Having a website as part of your online marketing strategy, it can be difficult to know what changes to make. While it’s important to experiment with your website and look for small improvements, it’s vital to understand what changes to make and how they can affect your marketing successes. Let’s take a look at some of the areas that can be subject to change and how those changes might help your business.
The structure of your website
Ensuring your website is fundamentally sound can go a long way to successful marketing efforts. Having a website that is mobile-friendly is an crucial aspect of this. Though views from mobile browsers have yet to surpass views from desktop browsers in the US, mobile views still constitute an important aspect of your consumer base. As part of a recent update in the Google search algorithm, whether your website is mobile-friendly plays a key role in determining its search ranking. If your website does not feature responsive design, your website traffic and, as your result, marketing efforts could suffer. This fundamental is an excellent place to start, whether tackling it on your own or bringing in a web design company.
Once the basics are in place, online marketers should make certain other key elements for the website are in place. As you move pages around and experiment with different parts of your site— an important part of any digital marketing strategy— 301 redirects should be in place to maintain the connection between URL’s after a move. As well as these redirects, marketers should have a blog, heading tags on every page, as well as properly researched metadata. These elements enable visitors to find your website and encourage them to stick around once they have.
Few things are worse when surfing a website than clicking on a link only to find it's dead. By making sure links on their website all work properly, marketers can avoid losing visitors and keep them on their site. The more time they spend on your site, the more likely they are to engage with content, become a lead, and ultimately become a customer. Think too about the speed of your website: are your images optimized? Are page loading times reasonable? Some 57% of consumers will leave a website if the page they are looking for doesn't load within 3 seconds. Those high resolution images of your latest products may look nice, but if they are taking too long to load, they are discouraging visitors and ultimately hurting your marketing efforts. These basic considerations may seem obvious but are easy to overlook. They're the primary points to ensure the rest of your site's user experience is as rewarding as possible for visitors.
Forming the best possible user experience
Think about the websites you enjoy visiting. Chances are you have little difficulty finding what you're looking for and don't waste a lot of time trawling through pages. Users visiting your site should be able to easily navigate and find what they are looking for. There should be no surprises for the user. By guiding people to where they expect to end up--whether it's a content piece you've told them about or a link to a contact form for them to complete--you'll want to ensure they get exactly what they're expecting. While giving them something that's maybe a little different to what they're expecting won't necessarily drive them from your site, it creates a disconnect in their experience. This disconnect can have an impact ultimately into their behavior as a potential client. Experiment too with the look and feel of your calls-to-action. Even slight changes in the location, design, color, and messaging can have a big impact.
While experimentation is a necessity within any digital marketing strategy, it is important to be mindful of repeat visitors as well. Those visitors who come to your site on a regular basis and have a comfort level may be put-off by big changes to your site. If things are suddenly in unexpected places or they have trouble finding what they could easily before, visitors can easily leave your site and search for answers elsewhere. Be careful to align your website with the expectations of the visitor. Changes can and should be made, but the best approach is to make these incrementally--enhancing the user experience while maintaining the comfort that repeat visitors have built with your website.
With advancements in web development technology and changes in design trends, it can be tempting to try to modify your website to conform to what is happening now. However, depending on your industry, your website may perform better by keeping it simple. As always, keep your audience in mind. If they're likely to be impressed by a cutting-edge website technology, then by all means bring in a web design company to incorporate it into your site. If some dazzling technology trend is likely to scare them away, however, there's no harm in maintaining what you have: simple is sometimes better.
Getting your website’s messaging right
Successful online marketing efforts provide buyers with information that aligns with information they are seeking. Molding the messaging of your website to that which is useful, engaging, and helpful will make for a satisfactory buyer's experience. Content can come in many different forms, but, above all, it needs to be something visitors want to consume. Within your website's emphasis on content, the tone doesn't always have to be one of a company making a sale to a client. Instead, your messaging should be aimed at developing a relationship with the buyer. Gaining a trust between the two parties can be as effective as pushing for contact information and other common sales strategies. By presenting your business as one that has firm knowledge in what the buyer is seeking, this trust is developed over time. Whether it's something as simple as using the correct terminology for your industry or creating engaging content that can be shared, the messaging throughout your website can positively impact your business's relationship with customers.
This messaging should also be specific to guide the website visitor through your site. Try to use clear language to describe the action they are taking— it may be sending a message through a contact form or letting them know exactly what they are about to download. Whatever the action is, make sure that it aligns with what the outcome of that action is. For instance, instead of having a link that says "learn more", tell the visitor exactly what they are going to learn about by clicking on the link. By doing this, online marketers avoid the disconnect between what they're providing and what their visitors are expecting. Specific, guiding messaging throughout your website will ensure the expectations of both you and your website's visitors are aligned, the user experience will be positive.
By making small changes to your website, your business can experience incremental improvements in its marketing efforts. Taking consideration of your visitor’s experience, tweaking the structure and messaging of your site can pay dividends in the long run.
Have you made any changes recently to your website? If so, what effects did they have on your marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments below.