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Website design Case Study

Jeff Cutler

Discovery

Are you a writer, speaker, photographer?

Initial discussions revolved around Jeff's brand image. His interests and clients are so varied that we had to really think through what he was trying to accomplish. Ultimately, his goals were to get professional writing and speaking engagements, so the new website design reflects his breadth of knowledge and professionalism.

Jeff Cutler Discovery Phase Determining Brand Image

Goals

  • Brand definition
  • Goal setting
  • Merge content from many blogs
  • Content manageable

Discoveries

Brand discovery

This was our #1 priority. We had to both understand and be in agreement on what his brand image was to become. Jeff is known as a man of many skills. Our goal was to communicate them in a logical way that would best represent him professionally.

Goal setting

Ultimately, Jeff decided that he would really like to get more speaking engagements, with writing opportunities a close second. The new website design focuses on Jeff's prolific writing in areas such as Social Media, Technology, and Food & Travel.

Merge content from ten different blogs

We discussed the need to conform content tags and categories both prior to, and after we import the content. We also didn't want to lose and SEO value Jeff had on his existing blogs and sites.

Content Management System

Building this site in WordPress was important to Jeff because he was already familiar with it. We worked with Jeff to show him improved efficiencies with WordPress. Articles needed to be easy to add, and formatting needed to be foolproof as he didn't want to have to focus on the formatting details for every article he wrote.

Creative

Make me look good

This project was a unique blend of professional and personal branding. Because the brand was Jeff himself, we focused on presenting him as a thought leader in his field. This was really important because he likes to blog about many things and we really needed to drive home that point that no matter what he is involved in, his expertise and professionalism are called out.

Specifications & Requirements

  • Consistency
  • Content hierarchy
  • How do we organize the blogs?
  • Let's look slick!
  • Jeff Cutler Website Design Homepage
  • Jeff Cutler Website Design About Page
  • Jeff Cutler Website Design About Page
  • Jeff Cutler Website Design Blog

Technical

Out of many, one.

The largest technical challenge was importing and tagging all of the blogs. They needed to be categorized and merged, but we didn't want to lose any SEO traction they already had. This collaborative process was carefully done in waves, with frequent discussions between our designer, developer, and the client.

Functionality

  • Massive blog import - 2,000 articles
  • Search Optimization
  • Content tagging
  • Stylin' with CSS
Massive Blog for Jeff Cutler Website

Massive blog import - 2,000 articles

There were over 2,000 articles across 10 different blogs. WordPress is an ideal platform for blog importation, but fields still need to be paired or created. The final result — having a single blog with standardized categories simplifies content entry, and improves search engine ranking.

SEO for Jeff Cutler Website

Search Optimization

Jeff's previous blogs each had their own search rankings with Google. By combining them into one site, we're pooling the traffic to have a larger single presence. Standardization of keyword rich URLs, tags, and RSS feeds all contribute to higher search engine rankings. We took additional steps to map previous URLs to the new ones using 301 redirects.

Content Tagging for Jeff Cutler Website

Content tagging

One benefit of a database-driven site is that it can display content dynamically based on how you tag it. We combined multiple blogs and articles into one site by properly categorizing and tagging them with keyword-rich and intuitive terms. This enables users to click on a tag to view all content associated with that topic.

Stylin' With CSS for Jeff Cutler Website

Stylin' with CSS

Essentially, CSS lets us style the content globally from colors and fonts to rounded borders. CSS is lightweight (pages load faster), and cross-browser compatible. Attention is paid to "graceful degradation" which means we plan for a suitable and elegant secondary formatting plan in older web browsers.

Review

"Metropolis turned this caterpillar into a butterfly."

From the moment of launch, Jeff realized a bump in awareness — companies he had pitched before now realized what skills and services he had to offer because the new site's organization delivered on its promise of easy navigation and robust content. Further, in just over a month, Jeff had landed a handful of new social media and marketing training assignments; enjoyed more exposure as a journalist and content creator; and was promoted to the role of professional development co-chair for one of his clients.

Results

  • Site is getting rave reviews
  • Brand awareness has improved
  • CMS is super-easy and fast to use
  • Chicks dig it.

"The new site simply removed any confusion about my skills, my background and my goals. It made me a product that people could understand. That's the real genius behind intelligent Website architecture, creative design and true collaboration. Metropolis turned this caterpillar into a butterfly — and my growing bottom line and client list are the proof."

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