Communicating large amounts of content efficiently is a challenge for online businesses, especially if the website does not have built-in automation that updates information in a consistent way. One example is changing a contact number throughout the website. If this contact information is on several pages, changing it manually would take several hours, especially on a robust website. This process can be automated so that the change is done once and all fields containing contact information throughout the website are instantly changed.
Our client was a centralized directory of e-learning providers, which receives its income from the referrals it provides to institutions offering online courses to students. The business owner was looking for a way to become more efficient with their online content.
The way their business model worked was that each time a student sent in a request to receive more information about a course (provided that a few specific fields were filled out) the institution would reward our client for their referral.
Our client was an established business when they came looking for help on how to maximize their efficiency. At the time, their website was cluttered because of the vast amount of information it contained. The website had fixed navigation and the 30, 000 static pages had each been hand-coded, which meant that any major change to the website required changing every single one of them.
The first step was to convert each of these hand-coded static pages into dynamic pages, where menus were automatically generated by the system. The addition of new categories previously took days and sometimes weeks in order to manually change the code for each of the 30-40 thousand pages. With the new dynamic system, this laborious process was changed to a matter of minutes.
The second task was to find out which pages were generating the most income for our client, and to direct the visitor to these pages through an improved navigation system. Instead of making the visitor go through 5–10 pages before getting to the request for information form, the overall navigation and setup of the website was changed so that the visitor arrived at these income-generating pages in 2–3 clicks. Finally, the referral process was further optimized by identifying the minimum information required from the visitor to generate income and a custom online form was written so that the visitor's information would be captured whether they made it all the way to the bottom of the form and pressed the submit button or not.
The result was that our client was able to generate income from 1 in 3 people who visited the request for information pages, as opposed to the previous 1 in 5, which means a quadrupling of their revenues overnight.
The final major improvement that was made to the website was custom automation for the way the website handled their advertising, a method that previously was only known by the owner. With this final change our client was able to sell their newly automated business for considerably more than it was worth before the efficiency upgrades.
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