Build a Better Website, Part 1: Out with the Old…

Build a Better Website Part 1 | via TAPED, the ECHOtape BlogThe world wide web is wonderful and expansive and it lets us do all kinds of great things both for personal and professional use. As a business, ECHOtape knows that for our website to be successful, it needs to be easy to find, it has to explain who we are and what we can do and it has to quickly get people the information they are seeking. We know that if customers cannot locate exactly what they need in as few clicks as possible, they will make one more click…to a competitor’s site!

We last upgraded our ECHOtape website two years ago to a more robust platform, and a year ago we made some cosmetic improvements to freshen up the site. Two years ago, our company website was re-built on the  “Magneto” platform,  which you may be surprised to learn is not only the name of the arch villain of X-Men comics, but is also a content management system for e-commerce websites. Originally we thought that the ECHOtape company site would eventually also serve as an e-commerce platform, and that we would also integrate it with our Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) software. However, that plan never came to fruition, so Magneto – powerful yet cumbersome –  is more overkill for us at this point.

After we launched our corporate site, we decided that we needed to blog so we introduced “Taped,” the blog you are reading now.  We created it on a platform called WordPress, which was easy to use, especially given we have multiple writers.

Eventually, we did open an online store using Big Commerce, which was very cost effective, simple to use but still powerful enough to do everything we needed.  So at the end of 2014, we found ourselves with three different software platforms that needed to be maintained. One of the goals with our new redesign is to consolidate these platforms so we are going to be migrating our Magento site to Wordpress which will make our lives a lot easier.

Before we started the redesign process, the first step we took was to analyze all of the data we had at our disposal from the last two years. What exactly is going on with our website? How many new visitors do we get each month? Where are they navigating to? What are the most popular pages? How long do visitors stay on the site? What information are they using? Where do we lose these prospective customers if they navigate away from our site?

Utilizing analytical tools, including the powerful Google Analytics, to evaluate ECHOtape’s traffic, traffic sources, referrals, and more, we began to get a clear picture of what was going on.

Two of the most important things we learned – almost 80% of visitors are new!  That is a big change from when we first launched, and presents opportunities for us to capitalize on.  Second, we learned that the 2nd most used page on our site is our Contact Us page – so people clearly want to get in touch with us and they have all kinds of requests and questions about tape.

Armed with this information, we brought the entire ECHOtape website team together to review the data analysis. Our social media folks, content managers, and web designers synthesized the information that was presented and we began to lay out a roadmap for the new site.

One of the key questions we asked was: “What exactly do we want this new website to do?”

So here are some of the key issues we are hoping to nail with the redesign:

  • Makes sure people who do not know us can easily learn about our company and trust us.
  • Make it easy for people to ask us a question, request a sample, etc. essentially Let’s Talk Tape.
  • Ensure that the website is responsive – fully compatible with all mobile technology, including smartphones and tablets.
  • Improve the ECHOtape branding so that we convey to customers what we are about as a company and the value of working with us.
  • Allow for maximum search functionality so people can find exactly what they are looking for.  who know exactly what they are looking for.
  • Maintain the bilinguality of the site, so that both our English and French Canadian customers can navigate easily.
  • Generate more inquiries about our company and products through the website

Now that the data analysis is done and our needs have been outlined, the next phase is to map out the new site. Stay tuned!