The Illinois Expert for Plants and Groundcoverings

Midwest Groundcovers is an industry leader in just that — premium groundcovers. Their 700 acre facility grows hundreds of plant varieties to meet their customer’s needs.

Idea Case Study Midwest Groundcovers
100 SEO Score Google Page Insights
Custom Cropshot Feature
Updated Daily Inventory with Customer Requests
Custom Searching & Filtering
Connected to In-House ERP System

Lacking a Streamlined Order Process for Thousands of Plants and Foliage Varieties

Hosting thousands of varieties of plants and foliage that were easily accessible presented a mix of technical requirements and usability factors for the Midwest Groundcovers team.

Prior to working with Idea, the website backend couldn’t be easily adjusted and edited by the Midwest team as plants came in and out of stock or in season. This inventory data also was not providing real-time availability to customers on the website. The Midwest website also was lacking a comprehensive search function that would help users locate specific plants among the thousands of varieties.

A UI/UX Design That Was So Last Season

The UI/UX design was also looking a bit outdated and was not meeting modern web design standards. Aside from the needed visual and element improvements, there were also issues affecting the customer experience like a poor user journey.

The current user journey was overly complicated which was leading to higher levels of bounce, and customers leaving the website without taking action. Many of the pages featured an overload of information that was distracting to end users. The homepage was oversaturated with options that prevented a clear path to conversion, or better put, a sale. A clearer user journey was desperately needed in the new custom web design.

We also made a note to address the site Call-to-Action (CTAs) and better highlight key information the customer would need while shopping.

The client also requested a fix for their “cropshot” program, a feature where visitors could request photos of specific plants. They also reported issues with site responsiveness and a lack of website support.


Proposing A Custom Web Design Solution

As we discussed the scope of their project both teams came to the agreement that a total website redesign and UI overhaul were necessary. This would be needed across the umbrella of Midwest brands, which meant our team would be working on 6 unique websites as part of this custom web design project(s)!

Our custom web design proposal would address each of the unique issues affecting the Midwest websites, including ease of management, page load speeds, lack of critical website features (search and filter), a SEO strategy, an improved UI/UX, and the custom functionality requested by the client.

As experts in custom web design, we opted to build our client a custom WordPress website that would integrate with their inventory system and provide tangible solutions to the Midwest team.

Custom Web Design

Building a Complex Landscaping Website Designed for Growth with a Fully Integrated ERP System

Our custom web design team began designing a completely custom WordPress website paired with tailored PHP scripts to provide the functionality and features our client needed. The management of the Midwest website was simplified by our new backend programming.

Now the Midwest team would be able to make website adjustments and edits with ease. This granted greater control to Midwest over their site content and function and less reliance on a third party. The new build also addressed programs and systems that were not working before and fixed critical site errors.

To address the user journey and conversion issues our expert custom web design team got work improving the look and function of the Midwest websites.

We organized and simplified website content using collapsible menu options and implementing clear CTAs across the website pages to drive user action. Light green CTA buttons grab the user’s attention and direct their journey. This prevented the amount of content from overwhelming users and led them to the content that would be important to them, and most importantly provided conversion opportunities.

With a modern web design look and functionality user trust would be built, bounce would decrease, and overall conversion would increase across the websites.

Our team also made the ‘add to cart’ process more direct which would drive conversion, another custom feature built entirely through WordPress.

Custom Website Functionality

Custom Functionality for a Custom Website

The ‘cropshot’ feature error issues were fixed and the new process included an added notification feature that allowed users to know when a response was received. On the Midwest end, the requests were now accessible and organized so they could easily address each request and mark completed which would prevent the previous issue of requests from falling through the cracks.

Another key feature we addressed was the inventory syncs. Previously the syncs happened daily and took hours to complete. Our custom code created a process that only occurred as needed and took only minutes. This also tied into the new inventory system and would automatically update it as sales occurred while also generating an order request for the Midwest team. A live inventory meant customers could only order available products and prevent ordering issues. The order requests helped Midwest easily view and fulfill site orders.

We also created a custom search function built into the plant library section. This removed a duplicate section from the previous site and allowed users to use advanced search filters with an autoload feature while browsing the library. If you have trouble spelling Chamaecyparis nootkatensis from memory, this feature is for you.

Included in the technical updates was implementing mobile responsiveness across all 6 websites. Users could now load content correctly and quickly from any device.


Building an SEO Strategy To Drive Higher Search Engine Rankings

Our team of digital marketing experts also worked to help improve the SEO strategy of the Midwest websites. This effort would help increase their search engine rankings and generate more traffic for their websites through an integrated web strategy.

We began by researching the most valuable keywords for the Midwest Groundcovers brand. By identifying popular keyword variations we could leverage valuable SEO opportunities to improve the website reach.

With these terms identified the team worked to include them across the website content and pages. Core pages would focus on specific keywords to drive the ranking for that individual page. The use of these keywords would help Midwest to start ranking for these phrases.

From a backend perspective, our team ensured that all the technical SEO requirements were met, including meta tags and descriptions, title tags, and alt tags to name a few. These would help signal to search engine crawlers that the content was relevant.

Website Hosting

Simplifying the Website Hosting of Our Clients Different Brands

While building the new site we converted the 6 brand sites our client hosted separately to one hosting platform that further simplified and gave greater control over their websites. The new hosting helped fix previously dysfunctional or outdated processes that prevented the sites from being optimized.

With a simple hosting process, the management of the Midwest brands was made much easier. The hosting also included other benefits such as plugin updates and website image optimization to improve page load speeds.

Website Support

Continued Nurturing for Midwest Groundcovers with On-going Website Support.

Besides creating custom processes and features for our clients we maintained direct contact between our developer team and the clients throughout the entire process. We provided training support so that the Midwest team would be confident managing their new custom WordPress website. Additional technical website support is also provided by our team as needed.

In addition to website maintenance support, our team provides all of its clients with our exceptional customer support manager Haley Langer to answer any questions or concerns that arise. When Haley is not addressing our client’s needs she works diligently to review the site, offer suggestions and create training videos to help Midwest Groundcovers better manage its website. This dedicated support helps our clients become more confident in fixing site issues and less reliant on third-party support.

Idea Case Study Gallery Midwest Groundcovers

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Founded in 2009. Idea Marketing Group is a top Chicago web design agency that works intimately with consumer brands and manufacturers to help build, maintain, and market websites. See the award-winning work or a specific service like manufacturing web design.