It’s a new year and with new beginnings, it’s customary to want to improve or enhance your website whether it’s making a few small updates or embarking on an entire redesign. Either way, analyzing your website data and evaluating areas where you can improve the site for better customer experience is key.
Your website helps drive leads and is most likely the first contact many customers have with your company. With the ever-changing digital trends, it can be difficult to make big changes as they can be time consuming and expensive. The great news is, we’ve outlined the key areas that you should evaluate to help improve your website experience.
Customer Journey Mapping
Optimizing your website with the customer journey in mind will provide users with clear and meaningful interactions. You can start by understanding your customers’ experiences and then analyzing the data to identify what content they are engaging with and what’s not resonating and why.
When someone visits your website, you should be able to provide them with the information they’re looking for right away and there should always be a clear next step or call-to-action (CTA). People who land on one of your pages shouldn’t have to think about what to do next. There are multiple steps or stages to the customer journey and mapping that journey will help you create content that speaks to each stage and guide the user through the information funnel.
Simplify Your Content and Use Clear Calls-to-Action
Content will continue to be one of the driving factors of lead generation and having quality data that is focused around your customers’ needs will provide them with personalized, relevant data that’s engaging and informative. Providing users with a lot of data and resources can be a little overwhelming sometimes. Depending on your industry, it’s best to start with basic information, especially when they’re at the start of the customer journey and doing their initial research.
Long-format content may make sense for a blog post, but not necessarily for a services page. You want to highlight the key points you’re trying to convey and entice the user to click-through to deeper pages of the website. In order to get people to flow deeper into the site, you need to have a clear call-to-action. The simplest change to a call-to-action button, whether it’s the color, shape, or wording can impact click-through rates. Know your audience and provide them with a simple and obvious next step.
Site Speed and Mobile-First Optimization
Optimizing your website speed is an important factor because it’s one of the first major interactions the user has with your website. When people are searching for information online, they want quick and informative results. When your website takes too long to load, you’ll start to see higher bounce rates. Slow loading pages hold the user back from getting the information they’re searching for, and they may end up visiting your competitor’s website instead.
Start by running a speed test. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights or one of your preferred testing tools. Elements that usually take time to load are your website images and videos, so start by compressing those and looking for the major items that are slowing down your website. It’s important to remember that Google now prioritizes mobile first, so make sure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly as the majority of web searches are done through a mobile device.
It’s always a good idea to crawl your site for any search engine optimization opportunities every quarter or whenever you make any big changes. Start with the most critical errors first, like internal links that point to 404 pages and then optimize lower priority issues. Be sure to resolve the technical SEO issues because they will affect your SEO rankings.
A question we’re commonly asked by many site owners is, “Why don’t I see my website in the search results?” The main culprit for that issue is typically the robots.txt file. Many times, it’s set to block all pages on the site and therefore the website doesn’t show up in search results. The robots.txt is one small portion of SEO that can negatively impact your site and keep it from gaining visibility online.
There are a lot of free SEO audit tools out there. You can use a variety of them to see if you get different results and then prioritize from there, but you’ll want to make sure you know how to interpret those results and figure out what the next step is to resolve those issues. If you’re not very confident, you can always hire someone to do it for you like our web marketing team at New Target.
Always continue testing your website content, features, buttons, and images with A/B testing. Test only one element at a time to see if it really makes a difference or not. A/B testing can help you identify what items on your website are causing people to bounce and which changes really make an impact on user behavior.
You don’t necessarily need to test complex elements on the site in order to get results that make a huge impact. Sometimes the smallest changes can make a big difference. Start off with something simple to test like CTA buttons or messaging on your homepage. The principle is to have a hypothesis you can test and then leverage the data that you get from the results to measure positive or negative impacts.
Optimize your website with the user journey in mind and replicate that journey with engaging content, clear messaging, and an optimized backend. Make sure your site is up to speed for mobile devices, check your technical SEO, and always continue testing for improvements. The time spent improving your website experience and focusing on the customer is well worth it and should be a top priority this year.
At New Target, we focus on providing great customer experiences for our clients’ websites, and we want to do that for you, too. Ask us how we can help your website drive results by filling out our form.