It is difficult to truly describe the commitment and time needed to start a web based business. Several hundred hours have been spent building, testing, refining and launching Lemodus.
We started this as a project back in 2015 and knew it was going to take a while but it should never have taken this long.
This is the brief story of where we came from and what is planned for the future. I will be digging deeper into more specific areas in future posts.
Lemodus was born out of need to help develop and solidify procedures in my web agency, Web3, and also for our agencies clients so they could build better businesses too.
Over the years we tried many different ways to manage our systems and processes. From creating shared documents to trying to use other web applications but were never happy with any of them.
So in late 2014 and early 2015 we decided we could whip up something better by building our own private procedure management app using WordPress.
WordPress is a content management system that is used everyday at Web3 to build our clients websites with so it made sense at the time to use it. We were able to build what we needed in very little time.
This worked superbly for us internally but it wasn't something that we could scale and was only something we were able to use internally. We wanted all of our clients to be able to use this if they wanted to scale their businesses too.
Additionally, although it is completely capable at building what we needed, WordPress is more of a platform for blogs and building public websites.
We wanted to share Lemodus with the world and that is why we founded this company.
The New Company
We knew that we were building something special and it was a large step away from what Web3 was doing building WordPress websites and providing online marketing services.
So we knew this needed to be its own brand new entity.
Our tight-knit team (At the time it was just 8 people) at Web3 had been pushing our first iteration of Lemodus (the WordPress website) through its paces internally. This meant that we were able to iterate and refine what we wanted the site to achieve pretty quickly.
At Web3 we have an extremely capable team and it made sense to take advantage of their abilities. We already had a team setup to build this new company and decided against seeking funding and investors. We may be taking a hit for immediate growth by bootstrapping this new company but it means we retain 100% control of the company and only have to answer to ourselves for all the big company decisions.
I employ a team of designers, developers and marketing professionals at Web3 and it is their full time jobs. This means that time allocation for a new project that is yet to make any money can be tough when the other projects are what is paying their wages.
We all know the potential for this project is huge and it will be bigger than anything we have ever done with the right execution and commitment.
Since coming up with the idea we made sure to validate the idea and ensure it was worth pursuing by speaking to hundreds of business owners. We found that many have been begging for a solution like this.
Cashflow and Pricing
Being a completely new startup, Lemodus is not making any money yet. Infact it is cashflow negative. Some of the expenses include domain name registration and server hosting costs.
We are spending roughly $100 per month on server and hosting related expenses. This is a small cost but will increase as more users come onboard. Although the cost increase will be far proportionally smaller than the income made by new users signing up.
Hosting is not a huge expenditure and we will reach break even and profit after tens of users start paying.
I am not 100% set in stone with our pricing model and expect it will change as our offerings evolve.
We will be working off a freemium pricing model. That is, we will have a free plan and a basic paid plan with extra features and unlimited access. I think it is a pretty standard approach to web products and better to keep pricing simple.
Lemodus is under continual development with the highest priority features being developed first. We have setup a page for you to see our rough development roadmap.
Development is completed offline amongst our team which is all connected to a central repository.
Once we have finalised building and testing a feature, we push our revisions to our version control system in the cloud. This system syncs to our testing server where we run everything through its paces ensuring the highest quality output.
If it passes our tests, then it goes live. If it fails then we go back and repeat the process until it is good to go.
Since we began, we have made over 1500 individual revisions to this system. The amount of time required to build the product that we have built is immense.
There is simply no way around the time investment needed to launch a very technical product of such high quality that we can be truly proud of.
Marketing the business
Our immediate focus is to gain more traffic and awareness to Lemodus and have begun optimising the website for organic (non-paid) search rankings.
Our team are very proficient in both organic and paid search optimisation. We have had great Google ranking success for both our web agency website and our clients websites.
These websites are at the very top of Google for various hard ranking keywords.
Because the Lemodus domain is very new and has had zero search optimisation, it takes time for Google to rank the site high enough in the search results. We will be aiming to target a lot of keywords in the business procedure and systems space.
When we first bought the domain in the first week it was on page 3-4 of Google search results.
Currently searching "Lemodus" in Google gives lemodus.com a second position. We will not stop until we are number one!
Aside from a clothing website in (I believe) Italy currently taking number one position, there is no other noteworthy sites ranking for "Lemodus" so we more or less own this name.
