Avvo SERP


Challenge

The goal was to improve our SEO traffic directly to our SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) for non-specialty specific geography terms in major metros and states. Capture user traffic for the following keywords: [Practice Area] attorneys, [State] attorneys or [City] attorneys. Platforms: Desktop + Mobile.
Most of our everyday traffic comes through our directory and knowledge base landing pages. Moreover, the directory pages are our money making pages as well. We deliver attorney ads throughout the lawyer search flow and each click is monetized by us. An increase in traffic would also boost our advertising click rate as well. The project was to design templates that rendered 50 high traffic Practice Areas, 100 Cities and 50 states. My task was to find a design that boosted our SEO ranking without affecting the current metrics of engagement and flow.

Solution

Often SEO improvements result in degrading the UX. My personal challenge was to improve the UX while adding the SEO juice on to these pages. Being the design lead, I had the freedom to execute my vision and test it as well. The first step was to understand what it means to have good SEO? SEOMoz’s blog and website were scrubbed inside out along with several meetings with the SEO guys to understand their needs. I stayed in sketch more for the initial proposals as well as the negotiations. A design brief followed which outlined our hypotheses and possible opportunities. A/B tests were launched on Optimizely to validate our assumptions. Results from the test informed the visual design. Iterations in visual design explored the best layout. The handoff to dev was through redlines. Followup tests with Crazyegg heatmaps were launched as soon as the pages went live. We will be montioring the data and propose changes to reach our local maximum on these templates.

Being a massive project, we chunked it into manageable sections. After analyzing our search queries and traffic patterns, we decided to first approach the PA pages:first desktop, then mobile and then follow the cycle for city and state pages. Design and Content, this way could stay ahead of Dev at all times. The UI is designed for graceful degradation as well. For sections that do not have all the content pieces, the UI will morph accordingly and not look broken.

Results

Initial crazyegg results show user activity as expected and clicks happening at the right locations. Google analytics did detect un expected behavior where significant users are clicking the search icon without entering the other field in the search bar. A proposal will be made to address this issue. Below are some after and before metrics.

Works under User Experience Design Visual Design