Client Study: Watford House website redesign

Care Home Website redesign

1. Background
Our client needed to revamp their Birmingham care home web site. The old site was outdated and unwelcoming, hard to update and failing to attracting visitors. Being hard to update meant that much of the content was stale, giving an aspect of neglect. Being a family run establishment that prides itself on patient care, it was felt that the web site did not reflect the high quality of care and support being offered. Given the emotive aspects of the care industry, first impressions really count when gaining the viewer's trust. The old site was losing traffic because it was visually failing to inspire confidence in its visitors.

2.The Brief
We agreed to help make the Watford House web site better looking, more welcoming and more functional. Our main objective was to increase the number of enquiries coming through the site, to support this we proposed 3 main goals for improvement:

  • Design and layout of the site as a whole
  • Ease of updating the site
  • Improving search engine visibility and utilising social media to generate traffic

We discussed our ideas with the client and proposed a work schedule and budget. With clear objectives and budget in place we began work...

3. Design & production

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The Watford House Logo

When looking at the design aspect, we determined that it would be worth creating a new identity for Watford House, in order to create a more professional and consistent impression.

We needed to work on this first as the overall design should be consistent and reflect the look and feel of the logo - i.e. consistent branding.

Our final logo design reflects the landscaped nature of the property, and the distinctive building itself, to convey a reassuring, professional impression. Once the this was approved we moved on to looking at web site structure and design.

web design example

Tabs allow easy access to popular sections on homepage

We looked at a number of competitor sites and found that clear maps and directions were predominant on the home page. We determined that fist time visitors to these sites were very interested in access and travel considerations, and so we incorporated a tabbed feature that allowed detailed directions to sit alongside more traditional image and text welcome area.

We worked with the client to set up and manage a Facebook page, which staff could update and make regular postings to. The home page incorporated the Facebook feed with its regular photo updates, showing visitors a lively and friendly picture of life at the house.

We provided a customised content management feature allowing easy and regular updates of pictures, documents (care quality reports, staff training documents etc.) and text. We also built in a secure log in area for staff allowing them to access updated reports and resources.

We also made sure the site was optimised for search engines, and produced an audit 6 months after launch to assess strengths and weaknesses for future marketing development.

We improved the Watford House web site by:

  • Creating new professional identity and logo
  • Creating more appealing and useful pages
  • Involving the staff in using and adding to content
  • Enabling easy updating of images, text and downloads etc. so the site stays fresh
  • Creating a Facebook presence and linking it to the site
  • Optimising keywords and code for search engines
  • Setting up an analytics account for tracking and assessing web site usage

4. Result
The owner and staff of Watford House are very happy with their new site. Traffic has increased - many more enquiries come through the site now, so the primary objective has been achieved. The simple content management system means the site is updated more often, keeping it fresh.

Staff feel they are more involved as they can interact on the Facebook page and see their posts on the main site, as well as finding the staff area of the site a handy way to keep up to date with the many training and quality requirements. Residents and their families are also more involved thanks to the Facebook features, feeling that they have a little more contact with each other.

The web site successfully communicates Watford House's caring and happy environment which attracts visitors to find out more. Web statistics show the redesign has had a real effect, not to mention the owner reporting an upturn in bookings from the web.

The transformation has been quite remarkable...The occupancy levels speak for themselves. Before employing your services we were operating on average at 85% occupancy we now operate at 95-100% and even have waiting lists.
Frederic Street - Operations Director, Watford House

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