A broad product and service offering made it challenging...
... for a business to business multi channel communications company to develop and internet strategy that effectively conveyed their offering.
This problem was especially evident on their website which had become unorganized and difficult to navigate. A site refresh was long overdue. But changes needed to be more than cosmetic. They decided to rethink their internet strategy and find ways to utilize their online offerings more effectively.
Across a broad range of customer functions, this organization provides market leading multi channel communication services, helping their customers engage audiences, reduce costs, drive revenues and increase compliance. They target companies from midsize to the Fortune 1000.
For many years the company web site had been used like an online brochure. In addition to providing details on products and services, it also supplied useful information to investors. But a variety of issues made finding information difficult. Although top level navigation categories were descriptive, they were also similar. This similarity confused the user audience, making it unclear where to look for specific products and services. In addition to confusing customers and prospects, content providers inside the company were unclear where their pages should reside. Without an internet strategy to define
content placement, users determined the location that they deemed a best fit. With more than 20 website contributors company wide, this led to additional inconsistencies. Plus, none of the content was optimized for search and didn't contain basic meta data. Information that should have been accessible wasn't easily found through search.
Just like building a house, an effective web site needs a blueprint. And before that blueprint gets drawn, you need to understand the goals so it can be sketched out correctly. Working with a cross functional team, the key elements that the site needed to contain were established. They included:
- Provide customers, prospects, stakeholders, suppliers and employees with targeted information
- Improve site organization, user experience and ease of navigation
- Communicate new capabilities more effectively
- Use website as lead generation tool
- Track progress and improve
A challenging part of any website development is making sure that information is presented in the customer voice. It’s very easy to utilize internal terminology which the user audience often doesn’t understand. This disconnect can impact navigation, the copy used in content and the effectiveness of search. To combat this problem, we conducted detailed research to determine:
- The best navigation options given their client base
- The best words and phrases to use for the navigation
- The best words and phrases to describe the products and services in both navigation and page copy
- The best way to construct meta data to enhance search
- Buyer personas to help guide the content development
Armed with this data, three different navigation options were developed and presented to the team. Final drafts were defined and reviewed with customers. This feedback was crucial. Although only a few additional changes occurred at this stage, the customer interviews helped confirm the navigation and provide insight into search routines that ultimately helped better position content. Buyer personas were developed based on these conversations helping guide content writing, making sure structure and tone were consistent.
A new, better organized website, optimized for search, launched a few months later. The updated navigation helped their broad range of users find information more easily. It also helped call out and provide greater visibility to new product areas. Plus, more people found and accessed the site. Visits increased by 45% and page views increased by ⅓. The amount of contact form submissions grew by 75%. The increase in contact forms were heavily skewed to new product and service inquiries. Most importantly, the revised site generated over $1.5 million in additional business over a one year period and activity continued to trend upwards.