A well-optimised site can help increase site traffic, enhance customer experiences, and inevitably generate more leads – so, how do you unlock the potential of your online presence in 2023?
Is your website not performing as well as you want it to? Are you keen to try new tech solutions, but not sure what's going to work for you?
In our latest workshop, ‘Getting More from your Website in 2023 – The Complete Guide’, experts Ian Hammersley, Ecommerce Specialist at smartebusiness, Matthew Jones, Marketing Director at Quba and Andy Nicol, Head of Client Strategy & Managing Director of Sputnik Digital share the common issues surrounding website optimisation - and how to manage them, ways to objectively assess your website to hit strategic objectives from the ground up, along with best practise advice on fine-tuning key elements and consistent measurement of performance.
In this Article:
With the introduction of the latest integrations or overcompensating on the demand for new, personalised content, it can be easy to indulge in the makeup of your website, and therefore lose focus around its core functionality or objectives. Matthew runs through particular site set-ups that would be most beneficial for certain strategic objectives or audiences – highlighting a shift towards headless CMS.
In today’s ever-changing digital landscape, it’s important to optimise your sites functionality, design, and content to reflect growing trends and target audience behaviours. However, web optimisation can often present itself with a set of challenges/pain points, leading to content overload, increased bounce rates or a lack of actual conversions. Our experts dive into some of the major pain points they have experienced with web optimisation – and how you can manage them.
Ian reiterates the importance of using the ‘maths’ behind your website performance to identity some of those pain points. He says, “the math forces you to be rational and not emotional, making it obvious where you need to invest your time.
From an eCommerce perspective, it’s like a normal shop; you look at how many customers come through the door, how many of them convert, how much they spend and then if they return - that's the lifetime customer value.”
By acknowledging these numbers, such as your web traffic, conversion rate or CLV, you know what – and by how much – each area needs to improve by to reach your turnover goal and whether it’s realistic to do so.
For example, Ian adds “In the eCommerce industry the average add-to-basket rate is around 10%, knowing this you can identify if your rate is above average or not, if not, you can start to begin a path to why? I.e. you notice customers are bouncing on the product page, so you invest your time in optimising that page rather than other areas.”
Matthew says, “one of the biggest issues is poorly configured back-ends, where it doesn't give control to marketing teams, they're difficult to maintain, and you can't create landing pages with ease.
He adds, “a key takeaway from this would be – ensure that you work with an agency that's certified in the technology, do your due diligence on them and make sure that they are accredited.
View our Web Dev 101 article: Optimising your Website for a Successful 2023
Matthew highlights, “some platforms are simply easier to work with than others. We work with Umbraco, which is called the friendly CMS for a reason, it's very easy to get up and running on, within an hour of training, you can be editing.
Whereas some of the DXPs take days of training, or potentially weeks before you’re proficient in using them.
From an eCommerce perspective, Ian adds, “there's been an explosion of what I call ‘no code’ platforms in the last five or six years with phenomenal growth. For example the things that you could do on something like Shopify, would have taken you much longer on Magento, plus you can utilise these platforms on your mobile phone for much cheaper.
Andy says, “you can have too much content on your homepage, but how to rationalise that is the complicated part. If you asked every client they'd want all of the content above the fold for the whole website into a thousand pixels.
There is now a trend towards using off-the-shelf themes, where you swap some content in to make it your own and go live. But this means the design hasn't been considered to reflect your audience, whereas to do it properly, it needs to be somewhat bespoke.”
Andy highlights, “in terms of page speed optimisation, which affects SEO – page speed is an indicator for Google search rankings – and it affects user experience. This means the very second your page takes to load ‘X’ number of people will drop off.
So, from that side of things, utilising new integrations or plugins such as off-the-shelf themes, WordPress plugins, content editors or bootstrap front-end frameworks that make chopping pages quicker, will slow your site down.”
He adds the importance of “having regular performance monitoring every couple of weeks to check your page speed and other metrics to make sure things aren't getting bloated.
Matthew says, “the biggest opportunity when comes to web optimisation is working smarter by using the SAAS based Cloud products that are out there, rather than reinventing the wheel.
In terms of first conversation and what that would look like I think it would be based on content. There needs to be a clear plan, this shouldn't be an afterthought, it needs thinking about from the existing content, content migration, content creation, and is there sufficient resource internally within the organisation to deliver that? Or do they need an agency partner to deliver and how that's going to work?”
Andy adds, “in terms of improving conversion, from a design perspective people should stop tinkering with A/B tests – there’s much bigger wins to be had by ripping up stuff and starting page design from scratch. For example, we've just redesigned a checkout page for a client, and the conversion rate went up from 45% to 55 – you don't get that by changing button designs.
And then from a build perspective, don't underestimate optimising for page speed. You can still have big SEO impacts by tackling the quick wins.”
On using external support, Andy says “people come to us with their problems, or their objectives and we try to give them something valuable straightaway – we call this an innovation phase, where we just try and get people to leave the meeting with a clearer vision, and more value than when they started.
If you're investing in a website strategy this year, make sure you're getting the most from your time. GO! offer cost-free agency recommendations, pitch management, and more - get in touch to get started.