going strong. Columbia Precast is opening a new facility in southern Oregon, and Sparks didn’t hesitate to use Webfor for that website. His first impression is still proving fruitful.

“I think that it’s been a really good partnership,” Sparks said. “Just simple stuff. Being on time to appointments, setting appointments, getting deadlines — all that day-to-day business stuff is really important. I’ve never had any issues with Webfor.”

We’re happy to have you as one of our clients, too, Ron! But Columbia Precast Products isn’t a special case. Each of our clients receives the same attention to detail, customer service, and personal touches that Webfor is known for — no matter if it’s a nationwide company with more than a hundred locations or a small local business looking to carve out its niche.

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