Sungevity

Background

If I had a nickel for every time this happens… Sungevity’s website, particularly its information architecture, did not keep pace with its business. It was turning into a Winchester Mystery House. This lack of alignment resulted in subpar MQLs/SQLs, with expensive consequences such as a landing page strategy that relied too heavily on paid traffic.

As an added complication, Sungevity utilized an atypical webhost, site.com, which brought with it a slew of limitations to work within or around.

Finally, the marketing team had gone with Squarespace for the company blog and was missing out on some SEO optimizations available through more fully-featured CMSs.

My Role

As Program Manager of sungevity.com, my role was primarily focused on providing strategic guidance and alignment among many internal stakeholders whose goals often competed for priority. I was also recommending a bigger change than the bandaids that had been employed in prior years — a revamp of the sitemap which would fundamentally alter users’ paths through the site. I owned user testing and research as well a content strategy and SEO/SEM.

As part of the revamp of the site, I managed an RFP for 4 commercials (3:00, 0:30 and 0:10 cuts) tailored for lead generation. I ran a Hotjar survey on the site with questions designed to tease out which aspects of going solar were the biggest concerns for prospective customers, and assisted in scripting and art-directing the ads to speak directly to those concerns.

For blog.sungevity.com, I worked largely solo. I configured WordPress hosting on Dreamhost, migrated all content from the existing Squarespace blog to WordPress and cleaned it (lots of hotlinks to Google Image Search results…), collaborated with marketing to optimize the site for high-value, low-competition keywords, and configured a theme to match Sungevity’s brand guidelines. I relaunched the site with minor assistance from IT (DNS record update). We immediately began capturing traffic on a much shorter “tail” than I’d conservatively estimated, enabling marketing to focus their ad spending away from traffic we could now acquire organically.

Result

Since this was such a foundational shift, we brought both versions of the site live and ran an A/B test that compared lead generation KPI with target audiences. The new audience-focused architecture conclusively outperformed the old topic-focused IA, so I switched all site traffic to the new version and deprecated the old.

A lead gen landing page produced as a result of the Hotjar analysis resulted in a 40% conversion lift, traffic Sungevity typically would have paid about $186k to acquire via PPC.

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