How we increased online enquiries by 96.25% with a new website and integrated marketing strategy.
Since 2002, The Stable Company has been designing, manufacturing and installing bespoke timber buildings for a wide range of sectors. Completing a variety of projects from equestrian builds, garages and outbuildings to sports and leisure, educational and commercial spaces, The Stable Company creates inspirational spaces tailored to suit individual needs.
We’ve been working with The Stable Company since 2012, when the business approached us to build its previous website. Since then, we’ve helped increase the company’s online and offline presence through a number of different channels, as well as seeing a 96.25% increase in the number of customer enquiries made through the website. In 2015, The Stable Company team approached us to help them rebrand the business and to utilise the new assets to produce a high-quality company brochure, which became the forerunner to the new site. We continue to work with The Stable Company on an ongoing basis, helping to manage its cross-channel marketing strategy which includes: Search Engine Optimisation, Content Marketing, Public Relations, Pay Per Click and Social Media Marketing.
Repositioning The Brand
The Stable Company prides itself on crafting bespoke, high quality builds with aesthetically stunning features that blend into natural surroundings. With a strong focus on nature and sustainability as well as luxury, it was important to develop a brand that demonstrated the company’s key messages. We wanted to ensure all sectors in which the business operates would see The Stable Company as an aspirational company, the products of which were fully bespoke and hugely impactful, no matter what their purpose.
The rebrand included devising a suitable visual identity for the business; selecting a colour palette, style and tone which captured this aspirational, market-leading quality built on expert craftsmanship and passion. We explored the impact of typography, colour, photography and copy to ensure we could communicate, fully, the scale and capabilities of The Stable Company team and showcase its portfolio.
Developing Tone of Voice
In developing the right tone of voice, we examined the need to convey the quality and bespoke nature of these builds and their beautiful materials, without alienating those customers seeking a smaller project. We devised a series of straplines which, when paired with the imagery, allowed us to communicate quickly and effectively with varied audiences. The overall style was quality that was inclusive - appealing to individuals and commercial clients. The business is now confident, passionate, expert and aspirational in how it sounds.
The Stable Company’s authoritative, knowledgeable, yet friendly tone of voice extends throughout its website copy, blogs and social media. We created a blog that showcases a range of knowledge across a spectrum of topics, from outreach pieces gathering industry expert insight, to blog posts discussing specialist subjects such as the benefits of timber as a construction material. The blog provides a hub of information for users to peruse and positions The Stable Company as a thought leader in its field.
Following a successful rebrand and the creation of a company brochure, it was time to turn our attention to The Stable Company’s website, bringing this in-line with the new brand. The objective was to create a visually stunning showcase, using plenty of aspirational imagery to position The Stable Company as a market leader within its sector.
All content was reworked in line with the tone of voice discovery and creation exercise. We pulled through all the key elements to ensure the new site sounded and looked the part. The case studies in particular needed to be reworked to ensure they truly reflected the quality of the work involved. By hand-selecting the stand-out projects across all sectors, we have positioned The Stable Company portfolio at the fore, highlighting the breadth, depth and diversity of what the talented team can achieve.
A New Platform For Future Growth
When it was first built, the original site was not optimised for mobile, yet visits from mobile devices had still increased by 110%. Over the years, there had also been a number of advances in content management systems and hosting technology, which meant the existing site was starting to be left behind.
With around 50% of users visiting the former site on mobile, ensuring they received a flawless user experience on the new site was of paramount importance.
Assessing Google Analytics and Hotjar Heatmaps
A detailed review of Google Analytics ensured that any key pages from the previous site, such as those responsible for sending a good volume of organic traffic, or those with high conversion rates, were part of the new sitemap. We also assessed heatmap and user recordings of the existing site to ensure that any issues users had or potential barriers to conversions were eliminated with the new build.
Balancing Design and Functionality
When it came to the design, the rebranding work that had been carried out previously would pave the way for the new site in terms of choosing fonts and the colour pallette. The challenge was to take what we’d done in print and successfully transfer this to the new site.
It was absolutely essential to strike the right balance between maintaining the beautiful design elements we wanted to include and creating a fantastic user experience in which the user could easily explore The Stable Company’s portfolio and design ideas.
