Ulster Business Festival - Case Studies in Web Design, Usability & SEO


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Slides from my talk at the Ulster Business Festival in May 2013 as part of the Digital Economy session.

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Ulster Business Festival - Case Studies in Web Design, Usability & SEO

  1. 1. Case Studies in Web Design &Usability and SEOBarry AdamsPierce Communications
  2. 2. Shameless Self-Promotion• Digital Services Director at Pierce Communications– Winner of two 2012 DANI Awards: Social Media & B2C Campaigns– Shortlisted for ‘Best Agency’ at 2012 European Search Awards• Built my first website in ’95, became a web professional in ‘97• Specialisation in SEO• Dutch (yes, really)• Editor & blogger for StateofSearch.com– Awarded ‘Best Blog’ at 2012 European Search Awards
  3. 3. Agenda• JNWine.com case study– Web Design & Usability• Bedeckhome.com case study– Advanced on-site SEO
  4. 4. JNWine.com redesignThe Old Design
  5. 5. The old design• Based on “search for wine” use case– Wine search function is most prominent feature ofthe site– Additional functions in top navigation – but notalways clearly named• Many core features and promotions linked inimages
  6. 6. Pierce Communications redesign• Part 1: Start with the user– Identify the most common use cases of theJNWine.com website’s target audience1. Users want professional advice andrecommendations2. Users want special offers3. Wine search turned out to be tertiary use case
  7. 7. Pierce Communications redesign• Part 2: Make the navigation and structure asself-evident as possible– Name things how the user expects them to benamed (Information Architecture)– Tell the user what they can do on the site• Strong calls-to-action
  8. 8. Information Architecture for websites
  9. 9. Pierce Communications redesign• Part 3: Make it prettyThe “look and feel” of a website has the greatest impact onusers’ credibility assessments, with professional sitedesigns heavily influencing credibility perceptions.Once users have seen a web page, it is difficult to overcome thefirst impressions they form based on the professionalappearance of a page’s design.[Fogg, B.J., Soohoo, C., Danielson, D.R., Marable, L., Stanford, J., and Tauber, E.R. -How do usersevaluate the credibility of Web sites?: A study with over 2,500 participants. DUX 2003, 1-15.][McKnight, D. and Kacmar, C. -Factors and effects of information credibility. ICEC 2007, 423-432.]
  10. 10. The New Design
  11. 11. Cleaner lookMore white spaceStronger logo font-typeSimpler layout
  12. 12. Emphasis on JN Wine’s expertiseRecommended winesWine tastingsBlogs and videos about vineyards, wine production, events, opinion, etc.
  13. 13. Simpler navigationSelf-evident navigation itemsLess clicks to reach intended target
  14. 14. Strong product pagesVivid descriptions of the wineStrong calls-to-actionUser-generated content: reviews
  15. 15. Multiple conversion pointsMailing listSocial MediaTasting eventsJN Club
  16. 16. The Results
  17. 17. JNWine.com redesign results*In first year since site re-launch:• UK revenue grew by 60%• RoI revenue grew by 72%*Disclaimer: we also did some digital marketing for them…
  18. 18. Bedeckhome.comAdvanced on-site SEO
  19. 19. Bedeck• Seller of luxury bed linens• Own brand as well as third party brands• Ecommerce website: www.bedeckhome.com• Re-launched site in October 2011– Strong visibility on branded search terms– Zero visibility on generic search terms
  20. 20. Bedeck SEO project• Targeted keywords:bedding setsdesigner bed linendesigner beddingduvet setsgoose feather pillowshotel luxury beddinghotel luxury bedlinenluxury bed linenluxury beddingquality bed linen
  21. 21. Basic On-Site SEO• Title tags:• Meta descriptions:• Content.
  22. 22. Special ChallengesSpecial challenges with large ecommerce websites:• Large amount of pages:– Homepage– Category pages– Subcategory pages– Product pages– Supporting information (delivery, T&Cs, stores, etc)– Blog/News pages• Getting product pages in Google’s index• Potential duplicate content issues
  23. 23. Indexing• Has Google indexed all pages?This used to be a veryinaccurate ‘guesstimate’
  24. 24. Indexing• Google Webmaster Tools – Index Status report(Since July 2012)
  25. 25. Indexing• Google Webmaster Tools – Index Status reportWhathappened?
  26. 26. Index Status advanced report
  27. 27. Is this a good thing?HugegapA lot ofpages notincluded
  28. 28. Yes, that’s a good thing• Bedeckhome.com uses ‘facetednavigation’ (a.k.a. ‘layered navigation’ or‘additive filters’)• This almost always causesduplicate content issues:– Page after page after page ofproduct lists– Google not sure which to include
  29. 29. Ensuring Google indexes the right pages• ‘Index sculpting’– “noindex, follow” meta robots tag– Robots.txt blocking– JavaScript-generated faceted links– Rel=nofollow links• Google Webmaster Tools– URL Parameters configuration
  30. 30. URL Parameters in GWT
  31. 31. XML Sitemaps
  32. 32. Additional on-site optimisation• Structured data– Schema.org microformats• Load speed optimisation– 4 seconds or less
  33. 33. Did it work?
  34. 34. Google.co.uk keyword rankingsKeyword Oct-11 Sep-12 Changebedding sets (outside top 100) 9 +91designer bed linen 9 5 +4designer bedding 4 3 +1duvet sets (outside top 100) 16 +84goose feather pillows 25 9 +16hotel luxury bedding 91 2 +89hotel luxury bedlinen 35 4 +31luxury bed linen 68 5 +63luxury bedding 17 5 +12quality bed linen 5 6 -1
  35. 35. Generic search growth Oct 11 – Sept 12020004000600080001000012000Visits from Generic Search£0.00£1,000.00£2,000.00£3,000.00£4,000.00£5,000.00£6,000.00£7,000.00£8,000.00£9,000.00Revenue from Generic Search
  36. 36. Year on year comparison020,00040,00060,00080,000100,000120,000Oct 2010 - Sept 2011 Oct 2011 - Sept 2012Generic Search traffic Generic Search revenueGrowth:Branded Search traffic 31%Generic Search traffic 117%Generic Search revenue 151%
  37. 37. Questions?badams@piercecommunications.co.ukhttp://www.piercecommunications.co.uk@badams