7 simple ways to update your site without a full redesign.
For many marketers, the company website is in a constant state of redesign. There are design issues, database issues, CMS issues as well as programming and functionality concerns. Sometimes, with a few simple revisions, a website can generate a significant increase in the traffic being converted into leads and sales. Here are a few quick and easy ways to update your website and breathe some new life into it without committing to a full overhaul.
1. Study your Analytics:
Using Google Analytics, which is a free website tracking tool, it becomes easy to identify issues or challenges that your users are having. Review Key Performance Indicators including Pages per Visitor and Bounce Rate. Then take a look at your most visited pages and review the KPI’s for those. This should help identify where the challenges lie so that you can address them.
2. Remember your Audience:
Who uses the site? What is the typical demographic (male, female, age group etc) and psychographic (business person, mom, yoga instructor, journalist, film enthusiast etc). What is your audience trying to accomplish when they land on your site? How are they getting there? Answering these questions will help get you in the mind frame of the user. It’s important to design and develop your website for your users’ benefit rather than yourself or your company. Try not to use acronyms or industry jargon. Break things down so they are simple and easy to digest. One way to simplify this process is to identify the main 3-4 actions people come to the site for and optimize design and functionality to drive users to those actions. For example, most people who visit the website for a restaurant only want 3 things: the address/phone number, to make a reservation, to view the menu.
3. Format Content for the Web:
The Yahoo Web Style Guide offers many free tips and resources to help ensure that your content is formatted for web users. Typically when surfing the web, people are short on time and attention spans. Therefore, it is critical to use short sentences, incorporate bullet points and images, and use video to break up the content. Remember to get to the point fast and give the user what they came to the site for quickly. The more the have to dig, the more likely they will leave.
4. Design can be Critical:
There are many tools (free or offer free trial) to help study the user experience of your website. At Marcel Media, we prefer to study heat maps, which track how users interact with a website. With more data about how people interact with the site, it becomes easier to optimize the site for your users. There are several tools to help get started with heat maps, including Crazy Egg, Click Tale and WordPress HeatMap Plug In. It’s easy to make subtle design changes to the site to test what works best. Very small changes in color or graphics can have a large impact on the overall success of the website.
5. Investigate the Conversion Funnel:
We describe the conversion funnel as the pages people will view leading them to the conversion point, typically filling out a lead form or completing a purchase. Using Amazon as an example, people search for a book by title or author, click the link within the results, then click Buy Now. With 3 clicks, the user can flow through Amazon’s conversion funnel and complete a purchase. This is a win – win. The customer quickly and easily completes their purchase and Amazon collects the dough. How simple is your conversion funnel? Many of our clients have complicated and long conversion processes. For example. users land on the homepage, have to navigate.
6. Review the Contact Form:
Is it long and are many fields required? Studies show that simplifying forms to gather only the most relevant information will dramatically increase conversions. We recommend requiring the smallest amount of information possible. In our experience, usually name and email address are enough. Phone number and company name can be optional. We also recommend using language like “Get Started” or “Order Now” rather than “Contact Us” or “Add to Cart”.
7. Enhance with Features:
People enjoy clicking through websites and interacting. Give users the ability to interact and engage with your brand or your products. Some simple ways to do this are to incorporate your Twitter feed into your website (this may also lead to more Followers), include maps and driving directions or provide tools which zoom in or out of products or documents.