In light of the pandemic, digital opportunities have been both accelerated and exposed. Many who hadn’t done so already have since recognised the power of a strong digital presence.
However, your digital marketing campaigns should not be your only focus. It is not uncommon to see businesses invest significant time and money into their digital marketing but fail to reflect that same investment in their website. Yet your website and digital marketing efforts go hand in hand.
Have you considered if your website is impacting your digital success? In this blog, we discuss the need for a website to be as good as the digital campaigns that drive traffic to it and what can be done to make improvements.
The need for a high-quality website
It’s clear that a modern, stable and engaging website is now an integral part of any effective digital marketing strategy. User expectations for an easy to use, enjoyable onsite experience is higher than ever and it’s down to businesses to meet this or risk losing customers.
Building a website entails a significant cost and is time-consuming. Leaving your website to date can not only damage your reputation but your rankings, traffic and conversions too. Even worse, a bad website can negatively impact the success of your digital marketing campaigns.
Maybe you’re investing heavily in a PPC strategy? Perhaps you plan to implement a new display prospecting campaign? Or maybe a long-term focus on sustainable SEO techniques is already your method of choice. Tactics like these are the foundations of an effective digital marketing strategy, implemented to drive traffic, conversions, revenue and, essentially, grow your business.
But have you stopped to evaluate your website itself?
Jonathan Healey, Managing Director of leading web agency NetConstruct commented that “At the heart of every effective marketing strategy is a compelling message, carefully crafted for maximum user impact. But many times over the years we have watched with bemusement as marketers focus so much on the success of a particular channel that they seem to forget where that channel leads. No matter how good your SEO, PPC, CRO or email marketing strategy may be, without the underpinning of a great website with great content that’s easy to use, you’re always going to be limiting the potential of your campaign.”
Driving traffic to a website that is painfully slow to load, hard to navigate or suffers from a poor site architecture is counterproductive. By not considering your website within your digital marketing strategy, you’re simply not able to make the most of the traffic you are driving.
What can you do?
With an ambition to consistently deliver the very best experience and results to the user, Google is rethinking how site performance is considered which could have a significant impact on how your website is ranked in the SERPs.
There are a number of tell-tale signs that your website needs updating. It’s worth working with an agency to analyse your site and understand what improvements yours may need in order to best support your digital campaigns.
Improve site performance
Are you suffering from slow site speed and high bounce rates? Poor site performance can affect your website in many ways but usually, the result is visitors leaving your site and going to a competitor instead.
Factors including page weight, poor coding and design features can all play a role in how your site is performing. There are a number of tools that can be used to identify performance issues to see what’s causing problems onsite including:
Core Web Vitals: An update is set to occur in May 2021 that will make Core Web Vitals a key ranking factor. These vitals are a method of Google providing guidance to webmasters on the signals that are essential to delivering a positive user experience. Although these factors are expected to evolve over time, the update will initially focus on three main areas of the user experience including loading time, interactivity and visual stability and measures these metrics:
- Lighthouse: Lighthouse is Google’s page speed analysis tool which allows you to identify performance issues. This tool can be run against any webpage and offers audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps (PWAs), SEO and more. Simply provide Lighthouse with a URL to audit and it will run a series of investigations to generate a quality report and reference document on how to make improvements.
- Tracking analysis: If your digital marketing is well established you may have a significant number of tracking codes added to your site. Multiple tracking codes onsite can make a huge impact on your site’s server and performance due to a number of requests being made onsite at any one moment. It’s worthwhile considering how you can streamline your tracking activity and if you need to use so many codes onsite.
Create a high-quality landing page experience
Even if your product offering is exactly what your customer is looking for, without a high-quality landing page, your conversions are going to suffer. Rather than just designing a page that looks good, it’s important to understand what it is your customers actually want to see.
A high-quality landing page is also core to improving your Google Quality Score which increases the chance of your paid media ads being shown more frequently to relevant users, leading to lower bids, thus saving you money. Benefit can be seen for your organic traffic too.
So, how do you create a high-quality landing page?
- Optimise for each device: Your conversions are destined to suffer if they’re not optimised for the right device, or even the correct operating system such as iOS or Android. Our CRO experts advise our clients to optimise their landing pages for the most popular devices using their website as it’s not possible to optimise for every single one.
