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If you are thinking your website needs a makeover or redesign first read Is it time to divorce your website? – Break Up or Make Up? It may mean that you don’t have to spend your valuable time reading this website redesign example case study! Although I hope you won’t want to miss out so I’ll see you back here in a few minutes.

The Decree Nisi – Website Redesign Case Study

website-redesign-example-heartHelen at Helen’s Heritage Walks came to me with a petition to divorce her website on the grounds of, amongst other things, being old and dated. One look and it was obvious it was time for the old website to pack its bags and the Decree Nisi was granted.

This is the story of how the redesign of Helen’s website gave her:

                  • a credible professional online image,
                  • increased traffic & bookings (with online bookings),
                  • control of her own web presence.

Helen has fantastic local history and literary knowledge. She is a retired local librarian with a love for literature. She has a passion for local history and the landscape around Bradford and West Yorkshire. She takes tourists and locals on guided walks in Bronte Country, leads local history walks around Bradford and gives local history talks.  Helen’s Bronte walks are all about connecting the landscape with the Bronte novels. She often includes readings from the novels at appropriate points on a walk as well as sharing her depth of knowledge and love for Bronte literature. 

image courtesy of Thomas Bower

Why The Break Up and Redesign Was Necessary

The grounds for website divorce cited by Helen were:

  • looks – dated and unappealing 
  • credibility – did not give off a professional image
  • frustration – could not be updated by Helen with her forthcoming walks or talk events.

Additional grounds that I cited were:

  • introverted – a narrow band of search phrase targets limited the amount of Google search traffic to the site
  • skinny – appeal limited to a narrow market
  • untrustworthy – lack of testimonials or connection with readers to build trust 
  • weak – weak calls to action to book on a walk.

 The Decree Absolute – What Changed

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The Old Website Home Page

 

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The old website had a static 5 page design:

  • About Page
  • Bronte walks
  • Other Walks
  • Talks
  • Contact Page

The new Search Engine Optimised website has flexible pages.

  • Home
  • Event Search
  • Event Book
  • Popular Walks
    • Top Withens
    • Wuthering Heights
    • A Taste of the Moors
    • Bronte Waterfall and Bridge
  • Bronte Walks
  • Haworth Walks
  • Local History Walks
  • Talks
  • Testimonials
  • Blog
Looks: Dated and unappealing
Looks: Modern Design

A contemporary theme with a rotating fade effect header, new logo & sidebar brings the site into the modern age.

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Credibility: Unprofessional

Had the feel of a well meaning amateur.

Credibility: Professional

The aim was to convey the feeling of a professional organisation. A business does not have to have a complex or slick website but it does have to look professional and give the right impression.

The simple arrangement of numerous walks in categories and across pages helps convey a thriving organisation. 

The ability to view events and book online also adds to the professional organisation image.

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Frustration: No way for Helen to update

All text and images are embedded within the HTML code meaning that without coding knowledge there was no way for Helen to update the content herself. Additional cost would be required every time she wished to publish a programme of walks or events.

Unhindered: Updatable using a CMS (Content Management System) 

Helen is able to add and change text and images on any page at any time at no additional cost.

Helen wanted to be able to add programmes of walks and talk events. An event management system was included to allow Helen to add events including meeting point maps. It also enables her visitors to book online.

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Introverted: Limited number of search phrases targeted
Outgoing: Pages were created to target a variety of search phrases.

Individual pages such as Top Withens Walk and Wuthering Heights Connection Walk can bring traffic from searches relevant to those phrases. These phrases currently contribute an additional 25% of Google search traffic to that of the existing Bronte traffic.

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Wuthering Heights Walk Page targets Wuthering Height related searches

An SEO Web Design is based upon keyword research that identifies optimum phrases. Pages are constructed to target each phrase. A blog allows even more phrases to pick up search traffic and reinforces the relevance of the site to key search terms such as “Bronte Walks” as a whole.

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Blog Pages reinforce the Bronte and local history theme and will pick up traffic from related searches

Skinny: Limited appeal
Rounded: Appealing to a greater variety of the various visitors persona’s makes it easy for them to buy.

e.g. Popular Walks section makes choice easier for those who do not want to consider all walks.

Walk Highlight bullet points makes the choice scannable, with more detail available to those that like to make a more informed choice.

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e.g. Visitors can search by holiday dates etc and book online for those focused on planning ahead.

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Untrustworthy: Little connection with reader
Trustable: Connections & relationships strengthened to encourage booking and repeat booking

Highlight testimonials now appear prominently on each page via the sidebar, with full testimonials on a separate page which Helen can add to.

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The comments section on each relevant walk page allow Helen’s customers to create their own content and feedback on the whole experience. This helps convey a feeling of each event being much more than a walk.

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The use of a scroller allows Helen to add the names of her customers to appear in a friendly hello message in the sidebar of each page which again conveys that those who take part on Helen’s walks experience more than just a good walk. Relationships are built, strengthened and re-booking encouraged.

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Helen also wanted to make use of quotations from the Bronte sisters novels. These were added to the rotating headers with fade effect to help connect the novels with the landscape. 

Weak calls to action
Strong: Reader encouraged to book for each walk

A Find and Book This Walk call to action added to each walk. The search and Book process leads the visitor through the booking process funnel which is short. The event details and short simple booking form are together on the same page. Phone and email booking options are also available. 

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With an increase in visitor traffic and bookings coming in Helen is really happy that she made the break and now has a credible professional website that looks so much better. She adds “…and I can change and add things myself easily”. You can visit her new website at helensheritagewalks.co.uk

Looking for a new website?…   I can create you a professional website to target relevant Google searches that you update and control. Give me a call to find out more. (07906 971762).

About the author: Pete Stevens: I work with businesses to get the best out of their website; maximise visitors and maximise sales. I live with my wife and 2 teenage children near Bradford & Leeds in Yorkshire UK. I enjoy golf, football and curry mmm!

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