Modern websites are one of the best tools to expedite business growth but they’re also one of the most underused. It’s hard to blame anyone for that. The pace at which technology evolves can confuse those within the industry, let alone outside of it.
It always was. TV ads are created off of a script, print advertising includes slogans crafted by copywriters, branding includes voice guidelines.
It’s perhaps even more important for a website. Content is the one thing that tells your story. Whether in the form of text or images, it’s the one thing that dictates your design, not the other way around.
When we build a website for our clients at Nerd Cow, content creation is the foundation of every project, right after a thorough strategy and analysis phase.
But that’s at the level of creating the website. What about post-launch?
Before we can talk about increasing conversions, your site needs sufficient traffic. A proper content strategy starts with an SEO analysis. The one thing that often goes unnoticed these days is the sophistication of Google algorithms.
You might be surprised to learn that targeting a “web design” keyword will also help you rank for “web development” or “website design”. Modern SEO is not about keyword stuffing. User experience is the most important metric.
Google can recognise whether your content appeals to the visitors and while including keywords still matters, it’s by far not the most important aspect anymore.
The shift is beneficial not only for visitors, but also for your business. With general SEO guidelines delivered by your agency, your marketing team can create captivating content without extensive SEO knowledge.
Another benefit of the current state of search engines is social sharing. You could even call it a side effect.
Before, your pages were created with a certain keyword volume target that accommodated crawlers and bots. Not anymore. Creating content that ranks is almost synonymous with creating content worth sharing.
What’s better than killing two birds with one stone? Killing three.
Sending out a newsletter, just like posting on social media, is an additional task for your team. However, its foundation is the content that you have already created.
Blogs weren’t always as popular and effective as they are now, simply because they were hard to find. The quality was there, but it wasn’t what search engines wanted back then.
There’s a high chance you wouldn’t like to see rank one pages from a few years ago in your mailbox. Now you get newsletter-worthy content organically. Valuable articles help you build a mailing list, increasing the list of prospects.
At Nerd Cow we use our collective experience in web analysis, web design, SEO and more to send out weekly newsletters that help businesses make the most out of their website with practical tips.
But there’s also one more thing. We’ll cover it more in-depth in the next chapter but the data from your newsletter will help you segment your audience. You can track opens and clicks for each specific campaign and label your subscribers based on their interests to deliver personalised, conversion-optimised content.
One advantage of digital marketing is the clear-cut nature of data. Traditional methods like polling or TV audience analysis are often skewed due to how they’re collected.
When using Google Analytics or advanced tools like anonymous session recordings and heatmaps, most of the data is evident. It still requires a vast amount of knowledge to understand, but in most cases a 100 visits from a tablet is exactly that.
There are a few areas where data accuracy should be (and constantly is) improved, like interests and in-market segments, but they’re still very helpful. Just like the newsletter segmentation, Google Analytics can give you a rough profile of your audience based on the interests gathered by Google’s cookies.
You’ll know the topics your visitors browse frequently, which can help you create custom filters to browse data by user persona.
One example would be when our team at Nerd Cow managed to distinguish between the needs and preferences of individual and business customers for one of our clients. We did that based on in-market segments, visited pages and other Analytics metrics.
You can combine the data to get invaluable insights - not only about who is in your audience, but also how the specific audience group interacts with your website and what makes them different from other groups.
One of the steps of building a website is preparing a sitemap. It’s used as a step in planning the user journey and choosing necessary features.
From the home page your visitors can go to the about us or contact page. Then you might link from these pages to your local offices, and so on. But not every page is a part of your website’s navigation and offers different paths for your visitors.
Landing pages are created as a kind of independent entities within your website. They’re focused on a single goal, rarely linking to any other pages on your website. If the goal is to sell, that will be the only call to action. If you want to collect leads, a contact form will be the main feature of that page.
Focusing on one action is also beneficial for SEO. We are able to create pages that are highly conversion-optimised, targeting a very specific keyword or a group of people. Not only do they help with organic traffic, but also with your paid advertising.
Companies use services like Google Ads to advertise for hundreds and thousands of keywords. It’s virtually impossible to have an adequate page within our website for all of them. Not only that, but it also often doesn’t make sense to include a “niche” page in the navigation.
Landing pages do just that. They’re great at focusing on a single goal, which is perfect for advertising. When you’re paying to get traffic from customers searching for particular services, you don’t want to link to your home page and give them the option to read your blog, subscribe to the newsletter and leave.
Since 2018, Google includes mobile page speed in its ranking factors. Just like with user experience, that’s obviously not a coincidence.
An underperforming website impacts everything we just discussed. The best content and the best landing pages won’t deliver exceptional results if your site takes too long to load.
We were subjected to multiple performance optimisation projects, both on existing websites and as new builds. In one of them we were able to decrease average load time of a huge e-commerce website (over 100,000 products) by 16.6% - from 4.03s to 3.36s.
To put that into context, brands like Walmart have seen a 2% increase in conversion for every 1 second improvement and Mobify increased their conversion rate by 1.11% for every 100ms.
Bespoke solutions tailored for your business can offer even more improvements for your company. Better customer support and improved internal workflows are just two examples. In the end, everything depends on your business needs and the creativity of your web agency.
The article comes courtesy of Nerd Cow, a London web agency specialising in results-driven bespoke business websites.