During recent weeks, much as been written online about B&Q’s new responsive website. A lot of the publicity surrounding the site has stemmed from the reported £60m price tag (wow!), so we were intrigued to see how this money has been spent.
The new B&Q site doesn’t look very different compared to the old site, although a few subtle changes have been made for the better. However we think enough has already been said regarding the design and functionality of the new site.
We were more keen to explore B&Q’s developing content strategy, which goes hand-in-hand with the new site.
To get us into the festive spirit, we decided to check out B&Q’s Christmas offering. Clicking on ‘Christmas’ in the mega menu presents a dedicated Christmas page with links to trees, lights, decorations and more. This is a perfect page for casual Christmas shoppers who may simply want to browse. This type of page also presents the perfect opportunity for the brand to speak directly to customers about festive tips and products.
Visible on the page alongside selected featured products are links to a few content-rich pages. These include guides to Christmas trees and lights, a tutorial on how to personalise a wreath, and advice for preparing your home for guests over the festive season.
We began by checking out B&Q’s Real v Artificial Christmas Trees article. It’s a long-running debate whether real or fake is best, so this is an excellent idea for a piece of content that will appeal to most customers who are looking to purchase a Christmas tree. It features a list of pros and cons of each type of tree, and links to B&Q’s category pages. This is great, however we think they could’ve gone a step further by mentioning specific products and linking to them, too.
Next up, the Christmas Lights Guide. Again, this is a great idea as there are a huge variety of Christmas lights available and many consumers probably need a helping hand. The guide explains the different types of indoor and outdoor lights, with links to separate category pages for each type. B&Q have also included the pros and cons of each type, as well as important health and safety information. My only criticism would be the lack of images under ‘Outdoor lights’. Some lovely festive images are used to good effect under the ‘Indoor lights’ tab, so I’m unsure why they haven’t used similar images for both tabs.
Many of us will entertain a variety of guests over the festive season, so this has the potential to be a valuable piece of content. It does give visitors some good ideas for sprucing up different rooms over Christmas, with a carousel of decor ideas featuring at the top of the page. These images are clickable and do feature product details, but only in a full screen view. When viewed on a smaller screen, these important details disappear, which is a shame. The design of the page is also just a little bit awkward, requiring the reader to keep scrolling between the images and the written content to benefit from the full effect of the article. It might work better if the text included direct links to specific products. B&Q have missed a trick here, although it’s a great idea for a piece of content nonetheless.
Finally, B&Q have also incorporated some DIY advice articles into their mix of content. As experts in DIY, B&Q’s advice articles should be detailed and thorough. Consumers already see B&Q as an authority in this sector, so they’ve already won half the battle. The ‘How to personalise a wreath’ article could be better, but it certainly doesn’t speak for a lot of B&Q’s other DIY content, which is excellent and includes detailed videos, images and descriptions. This how-to guide gets it right with links to products, step-by-step instructions and images, however it could be a bit more detailed. Some close-up pictures or even a video wouldn’t go amiss here.
Apart from exploring B&Q’s seasonal content, we’ve only briefly looked at other elements of B&Q’s content marketing, however what we’ve seen looks impressive. From what we’ve looked at so far, B&Q simply need to make their content a little bit more consistent, and try to link to products through anchor text where possible. Some work may also need to be done to ensure that visitors have a great experience on smaller screens, as it was evident to us that on some pages, the experience is hindered slightly on a smaller screen.
Overall though, we think B&Q are doing a good job. Relevant, interesting content from an industry authority will always be a winner, and B&Q seem to be getting it right. It will be interesting to see how their content strategy develops in the coming months, as we can only imagine that their content will improve and become more refined.