JF Ahern‘s current website launched in June of 2013. The initial design change definitely improved goal completions and user interaction. Fast forward to the end of 2014, both when I started on the account and year-over-year data was available on the new site, and I started to notice that goal conversions and conversion rates were dropping. Those noticeably drops in conversion metrics were paired with noticeable increases in organic keyword rankings, organic traffic, and overall traffic. It was easy for the light bulb to go off over my head. We needed to update the user experience on the site and focus on conversion rate improvement.
First Change – Update Our Internal Page Templates
The sliding banner you see on their current home page used to be on every page of the site. And the images in the slider were the same on each page. They never changed to show images of what each individual page is about. My first recommendation was to remove the banner image on all of the deeper pages. If I’m doing my job with SEO, users should be landing on all of the deeper pages; not all on the home page. Removing the banner allowed for us to move the headline up, move the content up, and insert an image on each that was unique to each service. Here’s an example.
This eliminates any confusion and confirms to the user that they’ve landed on the right page. Unfortunately I don’t have a before image, but before the change the “HVAC Systems” header you see used to be all the way down where the page content started. Too low.
Second Change – Persistent Navigation
Still looking at the image above, you can see that page content is still further down the page. So users still needed to scroll down to read everything. When they did this. We lost our call-to-action buttons in the top navigation. Also, if a user did read all of the content, there was no visible action for them to take. My next recommendation was to add persistent navigation. This means the top navigation and call-to-action buttons stay frozen on the page while the other information scrolls. Think of freezing lines in Excel. Here’s an example…
Now our call-to-action buttons are visible at any position on every page. Constant goal visibility.
Results 30 Days After Launch
- Comparing the 30 days after the new site updates were live to the previous 30 days before launch.
- Organic site goal completions went up 107.69%
- Total site goal completions went up 116.67%
- Organic goal conversion rate went up 53.07%
- Total site goal conversion rate went up 52.87%