The Bayshore Solutions team nods knowingly when clients tell us they were aware they needed a new website, but other projects got in the way. We’re all too familiar with this message because that’s exactly what happened with our old website. We’ve been devoting so much time and energy to launching new websites and refreshing existing websites for our clients, our own website relaunch got put on the back burner. We joked we were the “cobbler’s kid without shoes,” but knew it wasn’t really funny and we needed to reinvest in ourselves.
With more than 23 years in the website creation and digital marketing business, we know better than anyone there’s a lot of moving parts to achieving a truly great website. Today, we’re proud to show off Bayshore’s new website at BayshoreSolutions.com. Before you start poking around, we want to draw back the curtain and highlight some key decisions we made during the whole process and the strategy behind our choices.
Starting Strong with a Roadmap
The most successful website projects start with a roadmap. A roadmap defines the entire scope of a project before it starts, mitigating the risk of project scope creep and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
We brought our key stakeholders and leadership teams together, in addition to folks from our marketing, business development, project delivery, design and development teams for our roadmap session. It was critical to involve people from all facets of our business to get inclusive insights on our company’s story, competitive advantages and value propositions.
The team outlined goals and outcomes we wanted to accomplish as a result of this new website. It also allowed us to realistically determine what we would launch with and what we would tackle during post-launch phases. The roadmap session brought us together as a team – to plan together, proceed together and to become aligned before embarking on our website journey.
A Complete Sitemap Shakeup
A sitemap details how a website is structured. Think of it as the bones of a website while content is the meat. We were very passionate about dividing up our sitemap differently for our new website, especially when it came to our service pages.
As you can see pictured, our old website had Website Development, Creative Services, Digital Marketing, Brand Storytelling, Analytics and Measurement and Cloud Hosting as the child pages to the old Services page. Our new sitemap looks different, especially when it came to the Solutions child pages, which now feature Digital Strategy, Website Development, Inbound Marketing, Creative & Content and Web Hosting & Technology.
So, why the change? After interviewing more than 20 of our clients to hear first-hand how they navigated our site, conducting competitor analysis and completing search engine optimization research, it was clear we needed to breakdown the sitemap differently for our new baby. Industry terms change, prospective clients’ expectations evolve and our actual business solutions developed over the years – so we created a sitemap reflecting that.
Updating Our Style and Brand
During our roadmap, we agreed Bayshore’s new website design should feel timeless and follow the same magazine-grid style we preach to our clients every day. So, our design team got to work presenting mood boards, wire frames, design comps and an updated logo and color palette. They also started taking more pictures during Bayshore meetings and events to capture the team at work, an element that would bring the new website’s look and feel to life.
The old website featured a lot of dark blue, with white used to display text on stock photography or color blocks. While this style suited us years ago, today’s ADA compliance requirements call for more contrast and readability throughout the site. This meant no more headlines on images, or light faded outlines. For the new website, our designers updated the color scheme by incorporating a friendlier turquoise to replace much of the dark blue splashed across the old site and used black and white text on a reversed background to ensure our site was compliant.
Our design team was also very cognizant of creating a look and feel that wasn’t too trendy. While we’re big advocates of refreshing your business website every three to five years to keep up with industry standards and user expectations, we didn’t want our website’s style to feel outdated a couple months down the road.
The design goal was a new website that felt modern yet welcoming, with clean lines and minimalist layouts – and our designers nailed it!
As for those good-looking stock photography models used on most pages of our old website, we replaced them with our good-looking team doing what they do best. We’re proud of our team and we’re excited the faces you see on our website are the faces you’ll see when you come in to discuss growing your business.
Telling a Bigger Story
While we worked on making our new website look more professional and welcoming, we also recognized the website needed to convert more leads for Bayshore. That’s where the content team came in. Our content strategists and copywriters put their heads together to create copy that brought website visitors on a journey. We kept our headlines bold, actionable and inspiring, our CTAs (Call to Action) inviting, and our description copy as simple as possible.
With more users accessing sites on mobile devices, we wanted to make sure our copy was easy to scan, so prospective clients wouldn’t be burdened with reading long blocks of text on their smartphones or other mobile devices. We also made deliberate word choices based on SEO research, past case studies and insights from our current clients who use our website. We brought all these components together to tell our visitors the real story of Bayshore Solutions as we’ve grown through the years.
Copywriting isn’t easy, especially when you’re trying to find the balance of not sounding too silly or too stuffy, but our in-house Word Nerds pulled off that delicate balance.
Switching Our Content Management System
We’ve written in the past about the importance of choosing a Content Management System (CMS) that meets the needs of your evolving business, and the CMS we selected was a key topic of discussion during our roadmap session. We wanted to be a shining case study for our clients, so we followed our own advice and selected Sitefinity as our CMS for our new website and chose HubSpot to host our blog. We’re big advocates of integrating these two tools and advise and assist our website clients to do the same when appropriate.
Bayshore has been a Sitefinity partner since 2014 and we recommend Sitefinity to our clients with custom design needs and who require page functionality integrated into the CMS architecture and Sitefinity delivers – so it was a natural fit for our own site, as well.
We integrated HubSpot’s blogging platform with Sitefinity since we’re also big supporters of HubSpot’s blog functionalities. This combination makes it easy to scale our website by adding more solutions pages, blog posts, landing pages and more. We know a website should be a living sales and marketing tool and we won’t stop adding to ours just because it launched.
As you can probably gather, we put a lot of thought into our new website. Thorough strategizing, making data-driven decisions and collaborative teamwork are how we execute every website project – including how we’ll do yours.
Contact us today at (866) 352-4791 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re excited to learn more about how we can help your business grow.
President and CEO, Bayshore Solutions
Kevin founded Bayshore Solutions in 1996, creating the award-winning digital marketing and website agency that has helped more than 2,600 clients in 54 countries grow their businesses. With an entrepreneurial technology background, he has demonstrated success as a communicator, strategist and business leader throughout the years. Learn more about Kevin’s background on LinkedIn.