As the owner of a small business, your website is perhaps the most essential resource in your marketing arsenal. It's where all your marketing efforts align, whether they're in the form of inbound marketing content, advertisements or direct marketing. Customers commonly browse your business website for overviews of your products or services before committing themselves to any other action, including making a purchase.
Of course, there are many pros and cons to optimising your website. On the one hand, it's an excellent opportunity to revamp your website and make sure that it's set up correctly to entice visitors to make the next move along the sales journey. On the other hand, if your website is not developed correctly, you'll likely lose potential customers before they even pass the homepage.
In this article, we take a look at four strategies you can use to optimise your website and boost your conversions.
1. Analysing data and auditing your website.
If you desire to optimise your website, you need to have an understanding of its current performance and which specific areas need attention. You should already have tracking tools set up on your website, but if not, it's a quick fix. Google Analytics is by far the most commonly used option, and it's free; however, there are several other paid options with more advanced features.
It's of vital importance that you analyse how visitors reach your website in the first place, and how much time they spend there - and on each page. We advise using heatmap tools to gauge which areas of your site hold their attention better and which pages spend less time on. With this invaluable data, you'll be well equipped to make any necessary changes to your website's design and layout.
We also recommend employing the help of your in-house SEO practitioner (if you have one), or outsourcing a freelancer to conduct a website audit which summarises your overall site performance. During the process, your SEO team will be able to evaluate your site’s content, navigation, aesthetics, back-end SEO and site layout.
2. Implement any necessary upgrades.
Once you completed your site audit, it’s time to make any update to your website which you deem necessary. Your goal is to create lasting impressions, which motivates users to visit your site, stick around and revisit at a later stage. The core objective of making site updates is to entice users to act, and this can take the form of asking them to fill out a form or asking them to contact you for more information. It forms part of a sales funnel in marketing, whereby you need to encourage site visitors to take action with clear CTAs (call to action).
Many searches conducted by users happen on their smartphones, so it’s vital to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. Lastly, ensure that your page load speed is quick as it has significant effects on the overall SEO (search engine optimisation) of your website.
3. Conduct keyword research.
Keywords and phrases refer to the words or search terms which people use when searching for information via Google. It’s imperative to conduct proper keyword research to clearly define the most relevant search terms for your target audience. By including your researched keywords in your front-facing content and the backend of your site, you’re effectively helping your website rank higher on search engines.
However, it’s wise to remember that search engines penalise websites for incorrect keyword positioning and keyword spamming. Ensure that you understand the basic SEO guidelines, and research and implement the best current industry practices.
4. Utilise visual marketing or Rich Media.
Just having text-heavy pages is okay, and it's sufficient for certain audiences and specific pieces of information. For most companies, however, messaging is far more effective in the form of pictures, videos, infographics and other forms of visual collateral.
The use of visual collateral breaks up your text and makes it easily digestible by your audience. Simply put, it makes it easier for customers to read through entire pages to get to your call to action (CTA). In a nutshell, the more people who reach the CTA, the more people are likely to become leads. Leads are potential customers, who eventually become converts, i.e. people who make a purchase aka to the business owner as a conversion.
Moreover, images and videos are more shareable too. More people are expected to share striking, intriguing infographics and more people will also engage with it on social media platforms, which of course, brings in additional traffic and conversion opportunities.
5. Run segmented tests.
When you decide to alter some aspects on your website, it's crucial to test the new design or copy and gauge the effects on your analytics. Regardless of how amazing you think your website looks, the real test of whether you should keep any changes or revert is if it has a positive response among your website visitors.
For example, you could utilise software to target various tests by country or whether the visitor is a new or returning one. Consider using extensive A/B and multivariate testing to garner the results you require to make any final decisions on each web element. Yes, of course, it's time-consuming, but it goes without saying that it will be worth it in the long-term.
6. Revisit your back-end SEO
Back-end search end optimisation is an on-page strategy which incorporates the HTML source code of your site pages. The process includes adding keywords into the metadata, title tags, headings, description and URL structure which helps search engines such as Google determine the content of each page on your site quickly.
Back-end SEO involves complex coding, so our advice is to hire an SEO practitioner or put your in-house SEO expert to work to implement this tactic effectively.
7. Don’t forget your off-page SEO.
Off-page SEO refers to the practice of optimising your site externally. Here, your focus should be on maximising your social media efforts, being featured as a guest blogger on reputable sites within your niche, and partnerships with influencers relevant to your niche and link-building strategies.
Link-building is a practice which requires strategic and relevant digital communications to obtain top-tier links back to your business site. In the event of other sites which have high authority linking back to your site, Google interprets your website as one that is more credible.
Analytics, High-quality content and Search Engine Optimisation are essential in successfully positioning your site to maximise sales. Ensure that you have an SEO-driven content marketing plan. The more reputable posts which you deliver on your website, the more likely it will be for other sites to link back to yours. Furthermore, this will also improve your organic search ranking and ultimately bring more visitors to your website. Lastly, remember to analyse your site data, using the information to determine whether your site needs any necessary upgrades, add rich-media (if required), and run as many segmented tests as you need to. Optimising your website can be a time-consuming task, but in the long-run it will be well worth the effort.
If you or your business require any assistance with developing a new website or optimising your current website, please visit the Magic Interactive business page to access their contact and services information.