Barnett Waddingham: web development | Grist



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Barnett Waddingham: web development

Future-proofing a professional services website by building it around client needs

The purpose

Actuarial consultants Barnett Waddingham, wanted to develop a new website that was worthy of its evolving brand and growing status, without losing the personal touch on which its long-standing client relationships have thrived.

The firm’s existing site offered a poor user experience, with a confusing structure based around a multitude of service lines, and limited CMS functionality for the close-knit marketing team.

The varying quality and consistency of content submitted from around the company was also a challenge. Without the time for substantial edits of often dense and text-heavy pages, the readability and SEO potential of some articles was being lost. 

After a comprehensive selection process, including face-to-face meetings with other Grist clients, we were given the nod to develop the new Barnett Waddingham website and help with improving the content.

How we helped

Barnett Waddingham’s business is focused on five main client groups: pension scheme trustees, employers, self-invested pensions private clients, public sector organisations and insurance firms. By structuring the new Barnett Waddingham site around these groups, rather than the numerous service offerings, we brought clarity to the user journey, helping them find the right information quickly and easily. A number of legacy microsites were also brought under the same roof, in order to maximise traffic and promote cross-sales.

At the same time we applied consistent categories to the content so the right articles are automatically served to the right audiences at the right time. This helps to maximise the visibility of the quality content produced, providing effective navigation and clear calls to action to move clients along the business development pipeline. Rather than wasting time on manual coding or intervention, the marketing team are able to devote more energy to campaigns.

Developing a new creative theme around the concept of partnership set the tone for a more visual approach to content. Incorporating stunning imagery, infographics, video and other visual content helps to break up pages and engage readers effectively by simplifying complex issues. We also provided templates, sample writing and editorial guidance to further inspire the firm’s content creators.

A rigorous testing phase ensured the responsive website was fully optimised for mobile and tablet use, providing a sophisticated web experience for clients and prospects across a range of devices, allowing them to consume the content where and when they wanted more easily.

“I wanted an agency with real knowledge of the professional services sector – one that spoke my language and could evidence examples of previous work with similar clients," says Simon Rusling, head of marketing. "We therefore talked to agencies’ existing clients about their experiences and ensured that they stacked up from a technical perspective.

“The team from Grist excelled in project management, providing a clear roadmap for the project, giving advance warning of when we needed to commit resources, and always there to offer a guiding hand.”

The results

Analytics show visitor numbers growing steadily and increasing levels of engagement, with more than 31% of sessions on the new site resulting in a defined action by the user.

Greater insight on content performance between audience groups is also helping to shape the firm’s ongoing content marketing strategy.

“Without a doubt, the website is raising the profile of the firm,” says Rusling. “We now have an effective showcase and it is great to see the firm engage and partners contributing more than ever."


Account manager: Phil Harding

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