Category: Web Strategy

Website Launch for Granite YMCA Camps 2.0

2019 YMCA Camp Website Launch

It’s incredible how time flies. It was the spring of 2013 when we launched an all boys and all girls overnight camp website for the Granite YMCA. In that time their goals and challenges were different.

2013 Website Goals & Challenges

Back then, the camps were focused on upgrading their outdated websites, and creating something that flowed nicely. Some of their goals were to:

• Maintain membership retention
• Generate leads
• Have information accessible for parents and campers
• Make sure the website was manageable in-house by staff
• Have an easy navigation on mobile devices
• Create something unique while keeping the YMCA brand guidelines in mind.

The result were 2 websites with a simple sitemap and a more modern design. We were all very happy with the results.

Website & UX Audit

When they came to us ready for an upgrade in 2018, we started with a Website & UX audit. With the audits, we discovered there was much room for improvement in the information architecture and the user experience department. 

• Information on pages would overlap, making it confusing for the user
• Both camp website’s experience lacked personality
• Navigation wasn’t as smooth as we’d hoped it would be
• A few important features on the site weren’t easy to update for YMCA staff members
• Interactive PDFs for parents to fill out weren’t cutting it and became challenging

YMCA Camps 2.0

Granite YMCA Camp Websites 2.0

Here are some of the website improvements made for both YMCA Camp websites.

1.) Navigation Menu

Main Menu 2.0

In the previous website version, the main menu was hidden for desktop and mobile devices. It would display after the user clicked the hamburger icon menu located at the top right corner.

This time around we wanted to save our desktop users that extra click to view the main menu. In addition, the entire information architecture was reevaluated. New web sections were introduced and page titles were addressed to help visitors find the information they were looking for whether it being a parent, camper or staff member.


2.) Background Video

After visiting both camps in-person, it was apparent how different the experience was at an all girl camp and all boy camp. By including a background video on the home page, we were able to ensure that the first impression for our online visitors delivered that unique culture and personality of each camp.


3.) Online Application Forms

After conducting our audit, it was apparent that more and more users were visiting the website on a mobile device. Therefore, this time around we introduced more online forms so that CIT applicants or Financial Assistance didn’t rely solely on a PDF. By providing the option, we save time for our users and avoid any frustrations for those that are in need of assistance or wish to be part of the camp staff.


4.) Manageable Countdown

Camp Countdown ACF Feature

It’s important to us for assigned YMCA staff members, such as marketing managers, to have the ability to update copy and images at anytime without being concerned of breaking the layout.

The countdown feature keeps everyone on schedule and needed to be updated once a year. Therefore, a custom setup was built and added to their WordPress admin portal so that staff was able to update the countdown date without needing to know code.


5.) Mobile Menu Navigation

Camp Foss Mobile Menu 2.0

Last but not least, the mobile menu navigation experience went through a revamp. Mobile visitors now have an immediate access to call the camp and/or get directions. Main sections were simplified and helpful arrows trigger animated accordions to dropdown and display more information to access subsections.


Research Doesn’t End Here

Even after the new website launch we started discovering new needs by our visitors. As long as we stay in touch with how the website is being used, we can be ahead the game in getting somewhat close to a perfect website.

Stay agile.


It’s Alive: Importance of Live Chat On Your Website

Why Your Business Should Start Using a Live Website Chat

A 2015 study by Zendesk proved the importance of live chat on a website. It found that 92% customers feel satisfied when they use the live chat feature, compared to other communication options like voice (88%), email (85), web form (85%), and social media (Facebook 84%, Twitter 77%).

Why Live Website Chats Work

Instant Help

Most of the time you just want your answer right away. When you send an email to a company it can be frustrating to get an email back saying they will get back to you in 24-48 hours. Live chat this you to speak with someone and get your answer as fast as they can type it. This leads to awesome reviews for your business from your clients.

Lets customers connect with you

It allows the customers speak with you on a more personal level than email. Of course a phone call would be the most personable form of communication with the customer, but phone calls take more effort from the user. A live website chat is the perfect combination of personality and ease of use. It is a real time conversation that can help you build relationships. To add a little bit more persuasion into your head look at these statistics. Live chat is 12% more effective than email and 29% more effective than phone showing the importance of live chat.

Competitive Advantage

According to the study, out of roughly 1,000 websites only 9% had a live chat feature. If your competitor does not have live chat and the customer has to send them an email in which they will respond within 24-48 hours, your company is more convenient to them which may increase your sales.

Increase in Conversion and Sales

Live chat is effective for whatever it is your business is trying to accomplish. A person who uses live chat is three times more likely to make a purchase, according to American Marketing Association. This is highly effective because your sales team or support staff are more able to change the experience for the customer which leads to the opportunity to create more leads.

More Data

Most live chat features ask a question to the customer prior to connecting them to a employee. Fields like ‘Name, Email, Problem’ are filled out and can also be funneled into your CRM or marketing software. All these questions lead to better reports on problems people are having. Live chats give you a direct connection to your users, and help you address the problems they are having in real time. These reports also collect data like how many people have visited your website, how many people have requested chat, how long each chat usually lasts, how many chats are accepted or ignored, and more. This gives you a way to improve your customer experience with actual data.  

Live website chats are quickly gaining in popularity, and users are starting to expect them on a site. The importance of live chat is a long list and we recommend setting up a trial so you can start delighting your website users and building your relationships.

Want to give live chat a try? Click here for a 30 day free trial!

