User Experience Case Study Summary
Midtown Dental needed to attract more patients for their new, larger, and technologically cutting-edge office. After researching Sacramento’s best User Experience Agencies, Midtown Dental chose to partner with Capitol Tech Solutions. Their goals were very straightforward: design a professional website accompanied with an effective User Experience Strategy to help fill the dental chairs in Midtown Dental’s new office. After a review of their outdated site, our team proposed a strategy that included a new modern Website Design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) to grow their business. Within 8 months, our team was able to produce a strategy that doubled their website traffic; which resulted in Midtown Dental’s office struggling to keep up with the amount of inbound phone calls coming in on a daily basis. A few highlights:
- Monthly Website Visits Doubled Within Eight Months
- Over 30 Inbound Leads Generated Monthly Through Contact Forms on the Website
- Midtown Dental hired a new employee to keep pace with the increased call traffic being generated by the leads
After 4 months of executing on our new User Experience plan, our phones were ringing off the hook and at times going unanswered. We had to hire a third front office employee to answer the phones and respond to inquiries to assure that we can adequately handle all of the new patients coming to us.
Phase 1 – Problem Identification: Larger Dental Office Requires an Influx of New Patients
Midtown Dental, Sacramento’s leading Dental Practice, moved to a new office that allowed them to double the number of patients they can treat on a daily basis. Dr. Jenny Apekian, D.D.S. understood that their new office was one of the most technologically advanced dental offices in the nation, which allows their staff to provide a high-quality care for their current patients.
Their question was, “how can we let the rest of the Sacramento area know about our new expansion?” After weighing their marketing options, Midtown Dental turned to the User Experience Team at Capitol Tech Solutions to design and implement a carefully developed strategy.
Phase 2 – Technologically Advanced Office Required New Website Design to Match
Midtown Dental’s current site was roughly 4 years old but didn’t match the look and feel of the new office. At one point, they engaged with an SEO consultant to grow their business. While they did see some results, the efforts were not generating enough revenue to cover the costs, and they terminated their SEO contract. Their Internet traffic stayed consistently static, averaging around 400 views per month for the previous two years. They knew there were many customers searching online they were missing, despite being ranked very highly on Yelp.
After meeting with Midtown Dental, our team at CTS devised a comprehensive User Experience Strategy that focused on two primary pieces:
- Increase Search Engine Ranking Position for their primary suite of solutions through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Develop a new website reflective of the new office for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) to better convert website visitors to potential customers.
Phase 3 – Strategic & Technical User Experience Process
Developing an understanding of a business’ needs and goals is always the first step of our process when meeting with new partners. This insight is vital to understanding the strengths and weakness of a business, which allows our team to best utilize those strengths and minimize the weakness. Through a series of in person meetings and office visits with Midtown Dental, we learned what set them apart from the competition as a Dental Practice.
By understanding their unique selling proposition, we were able to create a series of focal points within the new User Experience Strategy. From there, we crafted a strategy and content guidelines document that would help attract new users to their website, convert them into leads, and eventually new patients with an office visit. The steps that we follow to ensure our successful User Experience process include:
- Meeting face to face at client’s location to understand their business
- Conduct Technical SEO Audit
- Backlink Profile Analysis
- Site Structure and Content Review with key business leaders
- Implement a successful website launch.
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User Experience Only Works By Understanding Your Customers’ Business Needs
We have found that the best way to fully understand our partner’s business needs and goals is to conduct a face-to-face meeting. We visited Midtown Dental’s office during the construction stage and met with Dr. Jenny Apekian, D.D.S., to get a better understanding of the new office features. In our conversations with Dr. Apekian, we learned:
- Their office is one of the most technically advanced Dental offices in the United States.
- Each operatory provides privacy for their patients.
- Quality of Care is paramount to their business.
- Art is a hobby of Dr. Apekian, and their marketing needed to reflect that artistic passion.
Through the initial meetings, our team was able to fully comprehend the goals of Midtown Dental as a business. That information was used as the foundation for the new User Experience Strategy. Our first objective was to create a beautifully designed website that reflected the modern office space. Another element they wanted our Web Design Team to create was to promote was the great value in customer service that Midtown is known for conducting.
