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The Need

Function & Aesthetics

Dekalb's Yield Challenge contest page
Dekalb's previous website

Every 2-3 years, websites need a thorough review that in most cases leads to significant functional and aesthetic changes. Sherpa has been working with DEKALB for several years and DEKALB.ca was redesigned, programmed and launched by Sherpa in the summer of 2013.

Ven diagram of user interface and user experience.

Advances in hosting technology, UI and UX best practices, mobile device adoption and technical SEO drive the need for change. With these filters in place Sherpa worked with DEKALB to identify the following goals for their website update. All the changes had to align with an overall customer focused strategy that aligns the customers needs with DEKALB’s business objectives.

The Build

Data Driven Design

Sherpa applied its 3D approach (Data Driven Design) to put available and meaningful Analytics data collected over the three years to work. With hundreds of thousands of data points gathered we had heat map, mouse flow and Google at our disposal.

The data told a compelling story, we learned what growers WERE doing on the website (and for how long). More importantly we knew what they WEREN’T doing. This informed Sherpa what needed to be improved for users. We were very careful to:

Decrease the number of clicks required to get to desired content

Create a more intuitive navigation and remove dead ends to indication of purchase intent

Connect growers to sales reps and agronomists in their geographic areas more easily

Allow sales reps and agronomists to curate, create and have their own content published

The Result

Increased User Engagement

Total Sessions: increase of 34%

Total Users: increase of 43%

Crowd icon
Dekalb's resigned website on a computer monitor

Total Pageviews: decrease of 6.6%

i

A reduction in the number of pageviews is directly attributable to the reduction of the number of pages or steps a user needs to take to arrive at their content. This was the desired outcome.

why is this a good thing?

Download Events: increase of 48%

An image of Dekalb's product performance page

Total Pageviews: decrease of 6.6%

i

A reduction in the number of pageviews is directly attributable to the reduction of the number of pages or steps a user needs to take to arrive at their content. This was the desired outcome.

why is this a good thing?

Download Events: increase of 48%

Visits to the Sales Rep
& Agronomist Page(s):

2015: 1094 page visits

2016: 2417 page visits

Rep Page visits:
increase of

121%

The entry of 3 pages into the top 11 most visited pages on the website that are solid indicators of purchase intent including

  • Grower Offers Page
  • Rebate Calculators
  • Find a Sales Rep or Agronomist

The updated website has been live from the middle of August and has since been recognized as the “Gold Standard” for branded websites by Monsanto head office in St. Louis. It is representative of the effectiveness of putting data to work prior to beginning the design and programming process.

visit DEKALB.ca to see the live site in action

The Need

Capturing Leads

Heat Assault's old home page
Heat Assault's previous website

Heat Assault (a division of Tamarack Industries) is a manufacturer of the world’s most powerful bed bug heating equipment. They sell their heat unit to pest control companies looking to provide an alternative to the traditional chemicals or the weaker “electric heat” approaches. Heat Assault required a website redesign to support its branding effort that confirms their position as the market leader in heat solutions for pest control.

The website needed to attract the right audience (pest control companies, institutions, etc.), make them understand the benefits of Heat Assault’s product and convert them into a lead.

Heat Assault's previous interior page
Heat Assault's previous website interior page

The Build

Data & Insight Driven

The website needed to attract the right audience (pest control companies, institutions, etc.), make them understand the benefits of Heat Assault’s product and convert them into a lead.

Wireframe of Heat Assault's home page Wirefram of Heat Assault's demo form
Green arrow and magnifying glass

SEO to increase findability on search engines

Green silhouette of a person and a magnifying glass

SEM to target and drive the right people to the site

Green arrow zig=zagging upward

Enhanced Analytics and call tracking software to demonstrate ROI

A gear icon

CRM system set-up and integration to help manage their sales funnel and leads pipeline

The website is fully integrated with Heat Assault’s SEO and SEM campaigns and all leads captured through the website are automatically fed into their internal CRM system.

Additionally, we determined that driving end-consumer demand would provide tremendous value to Heat Assault’s customers and help convert “fence sitters” into clients. Sherpa helped Heat Assault develop a separate microsite aimed at attracting leads for pest control companies that use Heat Assault’s product.


Heat Assault's redesigned home page

The Result

Heat Assault's New Website

In the 6-month period following the website launch and launch of the campaigns:

Traffic from search engines

+35%

  • 35,000 visitors
  • 280 conversions
  • 83 qualified leads
  • 29 demos

Average sale value is

~$100,000

Average closing rate
for a demo is

10%
Heat Assault's redesigned website

The microsite has driven multiple leads and sales for Heat Assault’s customers as well as proving demand in certain regions of the country they are looking at moving into. One example of a company listed on this microsite for 3 months:

83 local zip code entries to their page referred from the microsite

18 leads (phone calls + form submissions)

The Need

Mobile Friendly Website


Vivere's previous website

Vivere partnered with sherpa to create a mobile-friendly website that showcased products in a visually appealing way. Additionally, the Vivere website needed to be versatile enough to handle 10 differen languages in desktop and mobile states.

