Complete Website Overhaul
for Phaneuf Funeral Homes & Crematorium
Site: www.phaneuf.net Built by: Savoir Faire Marketing/Communications, Manchester, NH Launched: November 2016
Through the years, content was simply “bolted on,” with anything deemed important being added to the home page. There were vestiges of things that once worked, with video animation of the company owner strolling onto the home page and addressing the visitor, and a video “host” popping up (or intruding, depending on your point of view) on internal pages.
THE TIME HAD COME FOR A NEW SITE.
Our Web Design Philosophy
We don’t create websites just so a company has one. Instead, we focus on implementing best practices throughout every aspect of website development and design, keeping in mind the big picture always. We believe that a website is more than just an address, it’s an expression of your business values and brand personality. It’s a place to educate and inform visitors, and to inspire them to take action. But none of that happens if people can’t find your site.
While this site is beautifully designed, we are prouder of the way it was built: with an eye to Google’s imperatives; with specific audiences in mind; with built-in lead generation throughout; and, with an intuitive navigation.
How We Did It
Here’s how we used the skills and expertise of our entire team to design and build this website:
Strategically Developed Platform
The platform also makes it easy for the client to make updates to their site, without requiring assistance from, or the expense of, a developer. This empowers the client to be involved in the evolution of their website over time.
Reorganized Navigation to Better Serve Visitors
The old website was exceedingly difficult to navigate, resulting in an awful experience for the user. The site employed an excessively deep navigation. We started from scratch, organized the universe of content that needed to be available to visitors and made significant improvements to the navigation, resulting in a more organized and user-friendly site.
Old site navigation
The current site uses a mega menu, typically employed in e-commerce sites, to better organize the number of pages and allow for marketing and merchandising opportunities. By better organizing the site, we made the experience of visiting the site more intuitive for the user. The result is that information is both easier to find, and to digest.
New site mega menu
The new navigation gives easy, clear and intuitive paths through the site for the three main audiences looking for information: people looking for obituary or funeral service information; people who have experienced or are about to experience the loss of a loved one and are looking for information on services and merchandise; and, people looking for information about pre-planning their funeral services.
Improved SEO and Fixed Tracking Codes
Examples of Old URLs
We crafted all URLs on the new site in accordance with SEO best practices, and spent time improving on-page optimization.
The original website also didn’t include properly functioning tracking codes to capture valuable data. We improved the analytics setup, and fixed tracking codes to ensure they collect user data, allowing the client to make business decisions based on actionable business intelligence moving forward.
Modernized Design, Tailored to the Audience(s)
The new site takes into consideration the age group the bulk of the visitors; most are over 50. Hence, we gave purposeful attention to font size and contrast. The font size was increased and contrast was improved. Body copy on the previous site was 14 pixels. We increased it to 16 pixels and added additional line spacing, which allows for a better viewing experience. Navigation content on the old site was a mere 11 pixels. We increased that to 17 pixels for better readability for aging eyes.
Refocused Messaging and Updated Content
Video is one of the top design/UX trends for 2017, and continues to increase in importance as a marketing tool. We felt that using a video montage instead of rotating banner images on the home page allowed for a better representation of the business, and makes the site more personal and engaging for viewers.
Old and new pre-planning sections
Enhanced Lead Generation
WordPress, used in conjunction with Gravity Forms, gave us much more flexibility and allowed us to create more robust and strategic lead generation opportunities throughout the site, resulting in more effective lead capture.
There are calls-to-action on every page of the site, with relevancy to the page content. Some link to downloadable assets; some link to newsletter subscription or blog notification forms. Landing pages are utilized for downloadable resources and those are promoted throughout the site as well as via Google and Facebook advertising.
Landing page comparison
Added Unique and Convenient Functionality
The chat function is powered by a third-party and was brought over from the old site. Interestingly, a good deal of the chat sessions previously were about finding information on the website; chat transcripts since the site was launched show a remarkable decrease in people not being able to find something on the website.
Enhanced obituary sorting and filtering