Back in February 2018 we put live the most recent changes to The Fireplace Company website, following on from their complete overhaul the previous year, when eCommerce was introduced to the site. The main reason for this most recent redesign was the clients desire to promote his outdoor living product ranges, which include BBQs, grills and pizza ovens. We also wanted to promote the blog posts and address an issue in the site architecture. More on that shortly.
When the site was relaunched in 2017 we had reworked the architecture so that products were divided into Indoor (Fireside) and Outdoor. Therefore promoting this division on the site was relatively straight forward, it was just case of adding relevant images and links to the homepage and editing the internal navigation.
To promote ‘latest news’ and new releases we added a post slider to the homepage and to the top of the prominent Fireside & Outdoor living pages.
We had an issue in the architecture where there were Product Category archive pages for the Outdoor brands competing with Product Tag archive pages on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This basically meant that we were presenting Google and the other search engines with a problem as to which page to rank. After careful consideration, we decided to drop the Product Tag archives and redirect them to a new custom taxonomy for Brands. In doing this we could leave the main menu navigation alone which was important to preserve their existing organic traffic. In addition we could remove the Product Tag archive menu, which was pretty much hidden on site, and direct traffic from these pages, some of which were performing quite well, to new, more prominent Brand pages.
In addition we used this opportunity to create an additional layer on the Brand pages to show Brand Ranges, including the recently released Kelly Hoppen fireplaces and The HEAT collection of BBQ heaters. By doing this the client has the facility now to create optimised content for specific product ranges (which feature prominently on the overall Brand page e.g. The HEAT Collection, types of products e.g. BBQ Heaters and the products themselves e.g. Chesneys HEAT 700 https://www.the-fireplace.co.uk/product/chesneys-heat-700/ as well as the brand itself https://www.the-fireplace.co.uk/brand/chesneys/ .
We also used this opportunity to remove the sidebar across the site. With more people using mobile to view sites, the impact of the sidebar continues to diminish, as it generally appears below the content on mobile devices. This forced us to add filters on the page, which were previously on the sidebar, which we feel provides a better user experience.
At the time of writing it’s three months since we completed this redesign, so how have these changes resolved in terms of organic traffic.
Overall, the number of clicks to the site since the migration are up 60% on the period before. I don’t think we can read too much into this as there could be seasonal variations or new pages introduced to the site that have performed particularly well, as is the case in this instance.
I’m particularly interested in the impact of removing the Product Tag archives, some of which were performing well, and introducing the new Brand pages to replace them. The results are pretty impressive. The Product Tag archives generated 312 clicks in the 74 days prior to this migration. For the same period of time since the migration, the new Brand pages have generated 424 clicks, which is a 36% increase.
This could in part be attributed to season differences of course, but it does suggest the migration was successful in that any potential issues were mitigated through careful consideration of potential pitfalls and planning. Basically we took careful to look after high performing content which is the general rule of thumb when it comes to migrations like this.