The Family Chiropractic Center had put quite a bit of time and money into their website, working hard to keep it at #1 on Google for the name of their company. Unfortunately, this was the wrong goal. A company with a local clientele shouldn’t have to work hard to stay at #1 for their company name. A well built website should, in the absence of major competitors with the same name, find it easy to keep #1 for their name.
FCC actually needed to rank for searches like “chiropractor” and “whiplash.” Beyond that, they needed a website that would work for them and for their clients. Their old website, below, was confusing and unattractive. In testing their old site (below), we found that visitors tended to leave very quickly, often without attempting to visit any additional pages.
We worked with designer Tom Hapgood to create a new website, and within two months traffic had more than tripled.
What were the changes?
- Modern site architecture and functionality made the site far more user friendly. The old site had a lot of information, but it just wasn’t clear how to reach it, and it wasn’t enticing to a visitor. While using standard site architecture may seem unoriginal, it actually means that people can find things. In reality, the old site probably wasn’t trying to be original in using a single long drop-down menu; either this was something that people did at the time the site was built (though I haven’t seen it before), or the site builder simply didn’t know how to arrange navigation. We built a standard five page site with clear navigation in the form of a horizontal navigation bar, plus a call out section emphasizing the clinic’s videos and longer articles.
- While the old site did have lots of information, it was culled from other sites. We found thousands of chiropractors’ sites with the same exact articles. Large amounts of duplicate content does no good from the point of view of search, and it’s also less useful to a site’s visitors than more specifically targeted information. We wrote fresh, unique content with current information.
- Visually, the old site was unappealing. While the search engines don’t care how pretty your website is, your human visitors will respond better to something attractive. We brought photographer Jason Hudson in to photograph the staff and the premises, and used photos on every page. Tom kept FCC’s green color scheme and used the blue of the staff’s lab coats, but added violet and subtle spine images as well. When we tested the new site, we found that visitors enjoyed the new look, spent time examining the photos, and explored the site thoroughly.
We took the opportunity to make the site work for the chiropractor’s office, too, uploading forms that patients could fill out to speed up their first visit. We conducted a linkbuilding campaign for FCC, and came back a couple of months later with an additional campaign to add some more keywords. FCC’s websit saw a decline in traffic over the holidays, as most do, but before that was seeing steady increases in traffic, with search traffic now providing the majority of visitors. The number of keywords being used has more than doubled, comparing the current month to the first month after launch, and the bounce rate has dropped significantly. In short, we’re seeing continued improvement even without ongoing work on the site.
While sites that receive ongoing work always outperform those that do not, a one-time investment in an improved and search optimized website will continue to pay off over time.