Conduct a Technical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Audit.
Every User Experience Strategy our team conducts includes a thorough Technical and Strategic SEO Analysis, followed with careful implementation. We have found that establishing the best practices of SEO produces one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing that builds long-term value. Due to its value, we’ve emphasized its importance to a number of our clients.
Building a new website takes time, and in the process of this development phase, our meetings with Midtown Dental’s team placed both parties on the same page. While our Website Design Team worked through rendering the design and code on the new site, our marketing team wasted no time in working towards improving Midtown Dental’s Search Engine Result Page (SERP) Rankings. We started improving basic information on the existing site to improve its ranking in anticipation of the new website launch. We kicked-off our audit by completing an in-depth Keyword Research and Analysis method that included asking the following questions, as well as answering them:
- How often are certain Keywords searched for?
- What are Midtown’s most profitable services and do the Keywords on the website reflect those services?
- What have competitors done for content for each of the keywords?
- Is the current site’s HTML structure optimized for SEO?
- Is there content on the current site not relevant to existing business practices?
- What is the current customer conversion process, and is it being tracked?
Our initial analysis takes the answers from the questions above into consideration when developing the framework for the site. We found that Midtown Dental was nowhere to be found on the first page for the highest searched Key term: “Dentist Sacramento”. By identifying a weakness that we knew could be strengthened, this new insight provided the marketing team a great place to start while CTS’ web development team began designing the new website.
Backlink Profile Analysis
Once the keyword analysis and on-page technical audit was completed, we reviewed Midtown Dental’s current business profile on the web. Their backlink profile gave us the insight of how many other websites reference the domain. We also received information on the quality of those sites, which is imperative to know while conducting an analysis on a backlink profile. Backlinks continue to be a major ranking factor for Google and other search engines.
Our results showed that Midtown Dental lacked a strong backlink profile compared to their competitors. If we were to help them create more buzz on the Internet by pushing new content, creating a social media sharing schedule, and engaging with their audience, we knew their rankings could see an immense improvement over time. Our team was able to perform part of this is work but in order to be truly successful, we needed to educate the Midtown Dental team on how to effectively using social media to promote their practice.
Existing Website Content Review Conducted
The more INFORMATIVE your advertising content, the more persuasive it will be
The next step in our initial process included researching and understanding each service Midtown Dental offered to make sure it was highlighted appropriately on the website. The current site had about 20 services listed in the navigation. However, after careful review, we found that they actually offered closer to 60 unique services that users may search for in what a dental practice can provide. This required a significant amount of new content be developed for their new website.
Content is critical for business to be found online, as users may search a variety of terms before find what they are actually looking for. According to Google search experts, increasing the amount of quality content on a website allows the business a chance to outrank their competitor to relevant key terms being searched.
At the completion of the content meeting, our team developed a Site Map, which outlined every page of the website. The creation of a new Site Map provided our team with a high overview where content needed to be created. In order to obtain the greatest return on investment for Midtown Dental’s content efforts, we ordered their list of services based on the value. This provided the Midtown Dental team guidance on which services required carefully curated content for their desired audience.
Our plan was to launch the site with the current content along with any new content they were able to finish. Once all of the content was finished, our Web Design Team updated the website with the newly written content.
A key area of improvement that we uncovered was the inability for each page to convert a site visitor. The existing site talked about a service, but didn’t ask the user to contact the office or fill out a form. Each additional click can lead to a lost customer, so making the process easy for customers to contact the office was an important feature needed for the new website.
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Phase 4 – Provide Comprehensive User Experience Solution
With the analysis done, our team was tasked to implement a multi-faceted approach to the User Experience Strategy. Fortunately, while the list of tasks was plentiful, much of the work could be completed in conjunction with our Web Development Team, so our User Experience Department didn’t have to wait to deliver results.
Building a Local Backlink Profile Yields Immediate Results
Our User Experience Team understood that Midtown Dental had a weak profile on the Internet, and immediately went to work to better position them as a local business. Starting with Google My Business, we optimized their Internet profiles and updated each one with keyword-focused content. We also utilized our many tools to push their information to local directories that ensured consistent information across the board. Updating the Name, Address, and Phone Number (famously known as the NAP), we ensured that every site containing Midtown Dental’s information was current with their new information. This also involved making sure the address was updated to the new location, business hours were correct, and photos of the updated office were uploaded.
