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Improving Traffic by 66% and Elevating the Entire UX of a Financial Giant

A portfolio listing page, redacted

A leading Private Equity (PE) firm, known for their top-shelf deal team, had a digital presence that made them look like they were still on the JV squad. We updated their site to reflect the company’s status in the PE world and improve the site experience for their key personas.

Project Highlights

Impressive Growth for Main KPIs

Traffic and engagement metrics won’t grow from guessing. We let the data guide our vision for the new site structure and it paid off in spades.

Enhanced Content Editing Experience

We migrated their site from Joomla to Drupal 8 which gave their team more flexible editing options and a significantly lower total cost of ownership.

Custom-Tailored Search Functionality

There weren’t any search modules that reached the mark of what our client was looking for so we built a custom one on top of the Swiftype platform.

The Challenge

One of the world’s largest leveraged buyout organizations, an owner of many iconic American brands with a portfolio valued in the billions, had a digital presence that contradicted the real quality of their culture, talent, and people.

The site was problematic beyond how it looked—it provided a poor user experience for interested investors, potential employees, and trusted partners.

“Our earliest conversations revealed the old site lacked direction. There weren’t clear CTAs, their navigation would lead to dead-ends, and there were no clean lines to separate who should be going where.”

 

We had two challenges to solve with one project: Can we create a site that reflects the leadership of the company’s brand while simultaneously delivering a better user experience?

The Approach

Our strategy team started by identifying the personas of the typical site visitors and analyzing navigation patterns to understand how each group moved through the site.

“The user behavior data showed us that visitors to the site were consistently navigating to only a handful of pages, and in most cases were completely missing what were originally thought to be obvious CTAs.”

 

After developing a keen sense of the friction in the user journeys, we provided recommendations on how to restructure the architecture of the site which would better align with the findings of the data and the company’s goal to improve their brand perception.

These insights allowed both teams to have open and productive conversations related to content strategy, focused on building out the sections users were consistently seeking. Because our recommendations were built on company data, we empowered our client to get the internal approvals necessary to implement the new design.

The Technology

Our client knew that Drupal 8 was right for them so we were scoped to help them get the most out of the platform.

The old site was on Joomla which means the marketing team had to log into a separate back end no matter what they wanted to do. When we migrated the site to Drupal 8, we built custom-tailored inline editing to make it easy and quick.

“Essentially the client could edit the page the way it looked to visitors so it would be much more intuitive to non-technical people. This opened the content up to more of the employees who could contribute and be more engaged with the site’s performance.”

 

Because Drupal is open source, we could leverage its ecosystem of free modules to add functionality and use our project budget to improve engagement, rather than building features from scratch.

A good example of this project was integrating Swiftype into our site. The existing Swiftype module was for a high-level integration and our client needed a custom solution to get a moderate but still powerful search feature. By using an API integration, the end result is a functional search feature that matches the style of the site seamlessly.

The Result

After we launched the redesigned site, we analyzed performance compared to benchmarked data and the results were phenomenal: 

  1. Total traffic up 66%
  2. Unique users up 53%
  3. Time on site up 44%
  4. Total pages visited up 97%
  5. Pages per visit up 19%
  6. Bounce rate down 21%

“This was a perfect example of letting the data guide the strategy to see big results. Our initial discovery pointed out the limitations in the old design and we simply created something that addressed those limitations. Moving from the poor SEO setup of Joomla to an SEO-focused site on Drupal 8 was a huge boost for generating new visibility of our client’s brand.”

 

Our client now has a site that is more consistent with their world-renowned brand voice and can prove that they’ve created a better user experience for their many personas.

If you’re thinking about doing a project like this

  1. Consider audience-led messaging. If you don’t have a firm understanding of your users’ motivations, frustrations, and emotional needs, you’ll find it difficult to create a content strategy that resonates and grows your brand. Start with a user journey map or product map that identifies your main personas and their specific behaviors/feelings as they are searching for a solution to their problem (NOT just as they are browsing your site).
  2. Invest in a scalable content strategy. The systems you put in place today will control how you present your firm and how well your team can operate—likely for the next couple of years. Consider sophisticated content management and marketing systems that scale so you can establish a process that will only be refined over time rather than replaced.