Bestads is an international platform for advertising industry professionals and agencies; to present their best work, and to research advertising from leading clients internationally. Tectonic Digital took on day-to-day maintenance and development for the publisher in March 2010.
Site growth had been constricted by a legacy of performance bottlenecks. Taking an approach of continuous performance improvement, we have recommended and implemented incremental technical, user experience and business enhancements — as a result, in the ensuing 18 months the site has seen substantial performance improvements contributing to an increase in advertisers, ad revenue and uptake of paid subscriptions.
A primary pain point for Bestads visitors was the slow speed at which ads would display, and the often poor image quality. Constrained by server and bandwidth capacity, the site was feeling the weight of a growing audience and growing archive of videos.
One of the first improvements Tectonic made to the Bestads site was to introduce a custom built high performance video management and serving system, transcoding videos to multiple formats so they could be viewed on iPad, iPhone, and a new Flash video player. Video uploads from users were now accepted in any format, automatically transcoded on upload, hosted "in the cloud" and delivered via a content delivery network — dramatically speeding up and improving the experience for site visitors.
Finding and browsing the world's best advertising wasn't altogether easy. It's now easier and more enjoyable thanks to improvements to the on-site search engine; an algorithm to find and display related ads; and a raft of small improvements to content layout and linking. The site's improved value as an advertising research tool has contributed to an increase in paid subscriptions to Bestads PRO membership.
Outages and slow performance resulting from higher-traffic periods were regularly impacting the Bestads site. Improvements to the site code, application architecture and database optimisations have dramatically improved stability, reliability, page load speed and resilience to regular attacks from botnets. Site uptime is now consistently over 99.9%.
Bestads is full of great creative work that people love to view and share. By deeply integrating social sharing functionality and extending content visibility beyond the site, Bestads is reaching a new and wider audience. Over 15% of site traffic now arrives from social networks.
The best six ads in four categories are judged every week, and announced via email to the site's database of opt-in subscribers. Tectonic manages delivery of over 60,000 emails per week for Bestads — improvements to the quality, presentation and consistent deliverability of email has led to industry-beating open and clickthrough rates.
Best-practice on-site search engine optimisation techniques were applied to Bestads in two phases, allowing search engines to effectively find and understand content on the site. Immediate results were noticeable, leading to a 235% increase in visits arriving from search engines.
The Bestads audience continues to grow internationally — a community of global advertising professionals and agencies that enjoy up-to-the-minute exposure to the latest and best advertising from diverse markets. Tectonic continues to service demands on the Bestads site and find opportunities for further improvement and growth.