Every year, digital marketers try to get more result with less effort. With mobile world maturing each day, online marketers have never needed to learn more and do more just to keep up.
While new advancements and opportunities arise constantly, the beginning of a new year always seems to be a good time for planning and goal setting. If you want to get the best out of a website, here are seven essential points you may want to include in your 2015 resolutions:
1. Going Multi-Channel
Multi-channel is the real deal for marketers. Your potential prospects and loyal customers use various channels to interact with you, whether it could be your website, mobile site or app, email, social media, phone number, fax and physical stores. Their experiences in each channel affect their perception of your company.
Therefore, being consistent is very essential for multi-channel marketing strategy. A poor experience within any one of your channels can tarnish your brand’s credibility. However, consistent multi-channel experiences don’t happen automatically. You need to carefully manage each channel to deliver the best experience for your prospects and customers. More importantly, a smooth multi-channel service will make them comfortable, assuring more purchases in the future. Start identifying which channel is appropriate for which tasks and optimise the platform according to its usability and user experience.
2. Improving Mobile Experience
Mobile devices are now considered the screen of choice for many consumers. Up to 72.8% of mobile phone users will access the Internet on their devices at least once a month. This fact might be great for marketers, right? Not really.
When we talk about conversion, mobile continues to perform badly. For one, mobile is still not seen by consumers as a conversion device. Aside from the inherent difficulties of smaller screens and the persistence of security concerns, most mobile sites and apps suffer from usability issues that discourage customers from transacting. For instance, some mobile e-commerce sites continue to frustrate users by requiring them to fill out numerous form fields before they can complete their purchase.
So, if you want to solve the mobile conversion paradox for your company, get ready to pull up your sleeves for some number crunching. Do the math, and follow the numbers.
3. Segmenting And Targeting The Visitors
With the multitude of affordable and free analytics tools out there, there’s no reason not to segment. With Google Analytics, for instance, you can create specific segments of your visitors based on their actions and behavior. You can then set up your content, promotions, and other campaign elements based on these insights.
Segmentation and targeting are, in fact, the first steps to personalisation. Ignoring these two aspects is the easiest way to lose relevance. Don’t take your “blind shooting” strategy into 2015. Start segmenting your customers based on their demographic and psychological graphic profiles, online behaviors (like cart abandoners, frequent visitors, or high-ticket buyers), and the unique characteristics of your business (such as product lifecycle, seasonal demands, etc.). Combine these insights so you can create more compelling messages, more targeted offers, and useful content for the different aspects of your marketing campaigns.
Customer personalisation on the websites of larger companies becomes a common thing these days. Unfortunately, the majority of websites don’t have personalisation elements in place. The truth is, only 25% of companies are using website personalisation, despite the clear benefits of personalised web experiences on conversion rates.
If you haven’t started on personalisation, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. There are now a lot of easy and affordable third-party services that can help you start personalising your website, so there aren’t many valid excuses left for not getting started. A deep personalised website can sometimes create a big difference between providing delightful experiences and setting customers up for disappointment.
5. A/B Testing
Marketers often use the terms “website testing” and “conversion rate optimisation” interchangeably, as if they are the same thing. Unfortunately, these folks don’t realise that testing is not the whole picture until they reach the plateau – the local maximum point – in their testing efforts. You know you’re at the local maximum point when your new versions aren’t winning against the control as much as they did when you first started testing. Higher converting variations of web pages become harder to come by, simply because all the low hanging fruit and the best ideas have been used up. The point is, while A/B testing is one of the most useful tools for learning what works (as opposed to working from gut instincts and opinions), you do your company and yourself a disservice by limiting your optimisation efforts to testing.
Instead, you should:
- Understand what circumstances would make testing inappropriate.
- Focus on profit improvements and not testing velocity.
- Have tactical and strategic testing tracks going on side by side.
- Pick flexible testing tools that allow you to test non-trivial ideas.
Stop obsessing about A/B testing and start devoting attention to other activities that are fundamental to the success of your conversion rate optimisation program: primary user research, experientially looking at every touch point, and re-examining your business model and your organisation. Remember, you’re not trying to win more tests, you’re trying to grow a business.
6. Website Redesign
Some marketers are afraid of making radical changes to their websites for fear that the new design may fail to bring more conversions or even perform worse than the original. Most of the time, however, the failure of a website redesign comes from the lack of or poor implementation of a conversion-centric framework during the project.
You’re not going to make quantum leaps past some point if you always just perform incremental tests on what you have. Instead of focusing on figuring out which button color, font type, or spacing converts better, uncover the serious issues that majority of your users encounter by running usability studies. You can also review your architecture and user scenarios to see if your site is optimised for the different roles and tasks of your visitors.
Granted, if your site is performing well and usability tests don’t reveal any red flags, doing a full redesign just because you’re bored with the old look is rarely a good idea. But if your site (like many) has major flaws that are affecting the entire user experience, you’re likely to make greater gains with a full conversion-centered redesign than by optimising bits and pieces.
7. Investing In Conversion Rate Optimisation
In 2014, bigger companies was starting to beef up their conversion capabilities by creating and filling new, full-time conversion rate optimisation (CRO) positions in their organisation. These companies now have either a team or an entire department responsible for CRO initiatives. Now, imagine in the coming year going up against a company with a dedicated team not just for website testing, but also for doing usability studies, enhancing user experience, creating persuasive copy, personalising content and offers, and so on. Start-ups or smaller companies are at a disadvantage given their limited resources; however, that doesn’t mean you can’t at least strive to get your company started with website optimisation. If you’re in charge of online marketing, be an advocate for CRO by encouraging your team members to learn about the discipline, and actively support or recommend the inclusion of CRO training as part of human resource development plans in your organisation.
You probably have a limited budget and an even more limited amount of time, so be realistic in what you set out to do. The pace at which technology advances will always be greater than your ability to implement new optimisation tricks. Pick the one or two areas that will really move the needle for your company in 2015, and focus your resolutions around those. Then this time next year, you can look back at what you have accomplished, take an inventory of the latest innovations, and move on from there.