We’ve just completed a website rebuild for the thriving Haywards Heath business, The Window Shutter Company. We wanted to use this opportunity to briefly review the process should anyone reading this be considering using us to rebuild their website.
We met this client at one of our SEO workshops back in October 2016, which was when the discussions started about their website.
It was clear the client was keen to refresh their site and re-organise the content on their WordPress website, as it had become a little sprawling. It was decided that a full content audit was required to assess what content should be retained, what could be removed and of what was left, how it could be improved upon.
We crawled the site and connected the clients impressive Google Analytics and Search Console data to assess how each piece of content was performing.
We proposed a significant cull of content and highlighted how some it could be amalgamated into existing content, and where new content would need to be created.
What was clear from the outset was that there was a lot of content duplication and repetition which together we felt had a negative impact on the user experience. A simplification of the navigation, with improved signposting and generally less content was the agreed direction.
This decision was informed by our knowledge of search engine optimisation (SEO) which is inevitably pulled into each of our projects. We know that Google promotes content that addresses and answers the intent of users searches, so we felt confident that reworking the content to assist the user in their decision-making, was a solid strategy.
We started the content audit by looking at their Posts. We assessed how they had used Categories and Tags to organise the content and suggested that they could simplify it greatly by settling on three Categories; Company news, Portfolio and FAQ.
By doing this we could introduce three Category archives to their menu highlighting news and events (Company News), recent jobs completed and testimonials (Portfolio) and answers to the questions the client is typically asked (FAQ).
By reworking some of the existing posts into FAQ posts we felt certain we could target featured snippets (the answers Google promotes ahead of the other organic results – as above) on the search engine results pages, which the client had some success ranking for already.
We used this as an opportunity to assess what keywords they were ranking for and what content they could create to target other important keywords. This led to the creation of important content including How do I measure for window shutters, Why should I choose window shutters instead of curtains or blinds? and Do window shutters suit modern or traditional homes?
After looking at the Posts we move on to their Pages.
It became apparent quickly that there was quite a lot of duplication, including published pages from previous incarnations of their site which were surplus to requirements. We discussed at length the user experience and how the client believed potential clients would use the site, which helped establish what we needed to communicate – and equally importantly, in what order.
The most important pages explain why visitors should consider using my client (About us), what the process would be if they decided to go ahead and place an order (How we work) and what decisions they would have to make to ensure they arrived at the most appropriate window shutter solution as quickly as possible (Our shutters).
By now we had established the overall navigation, how the content would be connected internally and what we needed to do in terms of creating new and editing existing content.
It was then that we moved on to the design.
The clients site was already using the Genesis Framework, which we’ve used for all our new builds and rebuilds since 2015, so we suggested a few themes which might suit the rebuild. We settled on one quite quickly. The client was keen on displaying their impressive portfolio of images as clearly as possible. They liked the fonts, the amount of white space and general templates in one of the themes we suggested.
We took a copy of the site at the beginning of May and the client was advised that they couldn’t create any new content until the rebuild was completed. This is standard procedure for all our builds.
We installed their chosen theme, applied some custimisations according to the clients brand guidelines, and set about editing the content to what had been agreed.
New templates were created. The user flow was assessed and additional signposting was added to the most important pages where it was felt it was required. We also conducted a wholesale review of their calls-to-action and promoting consistency of terms used across the site.
We introduced a custom sidebar to the Shutters pages to promote relevant content to users who had arrived at this stage of the decision making process.
The last month was set aside for creating and optimising new content.
Needless to say we kept the client involved throughout the process, through regular email updates, calls and meetings. Their involvement was crucial to the success of the project. As with any projects like this we have learnt to listen carefully, since no website development agency can know the business as well as the client themselves. Although there’s no doubt we learnt a lot along the process!
If you’d like to discuss a content audit of your site, or a potential rebuild of your own, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.