Even a casual reader of this blog will notice that we’ve made a few changes around here.
Change in business is inevitable and a major overhaul of one of your primary business assets – such as a website and blog – is something that must be entered into strategically as much as aesthetically.
These days a site design can become obsolete in as little as 18 months.
It’s not just that design trends and fashions evolve, it’s that people start to expect your site to operate a certain way based on what they experience around the web.
If you’re site doesn’t scroll the way they are used to, has a linking structure that doesn’t make sense or is a mess when viewed on a mobile device or tablet you run the risk of losing the interest of folks you’ve worked hard to attract.
Here are the things we did that are behind our “why a new design.”
Community vs. lead capture
Perhaps the biggest change was to move away from the traditional lead capture practice of offering a single piece of content, such as an eBook in exchange for an email address.
Today we are asking people to join our content community. In return, they will gain access to our entire library of ebooks and premium content, such as webinar archives, as well as all future content.
My feeling is that is the way forward for content publishers like us and I believe creates a greater sense of long-term community rather than one-off trade of information.
I wrote about this idea in a bit more detail here – The rise of the content community
New URL structure
We finally moved a little closer to the modern blog structure with our URLs.
Today, many publishers have shifted the idea of a blog to true content management. The concept of a daily updated blog with dates attached has been supplanted by the practice of creating and publishing content around themes or categories without regard to date.
We didn’t go all the way with this as moving 4,000 blog posts created over the last 13 years was scary enough for me, but we moved towards this by taking all dates away from URLs and blog posts. (We had some nice help from Yoast and my host Synthesis on this.)
We will move a step closer in the future as we arrange evergreen content around core themes. I’ve written about this practice in depth here – How to create a total content system
We completely updated the WordPress theme on the site to incorporate more visual elements and simplified navigation structure.
We have several very distinct groups that look for information on Duct Tape Marketing and we wanted to make easier for these segments to find what they were looking for.
We cater to many business owners and marketers looking for tips, tricks and advice around building marketing systems and we also cater to marketing coaches, consultants and agency owners looking to grow their practices.
We put a path front and center on the home page that allows members of these groups to choose content that more closely meets what they are probably looking for without the need to search for it.
As with all projects of this nature, it’s still a work in progress but we welcome your thoughts and feedback!