Case Study: Western Financial Group Responsive Web Design
Candace Bozek | October 9, 2018
The Challenge: Western Financial Group
Western Financial Group’s website is one of our most unique creations in both its design and features. With over 179 different locations across Canada and 40 insurance services available, Western required a high level of customization for their website.
Morad Media responded to Western's extensive request for proposal back in April 2018, and with our ability to handle their requirements, timelines and customer service needs, it was a great fit for both sides.
Western’s website has a large array of features to provide an excellent user experience for potential customers and easy updating for their administrative team.
Some of Western’s top website features include:
- Website accessibility options
- Geo-specific content
- Banner alert messaging by location
- Interactive location map and search
- Powerful blog engine
- Events and registration page
- Reviews page
Our team successfully migrated over 179 branch locations, 40 different insurance services, and over 400 blog posts and news stories in under four months. This is no easy feat for a web design agency. This project was significantly expedited to get their new website up-and-running by the end of the summer.
Our number one focus when creating a web design strategy is the impact the new website has for our client. In the month following its launch, Western’s user average session duration has increased 44%, bounce rate has decreased a whopping 80% and exit rate has decreased 55%. Pageviews have grown by 112% and pages per session have more than doubled. People are not only staying longer on the website, but they are consuming more content.
How We Did It
Geo-targeting refers to the practice of delivering different content to a website user based on his or her geographic location. Geo-targeting helps focus in on a specific market, resulting in more relevant messaging to the visitor as well as a better return for the client. Because Western has so many locations across Canada and customer service that is very location-specific, geo-targeting just made sense.
The Morad team uses our proprietary content management system Morweb CMS with all of our websites. Morweb is a powerful and feature-rich website builder and content management system developed by our team exclusively for our clients. Because our CMS has been developed in-house, we have the ability to create new features as needed by our clients. Our geo-targeting feature had been in development for some time and was rolled out and tailored to meet Western’s unique website needs.
Morweb’s geo-targeting feature allows our clients to tailor their images and messaging by city, province/state and country. It is also fully functional for mobile users, tailoring content by the location of their cell tower.
This has been a huge benefit for Western with their many locations. Their website visitors can see broker locations and book an appointment with an insurance agent nearest them.
Western’s offices are located in Canada and each province has a tailored web banner and location-specific greeting for users in these locations. For example, if you go to:
http://westernfinancialgroup.ca/?geo-state=Alberta you'll see the banner with "in Alberta" on it, and if you go to: https://westernfinancialgroup.ca/?geo-state=British%20Columbia, you’ll see the web page for visitors located in British Columbia. They also have more specific greetings for Canadian cities, and more general location greetings for visitors in the United States and around the globe.
Website Accessibility Widget
Western’s dedication to inclusivity is evident in their commitment to website accessibility for all of their users. Website accessibility is part of a movement to bring the American Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance to the web, therefore enabling people of diverse abilities to participate equally on the World Wide Web.
Western’s website is Level A compliant and meets some of the Level AA and AAA criteria of the WCAG 2.0 Guidelines as outlined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Morweb’s website accessibility widget enables users to adjust settings to meet their unique needs. The accessibility widget allows website visitors to increase/decrease the font size, convert content to black and white, invert colours, highlight links, and change the font type to regular non-serif for improved readability. For more information about ADA Compliance for your website and Morweb’s accessibility features, check out our recent blog article.
Interactive Map Search
Western’s website has a customized map search to help visitors quickly find an insurance broker that is closest to them. The map is fully interactive, allowing users to zoom and click on each location to get more information. The map search has been customized to Western’s branding and includes unique icons for the branch pins.
The left sidebar also offers more information about each insurance branch by province and options to view its page. Each location page has a bio about that specific branch with a message from the manager, office hours, contact information, customer reviews, a feedback button, and an option to request a quote or book an appointment with an insurance agent.
Powerful Blog Engine
Western’s previous website had over 400 blog posts and news articles spanning all the way back from 2006 that needed to be migrated to their new website. Morweb’s blog engine has powerful migration options to pull posts from other content management systems (CMS) and categorize them by topic, date, and any other custom field.
Once pulled, our team took the extra time to review each post to ensure the content and images transferred correctly and to update any internal links in the posts.
Morweb’s blog engine automatically generates posts to be featured on the home page or on specific web pages by date and/or topic. This ensures that website content is always current and visitors will always see the latest blog posts without Western’s staff having to constantly update featured posts by page. This has been extremely helpful as Western has multiple blog post types for News, Western Gives (articles about their charity), and general blog posts about various insurance topics.
Responsive Web Design
Google recently changed their search engine to mobile-first indexing meaning that Googlebot will now use the mobile version of a website for indexing and ranking.
This change to mobile-first indexing will only affect websites with two versions of their website: desktop and mobile. Responsive web design (RWD) is a setup where the server sends the same HTML code to all devices and the CSS is used to alter the rendering of the page on the device. In layman's terms, the web design and content will automatically adjust to the user’s screen size.
Morad Media has been ahead of the curve on responsive web design for years. Our client websites are exclusively responsive designs. Google’s change has virtually no effect on our websites because they serve only one version of the content to everyone.
Western’s website is no exception. It is fully responsive and has been tried and tested to ensure it looks great on every device; mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop computer. Our website features such as geo-targeting and accessibility options work just as well on mobile devices as they do on a desktop computer.
Western has been thrilled with the web design and we continue to work with their team to roll out the next stages of their web and graphic design projects. As part of our ongoing commitment to next level service, we continue working to further improve their geo-targeting, monitor and improve the user experience, and ensure Western has a stand-out online presence to suit this stellar organization.