A data driven rebuild of the Werksmans attorneys corporate website led to a massive increase in organic traffic and engagement on the website.
A loyal client of MO Agency, Werksmans awarded the redesign and development of their corporate website to MO. We’d been working on an inherited WordPress website for the last three years and despite numerous updates and patches the website was limping along in terms of performance. It was also becoming difficult for the Werksmans marketing team to manage.
We advised an entire rebuild. Data to motivate the project was presented and the team at Werksmans agreed to move ahead.
Some of the posts on the website were published over 10 years ago. They had been imported from site to site each time the site was redeveloped. This meant that the website had grown to over 15,000 pages.
How we did it
Using numerous Google Analytics exports we conducted an analysis of the website content in Excel. We sliced and diced the content by organic traffic generated, time on page, direct traffic, and subjective importance to the firm.
The result was a final list of 1300 pages. We estimated by removing the roughly 13,700 pages we would only lose around 5% of the organic search traffic. A very bold move and the client was somewhat nervous about cutting away this deadweight on the site. After all content is a massive task to to build up, and it take years to generate.
Relevance was down to objective and subjective evaluation of the pages. Part science and part art. In many ways mirroring how Werksmans approches their legal work.
Next the top 100 traffic-generating articles were updated to make sure they were up t date with current ruling and laws. The rest of the articles were given a timeline to update over the coming months.
We then ran our data through the SQL WordPress database with a custom script and carved out the pages we wanted to remove from the website database. We then built new SQL databases to injecting into a fresh WordPress install.
The new website
Legal Updates and Opinion page
The now significantly smaller new website was launched in late 2018. And to date the website with 90% less pages has had the following increases in performance over the last 12 months:
Unique users: Increased 28%
Sessions: Increased 32%
Page views: Increased by 30% to 60,000 p/month
The marketing team is able to better optimise the current website content for search. They can now also keep the content up to date.
In terms of website speed, this increased dramatically to outperform the competition including all the large firms in South Africa. The figures below represent a composite score of home page, practice areas pages, news article page and contact page using Google's site speed tool. (ENS Africa is an anomaly as the site is very lightweight HTML framework.)