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Hop-Online.com 2014 is Alive and Kicking

If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably come through our brand new website. And if you’ve visited before, you may notice that we have completely overhauled our design.

I’d like to give you an inside peak into the motivation, design and creation of what we think is our greatest content asset to date at Hop Online.

Why did we overhaul the website?

There are several reasons, actually:

  1. We’re not just an SEO company anymore. No, we don’t think SEO is dead, nor that it will ever be as long as organic results remain somewhere on the first page (fingers crossed). SEO is still an extremely important service offering of Hop Online, but it’s no longer our core. As a new HubSpot partner (first in Bulgaria), our core is now Inbound Marketing and all its components. Inbound marketing is here to stay, and so are we. We needed a site that communicates this.
  2. Conversion rate optimization (duh). Leads are our lifeblood and the key to our continued growth. We need more of them. We felt that our old design wasn’t as good as it could be at convincing people to talk to us. We expect this new site to convert at 50%+ higher rates.
  3. The team, the team, and the team. Did I mention that we’re proud of our people? Well, we are. And now it shows. In our line of business, our service quality lies in the skills and dedication of each person on each project. Each team member at Hop Online plays an absolutely integral part in the Inbound orchestra. We want to showcase them as individuals and in their respective teams.

What’s new here

If you were familiar with our old site, one thing hasn’t changed: it’s still just one page. This may seem counter-intuitive from an SEO perspective, but it’s intentional. User experience comes first. One-page websites for service providers are not the future, they’re the here-and-now. If we want to rank a page for a particular keyword, we’ll blog about it.

Aside from maintaining and enhancing the smooth-scrolling and other magical effects of HTML 5, here’s what actually has changed:

  • The splash page. The old site was missing that Wow moment that happens on the best websites. That first split second after the page loads. We wanted a simple and powerful experience to shape that first impression, letting the visitor know that they’ve come to a place that values their time and cares about their experience.
  • More focus on case studies. Case studies demonstrating proof of the pudding are more powerful at convincing people to talk to us than anything else. We also want our site visitors to identify with clearly-defined personas whose challenges are similar to their own.
  • Solutions have replaced Services. Yet, case studies alone are not enough. We have to actually state what it is that we do. Our old site described our services in a commonly-accepted manner that’s pretty standard for service-oriented company websites. We have replaced those services with Solutions, which speak more to the actual problems that companies come to us with. Our intention is not to push our “off-the-rack” services to them, but to solve their problems with customized solutions.
  • Video. Buried throughout this single-page site are 16 videos (not counting the fun Vine videos that most of our team were brave enough to shoot). We bit the bullet, rented a studio for a day, wrote and assigned scripts, and got it done. The reason for all these videos is simple: we believe that most people would rather watch than read. As a bonus, our “actors” are the actual folks who specialize in the particular solutions they are talking about. If our hunch about video engagement turns out to be true, we’re eagerly anticipating a massive improvement in average time spent on our site per visit. And, of course, conversion rate.
  • Ebooks (aka “attract” offers). Some visitors may in fact want to read more. Also, alas, most will leave without asking to meet us and tell us their challenges. But our feelings won’t be hurt. In fact, we want to offer them ebooks (and in the future, other goodies) as parting gifts. Who knows, maybe they’ll enjoy them, come back for more, then eventually decide that they want to meet us and talk about their challenges. At first we didn’t know what do do with those cool transition spaces between sections of the site. Then it hit us: ebooks!
  • Red, baby. All of our call-to-action buttons are red. Here, I must admit that we were most inspired by Fab.com, an absolute master of color for conversion rate optimization. We’re hoping the consistency and scarcity of our use of the color red draws people into our conversion triggers.

Site flow

We envision a certain flow or intentional path towards our cute contact us form. It goes something like this:

Intro page. Wow. There’s that Inbound marketing term again. Case studies. Hmmm, he kinda seems like me. Oh, I know those brands (impressed). Ah, a video, finally. More videos. Thanks guys! Let me grab my headphones and relax a bit. (several minutes later)… Yep, I have a lot of those same issues. Hey, good looking people here. They seem good at what they do, too. Note to self: peak at those ebooks later. Okay, they’ve made the cut. I want to talk. Where’s the nearest red button.

Your feedback

In the spirit of lean MVP’s, we launched as quickly as possible with very little feedback from the outside world. As we receive that feedback, we’ll be reacting quickly with iterative improvements.

So, we would love for you to leave us a quick comment below telling us how we might improve the website, and of course if you spot something that appears to be broken. It will go straight into our Asana checklist.

Thanks!

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Paris's foray into Internet marketing began in 2003, and since then has spanned numerous projects in countries that include U.S., China, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania. Paris founded Hop Online in the spring of 2009 with the aim of aggregating the Bulgaria talent potential and establishing a highly qualified search and social marketing outpost in the region. So far, so good.

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