Santa Gertrudis Breeders International (SGBI) had been a long-term client of ours when they determined that their website was tired, old and ineffective. We were tasked with completely overhauling the site because it needed not only a fresh, updated and contemporary look and feel, but content that would reflect the breed’s advancements, SGBI’s member services and the progressive nature of Santa Gertrudis breeders. SGBI wanted a clean, organized, fully responsive agricultural website that would be easy to navigate and would hold site visitors’ attention.
The re-imagined site needed to serve as a gateway to performance and registry information, while providing members with breed and industry information that is crucial to their operations – so specific functionality was important. In addition, the website needed a translator option and to provide non-members with a call-to-action – either to learn more about the breed or to join the association.
We follow a progressive, systematic process to building functional, effective and creative websites. We like to compare constructing a website to building a custom house. Laying the groundwork is essential, so we start with an in-depth questionnaire that helps us determine a client’s goals, likes, dislikes, preferences, etc. We follow that up with a content audit and search engine optimization (SEO) keyword research, simultaneously, so that future content development is on track.
Next comes the site structure and wire framing so we know what content is going to go where, much like designing the floor plan of the new house. We all need to know what goes where and if there are enough rooms, bathrooms and closets for all the content.
After that comes the design development. We provide clients with a couple of design concepts to choose from and then work with them until they are happy with the site’s proposed look and functionality. In the case of SGBI’s site, they wanted something that reflected their breed’s rich heritage as well as the strength of their organization, breeders, members and customers. The site needed to be on brand and have content that was easy to find and utilize. They also needed room to grow since their organization was on an upward trajectory.
The next step is the build – the fun part! We keep our clients engaged along the way as we build the site and, much like building that house, the client is key to selecting the details. Functionality was added along the way that was not originally planned, and SGBI had a few conceptual changes from their original vision. During all our site builds, we remain flexible and fluid as the client comes up with new asks and we create innovative solutions.
Content population, browser testing, page optimization and other details round out the project. Once the site is launched, we allow a few weeks for the test drive and for ironing out any rough spots. On this site, it was a smooth ride most of the way!
The SGBI website was launched smoothly and on time – right after the association’s annual meeting. Member reception was overwhelmingly positive and has remained so since launch. The site has proven to be nimble, easily updated and able to accommodate the organization’s growth. One of the key responses from users is how easy it is to find the information they’re looking for.
The SGBI website is home to the organization’s membership material, breed promotion information, their flagship magazine (Santa Gertrudis USA), all SGBI programs, current news and items of interest, and fully and consistently champions the association’s DATA DRIVEN, PROFIT PROVEN brand.