About AeroMarine Products
AeroMarine Products distributes industrial chemicals, including epoxy resins, epoxy adhesives, mold making rubber and pour foam, for use in underwater applications such as boat repair. Primarily targeting the marine industry on a B2B basis, the company also serves other industries and DIY consumers.
Situation: An Under-Maintained, Under-Performing, E-Commerce Website Needed An Intervention
Just like a car, a website needs regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Maintenance had been neglected on the AeroMarine website, and it had major speed and performance issues. One problem was that far too many plugins were used on the site. The resulting poor user experience meant that online conversions and sales were dropping. Users encountered error codes and had trouble completing purchases online.
Solution: A Technical Audit
While the project was well within Windmill’s areas of expertise, it was somewhat unusual for us to take over a website from a previous developer without a full redesign or rebuild. The current state of the website presented an opportunity for numerous quick wins and improvements in the initial phases of the project, ahead of a longer continuous improvement cycle.
After the website moved to our hosting environment, we focused, for the first couple of months, on getting it up to date. We tackled the most critical issues first, performing a technical audit to reveal and remove any unnecessary code, plugins and backend items that were not being used. We made sure all plugins had active license keys. In cases where a plugin had three or four different accounts or logins, we had to determine which one was actually tied to the website. We resolved flags from Google Search Console and Google Ads. We reviewed page speed and made enhancements to improve it.
Measured with the GTmetrix tool, the site performance score increased from 54% to 82%. number of improvements we made impacted the structure of the site and improved the performance metrics. The most significant enhancements included:
- Optimizing the Cloudflare settings to maximize performance and user experience.
- Setting up Autoptimize to combine and compress CSS and JS files, drastically improving performance for users by reducing the number of items being called by the browser.
- Enhancing optimized imagery on the site, including the optimization of all existing imagery, adding WebP support and ensuring lazy loading was active and functioning properly.
- Reviewing and optimizing global PHP files to improve performance, including removing duplicates for third party assets, such as Font Awesome.
- Whenever possible, transferring functionality from plugins to the theme to ensure optimal performance, in addition to removing any plugins that were outdated or not used.
- A subtle,, under-the-radar update that likely had an impact was the update to the category listing page. Initially, if a category did not have a featured item, the category listing page would inadvertently display ‘no items’ before showing the product listings. Updating the user experience here ensured that users were always presented with products from a category they were browsing.
Cleaning up the code improved the user experience markedly. People trying to check out stopped getting errors, and the client saw sales increase during the month of October. Typically, AeroMarine’s online sales start declining in September, since their business is very seasonal. At that point, we had only focused on getting the site working properly, with digital marketing efforts amounting to some basic organic SEO site cleanup. Although our work on this website was simple, this case study demonstrates the huge impact of improving the technical foundation, site speed, and user experience, ahead of any more aggressive digital marketing activities.
The AeroMarine team is very pleased with the sharp improvement in the website’s performance and with a solid foundation in place, the site is now primed for a PPC campaign and further digital marketing activities.
Are you looking for a digital marketing partner that understands the complexities of your industry? Let’s talk today
Windmill Strategy is a web design company & digital marketing agency helping B2B industrial chemical supply companies achieve increased visibility, higher quality leads, and greater marketing ROI through smarter web design. Our website design and B2B digital marketing approach goes beyond “more traffic,” seeking out better traffic, by gaining the attention of the specific niche groups of buyers and influencers that represent your best customers. We help our clients communicate and sell their complex products and services to multiple audiences – be it through web design or digital marketing and SEO. Working collaboratively with your in-house marketing and sales team, we design websites that drive leads and sales that result in overall business growth. Schedule a call to learn more.