Why we upgraded our website – again

Mark Newton

Managing Director

Posted on May 9, 2016

I realise some visitors to our website won’t even notice it’s changed and new visitors won’t know at all. And, it’s also worth noting that our site changes in small ways all the time – ever since we worked out how to manage continuous updates and content development.

  • So, what I’m commenting on here are the substantial changes we’ve just made and why we thought them worthwhile. We had a number of objectives in mind:
  • We’re trying to win an increasing amount of website and digital work, so it’s important we make our own site look as good and work as well as we can. That means developing it all the time, or whenever we’re clear on an improvement. We’re surprised by how poor some of our competitors’ sites work (regardless of how they look), especially when we know they’re quoting for web design and build projects.
  • We changed the home page top bar and image because we’d grown irritated with the old one – we’ll be changing the image periodically to stay fresh. We don’t advocate ‘sliders’ or ‘carousels’ in web design, so we use only one static image, but we like to change it periodically. (Here’s one commentator that agrees with us: https://yoast.com/opinion-on-sliders/).
  • We de-cluttered our social media channels, removing unnecessary icons from the top of the home page – there’s no point featuring social media that’s not relevant to our business or objectives.
  • Because our proposition is ‘we make financial marketing simpler’ we’re continually looking for greater simplicity and clarity in our website. For this reason we’ve moved some elements from the homepage to elsewhere and cut what we consider to be unnecessary copy and headlines. We’ve also moved examples of our work to the top of the page and reduced the number of them, moving older work that cluttered up the page into an archive. We hope visitors will gain a quicker and clearer understanding of what we do.
  • We largely resisted again the temptation to use graphics and movement that serve only to look flashy without adding to clarity.
  • We added an archive for our white papers – we’re adding content all the time and wanted it to be more organised.
  • Throughout all these changes we were anxious not to impact negatively on our SEO. We’re already achieving high rankings on most of our targeted key words and phrases, which we achieve by building valuable content and not by shoehorning keywords into every space we can fit them. But we did revisit our current keyword targets to ensure they were featured where appropriate.
  • We tightened up the performance of the site in key areas and one of the more interesting methods was through use of a content delivery network (CDN). This is a set of high-speed servers around the globe – when a visitor comes to our website, rather than getting everything from one server, their computer gets different bits from the servers within the CDN. This improves page load times considerably and would be very useful for a multinational client (e.g. a customer in Australia does not have a lag fetching from a server in Europe).
  • We use https://website.grader.com as a quick check of site performance. It also allows us to have a quick review of the performance of competitor and client websites.