Our websites are huge investments and rightfully so. Our website's provide some pretty tremendous capabilities for our companies. They serve as marketing tools, they tell us how our audience interacts with our brand, and they provide a bridge from us to our consumers. With all of this in mind, it's important that we continue to evaluate our site's success and keep improving it.
“Great web design without functionality is like a sports car with no engine.”
- Paul Cookson
Do you have clearly defined and documented buyer personas?
This question is important because if you don't have personas, who did you build your site for? The purpose of creating personas is so that we have an idea of who will be visiting. This way, the design can grow and evolve with your audience.
I think an interesting follow up question would be:
Would you prefer a site with an extravagant design but low engagement or a site with a less attractive design, but high engagement?
Luckily, it's possible to have both, but in order to reach the engagement and conversion rates you're aiming for, you need to know who you're speaking to, how to speak to them, and why they would want to listen to you.
What is your current website's conversion rate from visitor to lead?
This is a huge chunk of how you measure success in your website. Whether you're trying to make sales, take in new inquiries, or gain subscribers; the goal is for visitors to convert into leads, leads to customers, and so on.
Let's say the call to action we're tracking is a "request a consultation" form. Your conversion rate would be the number of people who filled out the form divided by unique visitors. Easy enough to calculate, but hard as heck to really get a great conversion rate.
Conversion rates vary across all industries, so I really can't tell you what your's should be, but there will always be ways to improve them.
In the last 3-months, have you set goals around website performance?
Your website always has the potential to improve, so the only reason you wouldn't want to continuously push your analytics is if you either have enough customers or are making enough money. I mean, if that is the case, more power to you.
There are always subtle changes we can make to our site to see how it affects user behavior. This is why we a/b test. Which CTA has a better conversion rate, the image or the button? Which text options nudge our visitors a bit further down into the buyer funnel. There's always a way to improve and your site is the best place to test new ideas.
Are you implementing regular website improvements to improve funnel performance?
Just a reminder of what makes up the buyer funnel: we have the awareness stage, consideration stage, and the decision phase. Websites will typically have content for each phase. For example, blogs educating visitors on problems, topics, and ideas of the industry, ebooks, consultations, there are dozens of content ideas.
You want to improve your funnel performance because if someone lands on a piece of awareness content but there is no call to action to move them forward, they'll probably leave and forget about you. With analytics, you'll be able to see where visitors enter and exit, and you can pinpoint where the problem is.
Do you run A/B tracking on your updates to see if they impact results?
When you notice something wrong with an area of your site, you probably correct it, right? Now imagine making that correction and not measuring it's success. How will you know if it was the right update?
Whether you're a/b testing a call to action, landing page, or even an email template, you'll want to set a standard to use as a benchmark so you can keep on making improvements. If you're not doing this, you're missing out on a lot of opportunities to optimize your site.
Knowing who visits our site and moving them down the buyer funnel of our site is a large chunk of what success means in most websites. We optimize the process through setting goals, running tests, and always improving.