When starting a new company it is very hard to gain traction and own your name in search results if there is another company with the same name fighting against you. That is why Lemodus is a great name because we have the power for it to be ours.
Viewing the search results count in Google results will give you a good idea how competitive a name is. In our case, there is approximately 173,000 results which in my opinion is a very small amount that we can own.
Although search optimisation is continually evolving, links or "showing your presense online" to search engines is still very important. We have begun building links to Lemodus on a number of websites that it is easy to gain links on.
This is primarily through creating all of the social media profiles for Lemodus among other business related directories. We have to be careful though as we do not want to be creating spam which may be seen as a negative impact.
Through the initial efforts, there are already 3 of my links that I created on the front page when you search for "Lemodus". This is what I call building "the crowd".
Once Lemodus is number one, these extra sites help push all other non-lemodus pages off the front page of search results. I expect the search results to fluctuate over time as Google works out that lemodus.com is the right website to rank highest.
The easiest pages to link build on right now include social media profiles and some directories.
I have also utilised our network and written some blog posts/gotten links on connected websites too which serves as some easy referals back to lemodus.
Over time we will be looking at further opportunities to write guest blog posts once we have exhausted all our easier quick wins.
Interestingly, in the last 30 days, we have gained about one user a day in traffic to the site according to our Google analytics.
These numbers should obviously be taken with a grain of salt as its to early and to small of a number to get actual real metrics from but is nice to know that we are being found.
When we start to increase these numbers, we will be able to get a better understanding of how visitors are interacting with the site and how we can increase conversions.
For the sake of transparency right now, here are the current numbers on our analytics:
- The average time spent on the site is 1 minute 29 seconds.
- The bounce rate is 60.7%
- The number of sessions is 28
- The pages / session is 2.4 pages.
Again, these stats are far to small to gain any real insight but the numbers aren't that bad considering there is only five pages (home, blog, contact, roadmap and one blog post) with considerable unique content on them.
Our answer to mobile
Roughly 10% of people visiting Lemodus are using mobile devices. Although the numbers are still too small, I expect this to greatly increase when we are publishing content that may be conveniently read on mobile devices.
We are well equipped for this by developing Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) into our blog. You can see it in action by going adding /amp to the end of this URL.
Put simply, AMP is a type of technology used to speed up loading pages on mobile websites.
It does this by stripping most of the page back to its bare essentials making it really fast to load and prioritises the content that people came to read.
On top of AMP, we have also made sure that all the pages work on mobile. We achieve this through responsive website design.
45% of our visitors are coming from America, 26% from Australia and the rest from a number of European countries.
I am a little surprised that there is not more traffic from Australia as we have primarily done work to promote this in our local area and throughout our office.
The immediate future
We are at the stage where marketing needs to be a high focus and plan on doing a lot more over the coming months.
We will test and measure as many different marketing channels as we can to see which ones work best for us and be sure to share our findings when we do.
Our initial focus is creating content on Lemodus and distributing it to appropriate channels. We have a lot of information, tips and tricks that we are itching to share with you on our blog.
There is plenty of potential to grow our audience from the content we create and it is a solid long term strategy as we control the medium and will bring new visitors to the site.
Once we have a rhythm for creating blog content then we will move into other more ambitious and potentially riskier areas. But for now, the blog will form a good foundation and allow us to repurpose content to other channels.
On top of our focus for marketing and search engine optimisation, we are charging ahead with the website development.
We have created a roadmap guide for you to see where we are heading and what we are currently working on.
This roadmap is updated with some of the biggest features we are working on. As we complete features and more are being requested, we will add them to the list. When we get certain requests more than others, we will look to prioritise them.
As you can see, there are many features that we are still adding into the site and it is still early days with a bright future ahead.
Do you have a feature that you want to add to this list? Let us know! We love feedback.
Our aim is to share as much as we can on the progress we are making.
Please let me know if you would like to know more about a certain area either in our business or if there is something you are struggling with in your business. Happy to help.
We have covered a lot of ground in this post. It is an overview touching just the surface of the marketing and status of the company right now. I have written about a number of topics and will be going into greater depth as we grow and evolve Lemodus.
If you haven't already, be sure to follow along on our journey by signing up to hear about our journey in the sidebar.
Come back in the coming days as we add more resources to grow your business.