How we took an under-performing online store and turned it into a high-performance engine for growth. Here’s a roadmap of the problems that we solved for the skincare company by following the High-Performance Playbook.
The first problem we had to solve was the painfully slow website hosting which was a significant factor in the website’s incredibly poor performance.
Their website was hosted at a cheap shared server facility in Colorado, USA. Our initial GTMetrix analysis showed the website scored an F (which is appalling) and a page load time of that was so slow it doesn’t fit on the screen at 10+ seconds.
The low-performance server wasn’t the only factor in the website’s poor performance but it certainly wasn’t helping.
website design & wordpress tuning
The biggest factor by far slowing the website down was the poor design and shockingly inept WordPress configuration. The design was created using 3 separate page builders (which should never be used) creating an unnecessarily bloated website.
The WordPress installation also used 35 different plugins — of which 32 were not updated to the latest version, 17 were not licensed and 5 were in conflict, causing the site to randomly crash.
After we moved the website to our high-performance hosting the first thing we did was rebuild it almost from scratch, retaining only one of the existing plugins.
Instead, we used our favourite lightweight, industrial-strength Gutenberg Block compatible theme with a select few plugins from our high-performance toolkit to make the site look great and perform incredibly well.
Once we were done tuning the website hosting, WordPress plugin configuration and a new design the website was blazingly fast! LCP of 1.6 seconds and total page load of 1.6 seconds.
Another huge challenge to overcome was the fact the website had been hacked before — and not once, but twice! Instead of rectifying the problem, the previous agency simply shrugged and deployed the website again only using a different domain name.
This meant the previous domains were used as spam farms, causing the company to suffer an incredible hit to their search rank. The first thing we did after moving the website onto our high-performance servers was deactivated all the security vulnerabilities caused by inappropriate plugins and install our security systems from the high-performance toolkit.
This includes server-level anti-intrusion measures and website level security systems to guard against phishing and brute-force attacks.
Since then we record every breach attempt which shows around 6-10 breach attempts per day, which are automatically rejected from our systems and reports generated.
Leaf Juice Skincare didn’t have a Google Search Console account, which means a lot of the issues were not being reported and critical data wasn’t being collected.
Part of our process with new clients is to get them onboarded with all the tools they need to understand their business, website performance and customers.
The console helped us rectify the issues around the hacked websites killing the search results, as we returned the domains to their rightful owner and had Google remove the offending and conflicting search indexes.
seo – keyword analysis & content marketing
Console data was integrated into the analytics suite of tools so we can see what customers are searching for on the internet that is relevant to Leaf Juice Skincare products and formed the foundation for a Content Marketing Plan.
The website is now being carefully and continuously updated with new content that is targeted towards specific keywords. The content creation process is driven by the data being collected, so instead of guessing what the potential audience wants, data analysis shows a clear path for what content is required to drive organic traffic.
new product development
Data analysis also forms the basis for new product development, as we can clearly see what people are searching for across the internet that is specifically relevant to the client’s plant-based skincare range.
Having insight into consumer search behaviour even though they don’t even land on the website is incredibly valuable data that help drive decision making across all marketing and product development.
We are still working through the High-Performance Playbook checklist. Still to come is integration between the woocommerce store product data and Google Merchant Centre which will enable the products to be displayed within Google Shopping.
You might notice when searching for a product that Google Search results will show a section across the top displaying products and their prices – that’s Google Shopping.
Following that will come email marketing, building on the new infrastructure to have direct conversations with existing customers and creating a relationship with potential customers.
Lastly, a Google Adwords campaign will build on everything that has come before, using data and analytics to create high-converting, targeted paid campaigns.
I am so happy to have found you!
After years of limping along, I feel a miracle has happened and I can walk again!! Seriously after years of paying it forward for others, it is so refreshing to once be on the receiving end of a decent human being!!!
You have lived up to your word and stuck with me however frustrating this must have been for you; I am now your biggest fan.
Jasmine Borschberg / Founder / Leaf Juice Skincare