How to Turn Your Website into Your Best Employee
Employee of the…Decade?
It never stops working when the business day is over. It never takes time off or asks for PTO. Consistent may as well be your website’s middle name. But are you making sure your best employee is thoroughly trained and working at their best?
We commonly hear from prospective clients that it has been years since they have updated their website. However, in an ever-changing world of new content and new competition, it is important to breathe life into your website and stay current with the digital landscape.
Here are 3 steps to building, and maintaining, the best website for your business.
Where does your website currently need help?
We have found that the challenges nearly all websites face fall into one of three phases:
Drive – “I need more traffic to my website.”
Optimize – “I have traffic on my website, but no one converts.”
Expand – “I need something new to attract traffic.”
While each of these are super important in creating your invaluable digital asset, separating each of these strategies into phases allows all you to create a controlled experiment and isolate your website’s weaknesses. Working along this Website Performance Roadmap, your website will continue to grow and function as your best, and smartest working, employee.
Drive the Right Business to Your Website
“If you build it, they will come.”
– Field of Dreams
If creating a successful online presence was that easy, digital marketing wouldn’t exist.
Whether your business is just starting or you are expanding into a new venture, the most common marketing goal we hear is increasing the amount of traffic to a website. Driving new users to your site will not only provide validity to the new website features but ultimately drive your business and, therefore, income. But just creating a beautiful website may not be enough. You need to make sure the hard work you have put in is being found.
There are a variety of techniques to drive traffic to your website. These include:
Need a refresher on key digital marketing terms & definitions? Check out our cheat sheet.
Each of these techniques drives additional users to your website through paid or organic search results. Some of them have more short-term return benefits, and others are intended to build organic authority in the long-term. The important part is that each business is different and requires a unique strategy. Just like choosing the right social media platform to connect with your potential customers, it is essential to choose the right blend of techniques to drive the ideal persona to your website.
Now that you have begun to show up in SERP (search engine results pages), you need to make sure you are making the most of their visit.
Optimize your Traffic
Now that your customers are on your website, are they completing your desired action? Unfortunately for many sites, a good portion of your traffic doesn’t even interact with your website and immediately leave. This is why your website’s bounce rate should be one of the first vital indicators to examine.
Thankfully, there are a wide variety of tools and resources available to examine your traffic and their behaviors. Integrating the full host of Google Webmaster integrations (Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Search Console, etc.) will make sure you are collecting the valuable information you need.
The first step to optimizing traffic is ensuring your website is intuitive, inviting, and easy to use. Help users solve problems, answer questions, and unlock value as quickly as possible. Eliminate friction points and reduce the number of steps between a user entering your website and completing the desired event, whether that is purchasing a product, leaving their contact information, or calling you directly. Review your page layouts, use of color/typography, CTA (call-to-action) and design.
A great way to test the optimization of your website is to run blind tests. Invite someone who has never seen your site to complete a list of desired actions then observe:
- How long does it take them?
- How many different clicks or pages do they use?
- Do they get confused?
- How many times do they need to use the ‘back’ button?
Ultimately, this is about usability and personalization, or providing your website traffic with the information they need clearly and concisely. Creating segments of your customers based on persona, device, or lifecycle stage can help hone in on the individual needs. A hyper-personalized experience for each user or customer segment will ensure they get the perfect experience and relevant information to guide their decision making process.
Working with an agency through this phase will provide you with the tools and process to successfully implement advanced Conversion Rate Optimization strategies.
Now that you have been working on driving new customers to your website and optimizing for conversions, it might be time to expand your website.
Expand your Website’s Impact for the User Experience
Your website has nearly no limit on what it can offer for your business. A majority of business websites are focused on the core section of the customer journey – awareness, consideration, and decision.
As your business grows, you can now start to think bigger picture and find creative ways to expand the website’s impact.
Early Stage Awareness
- Develop a free-educational series or demo to build awareness that your product/service solves a problem they may not even realize they have.
- Answers or resources around your core service helps build domain authority.
- Launch new digital web products that are so valuable users are willing to pay money for them, but you offer access for free.
“you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
- Create new user experience flow or tutorial on the website, including something very personalized
- Launch an advocacy or loyalty program
- how are you differentiating your first-touch point with your new customer?
- Develop online gated content just for customers to offer extra value.
- Build online communities or forums to build reviews, trust, and credibility.
With thousands of plugins available for WordPress websites, the ability to expand has become far more accessible than ever before. In most cases, solutions no longer require the high costs of custom programming and design. eCommerce, LMS (Learning Management Systems), and Page Builders are just some of the unique plugins which have made managing and expanding your website much easier.
Now that your new service, webpage, or plugin is launched and live, focus will shift back to driving the traffic and the optimization cycle starts over again.
If you need help driving, optimizing, and expanding your website, let’s chat.