Prior to 2020, First American Equipment Finance’s Marketing team developed and managed 17 websites. Our old strategy consisted of creating a website for each of the 16 industries and channels that we serve as well as a corporate website. With more than a dozen marketing managers making updates to the websites daily and no digital marketing expert to oversee the website strategy as a whole, there was no consistent branding across the 17 websites which negatively impacted name recognition and overall brand reputation. We also did not have a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy and after doing some initial research we found that our websites were competing against each other in search. In addition, we had mass amounts of duplicate content across all of the websites which penalized us in search. After realizing the several disadvantages of continuing to manage 17 websites, we decided to restructure into one cohesive website.
The objective of the website restructure project was to combine our 17 websites into one website to unify our brand in the digital space and create a better user experience. From a results perspective, our goals were to increase web traffic and conversions as well as improve our overall SEO.
To kick off the restructure, we created a new digital marketing role at First American to manage the project and oversee the website strategy moving forward. We also hired a new web development vendor to handle the technical migration of moving all of the industry content into one website and to code new web templates. Together we worked with marketing managers to identify areas of the website that would be shared among all industries. By rewriting and combining the about, services, resources, careers and contact us sections of the website, we were able to remove nearly 1,000 duplicate webpages. In addition to the shared sections of the website, we outlined an industries section of the website where each industry could showcase their expertise through their individual team page, specific types of projects they finance, client success stories and thought leadership initiatives.
In order to bring cohesion to the corporate and industry sections of the website, we restructured the navigation and designed a suite of 25 new web templates. The new primary and secondary navigation, which combined the corporate and industry sections of the website, made it easy for users to navigate between content. Developing new web templates helped us to create a consistent brand experience across all sections of the website. We also improved user engagement by incorporating animation, interactive elements and using video more prominently.
By successfully combining our 17 websites into one cohesive website, www.faef.com, we have significantly improved First American's brand reputation, overall user experience and business results. Since the launch in April 2020, 64,448 users have visited our website resulting in more than 120 contact us form submissions from prospects and clients. From those conversions, our Sales team has identified 23 opportunities totaling more than $123,000,000.00. So far, six opportunities have been awarded totaling $7,000,000.00 in new business for First American. In terms of SEO, we have increased optimization from 56% when the new site was first launched to 73% according to SEMrush's site audit report.