To guarantee that your website performs to its best ability, and to stay relevant among your site visitors, it’s crucial to view your website as an ongoing project. It’s not simply a question of UX/CX updates; reviewing CRO, your goal completion, tackling outdated content, dead backlinks, and poor SEO are all contributing factors to a poor online experience for customers, which can be detrimental to your sales drive and to your brand. The good news is that these are all easily avoidable consequences, assuming you tend to your site with care. To keep your website ticking over nicely, we’ve compiled our top 6 areas of focus for web optimisation…
Keep the user journey front of mind
You should always maintain clear strategic direction with your interface, mapping out the best possible user journeys. Without directing visitors to the right areas on your website, you’ll encourage high exit rates, U-turns, or rage clicks (Hotjar, 2022). Not only does this risk conversions or other goal completions, but it can devalue the brand that you’ve worked so hard to build. Put yourself in your users’ shoes and try to experience your website with a fresh pair of eyes. Is it hard to find key information about your brand? Does the site make checkouts, downloads and forms as easy as possible? Could you improve legibility?
Analyse and improve based on the data
Websites don’t just end at launch; they need to be maintained, optimised and tested. Having the correct analytics tools to visualise quantitative and qualitative data is important, but only when you are tracking the metrics relevant to your business. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to quantitative analytics platforms, but the key metrics that marketers should be tracking are:
- Return on ad spend (ROAS)
- Organic search and paid search traffic
- Social media engagement
- Website engagement
- Email open rates and click rates
While quantitative research is useful in identifying data patterns and numerical trends, it’s important for marketers to understand users’ attitudes, beliefs, and motivations. This is where qualitative data can help fill in the gaps to make more informed decisions with your quantitative data. Popular qualitative research methods include:
- Heatmapping and screen recording to understand users’ interaction with your website interface
- Customer review platforms
- Digital experience analytics and behaviour technology
- User testing workshops, which can be as in-depth or simple as you require across various functions of your marketing activity
- Simple customer feedback surveys
- Website usability tools
By combining quantitative and qualitative methods, it becomes much easier to understand your customer experience. Ultimately, this helps to highlight pain points and identify the content that resonates most with your brand’s audience.
A great way to ensure you’re optimising your website is by running A/B testing (sometimes called split testing) across variants. Before implementing significant updates, you might want to consider running an A/B test to justify your decision making. Netflix leads by example in this area. Unique to every user, they pool together data to produce a final homepage outcome based on behaviour and preferences. Todd Yellin, Vice President of Product at Netflix, confirms that the brand runs 250 A/B tests each year to test the different versions of the design. These tests also consider the ways in which users search for films and programs on the app (Wired, 2018). With a highly detailed level of tracking and various testing in place, Netflix’s success is entirely reliant upon data. Regularly implementing the variations from the results optimises the user experience.
Refresh your content regularly
It’s not uncommon for users to arrive at a website only to be deterred by complex language, over-stimulating features, or a lack of useful information. These websites tend to garner large drop off rates, with marketers left trying to figure out where they slipped up. This nearly always occurs when a website is built without a defined content strategy in place. Markets are ever-changing, and branded websites should reflect this. To stay top of mind, content needs to be relevant, useful, and findable. Marketers need to audit and refresh existing content on an ongoing basis, factoring in current trends and wider business objectives.
Prioritise SEO activity
SEO is often an afterthought when it comes to website builds. This is usually down to the fact that organic search rankings can take time to bear fruit in contrast to paid activity. But with 53.3% of all website traffic acquired through organic search, SEO should be a core consideration during, and after, a website build.Regular SEO activity can elevate your brand and take you to the top of search engines, surpassing your competition. The key to successful performance and conversion of your website is a content strategy that considers a user-friendly experience, with digestible information for both the user as well as search engines. (Search Engine Journal, 2022).
Whilst they are undoubtedly two separate entities, marketers should make sure their SEO and PPC strategies are aligned, and both have high prominence on their marketing agenda and budgets. On average, 5-10% of your revenue should be spent on SEO activity. (Search Engine Land, 2022).
Monitor technical performance
Top performing websites don’t just need to look good, they need to be functional too. Ongoing website maintenance is required to keep your website running. This can be achieved by making sure your website is safe and secure, and that links and tools aren’t broken. It may seem simple but often brands focus on the launch of a new website and forget to check in on performance once it’s live. Some CMS updates can be relatively straight forward, but you’ll benefit from an experienced digital team to manage, monitor and prevent or react to any technical issues your website may encounter.
As a fully integrated agency, we build sites that talk the talk and walk the walk – from design to optimisation. If you’re looking to take your website to the next level, drop us a line today – we’d love to have a chat.