We love having Edley’s Bar-B-Que as a client. They are a lot of fun to work with, and of course, the barbecue is ah-mazing. Edley’s has won the vote for #1 Bar-B-Que in Nashville 4 years in a row. Since they had barbecue nailed down, it was time to give their website some love by conducting a website redesign. Here’s our process and (ahem!) some pretty amazing results.
Start Every Website Redesign by Identifying Goals
We sat down with Catharine and Will Newman to identify their goals for the redesign. Finding the location information, the menu, and how to call for take out was a bit difficult to find, especially on mobile. Their goal was to improve these pain points, increase mobile users, and improve the overall user experience (ux) on the site.
Performing a Site Audit
Once we established our client’s goals, we performed an audit on their website. The audit included an SEO audit, a competitor analysis, research into their target audiences, demographics, etc. Last but definitely not least, we pulled their Google Analytics for the past year on their site to analyze user behaviors.
Since this project was a website redesign, we were able to analyze the content on the previous site. We pulled research to see which pages were performing the best and had the most traffic, along with bounce rates and engagement.
All of this data can be found within Google Analytics, so if you don’t have this plugged in to your website, do so ASAP. Why? The data provided by Google Analytics is beneficial to marketers beyond just analyzing website performance. A brand’s social channels should direct users to the brand’s website through blog posts and other calls to action to continue working users through the audience funnel.
Without Google Analytics tied to your website, you are unable to correctly identify how many users are coming to your website from social. Without that missing puzzle piece, marketers and brands cannot truly know how effective their social strategy is at getting users to visit your website.
Ever heard the phrase, “Content is King”? The content on your website should be part of your digital marketing strategy. Your website is a reflection of your brand, therefore the content on your website should be the first priority. High quality, original content is an effective way to drive traffic to your site.
In order to make the most amazing dish, you have to start with the ingredients. The same goes for web design. The design should fit the content, not the other way around. – Brandi Leath
What is web content specifically? Web content consists of text, graphics, photos, video, etc. When creating a content strategy for a website, we start with an outline of the site and create content templates for each page. The content template will include goals you want to accomplish on the page, a CTA (call-to-action) strategy, the text you want on the page, and an SEO strategy. Depending on the extent of the content, we may go ahead and lay out the wireframe for the design.
Over the past couple of years, our team has created some beautiful food photography, location shots, and eye catching videos for Edley’s social strategy. Because the content we create for social is high quality and original content, we were able to reuse this content for the website. This not only decreased the budget for the website redesign, but also saved us a ton of time coming up with content for the new site.
Edley’s previous site didn’t have an SEO strategy in place. Images didn’t have alt texts, meta descriptions were not relative to the page they represented, and the user experience was okay at best. I worked with our Content Strategist, Brittany to implement an SEO strategy that focused on on-page as well as back-end tactics to give Edley’s the search-ability and attention it deserves.
Any good SEO strategy nails down a big picture strategy first. What does the business want to accomplish with a website redesign? What are the goals?
At the end of the day, ordering online, wedding catering calls, and driving traffic to the restaurant proved to be the most important to the client. With these questions (and answers) in mind, we were able to create a website that is both beautiful and SEO-focused.
Keywords – We made sure that every page on the site has a unique set of keywords that it targets. Whether it’s wedding catering or the brunch menu, we incorporated those keywords into the headlines, the text, and also included them in the image descriptions.
We also incorporated phrases and terms that are similar to the keywords. RankBrain from Google looks at a searchers intent as well as what they actually typed in the search bar. So, we wanted to use variations of keywords throughout the text as well. When a tourist searches for “barbecue in Nashville,” we wanted Edley’s to show up in the SERP’s, and they do!
Enhanced the blog – Have you read Edley’s blog? It’s an endless list of posts talking about Edley’s side dishes, hot chicken, and even top bridesmaids gifts. On the previous site, there was no way to include a meta title or description on each blog. But with the addition of Yoast, we have the ability to customize a meta title and description that fits each blog post perfectly. Before we even started the website redesign, we were working on SEO for the blog. Each blog post has a purpose and targets one of Edley’s unique audiences.
Images – There are a ton of beautiful images on the website, and sometimes that can slow load time, which can effect rankings. To remedy this, we compressed every image on the site so it doesn’t slow load times. Hint: you can also do this with video!
Fixed broken stuff – We noticed there were quite a few broken links, pages with low text, some duplicate content issues, and pages with no title tags or meta descriptions. We corrected what we could initially, but this will be an on-going process to correct issues like this.
Improved user experience – Your visitors need to be lead down a path to conversion. We did this through the mobile experience (read more below), making pieces of information like locations and menus available on the homepage, and combining the wedding catering site into the new Edley’s site.
The client didn’t want a complete overhaul of the website, so we took the content on the previous site and worked our way out from there. Even though the previous site had really great content for its time, it didn’t have the look and feel of Edley’s as a brand today. We sifted through our stack of social media content over the years and started rebranding their website with the Edley’s brand voice in mind. Eating lunch at Edley’s a time or two also provided some really great inspiration!
Their website was already mobile friendly, but they had two different versions – desktop and mobile. Since Google favors mobile first websites, we wanted to focus on the user experience for mobile phones as a first priority. The best solution for this was to implement a responsive design.
We ensured that a mobile user could find each location information within seconds by including anchor links to each location block on the mobile home page as the first thing you see. Each location block has the address, phone number, and hours of operation. They also include a set of 4 icons: to call the location directly, get directions (that pull up their map on their phone), a link to email the location directly, and a link to the actual location page itself.
If you asked me which page was my favorite before and after comparison, it would most definitely be Edley’s “About” page. We took the very same content from the old site, sprinkled in some SEO and added high quality photos we had already taken for social content. We rearranged the content in a way that was easier to digest and voila!
Not only is it important to measure data for marketing, it’s equally important to measure the metrics on your website. Google Analytics is free and easy to use, it gives you insights to user behavior and can also tell you if your site design is giving you the conversions you want. It also provides the necessary tools to continually help improve the overall usability of a website. Some useful metrics we analyze for web design projects are bounce rate, site speed, page views, conversion rate and any specific goals the client wishes to accomplish.
Edley’s #1 goal: Increase mobile users. We optimized every page for both humans and robots, combined multiple sites into one cohesive responsive website, and updated the look and feel of the site to give it a more “Edley’s” feel. We also optimized high quality images and video to load quickly, while sprinkling in a little SEO love.
When comparing website traffic from 2016 vs. 2017 in May, we increased our mobile users by 5,555.20%. Yes, that is a real number. We increased engagement on the menu page by 28.27%, which was also another goal. Overall Pageviews increased by 266.40%, (the menu page increased by 406.01% alone).
When looking at metrics for search results, we increased our organic search by 251.88% (37,000 sessions this year, compared to 10,515 last year). Direct traffic also increased by 480.80%. (An experiment shows up to 60% of “Direct” traffic is actually organic search.)
Since the website redesign, edleysbbq.com continues to gain more views, sessions, and users each day. High quality and original content, an SEO strategy, combined with an effective UX and a beautiful UI is what made this redesign a success.
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We understand how digital marketing and your website depend on each other, so we design (or redesign) your website with that in mind. Whether you need a landing page, a complete redesign, or you are starting from scratch, we have you covered.