Add3.com

blog-design-featured

Add3 launched a re-vamped content & blogging initiative back in February. The blog was already there, and before the first post went live and over the first several weeks, we made a few technical and “blogginess” updates to the blog. These updates included like adding social follow/sharing functionality, updating to the Yoast SEO plugin and incorporating OpenGraph and authorship markup, adding markup for Twitter cards, adding related posts, etc. Most of this was done in a piecemeal fashion.

Things have been going well, and the results have been pretty good. Add3 has seen an uptick in everything from overall visits to the site to goal completions (contact us form submits & that kind of thing) to links / social mentions, etc. However, in my opinion, the look and feel of the blog portion of our site just left something to be desired. So – I got with Jimmy (SEO at Add3 – helps me run our blog & social presence) and Michiko (our long-time designer) and we identified a bunch of things we wanted to change. More than that, I wanted to make sure it had a positive impact on results. Here’s what happened:

Goals of Add3′s Blog Redesign

First, we set out with some objectives:

  1. Visibility of authors / author credit
  2. More engagement w/ content
  3. More conversion/micro-conversion event activity: subscribes, social follows & social shares
Second, we outlined our basic punch-list, which was simple, and aligned it to our objectives:
Make the blog look/feel more like a blog and to have it better support some of our internal goals.
  • Make authors more prominent (help achieve #1 visibility above)
  • Improve readability (#2 engagement)
  • Add popular posts and make popular and related posts more prominent (#2 engagement)
  • Add calls-to-action to posts / blog (#3 conversion)

Breaking Down the Design Changes

Overview Page / Overall Design Changes

Before

before-add3-insights-overview

After

Not shown: some additional sidebar cleanup & prioritization

after-add3-insights-overview

Changes at the Post Level

Before

Top of Posts

before-top-of-post

Bottom of Posts

before-bottom-of-post

After

Top of Posts

after-top-of-post

 

Bottom of Posts

after-bottom-of-post

Home Page

Author visibility on the home page.

Before

home-page-before

 

After

home-page-after

Results of the Blog Redesign

The design changes to the blog resulted in surprising improvements to engagement and conversions.

Improved Engagement

I’ve broken visitors into two broad segments.

1. All visitors to the site

all-visitors-engagement

Even though we didn’t implement design changes site-wide, the improvements to the design of the blog appear to have a positive impact on overall site visitor performance. The bulk of our site visitors interact with the blog, but not all of them.

2. Those visitors who entered on the blog.

blog-visitors-engagement

 

There was an even bigger improvement in engagement for visitors whose landing page was the blog or a blog post.

Improved Conversion

Part of the catalyst for redesigning the blog is that we were implementing a more aggressive lead generation program for the site. This meant adding calls-to-action to blog posts as well. We rolled these CTA’s out prior to the redesign, but the redesign has had a pretty impressive impact on overall conversion activity as well.

Here’s all you need to know

Add3 redesign conversion results

This is the rate of new contacts we’ve been able to generate since implementing design changes and calls to action.

Parting Thoughts

I’d love to say we tested a lot of these things before implementing, and that we have some additional tests underway, but we didn’t and we don’t. We have limited resources too, but we felt pretty good that the changes we wanted to have made aligned with our goals, so we pulled the trigger. Effectively, we’re in the “B” portion of our A/B test. So far so good -B is winning. Given the amount of time that’s passed and the volume of visits we’ve received, I’m pretty confident in the results.  If these key stats had all gone the other way, we would change it back… and this blog post may have been EVEN MORE interesting. :)

What do you think of the new look/feel?





Ben Lloyd

About Ben Lloyd

Ben Lloyd serves as Principal at Add3 and manages the agency’s Portland office.  Ben got his start in SEM way back in 1999 – when there was like, 15 search engines and Google was barely a thing. Prior to Add3, Ben had founded Amplify Interactive in 2003 (which was acquired by Add3 in 2013), and hasn’t looked back since. Ben likes lots of stuff like golf, pinball, food(ie), booze/beer/wine – in that order, etc. Mostly – he likes doing that stuff with his friends. Ben is also co-founder of SEMpdx. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn

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