“From the first meeting it was clear that (Keith) wanted to understand our wider business and marketing goals to ensure that the project delivered the very maximum value. His project management, design and web development abilities (have) already begun to give wider value to our business.”Bob Webb - VGC Group
“Outperformance” is the VGC Group motto, and they achieve this across their many business divisions. However, one area that was under performing was their web presence. They approached me to design and build a WordPress based website that wouldn’t just put them on a level playing field with their competitors but move them to the top. This is how we did it.
We started off with a business discovery day. I led the team through various sessions to find out what the business was about, what they stood for and what their objectives are. I interviewed key stakeholders across the business, including the head of each division. This gave us insights into how the website could be used to achieve specific business goals.
We also came up with specific goals for the website. For example, we wanted to lower the current bounce rate from 77.36% down to 50%.
We ended the day with a design workshop. Here we evaluated the competition, looked at websites that we thought were close to what we wanted and talked about the principles and objectives that would lead the visual design direction. The overall design was to be:
Designing the user experience
The team at VGC Group had put a lot of time into designing the site layout. They used a service called Balsamiq Mockups which allowed us to collaborate on refining the layout. I helped tweak these slightly, based on our goals and objectives until we agreed that the layout was complete and we could move onto the visual design.
Coming to life
I took our design guidelines and distilled them into a series of style tiles. These are simple visual representations of the general “look and feel” of a site. They don’t focus on layout, but more the personality of the design.
Building it up
Once the visual design had been refined and agreed on, it was time for me to start the process of building the website. The VGC team had chosen WordPress as their preferred platform, as it gave them the flexibility and control that they needed.
I implemented various custom post types so that the site content was logically separated and easy to administer. These include jobs, clients, accreditations, projects and news posts. The site is separated into six divisions and each division has it’s own banner image, contact details and child pages.
Many of VGC’s clients and colleagues are out and about when they’re accessing the site, more than 30% are on mobile devices. Therefore it was important for the site to work well on tablets and phones.
The site is built to respond to the size of the screen and looks beautiful right down to phone screens.
The results are in
After launching the website the results were dramatic. At the time of writing we have a bounce rate of less than 40% (down from 77.36%). Pages per visit has improved by 146% and the average visit duration has increased by 136%.
All of these metrics point to the fact that users are more engaged with the site than before.
We’ve also had success with using custom contact forms that are used to apply for jobs and make general enquiries.
The feedback from VGC has been great. They were a fantastic team to work with. I’d especially like to thank Bob Webb, Ciara Pryce and Pete Webb for their hard work. It takes a great client to make a great website.
Bob Webb, was kind enough to write the following:
“Keith worked with us to completely redesign and relaunch our website. From the first meeting it was clear that he wanted to understand our wider business and marketing goals to ensure that the project delivered the very maximum value.
“His project management, design and web development abilities then meant that the project progressed smoothly and produced a result that has already begun to give wider value to our business.”