As a consulting agency that specializes in web development and design, we often encounter clients who are looking to refresh their existing websites but are unsure of the steps involved. Many come to us with examples like the case study we will be reviewing, intrigued by its transformative effects but uncertain how to replicate them for their own brands. That's why we've decided to take you behind the scenes of Triacl's website refresh in this case study. Whether you're considering a similar project or are merely interested in best practices for website optimization, this blog post aims to shed light on the entire process.
Why Consider a Website Refresh?
A stale or dated website can impact user engagement, lower your search ranking, and negatively affect sales or conversion rates.
It's essential to stay updated in the digital landscape. From user experience to SEO, multiple factors can affect your website's performance and, subsequently, your business. Even subtle changes can transform a static website into a dynamic, user-friendly platform.
When Should You Consider a Refresh?
It's advisable to review your website bi-annually, but consider a more thorough refresh every 2-3 years.
Technological changes, updated brand messaging, or shifts in your target audience are valid triggers for a website refresh.
Pros and Cons of a Refresh
Enhanced User Experience: A refresh can make a site more user-friendly, through quicker load times, easier navigation, and a more intuitive interface.
Higher SEO Ranking: Updates to your website, especially those that improve site speed, mobile-responsiveness, and content quality, can contribute to a better SEO ranking.
Increased Accessibility: Modern web design standards often incorporate features that make the website more accessible to users with disabilities.
Better Conversion Rates: A well-designed, modern site can improve trust and engagement, leading to higher conversion rates.
Up-to-Date Content: A refresh is a perfect time to update any outdated content, which can also boost SEO and keep your audience engaged.
Competitive Advantage: An updated website can help you stand out against competitors who have older, less efficient websites.
Brand Consistency: Over time, your brand may evolve. A website refresh ensures that your online presence aligns with your current brand voice and aesthetic.
Enhanced Security: Older websites can be more vulnerable to security risks. A refresh usually includes updates that make the site more secure.
Streamlined Maintenance: Updated websites, particularly those moved to modern content management systems, can be easier and less time-consuming to maintain.
Initial Cost: A significant refresh might require a substantial budget for design, development, and testing.
Time-Consuming: From planning to deployment, a website refresh can be a lengthy process, requiring significant resources.
Risk of Technical Issues: A refresh often involves updates or changes to the site's underlying technology, which could introduce new bugs or compatibility issues.
Potential SEO Impacts: If not handled carefully, changing URLs or eliminating pages could temporarily affect your SEO rankings.
Learning Curve for Users: Regular visitors may initially find the new layout confusing or disorienting, which could lead to decreased engagement in the short term.
Content Overhaul: Depending on the extent of the refresh, a significant amount of content may need to be rewritten or reformatted, requiring extra time and resources.
Downtime: Depending on the scope of the update, your website might experience some downtime, which could affect sales and user experience.
The Triacl Case Study: A Comprehensive Refresh
Before: The site's navigation menu was not really bad however given this is an e-commerce website, it's important for users to have access to products easily, in the case of the old site. A critical category like 'Products' was not prominently displayed and lacked engaging visuals or descriptors.
After: We overhauled the navigation, providing multiple options to shop which is either by category or just shopping for products, this is also the the next item in the menu list after the home link which allows users to have faster access. Both 'Shop by Categories' and 'Shop Products' sections, were equipped with intuitive mega menus.
Note: Effective site navigation is not just about listing categories; it's about presenting them in a manner that guides the visitor intuitively through your site.
The Hero Section
Before: The previous hero section featured a static image that displayed all the products together. While visually busy, the 'Buy Now' CTA was merely a text link that could easily go unnoticed.
After: We revamped the hero section to be more dynamic and focused. In the new layout, a captivating image of a woman using the product is displayed to the right, along with a small box showcasing the product, its name, and a prominent 'Add to Cart' button. To the left of the image, engaging content tells the visitor why this product.
Note: The hero section is not merely a banner; it's your first shot at engaging a potential customer. Therefore, it has to be visually captivating, informative, and most importantly, guiding the visitor toward taking action.
