We did the math recently. We’ve made over 150 changes to the TinyFrog website in 1 year, and believe it or not, we didn’t redesign the site.
Why all the small changes? Every one of those changes was driven by a marketing goal. Instead of redesigning the site, we started with a few changes, analyzed the results and kept tweaking the website design & messaging as our marketing goals were met and new ones were created.
This concept is called Continuous Improvement and it is the next step to take once you have a strong website design. As the new year approaches, here are 5 ways to brainstorm your list of strategic website updates:
1. Content marketing, anyone?
Start with your marketing plans. Every content marketing campaign should tie back to your website and a way to engage visitors. After reading an article on your site or on another website, where do you want that traffic to go next? Then consider whether the landing page content and design will engage that traffic. If it won’t, start by improving that page with a more custom design and clearer call to action.
2. Traffic hotspots
Review your website analytics and look at 2 important pieces of information: the most visited pages on your website and the visitor paths. Are visitors missing a critical service page entirely? Are visitors bouncing after visiting a certain page? With these questions in mind, focus on improving the 1 or 2 pages that are not engaging your traffic.
3. Sales, I’d like you to meet marketing
Even at smaller companies, there can be a lack of communication between the sales or customer service representatives and the marketing team managing the website. Engaging these 2 groups in discussions will lead to your best ideas. Your client-facing employees have valuable information on what clients are looking for and what is missing on your website.
4. Heard it through the grape vine
In addition to talking with employees, get feedback from the source – your clients. Site analytics and conversion tracking are wonderful tools, but they will never provide the same insight from asking a new client, “What led you to us?” After gathering more info on your customers’ journey, reevaluate whether your website’s content & navigation meet the different needs at different stages of the customer journey.
5. Stay one “hop” ahead
Assess your (online) competitive advantage. Even if a potential client is referred to your business, they will almost always go to your site before they contact you. The messaging on your site must be relevant and appeal to their needs in order to encourage them to contact you. Does your home page immediately convey what sets you apart from competitors?
Your final list of changes may not come close to our tally, but small changes to your website can have a big impact. Your website is the hub of all of your marketing efforts. If you want to stay competitive, the days of letting your website sit, unchanged between redesigns are over.