So, research says you have 1/20th of a second to impress visitors with your website. That’s not exactly a lot of time. Not only does your site have to be visually pleasing, it needs to have a point — the site must be relevant to the visitors.
Do you know who your audience is? Why are they landing on your site? Does the site answer their questions? Does your site have a point?
These are the questions we started with when we began working with the AFL to rebuild their website.
Our first step was to investigate who exactly was visiting AFL.org and why? Looking into their analytics we found that 50% of their traffic came from people looking for advice after being fired from their job. They probably weren’t union members; rather, they needed help navigating provincial labour law.
The AFL’s original landing page (pictured below) was extremely busy and had been designed mostly with staff in mind. The content was organized by type: press releases in one section, briefings for various ministries in another. With over 28 click targets on the homepage, it was cluttered and confusing. The site wasn’t useful for folks who needed advice about their employment or to otherwise engage with the labour movement in Alberta.
Another finding, which is the case for more and more websites, was that almost half of all of the visitors to the AFL site were using a mobile device. Over the past few years, the bounce rate increased as mobile use went up. It became clear that the site wasn’t mobile-friendly, especially with over 2000 items of content trapped in PDFs.
Have you ever tried to read a PDF on your phone? Have you ever tried to read a PDF on your phone while standing on public transit?
It’s next to impossible.
With visitors’ needs and mobile friendliness in mind, we worked with the AFL to rebuild their website — migrating it over to NationBuilder (read more here). We built a proprietary application that automatically migrated content to the new platform so they didn’t have to go through the painstaking process of manually transferring more than 2000 posts from the old site to keep a systematic archive.
The new homepage was image-heavy addressing the AFL’s most pertinent work for members. An easy-to-navigate FAQ section answered the most “googled questions” for workers in distress.
When it came to finding a “point” for the AFL’s website we went back to their mandate and mission.
The new design focuses in on 6 current issues or campaigns that the AFL is focusing on. This required a fair amount of thought on the part of the AFL on what they needed to focus in on but now it’s much more understandable to the general public.
The new content tells a human story, it’s concise, easy to read and emphasizes that workers in distress are not alone. Visitors find remedies to their problems and are connected to people who can help them. Activists can see how to get involved, and those who want to learn more can search the archives.
The new site is performing well. There are over 32% more users, viewing 13% more pages (the bounce rate has also fallen) since the site launched. With less PDF content the AFL can now analyze how all pages are performing. And visitors are now more likely to learn about the AFL’s campaign work and efforts to building the labour movement in Alberta.
That’s the point of the AFL’s website… What’s the point of yours?
We can help you make sure your mission is lived out online and on-the-ground. Let’s chat.