Faced with an overabundance of content and ineffective navigation, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) sought out a content platform to streamline the experience for its target audience.
Apply best practices for user experience and accessibility, including mobile-friendly and responsive design, to provide their large user base with the highest- quality digital experience possible
A 23.2% increase in time on page, with the average time clocking out to 1:25
The National Electrical Contractors Association, a major trade association representing the electrical contracting industry across the United States. Founded in 1901, shortly after the invention of the electric light, NECA generates over $200+ billion per year. Their website has thousands of members ranging from independent one-person shops to students learning their trade to organizations employing several electricians.
As NECA began to increase its membership size, its staff had to add more content to accommodate them. However, as time went on, the number of web pages, new blogs published and a plethora of other assorted content made for difficult digital experience. The onsite search option did not assist users in finding information effectively either.
While users were able to successfully log on and create memberships, NECA’s website became challenging to navigate. Searching for specific pages or sources about the electrical industry became cumbersome. In fact, NECA’s members often complained about the “mega menu” displaying too much information all at once. Visitors had to click through link after link just to find the page they wanted.
The combination of these factors, along with a lack of branding updates, had NECA’s marketing team rethink its web strategy. Led by Elise Baker, Executive Director of Public Relations at NECA, the organization wanted to streamline the experience for new and current members.
NECA partnered with Americaneagle.com to start sketching out plans for a more agile, member-friendly website. One that offered an aesthetically pleasing design, but with compelling and easily discoverable content too. NECA and Ameicaneagle.com had no second thoughts about Progress Sitefinity, as they had already been familiar with the platform.
While working alongside Americaneagle.com, NECA started its own best practices for user experience and interaction on different touchpoints and form factors.
A core practice in this was organizing and consolidating page content. The two organizations created content tiers, prioritizing which pieces of content users would want to engage with first. NECA utilized Sitefinity’s content governance tools to close out legacy pages and applications on the backend. In turn, Baker and her team leveraged built-in and third-party applications to help make workflows and content governance more efficient. A notable third-party application NECA implemented is Hawksearch, an advanced search solution to augment the content discovery throughout the website.
“One additional element is the single sign-on that integrates with our AMS, LMS, Store, forum, and other external sites,” said Baker. “For NECA users, it makes the process extremely simple as they can just log in once and access all their information with the permissions on their account.”
While continuing to focus on content consolidation and functionality, NECA did not forget about navigation. NECA and Americaneagle.com knew the association’s members were using the mobile version of its website. As such, they continued to use Sitefinity’s capabilities to not only improve the mobile experience, but also make the website ADA compliant.
In what is the biggest compliment to NECA’s website comes directly from its members. Baker has said many of the members are consistently visiting the newer pages and saying how much they appreciate the modern design. In turn, content editors and administrators were able to experience the ease-of-use Sitefinity provides to backend users.
“The new website had an immediate positive impact on the user experience,” said Chelsea Croft, Public Relations Manager at NECA. “With the greater governance over content that Progress Sitefinity allows, we saw immediate success with the content that users were visiting, and the ease with which they were finding it.”
The integration of simplified search and content categorization is proving to be another positive factor in NECA members’ digital experience. More and more members are spending time on the site, as Baker reports a 23.3% increase in time spent on pages and a 14.5% decrease in page exits.
Equipped with a powered-up website, NECA looks ahead to supercharge its digital branding efforts. With the focus on continuing to build out new web pages based around regional chapters and conventions. All while keeping the user engagement experience in mind.
About National Electric Contractors Association (NECA)
The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) is the voice of the $202 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light and communication technology to buildings and communities across the U.S. For more information, visit www.necanet.org
Since 1995, Americaneagle.com has completed more than 12,000 Web projects for nearly every type and size of organization, in nearly every industry, including small companies, start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, Professional Sports teams, and manufacturers of niche products. For more information, visit www.americaneagle.com