Getting Deep: How Your First Meeting With an Agency Dictates the Success of Your Website Project

website project

Web development is a unique profession. It requires technical ability, creative prowess, psychological expertise, and superb communication skills. To launch a website that really tells the story of a brand, and gets users to act, you need all of these things. But the most important part of the web design and development process is the communication between the brand and its agency. I’m not talking about responding to emails in a timely manner, or answering the phone at all hours of the night. I’m talking about how an agency gets the right information out of a client, and then takes that information to create something unexpected but also close to perfect.

“This site is so much better than our competition’s.”

“The look and feel of the site is exactly what we were after.”

“I’m thrilled that you were able to pull this off.”

These are all fantastic testimonials from clients. The website project measured up to their expectations, and that’s great. But as web designers and developers, we should be striving for more.

“You took what was in my head before I even knew it was there, and then put it on the screen.”

“You gave us what we didn’t even know we needed when we started this process.”

“I never knew our website could solve these problems we had.”

When we get these types of compliments, we know we really knocked it our of the park. To get to this point, the very first meeting with a client needs to set the stage. There are a few things that need to be present in that first meeting (or meetings) to get there.

Chemistry

Chemistry sort of feels like an arbitrary word for “we like each other,” but it is still important. If you don’t feel a connection with the agency across the table, it’s worth figuring out why. The questions you ask yourself could lead you to another issue that needs to get sorted out before you start working together. I recently spoke with a marketing director about what they look for when they are choosing an agency. “Someone I can see myself having a beer with,” was one of the first things he said. If you don’t have that chemistry, everything that follows could seem a bit forced.

The Right Questions

It’s the agency’s job to ask the right questions when you discuss your website project with them. In my eyes, this is the absolute most important part of my job. In every discovery meeting, I search for the answers that get to the bottom of their needs. My main goal is to uncover a real challenge that they are having, even if they think it’s unsolvable at this moment. It’s more than having your list of questions prepared. It’s reading the client or prospect and getting deeper into things that might seem unrelated to the website.

Trust

It’s the agency’s responsibility to earn a client’s trust early on in, preferably well before any contract is signed. An agency should never have to twist someone’s arm to get them to sign a contract. The day that contract is signed should feel like a happy moment, because that trust is there. A website project isn’t something you buy off the shelf, so a company really has no idea what they are going to get when a project starts. So they have to have a deep understanding of how the agency works and really why they do what they do, and trust that process for their own brand.

Ownership

When an agency understands the client’s needs, they need to take ownership of the project to get there. The agency’s #1 goal should be seeing that client succeed. And if everything is working the way it should be, this sense of ownership will be automatic.

3 Quick Wins Uncovered with Growth-Driven Design for a Dental Website

3 Quick Wins We Uncovered with Growth-Driven Design for a Dental Website

It’s been incredible to see how well our client’s dental website has been performing after applying Growth-Driven Design (GDD) tactics.

Before I share these 3 quick dental website wins, let me give you a quick run down on what GDD is. Growth-Driven Design is methodology that helps company websites be the best they can be by applying monthly website enhancements that are measured on a regular basis. Every month, we collect data and make website changes based on that data with the goal of a better performing website. Here at Schall, we frequently would tell our clients how our goal was to get as close to perfect as we can with our website build. Now with GDD, we can continue to do that every month.

Since we’ve been working on Mann Family’s dental website for several years we didn’t need to build a new launch pad website. Using the existing website, we dove in immediately with user research. What an eye opener this has been. This user research saved us tremendous time and gave us immediate results.

Here are 3 quick dental website insights we learned by using GDD:

1.) Give the people what they want

As we gathered data in the form of recordings, heatmaps, click maps and scroll maps, we could see that a large percentage of users wanted to see the dental team. Not only did they scroll through the pictures of the staff, but they read the bios. Maybe they wanted to make sure they were real and they weren’t scary. Seeing this, we decided to place the staff headshots on the home page. This resulted in quicker conversions. After just 1 or 2 clicks, the user would convert into a lead.

Home Page Revamp after Growth-Driven Design

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2. Best practices don’t always work on landing pages

Inbound marketing 101 will tell you to fit all the information you need above the fold on your landing page. Well, when you’re selling a service that involves someone opening their mouth for you, they want a bit more information than you can fit in 1366×768. We developed Dr. Mann’s landing pages to have a lot of information. We kept the form above the fold just in case someone wanted to fill it out without researching, but everything they needed to know was there. From staff bios, to diagrams about the procedure, the potential patient does not have to do any clicking to find out what they need.

We knew the page was converting, but what was interesting to see once we started user testing was that a very high percentage of users were scrolling all the way through this long page. We patted ourselves on the back for going against “best practices” and winning.

Not everything on those pages was a win. The testimonial videos weren’t being watched, and some of the information was inaccurate. We fixes these issues and cleaned up the pages and will continue to monitor user behavior.

Research on Scrolling Behavior for PPC

3.) Mobile compatibility testing is never done

It’s incredible the amount of wacky resolutions we ran into. Resolutions that simply don’t make any sense. Are they old awkward shaped monitors or website visitors that love to view their browser in an odd shape. Who knows? One thing these wacky resolutions that many visitors were using to view the website were causing serious navigation issues. We were able to see how some website visitors were having trouble viewing information on the patient form section on strange resolutions. The main menu would stack and cover form fields which would prevent website visitors from filling them out. Once again, we would have never known how website visitors were spending 3-5 minutes navigating on the website running into these display issues if we didn’t have a close eye on this. Solution: make sure the main menu display correctly for any resolution; wacky or not.

Wacky Resolutions Resolved

Conclusion

There is no set formula on how to design a website or what content each page should have, but by conducting Growth-Driven Design tactics and user experience testing, the changes we have made in just a few months have been significant.




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