The Build

Analytical Approach

Sherpa practiced its data-driven design methodology by examining existing analytic and consumer behaviour to inform web design decisions. The front-end design was particularly distinct as it was built to adapt to the character styles and lengths of Roman, Cyrillic, and Japanese languages.

The Results

Engagement Galore

User engagement metrics rose immediately. Time on site and pages per session increased, while the bounce decreased. Vivere also experienced substantial growth in traffic from international visitors. Vivere's sales have continued to grow significantly since the launch of the website.

Vivere's mobile menu'
Vivere's mobile landing page
Vivere's mobile e-commerce page

The Need

Tools, Reports & Marketing

Value Partners (VPI) is a mutual fund company that grows through financial advisors recommending that their clients invest in VPI's various mutual fund pools. VPI wanted to create an area for their 200 advisors to access proprietary tools, reports and marketing materials.

VPI website structure diagram

The Build

The Advisor Management System

Staying top-of-mind with clients is useful in any business but absolutely paramount in the financial planning industry. Sherpa worked with VPI to identify opportunities for adding value to their advisors' practices.

The Meeting Kit area allows advisors or their assistants to quickly print on-demand reports in preparation for a client meeting.

VPI Partner's Report page

The eCommunication Area allows advisors to send mass or custom individual emails to their clients and track open/clickthrough rates to see which content is the most successful in engaging clients and attracting new assets.

The Portfolio Review Service The PRS tool is a key element in a VPI's advisors tolbox, as it helped secure $26.5 million in additional AUM in 2016

VPI eCommunicate page

AMS Overview Training Video

The Result

The AMS Results

  • Meeting Kit

    8000+

    advisor visits in the past year.

  • eCommunicate:

    2000+

    advisor visits in the past year.

    25,000+

    marketing emails sent

    41% open rate

    8% clickthrough rate

  • Users:

    Over 1/3

    of the advisors have become frequent users of the application.

  • Portfolio Reviews

    Hundreds

    Hundreds of portfolio reviews completed resulting in dozens of new clients and millions in net new assets under management.

The sky is the limit with custom functionality... Sherpa works with you to shape your dreams into a vision and make that vision a reality.

Your Content Management System

Custom vs Open Source

A content management system is the back-end of your website. This allows you to add new pages, content and images, and generally speaking, keep your website fresh and up to date in between full design refreshes and major functional additions. When choosing a content management system, there’s a lot to consider.

This blog post on the pros and cons of open source vs custom content management systems goes into more detail. But if you’d like something a little more fun… hit the compare button to see how they stack up.

vs
Custom
Custodian Six logo
Open Source
Logos for WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and Magento

Your Content Management Systems

Custodian Six logo
Custom
Logos for WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and Magento
Open Source

Higher Cost - because it takes more time, and time is money, Sherpa’s custom projects typically demand more budget.

Lower Cost - many are free or can be used for a token fee with paid options allowing lower risk of entry.

More Secure – with relatively few (in global terms) users, our CMS is not a target for exploitation. Sherpa also employs 3rd party firms to perform security audits to make sure we are employing best practices. Also by using the Microsoft stack, we receive the benefits of all the hard work they expend protecting their systems.

Less Secure – because there are so many people using popular (WordPress, Drupal etc.) CMS’s that they become a desirable target for black hat programmers. A successful hack could expose thousands of websites.

If you can dream it, we can build it! Your website will be built from scratch rather than formatted from a template. 100% unique.

Open source websites have improved in recent years, but in their nature they are template-driven. This means your website template will be used by many other websites, giving it a very “me too”-look and feel.

We write user stories for mobile users and design your mobile user experience to reflect the journey a mobile user wishes to take. If mobile traffic is critical to your business, it is likely in your best interest to design your responsive website specifically with this group’s interest in mind.

Any half-decent CMS will provide the means for table-stakes mobile-friendliness. If desktop traffic is the core of your website’s purpose, this will probably suffice, but the mobile experience will just be a re-stacked version of your desktop experience.

Because the CMS was authored and architected by Sherpa we know every single line of code, if an error is found, you don’t have to wait for the open source community to fix it, we can apply hotfixes in short order. That said, since your code is custom to your website, it’s more likely that if there is a post-release bug, it will be you that finds it.

The user community is usually pretty good about finding and squashing bugs; however the bugs that do arise, you might be stuck with for quite some time.

Custom work takes more time; after all, we are delivering exactly what you want.

You can put together a website very quickly with an open source platform.

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