The brand needed a refresh to better resonate with the audience before we even contemplated building the website and budgets were low. To add to the complexities, once we got into the back end of the website it resembled a spaghetti junction of mess. This was a direct result of lots of quick fix attempts by many different people who Mel entrusted her website to. There was lots of customised code throwing errors all over the place. Also, a huge number of unnecessary plugins and other related items that fundamentally slowed the website down and created a very unhealthy back end.
This meant we had to factor in an extensive number of hours to clean up and migrate effectively to staging so that we were building the new refreshed site on a clean foundation. Avoiding the same issues moving forward.
Making it Happen
Typically, a brand refresh requires a strategic approach that takes time and money. Given this is not what the client had we applied a mini brand refresh technique leveraging the data she had available to confirm the target audience, coupled with a category analysis. The result was a new look and feel and key messages.
Once this was complete, we were able to apply this visual direction to the front-end website. The approach we took to land the website we have today, kicked off with creating a clean staging site (so her current website remained live until we were complete and avoided downtime). We spent many hours cleaning up everything in preparation for the new theme we were building on. This meant removing plugins that weren’t necessary, applying updates to things that were not the latest version to avoid incompatibility issues, testing and finding solutions for the abundance of errors that the old website was receiving.
After we were satisfied that we had a healthy baseline we were able to get to work configuring the theme and the child theme which included the overall design and information architecture (IA) considering UX for eCommerce business. This is critical to ultimately provide the best experience and highest conversion. Here, we had to balance the client’s expectations around functionality. Regularly we have clients come to us with functionality they like, because it looks the part. However, it may not be available with the theme chosen and subsequently customisation needs to take place. Customisation adds hours to development and can be a problem down the track if you don’t continue to use the same developer or you don’t have the level of technical skills required to fully understand the customisation.
Following this body of work, which is typically the largest amount of time in a website project if your developer is truly considering UX in the process, we worked on content upload and layout formatting. Once all this was in place we then configured SEO, sitemaps, canonical URLs and important elements like schema. These are pieces of the build that many cheaper developers will leave off (unless asked).
At the pointy end we completed all the performance optimisation to ensure the website was working well and all elements came together without conflict. We also worked on backup management and security implementation (again this can be something left off if you aren’t aware of it and it hasn’t been discussed). Once satisfied with this, we conducted final tests and checks with the client across all devices before moving into production.
A project of this size which is standard for a website revamp where the back-end health is poor, takes approximately 70 hours, without considering client feedback and changes.
The objective for this project was to improve the stickiness of visitors on the site and increase the eCommerce conversion rates.
The bounce rates (when a visitor lands on your site and quickly leaves before engaging in content) reduce by a whopping 95%! The eCommerce conversion rates increased by 76%.
|Pre Website Build||Post Website Build*|
|Bounce Rate (average)||62.37%||2.98%|
*Month post new site launch.
A good performing eCommerce site has a conversion rate of 2%. The new site has proven the ability with out anything else optimised, to convert exceptionally well. The client is now focussing on her digital acquisition and driving quality clients to the site. We will work closely with her to ensure we continue to see the conversion rates climb to 2%.
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