Fine-Tuning the 'About Us' Section
Before: The "About Us" section previously took up significant space on the home page, which could have been better utilized for direct product engagement or customer conversion. While brand history is important, the home page should primarily serve to engage customers quickly and guide them toward making a purchase or learning more about what the brand offers.
After: To remedy this, we moved the detailed "About Us" to its own dedicated page. We didn't just stop there; we included a streamlined "Why Triacl" section on the home page. This condensed version serves as a quick introduction to the brand, outlining its mission, ethos, and what sets it apart from competitors, all while saving the user from scrolling through excessive text.
Note: Knowing what to include on your home page versus what to move to a separate page is crucial. The aim is to balance user engagement with efficient use of space. Your home page is prime real estate; make sure every section on it is geared toward either providing immediate value or guiding the customer to take the next step in their journey with your brand.
Product Highlights and Features
Before: Products were listed, but there was little to no emphasis on their unique features or benefits.
After: We strategically placed icons next to each product to highlight key features like 'Deep Hydration' or 'Fine Line Reduction,' providing users with at-a-glance information.
Note: Providing clear, visually appealing product highlights can greatly aid in the customer's decision-making process.
Before: The original website was not optimized for mobile viewing. Users had to horizontally scroll to see all the content, leading to a frustrating experience.
After: The refreshed website is fully mobile-responsive, ensuring a seamless user experience across all devices.
Note: Mobile-responsiveness is not an option but a necessity in today's digital age. According to Google, mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor, and failing to comply can affect your website's search engine ranking adversely.
A Focused Approach to Testimonials
Before: Previously, testimonials were dispersed throughout various sections of the site. While their intention was to add credibility, their random placement and difficult-to-read font against a full-image background made them less effective and more of a distraction.
After: We've taken a more focused approach in the redesign. Testimonials have been relocated to individual product pages where they hold the most relevance. This makes it easier for potential customers to see real feedback from people who have used the specific product they're interested in, thus adding more weight to their purchase decision.
Note: Testimonials are potent tools for building trust and credibility. However, their placement should be strategic. Locating them where they can best serve to confirm the product's efficacy makes them more potent as decision influencers.
Bundling for Better Sales
Before: The original site design had products listed individually, with no extra incentives or options to encourage customers to add more items to their cart. While this may work for some online retail models, it missed out on the opportunity for cross-selling and upselling.
After: To address this, we introduced product bundles, like the "Glow-Up Bundle," which combines the Foaming Gel Cleanser, Clarifying Toner, HyaluBoost Serum, and Daily Moisturizer. This allows the site to offer better value for customers looking for a comprehensive skincare regimen, ultimately encouraging higher average order values.
Note: Bundling is not just a tactic to clear inventory; it's a strategic move to elevate customer engagement and sales. It offers consumers convenience and value, encouraging them to spend more than they initially planned. The "Glow-Up Bundle" represents this perfectly with its four elements: Cleanse, Brighten, Soothe, and Soften, aimed at providing a complete skincare solution.
Before: The original design, while seemingly simple, was rife with challenges that affected both aesthetics and user engagement. The full-image background, although visually appealing, cluttered the interface and made text elements difficult to read. This was especially problematic in sections like testimonials, where readability is crucial for building trust. The lack of modern aesthetics and responsiveness also meant that mobile users had to scroll horizontally to see the full site, hindering accessibility and user experience.
After: Our design refresh took a different approach by focusing on simplicity and modern aesthetics. We've stripped away unnecessary elements and emphasized clean lines, balanced white space, and readable typography. These changes were not merely cosmetic; they also improved the site's mobile responsiveness, ensuring a better user experience across all devices.
Note: Simplicity in design isn't just about removing elements; it's about creating an efficient, user-friendly interface where every element serves a purpose. Our redesign aimed to achieve this by using modern design principles that not only enhance visual appeal but also improve user engagement and accessibility.
Your website is a living, breathing entity that needs care and updating to stay relevant. Incorporating regular refreshes can seem daunting, but the benefits often outweigh the disadvantages.
Our case study on Triacl serves as an instructive example of how thoughtful, strategic updates can bring about transformative change in your website, making it more user-friendly, better at converting visitors, and ultimately more successful in achieving your business goals.