The end result is a stunning site with fresh streamlined content, a heavy image-based design that’s stylistically in-line with the new visual identity of the business and a first class user experience on all devices. The stripped back homepage navigation places the emphasis on The Stable Company’s portfolio, giving the user immediate access to them.
Responding to the client’s interest in introducing moving content to the site, the homepage banner features a continuous video moving from one project to the next, giving the user a greater sense of the scale, variety and quality of The Stable Company’s projects. The video banner provides instant impact and, from watching recordings of user sessions in Hotjar, users are watching the video before moving through the site. A key objective of the site was to quickly leave the user in no doubt about The Stable Company’s ability to deliver stunning, bespoke builds, and we feel that the video successfully achieves this.
A key aspect of the build was to allow the site’s data to be as sophisticated and flexible as possible, while making it easily manageable in the CMS. A number of techniques were used to maximise the speed with which the site loads, including utilising Varnish caching technology. The result was a site with a very high Google page load speed but, most importantly, a site offering a wonderful user experience on all devices. The case study pages utilise parallax and the site features a number of animated elements to help provide an extra level of user experience.
Filtering was set up to allow users to easily and effectively sort through case studies and design ideas based on area, budget, and number of pupils in a classroom (as an example). Browser history is set to remember the slider setting when viewing the case studies and design ideas so that, when a user clicks into a case study detail page and then returns to the previous page, the settings are saved.
We rebuilt the website from the ground up in a new CMS (content management system). The new CMS was crucial to enabling future growth and expansion of the website, with new controls that allow for more flexible content editing and a stable platform that can be developed to allow new features to be added to the website in the future.
We moved the website to our latest hosting infrastructure which meant we were able to fine-tune the hosting specifically for the website, making use of the new server technology to offer improved performance and increased reliability. The new website is now able to handle more visitors than ever before with greatly improved page load speeds.
An early priority identified during the build was to guarantee as smooth a transition as possible from the old site to the new. The existing site had a strong organic search presence, and the challenge was to ensure this continued with the launch of the new site. One of the ways we addressed this was to cause as little disruption to the structure of the existing sitemap as possible while still allowing enough freedom to create the site our client wanted.
Careful consideration was given to setting up 301 redirects - these were checked methodically before launch by changing the host file so that we could see the production site as a live site and then we ran a crawl of the site to check that all pages redirected correctly.
As for the optimisation, we mirrored the existing site when it came to what the pages were optimised for, making only minor tweaks to the messaging to bring this in-line with the tone of the new site.
Reaching an Online Audience
Building an online community was always going to be an important goal for the business, and reaching both loyal customers and potential new ones through social media was an integral part of the marketing strategy. From developing a refined house style for social artwork in-line with the website design to developing competitions in partnership with key equestrian brands, The Stable Company’s social channels have seen a transformation.
Across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, The Stable Company’s online following has increased by 161.7% since January 2016. This, again, has helped to establish The Stable Company as an authoritative voice in the industry and has allowed the company to join in a wider online conversation with potential customers.
Increasing The Stable Company’s Presence
With consistent, well-positioned PR, we are able to ensure that The Stable Company is recognisable across all key sectors. Working both pro-actively and reactively, generating news items, position expert comment and writing editorials for key press, we have been able to ensure the business is seen as a market leader on key issues ranging from construction materials to the sensitivities of building for education.
Standing Out Through Search
By identifying new content opportunities and focusing on semantic search and topic modelling we were able to grow organic search by 24.44%, leading to an increase in conversions from organic traffic by 44.38%. Through prioritising budget utilisation, quality score, ad rank, and click through rate, paid search has allowed us to drive higher converting traffic to the site resulting in a 151.35% increase in conversions.
“We’re delighted with the new website produced by the team at Extreme Creations. It’s enabled us to demonstrate our products to prospective clients at a whole new level across multiple platforms and devices. Extreme have held our hand all the way through the design and build of the site and continue to monitor, refine and develop the site further to maximise it’s potential. I’ve no doubt this site will enrich our business over the forthcoming years.” GARETH BARBER, THE STABLE COMPANY
Comparing Q4 2016 to Q1 2017
INCREASE IN enquiries21%
INCREASE IN NEW USERS
INCREASE IN website sessions via social referral11.9%
INCREASE IN AVERAGE SESSION DURATION
INCREASE IN enQUIRY CONVERSION RATE10.1%
INCREASE IN PAGES PER SESSION