Case Study: Optimizing Design for Conversion Goals

I wanted to share a case study about a new home page design that helped a client in the estimated tax business improve conversions. The results have been great so far – up 83%.

First, let’s get the background info on the client (Easy Estimated Taxes) out of the way. Easy Estimated taxes is a site that allows taxpayers to manage their quarterly estimated tax payments. Taxpayers can pay their estimated tax payments out of their bank account, keep record of their payments, and they get reminders of when their next payment is due.

Probably the most important thing to know about the business is that it’s seasonal. There are four payment periods per year and their traffic peaks during those four periods. That means those four periods are super important to them – it’s how the business sustains itself for the entire year. By now you’re putting 2 and 2 together and realizing that their site needs to perform during its peak period. If not, then they have to wait 3 months for another peak to come around.

The client had the following goal: get more of the existing traffic into their sales funnel. Put another way, get more of the people that visit the site clicking on the right call-to-action.

Read moreCase Study: Optimizing Design for Conversion Goals

How to fix wrong title tags in Bing & Yahoo.

Seemingly out of nowhere, the title tag in the search snippet for one of our clients completely changed. Well, that doesn’t sound too horrible or harmful you say. Normally that’s right. Sometimes titles in snippets can be altered by the search engines and in rare cases can improve click-thru rates (I still recommend controlling all information in snippets with custom META data for every single page on your site).

The issue in this case was that the title tag now included information referring back to a really old (and outdated) sponsor…like years old. Even though the META data and the code said one thing (and keep in mind hadn’t been touched for at least a year), the title tag said something completely different.

Check it out. Here’s a screenshot of the source code:

holiday bowl game

Read moreHow to fix wrong title tags in Bing & Yahoo.

How to Make Clients [Less than Happy]

We’re fortunate to get a lot of repeat and referral business. It’s because we take pride in the way we treat our clients. Since our company was founded in 2004, we have set out to treat everyone we work with as partners, not just people that pay us to do work for them (unlike a lot of our competitors out there).

Over the years I have learned a lot about how to work with our partners. And I have heard some horror stories from new business about the way they were treated by a previous vendor. I talk more about some of the most common and powerful ways to make sure clients will be…errr unhappy…in my latest blog post for the Outright community.


Make Sure You Sign an Agreement Before You Build Your Next Website

In my most recent post for the Outright Community, I wrote about how it’s critical for web developers to make sure they put everything in writing before they start any project.

I want to expand on that thought just a bit. The exact same thing is true for all of you on the client side of the equation. The next time you hire a website development firm, make sure everything related to the project – the price, the timeline, the requirements – are all in writing before any money changes hands.

It sounds obvious but a lot of firms are small. And they won’t spend a lot of time on details like contracts and agreements. They just want to crank out projects and get paid. Most of them do a great job and the amount of money involved isn’t huge, but it’s still a smart idea to protect yourself in case something goes wrong with the project.

Don’t fear the contract. Most firms will have very basic agreements that won’t require you to hire a lawyer to interpret it for you. Just be sure to read it over and ask any question if there are parts that don’t make sense. Don’t be afraid to push back on anything that doesn’t seem fair. A good firm will be willing to budge on terms in order to make you happy and to keep the job.

Have you hired a web development firm recently? Did they ask you to sign a service agreement? Let’s discuss in the comment section below.