Representing UK salt manufacturers, giving them a voice and providing guidance, both socially and politically. They safeguard the industry’s development by raising consumer awareness of issues whilst advising the government on the salt – in all its forms.
The legacy sites
Prior to this project, the Salt Association had a family of websites. The official front-facing site represented the Salt Industry and its members using their main domain name. This website included salt facts, official statements and educational resources.
The second was a blog-based website containing a series of articles from the Salt Sense campaign, aimed at informing consumers on the uses of salt in everyday life. Finally, there was a separate, small, private website for members, which was still deemed fit for purpose.
The biggest problems
One big issue of the previous website, other than it looked a little dated, was it had a lot of great content spread over way too many pages. Users were often required to make several clicks to eventually get to a single paragraph of relevant content. This also meant a lot of good content was easily missed.
Secondly, breaking the content over two websites, with the very simple Salt Sense site, was splitting the user base. Salt Sense was also incredibly keyword rich with great consumer information. However, visitors here were missing out on the straight-talking salt industry facts.
Splitting the audiences was addressed. Simply put, with the Salt Association being the ‘voice of the industry’, it would combine the two websites.
Therefore it could continue to represent members and providing official statements on their stance. Whilst now, also providing industry backed up facts in consumer articles using the Salt Sense campaign.
It was very important Statements and Consumer articles were clearly differentiated to visitors in the design.
The sitemap was key
Working with the client, the next big hurdle was working on a new, condensed sitemap. Decreasing the amount of clicks a user needed to get through to something of interest was absolutely key.
Making clear distinctions between the types of salt – core brown salt for de-icing, white salt for food and water softening – whilst also breaking down any myths about salt uses, for health and the environment.
At first, the client was looking at simply removing most of the educational section, in particular the huge History of Salt area.
However, after studying the many years of Google analytics data, it showed that these text heavy pages were in fact very popular with visitors, drawing in large numbers from web searches.
Rather than lose this content, it meant the popular educational section would be kept but made far more concise and easier to navigate with improved visuals.
The final site
Not only did the final website look far cleaner and more official, it also housed more information. The new site combined edited versions of the previous two websites, along with new content for the launch. However, working in detail with a sitemap earlier on in the project meant this content could be accessed far easier in the new form.
Back-end enhancements meant that going forward, keeping the site running was far easier. For example, the colour coding of the blue Official Statements and orange Salt Sense articles was simply the case of ticking a box behind the scenes. With the website build handling all the layout and color coding elements automatically for the client.