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Creating Results

everything mature consumers experience

Traditions of America

Traditions of America Website Re-Design and Development

Traditions of America Website Re-Design and Development

The Situation

Traditions of America, a leading developer of lifestyle communities for people age 55 or better, had successfully overhauled its website in 2010. However, online technologies and online behaviors are constantly evolving. The company also wanted to more effectively promote and motivate lead capture.

It was time to refresh the site so that Traditions of America could leverage (or move ahead of) trends in both real estate marketing and digital marketing.

Traditions of America Website Re-Design and Development-situation

The Strategy

Respond to changing user priorities, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!

The 2010 development effort had given Traditions of America and Creating Results a solid platform on which to build. The content management system (CMS) customized for the client by 26 North Media was very flexible and powerful. The site had seen strong web traffic trends for several years and positive positioning within organic search results. The team set out strategically to maintain these strengths while amping up the user experience.

Designs and content would be tweaked, and new features added, as they related to five key digital marketing trends:

  1. Mobile – use of smartphones and tablets by baby boomers / seniors had been increasing steadily. Traditions of America web stats showed more of its online visitors were using mobile devices.
  2. “Local search” – a majority of home shoppers begin research with a local term, and major search engines such as Google now emphasize localized results.
  3. Social marketing – while still not a primary sales driver for older adults, Traditions of America wanted to anticipate and promote more robust use of social tools and techniques.
  4. User reviews – Creating Results’ research of Social, Silver Surfers showed a dramatic rise in the influence of user ratings/reviews on mature movers.
  5. Interactivity / personalization of online experiences – a wonderful way to set the stage for the highly customized design service Traditions of America provides offline.

Traditions of America Website Re-Design and Development-strategy

Creating Results started with a thorough analysis of web analytics to determine visitor priorities and define logical, user-oriented paths to conversion. New offers and tools were chosen because they had clear benefits to prospects that would motivate online registration.

The new site reflects user priorities with more interactive and personalized features such as:

  • A “Find Your New Home” search function that lets visitors enter the criteria important to them, including location and home style;
  • Interactive Floor Plans (powered by Alpha Vision Group), empowering buyers to create their DreamHome by modifying floor plans with popular options and furniture placement;
  • Homeowner reviews and star ratings for selected communities;
  • Interactive “Buying Made Easy” tools such as livability scores and mortgage calculators;
  • More local community content, giving future residents a flavor for the surrounding area through headlines, upcoming events and featured news on pages such as “Lititz Living;”
  • Opportunities for visitors to share their own tips and opinions, through Blog comments and polls;
  • Expanded search results allowing users to explore a topic in detail on the site; and
  • Responsive web design, which makes the site easy-to-use regardless of device.

Traditions of America Website Re-Design and Development-solution

The Design

The new design honors and reflects visitor priorities by putting a community / home finder prominently on every page. Navigation and next steps are clear.

The site uses brand colors to direct users to specific areas within the website while a clean, white palette makes the site inviting and easy to navigate. Three sets of mobile designs were conceived and field tested with baby boomers and seniors. The selected approach was further refined during the development phase to be sure it was friendly for most devices and all ages.

The Results

Even as the client decreased spend on print advertising and DM driving to the site, resulting in lower overall traffic, website conversion rates increased. In short, the new web design compensated for the smaller number of visitors by more quickly guiding them to lead capture.

Stronger offers that were more relevant to site visitors (and more reflective of where they were in their purchase journey) yielded more leads.

17% of all who convert on the site have used the Homefinder tool. These users are predominantly 55+ (Traditions of America’s target) and also are 23% less likely to exit the site than the average visitor.

eBrochures had previously been specific to community pages; now the offer was made on every page. Requests went from a total of 0 in 3 years to 1,290 in the first 10 months after site re-design.

Nearly 7,000 prospects have visited or experimented with the Interactive Floor Plan system, with a 3% conversion rate for registrations.  The tool has had a direct correlation to sales.

The number of sessions by mobile device users has increased. The number of goal completions by smartphone users is up 105% over the previous year.

Traditions of America Website Re-Design and Development-results
Traditions of America Website Re-Design and Development-results
Traditions of America Website Re-Design and Development-results
Traditions of America Website Re-Design and Development-results

Take Away

The mobile-first design approach meant really thinking through not just the look but the user experience. Reflecting on the project, Creating Results’ team felt that starting with a deep analysis of webstats helped them understand and prioritize what mobile users most wanted. This ensured success when structuring mobile menus and action buttons to reflect those priorities.

At the same time, we felt that we had underestimated the need to adjust some video and large graphics content for better mobile interaction as well. These adjustments have become a priority for ongoing optimization of the site.

“We had a prospect place a deposit holding a print-out he’d made from the site, showing exactly where he would place his furniture in the new home!
The reaction to the new site by our active adult leads, prospects and current residents has been very positive.” – Nathan Jameson, Partner

“We had a prospect place a deposit holding a print-out he’d made from the site, showing exactly where he would place his furniture in the new home!
The reaction to the new site by our active adult leads, prospects and current residents has been very positive.” – Nathan Jameson, Partner

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