Another project review for you with the before and after!
Ben Kepes editor for US based technology blog CloudAve needed a new theme for his WordPress blog that represented his growing analysis business. His boutique analysis firm conducts research and publishes whitepapers of a ‘technical nature’ namely, cloud computing and related themes for businesses such as Rackspace, Box.net and MYOB.
So here’s the homepage before the re-design:
Here is the ‘after’ (homepage)
I wanted to explain my thought process behind this re-design, I got to start from scratch on this job which meant designing page layouts and even structure adjustment. As I have mentioned before… favorite part!
I wanted a homepage that immediately conveyed what Diversity Analysis has to offer and it also needed to be clear that the analysts were not just writers, but writers that specialized in technical topics.
So the top content area had to have a written description of what they did with some visual cues…
The logos are to add credibility and be recognizable helping the potential client see that other companies had trusted these guys and they had done a good job.
It was also important that the context was correct. The preview of ‘who they are’ is essential for giving not only that ‘face’ that marketers go on about, but also to let people know they are not dealing with a big corporation, just two guys who know what they do that they can talk to directly. An added bonus would be recognition. Ben is regularly writing up articles on the big conferences so no doubt some of these people would have seen him around.
The rest of the items on the homepage are to draw people into the other parts of the site by providing previews of everything they need before they get in contact to get their own whitepaper written.
Rest of site:
I wanted to keep the site uncomplicated and simple to get around in ways that suited whoever was reading. To do this for Diversity I focused on the following:
- A good search function
- Obvious navigation
- Links within the content
- Additional content added within the page that relates to that pages topic.
The last one is so other questions like “How do I contact this person?” are answered straight away.
For Diversity whose main clientèle are already very technically literate I also used the footer. Because so many technical sites now frequently use this area they will be used to seeing something in there of interest, although I did limit the amount of things appearing so not to overload with information.
Here is another favorite bit; getting the feedback from MY client Ben Kepes on how it all went.
Are there any parts of the website that you feel (and perhaps seen evidence of) work really well in representing what you do?
The site was formerly blog-centric with add on pages articulating the other services. With this redesign we’ve managed to combine the blogging aspects, along with showcasing the high value work we do and gaining the credibility from showing some of our corporate clients.
Is there anything you would perhaps add or change now looking back?
Not really – we’re happy with the site as it stands, while it’s always an iterative process – this is a great starting point.
What methods of marketing have you found have worked well for you in promoting yourself as a writer?
I’m lucky in that I live in paradise but regularly travel to the US and Australia. I use social media (Twitter, LinkedIn etc) heavily and this has enabled me to build a brand that is well respected for its independence and thought leadership. There’s no replacement for “beating the streets” and I spend a lot of time talking to all the players in my industry.