As an asset management and financial planning company, Waddell & Reed knows first-hand the importance of making smart investments. With an increasingly outdated website — Waddell.com — and an overwhelming amount of content, Waddell & Reed decided to invest in itself and boost its online presence with a revitalized website.

DEG reimagined Waddell and Reed’s website through a modern design atop a scalable CMS.

The Ask

Waddell & Reed engaged DEG on a full-service project to reimagine the brand’s flagship website. DEG solidified a digital strategy to maximize the brand’s message within a modern design atop a scalable platform. A major aspect of the project was not just how Waddell & Reed’s content was presented on the front end, but how its employees could manage the content more effectively on the back end.

After evaluating the website to learn more about the customer and company administrator’s current web experience, DEG came away with three main objectives for the new website: increase positive brand recognition through improved website content and functionality, allow for efficiency in updating website content, and improve marketing efforts.

The Answer

Content presentation and management played a major role in the website redesign project. The team focused on total user experience, bringing it to life through a streamlined front-end and back-end information architecture.

DEG enhanced the content experience by re-platforming the non-responsive, hard-coded site to Sitecore. This empowered website administrators to effectively manage content through a CMS. DEG and Waddell & Reed re-architected every page of the website, producing on-brand, optimized content ready for both users and search engines to find. Then came time to focus on the crux of the financial planning industry: data. Within every family of funds contained detail pages for each individual fund, and in those detail pages is all of the information that is crucial to the selection process. DEG and Waddell & Reed understood from the beginning that this data had to easily be consumed and adjusted by both its clients and the financial advisors themselves.

A major emphasis was placed on a restructured information architecture, and Waddell’s focus on making every page customizable was why DEG selected Sitecore. DEG utilized best practices to not only display large amounts of financial data in an engaging way that performed faster than the previous site, but also optimized the system architecture and the ability to categorize content, dynamically pulling information related to a tag to make maintaining the content easier than before. With hundreds of funds listed, DEG eased the burden of content entry for the Waddell team by incorporating wildcard pages so that every class within a specific fund hit the same page.

With so much information to absorb, DEG kept overall site performance top of mind. Much of the redesigned site’s features and content had previously been on the old site, but DEG ensured fast load times to keep users engaged on the site and developed clear pathways for visitors to quickly find relevant content and functionality. DEG also targeted and optimized the site’s SEO, as having four Waddell & Reed-related websites — Waddell.com, Corporate Careers, Institutional Investors, and Investor Relations — made it difficult for the main Waddell site to rank in search results.

Waddell and Reed’s redesigned website allowed it to focus on its most important investments: those of its clients.

The Results

Launched in September, 2016, Waddell & Reed’s redesigned website features strategically organized content within an engaging user experience and design. DEG will continue that intuitive experience on Waddell & Reed’s corporate site, which will also be built on Sitecore. DEG and Waddell & Reed’s investment in Waddell.com allowed it to then focus on its more important investments: those of its clients.

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