As I’ve watched the company and team grow over the years, I have also had the pleasure of watching our blog and website mature, which has been an exciting and trying experience (a few “what were we thinking” moments come to mind).
Today marks the fourth iteration of InfluenceandCo.com, and our new-and-improved design reflects our new brand positioning: Expertise Into Influence.
When we were thinking through what truly makes Influence & Co.’s approach to executive branding and content marketing unique, we realized that everything we do starts with an individual’s or company’s expertise. We believe that great content comes from sharing your knowledge in an authentic and engaging way, and when done well, it allows you to positively influence your prospective customers, employees, and partners.
Don’t get me wrong; our old website design wasn’t bad by any means. It was simple, clean, and modern. But it didn’t communicate what we do and, more importantly, the level at which we work.
Our business model centers on the idea of strategically positioning our clients’ knowledge and expertise about a subject, turning that into high-quality content, and getting it published online. We don’t turn people into experts or thought leaders in their industry; we use their insights to create written content that’s valuable to their company and their audience.
The way we communicated our value proposition on our old website didn’t clarify exactly what we do for our clients. When we set out to design the new site, we wanted to showcase and fully explain what sets us apart from other companies in our mission and the services we offer.
To highlight this, we revamped our services pages to reiterate the value we provide.
Our blog got a makeover, too! We added fresh new features to help improve the user experience and even renamed the blog “The Knowledge Bank.”
Coming up with the name wasn’t an easy task. We probably spent more time and consulted more people than most couples do when naming their first child.
First, we held an internal contest, and our team submitted ideas. But after our marketing team sat down and feverishly brainstormed ideas for hours, we realized we didn’t create the blog for our marketing team — we created it for our amazing readers and subscribers. So we decided that they should have the final word. We narrowed down the list to four options and sent out a survey to our readers.
We finally landed on “The Knowledge Bank,” and we couldn’t be happier. It encapsulates our company’s expertise in sharing knowledge to craft content, and it pays homage to a major feature of our custom technology platform (stay tuned for more information on that soon). We truly have to thank everyone involved in the naming process.
Our biggest goal with the new blog layout was to improve content discovery.
Previously, when readers consumed our blog posts, they read whatever they were interested in and moved on. We weren’t giving people an easy way to move from post to post and discover even more educational content.
The new blog includes a search feature so readers can find exactly what they’re looking for in an instant. We also included a drop-down menu on the homepage that allows visitors to sort through our content by topic. This way, they can access everything we’ve published about a certain subject with the click of a button.
To further encourage content discovery, we added a feature to blog posts that highlights other posts readers might be interested in, allowing them to easily jump from article to article.
Using a heat-mapping analytics tool, we tracked the average percentage of articles that visitors read and thought we could do better. Moving the article text above the fold by 25 percent allows readers to instantly see the information rather than scroll to find it.
Although this only shaves off a few seconds, it’s crucial for encouraging readers to stick around until the end.
This change also improves the reader experience on mobile (where 18 percent of our visitors come from) and eliminates the need to scroll down to the text on these devices.
We also increased readability by bumping up the line height (the space between text) and slightly decreasing the font size globally on the blog. We switched the base font size to a responsive design so it adjusts to the screen you’re viewing it on.
Although we just launched, we’re excited to see the impact these changes have on our content marketing analytics. But we won’t be stopping here. From client work to our blog design to internal processes, we’re always anxious to improve.
Our goal is to continually enhance the user experience for you guys, and we hope you like what you see.