New web build and complex SEO migration

We designed, built and undertook a complex multi-site SEO migration for e-learning specialists, Emerald Works using the Kentico CMS platform.

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Kentico case study

Client: Emerald Works
Sector:
E-learning
Website: emeraldworks.com
Technology: Kentico CMS
Services: CX discovery, Experience design, Kentico web development, SEOanalytics and data

 

We partnered with global e-learning brand Emerald Works to design and develop a website to support its big launch, migrating the websites of the three companies to join the Emerald group in recent years.

Built using the Kentico content management system and optimised for SEO, the brand new website is designed and developed with the user, and Emerald’s mission to make a difference to people’s lives through learning, in mind.

“Having worked with Fresh Egg on a number of successful projects including CX, SEO and a WordPress blog rebuild, we started conversations on a potential new web build for Good Practice in July 2018. In April 2019 our parent company Emerald acquired Mind Tools to fit in with its portfolio of learning businesses under the umbrella Emerald Learning Ltd. The project grew overnight to include not only the re-brand into Emerald Works from Emerald Learning, but the combined businesses of Mind Tools, Towards Maturity and GoodPractice into one new business, one new brand, and one new website! The Mind Tools consumer platform was to exist on a different site, but we required to maximise the corporate business into Emerald Works, requiring careful consideration of different user journeys, a complex migration to protect traffic, all of which funnelled towards our global launch in January 2020."

Keira Hodge, Global B2B Marketing Director for Emerald Works

The challenge

A new website was a fundamental part of the new brand launch, so they enlisted us to handle the design, development and SEO elements.

Emerald Works, which has its origins in 1967 when Emerald Publishing was founded, is a new brand for 2020.

Following a series of acquisitions, it is made up of GoodPractice, Towards Maturity and Mind Tools Corporate, companies added to the Emerald family in 2015, 2017 and 2019 respectively. Its e-learning clients include ASOS, Rolls Royce and Virgin Group.

The web build project encompassed merging three company websites into one, and included:

  • Migrating content databases of blogs and reports
  • Streamlining of services where brands’ products overlapped
  • Retaining the recognisable look and feel of GoodPractice’s image assets
  • Presenting a wider range of resources for users in an easily accessible, organised content library
  • Providing them with the freedom and control a full CMS allows, where previously they had struggled with restrictive CMS platforms
  • Streamlining and automating marketing efforts via backend integration of Salesforce Pardot

The SEO challenges of such a website migration are significant. We needed to retain the readerships for each of the companies, as well as familiarity and continuity, while creating an entirely new brand.

Products and content from each of the brands, such as Towards Maturity’s digital maturity benchmarking service, GoodPractice’s toolkit and Mind Tools’ corporate L&D resources, needed to be brought together into one holistic platform.

"The Emerald Works team now has an easy to use CMS that allows us to publish content and scale our content marketing ideas in a way that wasn’t so easy before. Post launch, the website gained immediate traction with organic traffic improving. The Fresh Egg team supported us with analytics set up and technical SEO support, finding and correcting anomalies affecting indexation. We are really happy with our new website and the team at Fresh Egg. We feel the website showcases our brand in a way that enables the user to get a true sense of our products on offer and the vast range of research to support the Learning and Development community. We are continuing to work with Fresh Egg as a valued partner.”

Keira Hodge, Global B2B Marketing Director for Emerald Works

Our solution

In partnership with Emerald Works, we delivered a fully comprehensive website build project, from discovery through to design, development and launch, leaving no stone unturned.

We kicked off with initial customer experience (CX) and SEO strategies, so that plans were in place from day one. The CX strategy saw us create and ratify customer personas, ranging from someone who has moved into an L&D role from HR or admin, to an innovator in the L&D industry.

We interviewed a selection of those people to ascertain where their touchpoints are on the website, how they find their information and what they find useful and frustrating about their experiences. This helped to inform the content and architecture to support the user journey.

We created a new navigation taxonomy based on our user insights, which informed our wireframes. Using these wireframes and working closely with Emerald Works’ in-house designer, our design team produced a new design for the website pages which was in-keeping with the new branding and colours.

Our SEO strategy identified content requirements, visibility and potential opportunities across a number of territories in the L&D sector. The SEO challenges that come with migrating three existing websites into one new website called for attention to detail and technical SEO expertise.

A new site architecture had to be created, with any popular content that was driving traffic and engagement across the three old sites mapped over to its home on the new website. Each of the sites had been operating for many years, so there was a lot of legacy content that needed to be assessed and brought together. We put redirects from old pages to new ones in place and developed new features with SEO best practice built in from the start.

Additionally, we carried out our usual SEO checks on how the site structure and content templates were created to ensure the site launched with the best quality signals for search engines.

SEO challenges and requirements shifted throughout the project’s duration, and we adopted a phased approach to development in order to add the required features, such as a lead generation sign up journey.

We created a bespoke, enhanced SEO dashboard for the client to measure the results against set goals and KPIs, to see what content is driving leads.

We created a Google Analytics measurement plan in the final stages of the project, before setting up their Google Analytics 360, implementing the plan and delivering on-site training in how to analyse the website data.

“It was great to work closely with Emerald Works’ in-house designer to ensure the newly refreshed brand was incorporated into the new website. The website was designed around a series of reusable components that provide the client with a consistent look and feel and flexibility when displaying their content. The clean aesthetic of the design also showcases the new illustrative assets which are key to the Emerald Works rebrand."

Nathan Kingstone, visual designer at Fresh Egg

Emerald Works - A web build on Kentico technology

Being able to work on the project from start to finish was very rewarding. Using a pattern library approach to build the website components was a very efficient approach and meant the backend developers had a clear understanding of how pages were put together and how this would drive the structure of the content management system. It was great to see all the different teams working together to get the site ready for launch.

Ben Morton, senior frontend developer at Fresh Egg

The outcome

Phase one of our project is complete. The new website design and content launched in conjunction with the brand launch, which had an immovable deadline. The new website has received positive feedback from customers so far, and Emerald Works is happy with the results. 

New features include:

  • Integrated report library of around 250 reports
  • L&D healthcheck
  • Cross band suite of tools
  • A blog that consolidates best practice advice from the three brands

Emerald Works has insight into what content is working, with Google Analytics and Pardot set up to measure and report visits and downloads. The team now has granular data to measure its impact as the ‘Holy Grail’ of L&D, which is what they set out to become.

Phase two and three will involve further enhancements to the website, such as:

  • A ‘book a demo’ feature
  • Live chat
  • Podcast template improvements
  • Podcast transcripts
  • An ‘events and webinar’ section
  • Blog comments
  • Purchasable reports
  • Integration with Calendly

Emerald Works has signed a retainer with us for long-term website maintenance and SEO services.

Our SEO strategy is ongoing as we continue to optimise the performance and finetune the website over the coming months, to reflect the needs of the new brand acquisitions and to helping position Emerald Works as a ‘super brand’ in learning and development.

The live website will be user tested using both the remote unmoderated and in-person moderated methods, so we can continue to optimise the user experience and conversion rates.

"The Emerald Works project pulled in skills from all of the Fresh Egg services, meaning that there were lots of moving parts to keep track of. While this added to the challenge it also added to the joy of working on this project. Working with such a dedicated team from both Fresh Egg and Emerald Works was a pleasure and has aided a strong and long lasting working relationship, that I am proud to be a part of."

Amy Stoker, Project Manager at Fresh Egg
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