As an established player in the weddings and bridal industries, Ocean Media Group tasked Hound and Badger with a massive website design upgrade for The National Wedding Show (backed by a million pound marketing campaign) that started with user research, building user personas and stories, took the new branding into consideration, improved conversion rates, decreased abandonment rates, and kept the organic search traffic intact after migration. As part of the project an exhibitors' portal was also designed with various improvements on the previous one.
The new website design was termed a success because all marketing efforts are being rewarded with tremendous improvements in results, whether we compared data for 6 months or year on year. Paid search, display and social campaigns are all seeing drastically better results than before, organic search ranks have improved by twice as much, and exhibitors are more engaged on the website.
With a 95% female audience where 70% are aged 25-34, and 58% are to be brides, The National Wedding Show website design upgrade was meant to be more than just a superficial improvement.
We studied user journeys, behaviour flows, heatmaps and other analytics to make sense of what visitors wanted to achieve on the website, how we could simplify their journey and make it easier for them to find the content they're looking for, yet also increase newsletter sign-ups and conversion rates in general.
With 5,000+ website content assets that included thousands of images and hundreds of web pages, at least 200 keywords ranking #1 on Google and 82,000+ sessions coming from social media, it was necessary to do a detailed content audit to ensure no key information is lost and brides to be are able to easily find everything they're looking for, on the new website.
We did focus group interviews in our office to build the various personas and matched them with relevant conversion funnels. As usage patterns emerged, our designers took notes and adjusted their initial wireframes to accommodate the required content flow.
While there is always room for improvement, we've seen as much as 500% improvement in behaviour flows from starting pages to the 1st and then 2nd interaction after the new website launched. We did a series of follow-up focus group interviews to confirm the same.
Migrating a website with over 5,000 assets and high-ranking high-volume keywords is a very delicate affair. Without ample experience, hard-earned search ranks can be lost leading to drastic losses in organic traffic. Improving the website architecture and structure can also lead to losses if redirections aren't in place.
The Hound and Badger team liaised with the digital team to get several recommendations approved and then ensured things like dropping the unnecessary 'www' sub-domain had no adverse effect on rankings and organic traffic.
Our 'Top Pages' report (part of the content audit) showed share of traffic, traffic value, reading time, and word counts (broken down into sentences, adverbs, passive voice, difficult phrases, hard-to-read phrases and very-hard-to-read sentences) to help the marketing team decide which pages to bin, which ones to keep and which ones to improve. The audit also revealed keyword opportunities for some quick wins.
We ensured organic traffic didn't suffer despite a good amount of content being binned by ensuring on-page search engine optimisations were in place.
There are a number of site improvements we've continued to make since the launch of the website in the autumn of 2018. We've fixed several bugs, ensured the latest CMS version is installed on the site, booking and email integrations are up-to-date.
Moreover, we've moved all control over to their in-house team to empower them to manage and further develop the website themselves.