- Make your offer compelling: Whatever your landing page has been created to support, give a compelling reason as to why the user should convert with you over your competitors. Consider your USPs within this such as competitive pricing, free delivery or exclusive insight.
- Keep it simple: Your landing page should be simple and clear to avoid users being distracted by an overwhelming design and unclear CTAs. Ideally, when a user clicks on your landing page, they should see an effective headline, clean layout, social proof, mobile optimisation, further links and, most importantly, a clear CTA that the customer can recognise as the conversion point.
- Consider your above the fold content: The most important features of your landing page should be displayed above the fold for maximum impact. This prevents the user from having to scroll further down the page to find out what they need to do next. This content could include your CTA, social proof or any forms – all of which encourage the user to convert.
- Create a personalised experience: It’s important to remember that each audience has a different need when they land on your website and your user journey should reflect this. Through personalisation, your site can be tailored to satisfy individual user needs, creating relevant experiences with personalised site content to help encourage conversions. For example, consider the keywords within your landing page content. Landing pages can be tailored for individual keywords to generate relevant information for the user. Creating a tailored experience based on exactly what the user wants to see is an effective method of increasing conversions.
Optimise your website for conversion
One of the best ways to optimise your website for conversion is to analyse your user’s onsite behaviour and implement a conversion rate optimisation (CRO) strategy. A specialism of ours, this is a technique we regularly deploy for our clients including Been Let Down.
When a user lands on your site, the aim is to get them to convert and the best way to encourage them to do this is through a seamless customer journey. CRO works to improve the onsite experience, ensuring opportunities are maximised so you get the most from your media spend.
Using a test and learn approach, changes are made to your website based on data. Checking a range of factors including device compatibility, operating systems and browsers, we can refine and optimise your web pages to ensure each user has a positive onsite experience. Often, this can uncover fixes that are as simple as clearer CTA buttons or an improve and streamlined website navigation. CRO is a cost-effective way to test the impact of website changes before investing in website development.
Strike the balance between content and design
Back in 2018, a major Google algorithm update called the EAT (or Medic) update made it a must-have for businesses to produce, detailed and useful website content to satisfy search intent.
Primarily affecting businesses who sit in your money or your life (YMYL) industries, at its core, the EAT update revolves around businesses demonstrating a level of expertise, authority and trust (EAT) within their onsite content. Typically, the end result of EAT content such as what we produce for our clients Boyes Turner Claims and Park Holidays, is long form pieces that can be over 2,000 words in length.
As such, there’s often a balancing act to achieve in order to present this depth of content onsite without disrupting the site design, flow and branding of a website. EAT content is necessary in many cases to boost your rankings and drive significant traffic to your site, but considering how it is to be displayed on the page itself is also fundamental to ensuring a positive user experience once they land there.
Consider your website and digital marketing together
In case there was still a lingering doubt, last year made it clear that a digital presence is no longer a nice to have, but a must have. There are opportunities available for businesses looking to make their mark online.
Marketing tactics such as PPC, SEO, digital PR and outreach are designed to build brand awareness and drive people to your website. As the heart of your brand’s online identity, you need to ensure your site is worth keeping your users’ attention once they land on it.
Taking this approach allows you to make the most of the traffic generated and you’ll see an increase in the ROI of your digital marketing campaigns too. Concentrating on improving conversions could well be more cost effective than acquiring even more new traffic and can help maximise the return on your media spend. With significant Google updates in the pipeline that revolve around your site’s performance, now is the time to consider if your website is affecting your digital success.
Taking a consultative approach, we listen first to really understand your needs. A team of strategic specialists, it’s our sole aim to create impactful digital solutions that help you drive traffic, boost conversions and increase ROI. But more than that, we also understand the importance of the relationship between your digital marketing strategy and your website, that’s why we take it into account when supporting our clients.
We work closely alongside our connected agency, NetConstruct, who hold over 20 years of experience specialising in the creation of websites to ensure optimum web solutions that drive your digital marketing campaigns further. If you want to learn more about the link between your digital marketing and website, please don’t hesitate to contact us.