Scott Jenkins, President of Payroll Solutions, knew his website wasn’t up to par. It was nearly ten years old, and his team realized that a responsive design would be vital to meet client needs. As a result, Jenkins contacted North Star Marketing in late 2016 and launched his new site in April 2017. Since launch, the company is already seeing indicators from the new website that positively impact productivity, sales, and client retention. A few of these include:
- Increases in direct traffic to the site
- Fewer visitors leaving the site (lower bounce rates)
- And a significant increase in mobile visitor engagement
[Concerned about your website’s performance? Click here for your FREE site audit report]
About the Company
Payroll Solutions is a full-service payroll company that specializes in processing small business payrolls, providing paperless web-based services along with traditional payroll processing. The company was born out of an accounting firm more than 50 years ago, becoming a stand-alone firm in 1995. With 12 employees, Payroll Solutions serves businesses across the Piedmont-Triad area of North Carolina, focusing on flexibility and responsiveness to client needs.
In 2015, Jenkins noticed that the Payroll Solutions website was not being used to its full potential. With a non-responsive design, the user experience on tablets and smartphones was nonexistent.
“We knew that if our clients were not able to access certain applications from our website, they would eventually go to another provider,” Jenkins explained.
The Payroll Solutions team was frustrated with an old and outdated Content Management System (CMS), leaving them less than motivated to update the site regularly. Because it was hard to edit and publish new content, it rarely got done, leading to missed business opportunities and unmet client needs. As the months went by, it became evident that an upgrade was in order.
“We never thought twice about who to call,” Jenkins said. I met Andy Lynch and Clark Morgan about ten years ago through a mutual business contact and got acquainted with their team along the way. As a business leader, it is my goal to be proactive rather than reactive, and North Star’s ideas are always ahead of the curve.”
This was Payroll Solutions’ fourth website design and their second design update with North Star.
How We Helped
The creative team at North Star heard Jenkins’ frustrations with the current CMS and reinforced what he already knew: websites that don’t get updated don’t get traffic. The marketing team explained the value of the WordPress CMS, demonstrating the ease of content updates and the possibilities for Payroll Solutions clients.
With the new interface, clients would be able to log in and access all of Payroll Solutions’ web-based products anytime, from anywhere using a mobile device. This was Jenkins’ primary goal for the project — to be responsive to his current clients’ needs. Gaining more prospects and traffic from businesses looking for specific services was a bonus.
North Star began with a thorough kickoff meeting, analyzing site traffic, documenting pain points, and setting measurable goals for the website revamp.
“When Micah (Fox) and Bryan (Ickes) from North Star came in to chat with us, we really had no idea where we wanted to go in terms of actual design. I am a High C Personality Type (concerned mainly with accuracy and quality) and have little creativity when it comes to things like this. When they asked me questions about what content I wanted on the site, I froze. I really was not sure. I knew I wanted the information which allowed our current clients to use all of our web-based packages, but that was it,” Jenkins said.
Micah and Bryan worked through a scope gathering process with Jenkins to talk through ideas for the website project, overall website or marketing goals, audience-review, content status and strategy, creative direction, technical needs, and photography.
“Scott engaged us because his industry has changed and he wanted his website to reflect those changes,” Micah said. “These industry changes, coupled with the need for a responsive design and better content management system drove the process.”
Goals identified during that conversation included:
Making portal access simple and visible for Payroll Solutions clients by situating most-needed links in the website header
- Moving from the old CMS to a WordPress system, solving many of the site management issues faced by the team
- Implementing a responsive design so clients can access the site and portal from their phones and tablets
- Better conveying the value of partnering with Payroll Solutions, emphasizing their response time, personalized approach, accuracy, and convenience.
From there, North Star created a new sitemap and designed wireframes, allowing Jenkins and his team to envision how the new site would look.
Soon after design approval, programming began, and Payroll Solutions was on its way to going live. North Star assisted the team with updating content, outlining benefits of their services, and implementing calls-to-action throughout the site, making it easy for prospective clients to get in touch.
Each week, from the kickoff meeting to the go-live date, Tyler Olson, one of North Star’s project managers, held a scheduled check-in call with Jenkins, updating him on progress and collecting assets needed to complete the job.
“Having a designated point of contact and getting regular updates from Tyler was priceless,” Jenkins recalled. “We knew that this was a large undertaking, and it was great to have a weekly meeting with him via phone to keep us updated on the status.”
From start to finish, the project took six months. Jenkins was the only point of contact on the Payroll Solutions side and had to step away from the project at times due to an exceptionally busy season for Payroll Solutions.
“During this season, I had very little time to work with North Star,” Jenkins said. “I still participated in weekly updates but couldn’t always give the website project my full attention. North Star respected my needs and continued to work toward completion, taking feedback as I was able to provide it.”
Reaching the finish line was a rewarding event for all. The finalized website was above and beyond what Jenkins and the Payroll Solutions team expected. Not only was the site improved aesthetically, with a brand new design reflecting industry trends, but it was simple to use.
“Keeping content fresh and not allowing our website to become stagnant is a big deal for us,” Jenkins said. “Rather than dreading logging in to make updates, we are now energized by the opportunity to better serve our clients with an informative and educational website.”
The new site outlines all of Payroll Solutions’ services and offers valuable resources for small businesses, such as training videos, a forms library, year-end prep resources, and more. It also provides current clients the opportunity to manage their payroll, time and attendance, employee screenings, e-verify, and other HR functions, all within an innovative, web-based platform.
Jenkins looks forward to building out his site even further, partnering with North Star to implement a full online marketing plan, including an educational blog with monthly updates.
“Having a blog that addresses relevant topics and pain points your customers care about can be a game-changer when it comes to improving online visibility. You want your company to be the one your clients and prospects find when they’re seeking answers online. A blog helps accomplish this. Data shows us that companies who blog see significantly more traffic and leads than those who don’t.” – Clark Morgan, Online Marketing Director at North Star Marketing
Since the new website launched, Payroll Solutions is already seeing a 9% improvement in traffic above this time last year. Payroll Solutions customers are using the site to its full potential with the tools to manage several HR functions in-house and on the go. With an improved mobile design, the new website has resulted in customers who are using mobile devices staying on the site 97% longer than they did this same time last year.
Prospective clients are also taking notice. New leads are being generated through calls-to-action and forms on the website. Jenkins is excited to report new leads are coming in and states that conversations with future clients have been in the works since the new site was launched.
“In my opinion, you should never develop your own website with a DIY website building package,” Jenkins said. “That will be your end result — a website that looks like you did it yourself! I knew we wanted a website that looked custom built and positioned us as experts in the industry, and that is exactly what we got.”
The next step for Payroll Solutions is to develop and implement an online marketing strategy, which may involve content marketing, social media advertising, blogging, e-mail lead nurturing, and paid search. North Star will partner with Jenkins to choose opportunities with the highest return on investment and implement the campaigns.
“The bottom line is I believe our website is an expression of the quality of service we deliver. That’s why it’s worth the investment,” says Jenkins.
If you’re interested in talking to us about your new website, contact us today!