A couple of points to kick off with:
1. Despite the title of this blog post I have not started referring to myself in the third person
2. I would like to thank Rachel, Stephanie and Matt S for being absolute legends throughout this process and delivering this 2 days before our launch date 25/12/2010
Why did we change our website?
2 years in online is a long time, 2 years in search is even longer. When we reviewed our old website it was still doing an exceptional SEO job but much of the rhetoric was starting to look dated. Search has matured so much in the last 2 years and looking back many of the conversations were about ethical and / or white hat marketing. Thankfully market conditions have removed many of those companies that we would be trying to distance ourselves from (Don’t get me wrong there are still a few around).
The industry is now even more about results. Agencies that get results are growing, those that don’t are struggling.
During a recent analysis of our business I noted that 60% of our new business over the last 2 years has originated as SEO or PPC traffic. I still need to get my calculator out and work out the ROI on this but it is certainly very high.
We had 2 core objectives for our new website.
1) Ensure the website retains its role as a lead machine
2) We are now fully established as a top search agency in the UK and our website must reflect this.
Our old website read more like a manual to SEO. This was great when search was not so established but more often than not the marketing manager we meet will understand SEO at a top level and we will get straight down to discussing their needs.
Our client base is medium to large companies who need an extremely high performing agency. To do this you need a cutting edge agency and this is who we are. Our website should portray this.
Let the stats do the talking
We could argue all day about the navigation and content on our website. We have used the analytics data to make these decisions for us.
Evolution not revolution
It is always very tempting to go for a complete overhaul when designing a new website. As I mentioned 60% of our business originates from our website. We need to build on this, we don’t have time to start again.
Creativity is always the area that non marketers struggle. We can all look at a website and give our opinion, that is our right and I wouldn’t stop anyone doing that.
I started my first marketing job 10 years ago last August (The Shell Graduate programme whilst I was at university studying Marketing and Geography) and since then I have been lucky enough to work for two people who taught me so much more than my major in marketing.
Denise Cole and then Stephen Roberts were very different heads of marketing but they agreed on many core principles. Creativity is not about winning an award for artistic license, it is about being CREATIVE with the budget you have been given to meet your objectives.
If your objective is to win an art prize then fine. Our objective is to create a website that informs our current customers (The Blog) and encourage potential customers to call us.
The Content Management System
This is always a big area that will cause big debate among online professionals. Do we even have a CMS? Do we go open source? Etc etc…
Again I think it is important to refer back to your objectives. If I delve deeper into our CRM system I find that it is actually the Blog that is driving our conversions. SO if the blog is the driver I need the best CMS for blogging.
Many people may gasp at this but that is why we have chosen WordPress to build the whole website in.
That brings me to 1 final point. It is not our SEO team that use our website. It is our marketing team, therefore is must be USER FRIENDLY.
One final admission: I created our old logo in Microsoft paint in about 5 seconds. This was back in 2003 and it has done us proud. I am not sad to see it go but RIP old logo!
4Ps isn’t just another SEO agency. To discuss how web design and content are evolving together in order to keep pace with new developments in user interaction and search, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about data, marketing and user behaviour across all inbound channels. What could a 4Ps search marketing consultant do for your brand?