MOBILE-OPTIMIZED WEBSITE IMPROVES IOWA FARMER OUTREACH
The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that provides assistance to Iowa farmers at no cost. That means that dollars from their various funding organizations go directly to programs to assist farmers, and not to marketing efforts. This left their website an underutilized resource that wasn’t doing all it could to help them serve the needs of Iowa’s farmers.
As the Coalition approached its 15th anniversary, it was time to give their original website a face lift and ensure that it met the changing needs of Iowa’s farmers. Since the site originally launched in 2004, more and more farmers began trying to access the site on their mobile devices. However, the experience was poor and data told us that most mobile visitors quickly exited the site, likely without finding the information they needed.
Lessing-Flynn worked with the Coalition to design a new, mobile-optimized website. Being a livestock farmer can be a difficult and busy business, so making sure the important information was easily accessible was vital. The site features a simplified, user-friendly navigation, additional resources clickable right from the homepage and in-page linking to make sure visitors find what they need wherever they look.
The Coalition begins most relationships with farmers via a phone call, so featuring their assistance phone number prominently was important. The number was previously buried on the contact page on their old site, so we brought it to the forefront in the website header and made sure that it was a click-to-call link so visitors could take action directly from their mobile device.
Since Coalition services are constantly changing, the site needed to be developed in a way that would allow the team to build new pages. Although we designed a handful of custom templates for the more unique pages, the rest were built with a flexible content system which allow the team to drag and drop content sections as needed to build a page, whether it includes an FAQ, resource library, video or more.
The site officially launched in November 2018. In the three months post-launch, website traffic increased 263 percent and pages per session nearly doubled.
“The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers was founded with the mission of working with Iowa farm families to provide guidance and help implement on-farm best-management practices for raising livestock responsibly and successfully,” said Coalition Executive Director Brian Waddingham. “This new and improved website is our latest step in fulfilling that mission.”
According to Waddingham, calls for support have increased since the launch. He also says numerous farmers have referenced visiting the site prior to calling in for answers to their questions.
“I refer a lot of farmers to our website for information and have heard many positive comments about how professional the site looks now,” Waddingham said.
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