We focused on both national and local directories, which provided a very quickest return on ranking improvements. These backlinks, in addition to the on-page SEO changes, allowed Midtown Dental to quickly shoot up to the top result in Google Maps, and ultimately, landed them on the first page for the Key Term, “Sacramento Dentist”.
Development Phase Begins for New Website
While our SEO team worked hard to enhance the current site, our Web Development Team started designing the future digital home for Midtown Dental. A major improvement to the new site was the addition of nearly 70 new pages of content, going from 30 to almost 100 pages. The custom website was developed with a Bootstrap Template, allowing the site to be optimally displayed on all devices (Mobile and Desktop in particular).
Special attention was paid to the customer experience. To increase the conversion of site visitors to Hot Leads, a contact option was added on every page. To capitalize on Internet users using mobile devices more than traditional desktops, a Click-to-Call feature was included to the design, allowing easier contact. To accomplish Dr. Apekian’s desire to highlight the artistic feel of Midtown’s office, the team was provided several high-quality images of the new office location. This allowed us to give the site a modern visual look that was reflective of their business.
Weekly meetings with Dr. Apekian allowed us to review the site development regularly, which allowed for thoughtful feedback that aligned with her goals for the business. Partnering with a client that invests the time to be part of the development is great asset that we value. Getting timely feedback allows our designers to adjust the design as they go, speeding up the whole design process.
Finally, once the new website was ready to be launched, we setup 301 redirects from each of the previous page URLs to our SEO enhanced URL structure. Correctly assigning 301 redirects on old URLs to new URL paths ensures that if someone is to look for an old page on your website, they will be directed to the new page with similar content that it is more valuable to their search. While they client was happy with the design of the site, the overall goal was to produce more business.
The SEO process in an investment in the long-term success of the business and can take time to realize the full benefits. In the first few months following the launch of the new site, our SEO team monitored the data closely, and made any necessary tweaks to better optimize the site.
Phase 5 – Website Optimization & Backlink Strategy Results
The User Experience efforts our team implemented to the website helped our client move closer to their goals. We’re able to help them shift their strategy at any time due to our tools allowing us to analyze the data. Which in turn, allows our team to obtain data driven results.
While Comparing year to site traffic through Google Analytics with the previous website, the data displayed a rapid increase in visitors to the new website. In the seven months that followed the launch, the traffic to Midtown Dental’s has more than doubled compared to the previous year. The highlight of this data is the site averaging 800 visits from May through July. A significant reason for the increase of traffic to the site was the improvement in Midtown’s SERP Rankings. One of the key strategies we had to initiate in order to meet this goal can be credited to improving the Midtown Dental’s backlink profile.
SEO can get a bad name due to “Black Hat Tactics”. Companies that use these tactics will get sites links from sites that have nothing to do with the clients site. Search Engines, like Google, will penalize a company’s SERP Ranking when this is discovered. At Capitol Tech Solutions, we never engage in such tactics, and are constantly staying up to date with the latest rules and regulations that the search engines implement.
Looking at a report from Ahrefs.com, Midtown Dental’s backlink profile increased 470% over a period of 7 months. Our strategy and implementation helped the profile increase from 23 in November 2016 to 131 in July 2017.
While this data showed great success in getting eyes to the new site, the ultimate goal was to bring to patients to Midtown. Through our User Experience efforts, Midtown Dental was able to realize real data driven results with major improvements to both their incoming leads from the site through emails and an increase in phone calls to the office.
Phase 6 – Ongoing Website Maintenance & User Experience Required for Further Success
Overall, the User Experience efforts by CTS increased the visibility, quality leads, and number of new patients for Midtown Dental. While they are very satisfied with the results that have been produced thus far, they understand that SEO is an ever-evolving living thing.
The next phase of our work will continue to strengthen their SERP Rankings and incorporate more User Experience aspects, including Social Media Marketing.
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