Reduce Your Airspeed to Avoid Crashing

January 29, 2009

John Eakin knows aircraft. For four decades, he's been flying, fixing, and researching a variety of flying machines, so he understands what puts them in the air. Still, it's an unfortunate fact of life that they occasionally come down, and John often found himself charged with researching service and crash histories in order to shed light on a particular problem. Though the data was readily available, however, it was rarely user-friendly.

Air Data Research was born to address this issue, and John has turned ADR into a one-stop clearing house for all things related to aviation mishaps. The tricky part has been letting people know how he proves it.

Digett Dispels a Myth

ADR works with a wide-ranging client base to prove that, as John says, "Nobody is finding new ways to break aircraft—the same thing has probably happened before." We also labor to combat an enduring myth—namely, that a "good" website is infinitely complicated and costs as much as a 747. Truth is, some websites need little more than clean, updated design and copy. ADR's legacy site, seen below, was a good example.

ADR

As you can see, the site design was pretty straightforward, though a bit aged. Moreover, while the copy had great keywords that were a natural help on SEO, it was a bit lengthy and needed a narrative geared toward a web audience. Ultimately, we determind that ADR's needs—and budget—would be best met by simply freshening the design and copy. No sweat.

Oh, and we made one more change

Air Data Research is a good name, but the truth is that John Eakin is the heart and soul of the business. He's the guy on the other end of the line; he's the expert. So when we got into the guts of retheming his site, we suggested doing a little more personal branding. That, combined with the rest of the new design and focused copy, came together nicely.

ADR2

The moral? Stay grounded.

We're all prone to getting ahead of ourselves, especially when it comes to online marketing (Andrew tackled this at the design level). What's best is determining what fits your needs and overall goals, even if that means forgoing a flashy website. It can also save you money, and that's usually good news in times like these.

Don't get caught in the trap of thinking you need every whiz-bang feature and do-hickey, and don't convince yourself that you'll have to blow a giant wad of cash to see any decent results. Sometimes, all it takes is a little housecleaning.