Large scale content optimisation at speed

With our smart process stored safely overhead, we refreshed more than 100 pages of content against the clock.

A new website at high speed

East Midlands Railway (EMR) was set to take over from the East Midlands franchise in August 2019. They came to us three months before with a big ask: could we refresh the copy for their new brand identity and website in time? Challenge accepted.

Content optimisation, at scale

The brief came with two big caveats:

1) Don’t change the user experience too much 

2) Keep the copy as functional as possible

We got ourselves up to speed, as it were, with the ins and outs of routes, timetables, railcards, stations and more. We also got to grips with the many data sources and APIs used to build a rail company website. This highlighted where to flex our creative brains. And what to leave well alone.

We improved the overall tone, strengthened headlines and optimised metadata. With thousands of changes across hundreds of pages, we established a process to make sure every page was cross-referenced against our style guide by more than one writer; consistency secured.

A structured process

A good relationship with the lead agency, Altcom, was essential. Together, we set up a content optimisation process to balance pace with precision. Central to this was delivering content in batches. Why give the development team the headache of uploading a content tsunami on deadline day? This tiny change helped sidestep major bottlenecks down the line.

It also meant we could make amends and write new content at the same time, using the entire team of Blackad copywriters. Best of all, client changes were minimal: we fine-tuned our adapted our approach with each small batch, so copy could sail through the approvals process. With careful planning, seamless teamwork and close attention to detail – delivery stayed firmly on track. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)

Intrigued by content optimisation?