Anatomy of a Results-Driven Website, A Case Study
A couple weeks ago, I walked readers through the no-suck approach to website redesign that we use at Scopcity and recommend everywhere. Today, I’m going to walk you through an actual application of the approach, so you can see how it works and decide for yourself whether it will work for you.
GLE Associates is a full-service architecture, engineering and environmental consulting firm headquartered in Tampa, Florida. They’ve been in business since 1989, and weathered the ups and downs of the economy plus massive disruptions in the online marketing environment.
At a Glance
Why I chose to highlight GLE Associates: GLE is a B2B SMB with offices all over the Southeastern United States. They sought to improve the usability, content, and effectiveness of their site. As such, they sit neatly in our primary market, and their needs lined up with our solutions.
Site Address: gleassociates.com
Client: Bob Greene, President, GLE Associates
About the Client: GLE Associates is an integrated architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firm headquartered in Tampa, Florida, with offices throughout the Southeastern United States.
Key Features of the New Site: Quick navigation to key service areas, deep content capability, positioning as experts
As with every marketing project, we began by focusing on the audience GLE primarily wanted to serve. In this case, audience was also one of our biggest challenges, due to the large variety of services GLE offers, and the multiple audiences they serve.
As part of our MVP (minimum viable product—read more about this approach here) approach, we worked with GLE’s team to define two primary audiences (property owners/managers and commercial lenders) to focus on first, and then to break those audiences down into sub-categories (for instance, owners vs. managers, lending agents vs. risk mitigation officers). We mapped each of GLE’s service lines to its primary audience and sub-category, then uncovered the needs and buying process for each persona.
Once we understood where in the buying process each persona likely encounters GLE’s main page, we defined a path through the website to answer their questions, establish GLE’s value proposition, and connect users with the action we want them to take before leaving.
Each of GLE’s audiences has a different immediate concern. However, all of them seek expertise, responsiveness, and excellent service. Of course, every brand claims to provide those things, so we took the time to dig in deep and uncover GLE’s unique value proposition. Unlike most other engineering firms in the Southeast, during the recession GLE did not downsize and focus on a single service line. GLE’s leadership felt that it does a disservice to clients when a firm does not have in-house expertise in a range of related engineering services, so they worked hard to retain talent across a wide variety of disciplines.
As a result, their teams are able to coordinate efficiently and effectively across disciplines, which provides a variety of significant benefits to clients. Together, we defined GLE’s brand position around their value as a complete, cross-disciplinary solutions provider.
The number of different audiences, disciplines, and industries that GLE serves provided a second unique challenge. It would have been easy to get overwhelmed and settle for messaging and structure that follows standard practice and serves everyone in a bland and unfocused manner.
We addressed the challenge by breaking the site project into phases (the phased plan is still in process as of this writing). We defined and documented which segments of the site would target which audiences, and focused initially on those elements that were critical to our initial launch. Within the site plan, we developed an easy navigation strategy for visitors to self-select which portion of the site is relevant to them.
GLE’s look is simple, clean, and allows immediate navigation to the essential elements of the site. The slider at top answers the most important question users ask: What does GLE do? The first slide also introduces GLE’s primary messaging. It also enables immediate, fast access to contact GLE. This point was critical because property managers and lenders sometimes have an immediate need for catastrophe response or quick-turn due diligence services, and do not have time to scroll around looking for contact information. We took care of this with a simple, “Get Service Now” button that connects directly to a continuously monitored email address. There is also a phone number in upper right.
Once on the site, users can elect to use the menu at top, or scroll down the page to navigate. Below the slide, a menu of services provides quick access to information on specific areas. Because each service has a different audience with different needs, it’s important to get users quickly to the section most relevant to them, which this section does well.
If you click through to one of the service areas (for instance, Indoor Environmental), you’ll notice that each one contains relevant imagery, and a short paragraph or two about the service. The service is then broken down further in the section below, demonstrating the elements of that service. Deeper content is sometimes available via links inside the content—such as to explore mold remediation or industrial hygiene. These elements will continue to be developed as we move into each phase of development. This deeper content contributes to SEO and further establishes GLE’s positioning as the experts.
The menu at right of each service page further emphasizes GLE’s “complete solution” value proposition, by specifically highlighting related services. Each related service link was chosen specifically for each service page to highlight service lines most likely to be of interest to the audience for that particular page.
Because it is GLE’s goal to continually position themselves as the experts in their region, the site was built to accommodate the growth of considerable content depth. Once the site was launched, we immediately began producing blog content that is available under the “Resources” tab. Eventually, the resources section will contain case studies, white papers, and other forms of premium content to support the research needs of GLE’s prospects, as well as to continually improve SEO.
Returning to the home page, if you scroll down toward the bottom, you’ll notice a “careers” section highlighted prominently. High quality talent is an important part of GLE’s value proposition, and as such they need to both appeal to prospective talent and also demonstrate to potential clients their commitment to that talent. The career segment achieves both of these goals.
A few other elements: Notice the ability to access a map of locations. For some GLE clients, location is important for speed of service, knowledge of local regulations, and other reasons. They want to know if there’s an office within reasonable range of their locations. They also want to know that GLE has resources outside the immediate area, a matter of great concern in the event of a large-scale catastrophe like a hurricane, where a hyper-local resource might be unavailable due to their own catastrophe. We chose to communicate GLE’s geographic advantages visually in the form of a map, along with the addresses of each office.
Finally, note that the top of every page contains access to social channels, as well as a phone number for existing clients and prospects to reach a representative immediately.
The GLE Associates website is clean, clear, and easy to navigate. It answers all of the prospect’s initial questions, underscores GLE’s unique value proposition, and provides quick access to a busy user’s immediate needs.
For more information on how to efficiently achieve a similar result, be sure to read “Nine Steps to a Website Redesign that Won’t Let You Down,” and download our “Website Redesign Checklist.”
Heather Head is an author, as well as the founder of Scopcity. When she is not writing, running the business, or chasing down bad guys on Twitter, she enjoys hiking, snuggling with her husband and three boys, and avoiding the kitchen.