Website Phased Redesign Strategy
Prepared June 2010 by RuthAnn Hogue
Shift in focus
• Whiptail’s new brand is aimed at authors
• The current site does not reﬂect brand
• Changes are needed to meet brand goals
• Whiptail needs to welcome authors
• Whiptail needs to provide targeted
services aimed speciﬁcally at authors
• The site needs keywords such as author or
book promotion to appear in organic copy.
Subtle callouts signal a shift in market focus to authors
Whiptail Publishing -
Marketing for Authors
A new page header lets authors know they
are welcome and their needs will be met.
It is not yet clear to them why they should
trust Whiptail, but it is a place to start.
The addition of a social media network
where authors can promote their books
and network with other authors and
with readers creates a sense of
community and gives them a reason for
coming back as well as referring the page
to colleagues and friends.
Phase 1: Welcomes authors and offers a social networking site.
Phase 1 Tests Poorly
“Besides that it says it's for authors and the book trailer section, I don't see as anything that
"stand out" that would make me choose it over other domain sites (I've been looking at several
-- Angela Current
Book trailer, I had to look around bit, it is pretty small, so if I didn’t know specifically what I
was looking for I would probably miss it. I have always found Go-Daddy to be difficult to use
because there are so damn many buttons that the site generally feels busy and
-- Rick D'Elia
I was able to find the link for "Book Trailer Central" easily, but only because I was looking for
"Book Trailer Central." I would otherwise have no idea there was a link to a networking site.
-- Scott Hesterman
• Whiptail needs replace its main image with something
more author friendly
• Whiptail needs to make Book Trailer Central more
visible to visitors
• The site needs to be “less busy”
Cleaner page focuses more on authors
A new image
know they’re in
the right place.
Central has been
added to the
Colors have been
updated to be more
and @MyWhiptail on
Taking various elements
from each page and
incorporating them into
the others makes it
easier to see how the
social network, Twitter
and Whiptail ﬁt together
to serve authors. This is
a precursor to a new
A new menu signals a fundamental content shift
Our Mission | Author Network | Author Resources | Events |
Promote Books | Get Noticed
• Whiptail needs to create a custom home
page to support organic, keyword rich copy
• Whiptail needs to integrate custom
navigation with related pages ﬁlled with rich
content that can be linked to products and
services deeper inside the Web site.
Mockup of Phase 3 Home Page
Rich content offers the
opportunity to link
keywords deeper into
the site to product
pages offering exactly
what the customer
ﬁndability, usability and
The ﬁrst-tier links take
authors to pages
designed for them. Once
inside, they will be
directed to services to
ﬁt their needs, based on
the content they choose
to access from the home
page. These also get
“I like it. It has a
- Angela Current
Before the redesign:
Truthfully, I wouldn't likely
purchase from this site over
others because I don't see
enough of what a writer
looking to network and
promote would want. I think if
they are promoting as a site for
writers, there should be more
directed toward them.
-- Angela Current
• Ning offers monetization through ads and
storefronts where members’ books and
Whiptail gear could be offered for sale
• Press releases could create a buzz and
• Regular RSS content updates can keep it
fresh and make the site sticky
Taking a page from a competitor: @uthorsWeb
Authorsontheweb.com includes a
testimonial on the top right of its home
page, a logo celebrating 10 years of
business, vertical navigation on the left
with key departments well marked with
visual cues for organization, links to
social media and a call out to connect
with authors. The dominant visuals
elements are actually thumbnails linking
to home pages of its clients. Below are
active campaigns and a footer with a link
Whiptail could host contests and seek testimonials.
This should link to a page describing Whiptail’s mission and create a sense of trust and authority by offering information about the company.
This should link to a page describing the benefits of the online community located on the Ning network. It should be as seamless as possible to transition from there to Book Trailer Central
Authors love information and resources they can use and share. A collection of links related to copyright, getting published, writing tools and more would provide a reason for authors to
bookmark the site and suggest it to others even if they are not personally ready to buy a Website. This should include links to Web products Whiptail offers on either the left rail of the page
in addition to BookTrailerCentral.com.
This should link to the events calendar on Ning.
Here’s where content needs to speak directly to authors and convince them why they need a custom domain name for each book title, multiple email accounts using various book titles or
how to set up a quick Website tonight. The content should be useful to anyone. The ability to click through on a menu to purchase those services should be made prominently available on
This is a great place to offer personalized branding services for authors seeking to make a name for themselves. Because this cannot be purchased through a shopping cart and immediately
downloaded, this page would require a request for information form or a customer survey that visitors could complete. An automated reply with assurance that they will be contacted within
24 business hours should be attached to the form or survey.
• Porter, J. (2008). Designing for the Social
Web. New Riders. Berkeley, Calif.
• Krug, S. (2006). Don’t Make Me Think. New
Riders. Berkeley, Calif.
• Walter, A. (2008) Building Findable
Websites. New Riders. Berkeley, Calif.