by: Thomas Young
One of the biggest mistakes made by business leaders is thinking their website strategy or design is complete and does not need ongoing attention after the site goes live. You may not need to overhaul web strategy in each strategic digital marketing meeting, but you do need to react to the data from your web stats and constantly be finding ways to improve results and modify the strategy. These strategy modification efforts are key to increasing website traffic and maximizing conversion rates.
The driving factor behind step four of the Four-Step Process is the ability to successfully modify a business strategic digital marketing strategy based on the available web stats and feedback from your site’s visitors. This is usually done in the team’s strategic digital marketing meetings and implemented through the team’s action plans generated as a result of these meetings.
How Often to Update the Home Page and Key Taglines
For the most part, your home page design does not need to change very often. However, after two to three years the design will be stale and will need an update to look fresh and current. Work with your designer on this process and observe design trends among your competitor websites and other sites you frequent online.
The content focus and key messaging on your home page should be updated more frequently. What are the most important things happening at your company that you want website visitors to know about? This should be updated monthly or even weekly. We don’t recommend a “what’s new” section because few people click on those pages and most companies are not able to keep this section current. Rather, place new home page content in a brief tagline in your main banner or just below the banner or home page images. Your website home page is usually the most popular web page on your site and is a great place for content updates about your company.
It is important to note that Internet users are becoming very keen to the look of a website’s home page. They will know if you have an old design or if your design is fresh and up to date. Older looking websites do not communicate a strong brand, especially to younger site visitors who have grown up with the Internet. This is another reason to make regular design updates and keep the site fresh and modern looking.
When to Change the Focus of Website Content
As we discussed in previous blog posts, content is critical to your website’s success and you must have a plan for regular content updates through your blog and in other content areas on the website. You may find a need to change the focus of your content if your stats do not show strong user engagement. For example, if your web pages have bounce rates over 50 percent, less than three pages per visit, or low time per page visit, these are indicators your content is not appealing to readers. This would be a good time to reach out to a few people in your target market for feedback on the type of content with higher value for website visitors. Higher value content drives more traffic and conversions and all this is measured in your web stats.
The most active content area of your website will be the company blog. However, new product and service areas should be updated as needed and highlighted in your main navigation menu.
When to Update Website Navigation
The effectiveness of your website navigation is also measured in your web stats. Your site should include a well-thought-out navigation menu and site map that is intuitive to users with easy-to-understand link titles. You should see a fairly even distribution of visits among the website’s pages. If you find that a handful of pages are dominating user time, then your navigation may be making it difficult for users to access multiple web pages. You may need to consolidate web pages and possibly simplify the navigation structure. Remember, website navigation is one of the most important parts of your website and can make or break your strategic digital marketing goals.
Search Engine Landing Pages
Review your digital stats for key search engine landing pages on your site and check user engagement on those pages. These are the first web pages visited by website users. They are driving visits from Google and are important entry points to your website. Google has indexed these pages in their search engine and they are very important to your web strategy and driving results because they are a key branding point for your company in addition to the home page. You can never change the first impression of your company website, and often that first impression does not come from your home page, but from an interior landing page. All this data is measured in your web stats.
Promotions, Special Offers and Incentives
These marketing action items are an ongoing part of your web strategy implementation and it is best to use what has worked offline and to also test various approaches to drive results. Any promotion or special incentive should be tracked in your web data and measured in your conversion tracking. This will take out the guess work in determining what works best for your business to incentivize sales growth. If promotions are a part of your marketing plan, then include them in your strategic digital marketing meetings and update your website accordingly. Make sure to coordinate your offline efforts with your online marketing.
Website data is the key indicator and driver of strategy updates and modifications. If something is working on the website and meeting your expectations, then keep doing what is working. However, when the web stats report problem areas for your website, take time to modify your web strategy to improve results. This all starts by scheduling strategic digital marketing meetings and reviewing web stats on a regular basis. Make website improvements with new content and information to keep visitors engaged and conversion rates optimized as a part of your strategic digital marketing culture.
- Look for red flags in your website data that drive strategy updates and modifications to your website.
- Make this a part of your strategic digital marketing meetings and your marketing culture so that your website is constantly improving.
- Review your home page weekly and develop a plan for regular updates.
- Check your web stats to determine the landing pages or entry points for website visitors other than the home page.
- Include website usability improvements as part of your site’s regular updates and reach out to your current and prospective customers for feedback.
- Understand your website is always under construction.