Drive Traffic to your Website
So, you’ve decided to re-design your website. You’ve gotten budget approval for a complete revamp; you’ve mapped out your strategy, taking into consideration your target audience; business objectives; user experience optimization, etc. But, what good is a beautiful website if users don’t know about it or can’t find you? We can all agree that website visibility and traffic are essential for generating leads, which translate into sales and more revenue for your business. Why not take advantage of the great marketing channels that are available? Below, are a few examples of traffic-generating avenues:
- SEO/SEM: We’ve talked a lot about keyword optimization on your web-pages, landing pages, and content to increase ranking in search engines. But, you’ll also need to create effective meta descriptions underneath your URL. Users will be more likely to click on your page if they know what’s it’s about.
- Get listed in online directories and review sites: Online directories provide links to your URL and are a great way to get your website noticed. And, giving users the opportunity to review and comment on your site can generate a lot of buzz and more traffic.
- Post to social media with hashtags: Posting on social media is a great way to promote your website and encourage followers to share your URL with their networks. Adding hashtags to your posts extends your reach and increases your chances of getting your website noticed.
- Landing Pages: Using landing pages with compelling, relevant content and call to actions provides yet another opportunity to drive traffic to your website. And, it’s a surefire way to improve your organic search results.
- Email Marketing: Send out regular newsletters to your subscribers, with links to specific pages on your website where customers can learn more about your products and services. These pages can include landing pages and blogs.
Ok, now that you’ve convinced users to visit your website, you want to make sure they enjoy their experience, and come back for more information. Here are some tactics designers should use to enhance user experience and increase customer interaction.
Make your Site Mobile Friendly
Recent data suggests that 51% of prospective buyers use their cell phones to conduct research. This means, if your website is not optimized for mobile viewing, users will likely turn away from it. Some things to consider when developing a mobile version of your site include: adaptability to different screen sizes; font; graphics and images; and content display.
Evaluate your Content
Your marketing assets can make or break a website. As part of your re-design strategy, you’ll need to take inventory of your existing content. Figure out which assets are performing best, and make sure they are prominently displayed on your site and are searchable. Using web analytics tools, like those offered by Google, can provide valuable insight into which pages are performing best. You should also be looking at your SEO rankings and keyword performance to give you a clearer picture as to what assets need to be preserved.
Know your Users
For your website design to be successful, you must understand your users’ expectations and behaviors. Easy navigation; simple, straightforward design; plenty of anchor links to avoid excessive scrolling; and engaging graphics; are things that users look for when they click on a website. One way to assess user interaction and user experience is to poll visitors via an online survey. Based on their responses, you can make more informed decisions about design choices. You may even want to consider doing some multivariate testing to determine what’s working and what’s not.
Add Call to Action Buttons and Words
This seems simple enough, but adding buttons alone is not going to cut it. Your call to action needs to be compelling enough for users to want to click on your offer, sign up for a demo, or download a brochure. Action-oriented wording; bright, vibrant colors; short, straightforward messages; and the right font can make all the difference.
Keep your Branding and Messaging Consistent
Your website is not the only touch point for potential customers. Rather, they are exposed to other marketing channels, such as social media, email, print, and video, among others. Therefore, it’s important that your brand identity, positioning, and messaging on your website align with your business strategy, and, are consistent across all platforms. The tone and style of your copy; general formatting; logos; and fonts should also be the same. You want the user experience to be uniform, as well as engaging.
Make Sure All Systems are Go Before you Launch your Website
This may seem obvious to most of us, but it’s worth repeating. Usability testing evaluates how users interact with your website. It answers questions such as, “is it easy to navigate through and find the information the user is looking for?” or; “Is the copy readable and appropriate for the target audience?” Other factors it looks at it include:
- How quickly does the site load?
- Is the user experience optimal?
- Do all the links (internal and external) work properly?
- Are there enough tabs to minimize scrolling time?
- Are there enough opportunities for users to interact with the site?
Throughout this series, we’ve talked a lot about “Value=Benefits-Cost.” Your website is a pivotal, if not the most important, component to any marketing strategy. If you get it wrong, this creates problems for the rest of your plan. But, if done right, it can be a great investment. If your users have an enjoyable experience navigating through your site, they are likely to tell others. This means more credibility for your business, more traffic to your site, and more qualified leads. And, you’ve got a great website that won’t require another refresh anytime soon!