Relaunch planning and implementation – from concept to live launch
As part of the website relaunch, we created a new, modern design concept for the Verband Bildung und Erziehung (VBE NRW e.V.) and merged over 60 association pages into one main page with subpages using a new domain structure. The new homepage is characterized by a clear structure that is user-friendly and conversion-optimized. In terms of content, it functions as an important link between the association, members and service platform.
The Verband Bildung und Erziehung (VBE NRW e.V.) is the largest professional association in the education field within the DBB NRW (Deutscher Beamtenbund). With over 24,000 members nationwide, it represents their trade union and education policy interests.
In particular, teachers, social education workers, educators, students or teachers at universities and in centers for practical teacher training (ZfsL) are the focus of the VBE. However, people who are still in training for one of the professions mentioned also benefit from the commitment of the professional organization.
For example, the VBE pursues the goal of making teachers full-time civil servants, promotes young colleagues, supports local schools, focuses on pupils through holistic concepts and offers legal advice and protection.
In order to better represent VBE’s many activities, functions and comprehensive range of services, it became clear that a new website was essential. The old website could no longer meet the requirements of the users. There was a great need for action, especially against the background of search engine optimization (SEO).
So the VBE decided to collaborate with #Die.Digitalfabrik on the website relaunch project. In an initial joint workshop, we defined the status quo and clarified the functional and non-functional requirements.
We talked about the success factors and where the VBE sees itself in the future. After evaluating the practicability and weighing up the costs, a comprehensive specification sheet and a coordinated offer were submitted.
A clear, modern, intuitive structure for user-friendly operation
An appealing and versatile presentation of the service offerings
A prominent events calendar
Strong focus on member recruitment and retention
More interaction options and stimulating elements for the user
Full SEO optimization for better performance and search engine-optimized content
We prepared a detailed project plan that illustrated the various phases. From preparation, analysis of the status quo, market standards, direct and indirect competitors and strategy consulting through to implementation of the requirements, it showed the time frame including important milestones and the cost horizon.
Based on this preparation, a mood board was designed, key visuals created and a creative concept for the digital strategy developed. We focused on aspects such as brand identity and communication, visual language and accessibility. Scribbles were then designed for the new page types using the mobile first approach and the visual language was comprehensively revised: Away from interchangeable images towards meaningful, unique and approachable communication. With stable performance, an appealing design and simple operation, the new VBE homepage is one of our best user experience projects!
As a website relaunch requires a large number of points to be taken into account, it was important to define and structure these as clearly as possible in advance. Among other things, we defined target groups and target KPIs for the new performance, conversion and traffic drivers, what the new editorial system should look like and how master data should be maintained.
The focus was on the exclusive member area and the event calendar in order to offer the best possible user-friendliness and comprehensive functionalities for these areas, not least through in-house development. Even before the project began, it was clear that WordPress would be the home of the new website and that significantly better performance and scalability as well as simplified maintenance in the backend were to be expected.
Probably the biggest challenge was to reduce the old website from over 5000 indexable URLs, many of which were duplicates, to around 700 pages and to first identify the pages that were relevant for Google and for the user. Events were excluded from this, as this would be largely automated. A major problem with the old website was duplicate content. This led to a high maintenance effort and an unclear user navigation. The first step was to create a comprehensive website analysis, prioritize the content based on the database, create a new sitemap and define a new URL structure.
The existing URLs were not “speaking” URLs, i.e. they were identified by numbers. This meant a lot of extra manual work and made subsequent SEO-Redirect mapping more difficult.
Attention was paid to creating intuitive, internal links and a new heading structure was defined. However, content was not transferred 1:1 – numerous new elements were built into which the existing content had to be implemented. This made the migration effort somewhat more difficult, but the end result speaks for itself.
The content was then migrated by #Die.Digitalfabrik in a form optimized for SEO standards, the redirect mapping and structured data mentioned above were set up and the necessary image SEO was also taken into account in the course of page speed optimization. In addition, a new and clear menu and domain structure was developed and the content was migrated in a user-friendly way, taking into account the exclusivity of the member area. Another challenge was the planning and implementation of the content freeze – the seamless transition from the old to the new system was absolutely essential, especially for the events calendar.
1. Website analysis
2. Prioritization of content
3. Creation of a new sitemap
4. Definition of new URL structure
5. Consideration of intuitive, internal links
6. Creation of new elements , including implementation of existing elements
7. Optimization to SEO standards
8. Set up redirect mapping and structured data
9. Development of a clear menu and domain structure
During the project, we were always in close contact with the VBE. Thanks to the close cooperation between the development, SEO and project management departments, it was ensured at all times that all information and requirements were passed on, corresponding briefings were set up and the open tasks were implemented step-by-step within the time frame, on time and with the correct content. At regular jour fixe meetings, we presented the current status of the project, presented interim results and clarified any queries that arose. We also regularly trained the VBE so that the employees themselves are able to maintain the content (SEO-optimized) and fill the events calendar. This offers the customer enormous flexibility and independence.
After successfully going live according to plan in October 2023, we are now looking at how we can optimize member recruitment and raise awareness. We keep a close eye on the figures with the help of the implemented tracking system in order to work out which potential for improvement can be identified on the basis of relevant KPIs and implemented in the next expansion stage.
We would like to thank you for the trust you have placed in us and look forward to working with you in the future!
Got curious? Make an appointment with us today!