The Challenge

Arbtech provide a range of surveys for people who are trying to get planning permission in the UK. A great deal of Arbtech’s business is generated via their website and the services they offer are unfamilar wih most visitors. This means that it is very important to explain the services offered clearly and simply. Arbtech’s main goals were to increase the number of quotes generated from the website and to improve their search engine rankings.

Informing the Design

The first step to improving Arbtech’s website was to carry out some detailed research. I had to learn about this industry myself and I had to find out what users thought when they visited the website. Where they struggling to understand the services? Was there a barrier stopping them from obtaining a quote? Was the website easy to use on the devices they were using? There was a lot to learn before I started designing anything.

I looked through Google Analytics in detail to see how the website was performing and users were flowing through the website. This research gave me some ideas about improvements that could be made. After getting some ideas together, I wanted to find out more from real users. I set up some surveys and contacted clients to ask them questions about the website. I also went through existing website feedback and set up a widget on the website to collect feedback from users.

I now had plenty of useful information but still wanted to see how users were actually using the website for myself. Whilst feedback from surveys is great, it can also be misleading. I created some user tests with actual users in the target demographic of Arbtech clients and I set up a tool called Hotjar that allowed me to view visitor activity in real time, as well as look at heat maps and other useful tools.

Improving the Design

Once I’d documented my findings it was time to start working on a new design which aimed to solve the issues I’d found so far. I used a wireframing tool called Balsamic to create some simple, low fidelity wireframes that I could talk through with Arbtech. I made some tweaks to the wireframes after working closely with Arbtech and it was soon time to create some high fidelity prototypes.

I decided to create the high fidelity prototypes by designing directly in the browser. By bypassing static mock-ups I was able to get to a working prototype quicker so that Arbtech could see a real, working example of the new website. This also meant that I could test the new design quickly too. I carried out a round of user testing again on this design as soon as the first version was ready to check that the changes made the improvements I was expecting.

An Iterative Approach Leading to Great Results

After seeing encouraging user feedback on the new design I contained work, integrating the website into a custom WordPress solution that made it very easy to update the website by anyone at Arbtech. Once the website was ready for launch I carried out more tests and gathered more user feedback. I also used a conversion rate optimisation tool called Visual Website Optimizer to carry out ongoing tests to try to improve the user experience even more.

The iterative approach to producing the website worked very well and led to 75% increase in lead volume which made Arbtech very happy and achieved their main goal of obtaining more leads.

Refreshing the Brand

With the Arbtech website looking and performing well, it was a good time update their brand. The previous Arbtech logo was dated and in need of a fresher, more modern feel. I created the new logo and helped produce branded business assets such as business cards, staff ID badges and lanyards.

Search Engine Optimisation

Arbtech needed a boost in organic rankings. Some of their main keywords had been hovering on the second or third page of on Google for years and getting them high on page one would provide a big boost in traffic and conversions.

After some investigation into current issues with the website I made some changes to the site architecture which included consolidating various pieces of similar content into a single page of high quality, authoritative content and making some changes to the URL structure.

After a few months we could already see some of the main keywords performing much better. To help the rankings creep up further, I obtained a few high quality links by sharing our new and improved content with various influencers in the industry.

Search engine placements have improved a great deal. In the first year after making the changes, Arbtech’s organic traffic increased by nearly 50% and has now become Arbtech’s primary source of website traffic.

Great Feedback

I’ve always enjoyed working with Arbtech. It’s been great working with a client who sees how important continuous testing and optimisation is when trying to achieve outstanding results. Rob Oates said these kinds words following my work on his website:

“I don’t mind telling you, a lot of the success of my business is down to Andy.

Andy doesn’t use off-the-self themes; he designs and codes everything from the ground, up. The benefit of this was obvious from the start. Apart from the visual appeal of the new site; we recently ran some A/B tests, and it instantly started to out-convert the old one. What’s more, we have started to climb back up the search results page, thanks to his intelligent site architecture and knowledge of ‘what Google wants’.

It’s this simple: if you own a business – you need to talk to Andy”.Robert Oates – Director