CASE STUDY: Mahogany By Hand

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Mahogany By Hand is a market leader in Georgian, Victorian and French-styled mahogany reproduction furniture. Balancing competitive pricing with exacting & authentic reproductions, Mahogany By Hand is the go-to wholesaler and supplier for interior decorators, architects and developers looking to add a touch of class to their spaces.

Web Design

Client’s Web Design Requirements

One of the primary concerns with the site’s design came from a major issue with the user’s experience - slow loading speeds. The original website was built with elements of Flash, which not only can lead to poor loading times but is also entirely dependent on the user having an updated Flash player installed. Mahogany By Hand were looking to re-do their site, to enhance both the look and performance.

 

While they were looking to modernise the site on one level, the brand and identity of Mahogany By Hand is traditional, ornate, old-school. Synthesising design streamlining with the specific look and feel of the original site became Supple’s brief.

Supple’s Web Design Solutions

Supple were able to meet the nuanced demands of this design brief, from a structural and coding level all the way through to the final finishing touch. Stripping out any use of flash in place of more modern web design practices was the first step, leading to much faster loading times and the ability to put in higher-res images with this new efficiency. The menu bar was restructured into clearer categories and subcategories, a process which was informed by keyword research and the client’s specific needs.

 

A large hero image was place up top the home page. Typically this type of design choice is particularly popular on modern, trendy websites - but by choosing to display an ornately patterned wallpaper and classic reproduction furniture meant that the brand’s identity as an antique-style specialist was not undermined.

 

Small, simple icons were created to help differentiate categories and make interacting with the site a more visual experience. Even mocking up an old rotary phone to site below the contact number on the home page’s footer managed to balance old design sensibility with new design smarts.

 

The end product was clear, fast and on-brand - a result the team at Mahogany By Hand were very pleased with.

 

SEO

Client's SEO Requirements

Mahogany By Hand’s first priority in terms of search engine optimisation was seeking a complete site migration to a new hosting service without losing out on their existing SERP rankings. Mahogany By Hand was unhappy with the SEO service provided by the ex-agency and moved over to Supple. However, in the process they lost access to original hosting and the back end. Mahogany By Hand wanted to know if there was a way around this bind - to retain their site, their links and their rankings all the way through a total hosting migration.

 

Beyond that, they were looking on an overall improvement on the SEO provided by their previous service. Maintaining the rankings they had was one things - but the long-term goal would be to boost rankings and, consequently, the incoming organic traffic. The previous service used an SEO practice that is generally considered shady in the industry, interlinking between the clients they already had to “boost” online ranking and authority, without these links being founded on meaningful relationships and relevant content. Creating a new SEO strategy, founded on legitimate practices rather than dirty tricks, was another important goal.

 

Old Unoptimised Website - Slow to load
Old website
New Performance Optimised Website - Quick to load
New website

Supple’s SEO Solutions

To solve the problem of the hosting migration, Supple’s skilled IT team developed a slew of custom crawlers to capture and transfer to a new site, with domain redirects to ensure that traffic and rankings were retained throughout the changeover period. This went exactly as per the client’s request, with satisfactory rankings retained to be built upon as we began the process of boosting their online visibility above and beyond what their previous provider offered.

 

Stepping away from the shady interlinking strategies employed for, Supple created high-quality guest post content for reputable sites that had a meaningful resonance with Mahogany By Hand’s brand. This included a post on House of Home, a lifestyle and design blog that’s audience included the target market they were trying to reach. In this way, the link building Supple provided wasn’t ingenuous, or concocted - it was organic, and was one of many such posts that had a dramatic impact on organic ranking.

 

This approach, in combination with Supple optimising loading speeds and supplying quality, keyword-rich content founded in newer, more accurate market research helped bring Mahogany By Hand up the ranks on Google.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Client's CRO Requirements

While Supple’s new SEO strategy and design overhaul were responsible for a definite increase in online traffic, Mahogany By Hand felt that a greater proportion of site visitors could and should be converted into actual customers.

 

The team approached our web marketing specialists, looking for research-driven solutions that could turn window-shoppers into furniture buyers.

 

Supple’s Solutions

The key to effective click rate optimisation always relies on research and data collection. Firstly Supple did market research into the demographics of Mahogany By Hand’s existing customer base. A significant proportion of customers were older Australians, 40+ in age and with, on the whole, less internet experience than younger customers. This meant creating an incredibly paired back, clear user experience - with visible, large font call-to-actions - would mean that on page clicks could be optimised for Mahogany By Hand’s market. Supple created specific icons for call-to-actions like ‘Call Here’ or ‘Download Booklet’, putting them at the very top of the page in clear gold font.

 

These changes were implemented and then tested through AB Testing and Heatmaps to confirm their effectiveness. AB Testing involves creating two versions of a site which are assigned across incoming visitors 50/50. Seeing which version of the site performs better can confirm that a certain design choice is good for business. Heatmaps show on-page cursor activity, letting developers know where people click and how far down they scroll. These tests confirmed that bold, large-font call-to-actions with clear icons resulted in far better site interaction rates and overall conversions.

 

Another result that came out of heatmap testing was changing the layout of Mahogany By Hand’s “Featured Product” section. Testing showed that incoming customers were very interested in Featured Products, but in the original design it simply existed as a link to a specific, separate page. Supple’s solution was to create a Featured Products gallery on the home page, so there were fewer clicks between site visitors and specific products. This made it easier for people to find a specific item of furniture they wanted to buy, boosting conversions - specifically for the range of products displayed as “Featured”.

 

We look at the client's requirements and use various 3rd party services like Jaco, Hotjar, Lucky Orange, etc., to achieve this.

 

visitor-tracking

Client Testimonials

I was a long term client with EXA Web Solutions since 2005. I was becoming disillusioned with the service & results over the past two years & coincidently Supple approached me at that same time. I was very hesitant to make what I imagined to be such a difficult & possibly risky move. But the team at Supple made the transition so simple & easy & we were live without any downtime whatsoever.

Our rankings have improved, our traffic is up & we are very happy to be on board with these guys who are so helpful. The personal service is wonderful! I can highly recommend their services.

Author
Garry Gillette
Owner

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