The Waratah Fencing website was getting a bit tired. The backend technology was superseded and the design could certainly be improved. All totally doable. But redeveloping the site without losing any of the all-important search rankings? That needed a bigger plan.
The existing site was built on a decommissioned version of Kentico and they needed to not only upgrade to the new version, but also completely overhaul the entire look, feel and structure of the site. Parent company InfraBuild (previously Liberty Onesteel) engaged Kentico development specialists and the three of us set about reimagining the site. Our UX Design team was tasked with providing the development team with the new designs for both the Waratah Australia and Waratah New Zealand sites while putting the end customer front and centre without compromising some pretty lofty business objectives.
We started by creating personas for the brand to help us understand and empathise with the individuals who actually use these sites. Who are they? What are they looking for? How do we help them find what they need? Good UX design isn’t just about the customer – it also benefits those who maintain the website day-to-day. Our modular design makes this a snap and ensures Waratah can use various functionalities and elements across the site where needed. This not only provides flexibility in design but helps future proof the site as much as possible.
As with any design we started with wireframes, establishing the priorities of each key page and agonising over content hierarchy. Once this was agreed we let our top UX designer loose to work her magic.
Our SEO ninjas were responsible for creating and implementing an exhaustive and advanced SEO strategy and leading the site migration for over 1,000 URLs.
The tricky bit was improving the user experience while maintaining Waratah’s strong brand authority and organic rankings in search engines during a complete content restructure. We formulated an advanced SEO strategy to keep their high ratings in organic search results for key search queries.
We focused on key pages that were driving traffic to the site, pages that accrued links and pages that were converting well. We reviewed the information architecture and the sitemap addressing everything from URL structure to navigation. Implementing the redirects was crucial. If the site’s URLs weren’t correctly redirected, the website’s rankings and visibility would tank. No 404 errors here! We made sure the migration went smoothly for both the end customer and the brand.
The migration of the Waratah site with nearly 1,000 URLs, including images, was a success! Visibility loss was minimal during the first two weeks and the bounce rate actually decreased by 60.05% (avg. 20.82% vs 40.78%). Web sessions grew 4.91% and their duration increased by 3% to an average of 3 minutes. New website visitors grew by 10.28%, and page/session increased by 51.07% (6.88 vs 4.55 pages/ session). Organic search visibility is stronger than ever (37% at time of writing), with almost 120 keywords ranking on the first page (top 10 SERPs).