Case Study: Quick Website Refresh with Post Title Improvement

I bring an early aughts website into the present with a fresh design and better post titles.

I don’t build websites anymore, but when a friend hired me to move his site to a new web host, I thought I’d take the opportunity to modernize his sad early aughts-style site.

Here’s the before. It had many issues. Let’s go through each of them and see how I fixed them.

Problem: No “Front” Page

Every website needs a “front” page, a landing page. His front page was a blog posts page, the old-fashioned kind where it’s just a long scrolling list of all the blog posts (vs. the picture/excerpts landing page modern themes have). But first, he needed a new theme. He said he didn’t want anything fancy, so I picked a basic clean theme.

I gave him a punchy tagline, and put right up front what his certifications are. (Ideally there would be a more “blurb” text here, but he’s deciding what he wants there.)

Problem: No Blog Landing Page, and No Post Images

All modern sites have a blog landing page where a reader can scan blog post titles and excerpts and see which ones they want to read. When I moved all his content over and put it into this theme, this page still looked pretty bleak, because there were no images in any of his posts.

I added feature images to all the posts (thanks unsplash.com!), so the blog landing page looks nice.

I also added excerpts. Again, so it looks better on the blog landing page, and so people can see right away what the post is about). I also added tags to the posts, for more organization and SEO value.

Problem: Generic and/or Rambling Post Titles

Most of the post titles were either too generic, or were not focused and rambled. One post was titled, “’tis the season.” That tells me less than zero about what the blog post was about. Or look at the first title in the table below. That one hurt me to read.

For most posts I just added some more descriptive words to tell you what the post was about.

Old TitleNew Title
Better CRO: The best practice of creating a experiment document that will be the record of reference for all things having to do with a CRO test.Better CRO: Best Practices for the Experimentation Document
Surprise! Didn’t see that happening. CRO test results you didn’t expect.Sometimes It’s Not You, It’s Them: When CRO Testing Gives Results You Didn’t Expect
Segmentation on user actionSegmenting on User Action to Drive Conversion
How to measure the unmeasurableAdding a User Survey to Measure the Unmeasurable
Button PsychologyUsing Button Psychology to Increase Form Completion
’tis the season‘Tis the Season—Not to Be Marketed To
Mobile strategyMobile Strategy Statistics and Cautionary Tales

Problem: Sentences as Post Titles

Many of the post titles were full sentences (formatted in sentence case), with a period at the end. “Why can’t I do that?” my friend asked.

Because post titles are not sentences, they’re headlines. Headlines are meant to be relatively short, are formatted in title case, and don’t take periods.