Article by Guest Poster
This article was written by a guest contributor. The author's views below are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of WHSR.
If your website isn’t generating as many leads and sales as you want, then there are several solutions. The digital landscape is continually changing, and even though demand for websites is still growing, the way that people interact with them is constantly changing.
Here are six things your website needs to have to make sure it works efficiently at converting your potential customers:
There’s a reason that this is at number one. More people search on mobile devices than search on desktops. In 2015, mobile and computer search was level, but since then traditional search has been outpaced by mobile. A recent UK survey found that smartphones account for 57% of people who go on the Internet, with 27% using PCs and 16% using tablets. That means 73% – nearly three quarters of people using the Internet – aren’t using computers.
Even if you think that your audience is just using computers, the norm is not to just use mobile or desktop, it is to use both. Only 7% of people over the age of 55 search exclusively on mobile, and 26% search on desktop – but 67% of them search multi-platform. That’s the demographic that uses desktop to search the most.
Google’s mobile first index is also coming in 2018. If your website is already optimized for mobile, then you won’t be affected by the new index. If it isn’t then you may find the rank of your page dropping. There are more considerations, and using Google’s testing tool will help you to see if your site’s mobile version is visible to Googlebot.
If your website isn’t optimized for smartphones and tablets, you will be alienating a large proportion of your audience. If you can provide a seamless experience between your mobile and desktop site, you will appeal to your audience – if you can’t, then you will lose them.
Voice search usually happens through a digital assistant like Siri, but since Google Assistant has become more useful, and with the rise of smart home systems like Amazon Echo and Google Home – more search is happening with voice. SunTrust’s Youssef Squali says that 10% of all search queries are through voice, in the 2016 keynote, Google said that 20% of its search was done via voice and some claim that 50% of searching will be done by voice in 2020.
SEO is a part of intelligent website design, with the language you use containing keywords that help your ranking.
In the future, more ‘long tail keywords’ need to be used, which will replicate the kind of questions that people interested in your website would ask as a question out loud rather than typing it into their computer.
Google subsidiary DoubleClick released a report at the end of 2016 which stated that:
53% of mobile sites are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load’ and also that 50% of people expect a page to load in less than 2 seconds. Sites that loaded in 5 seconds had 25% higher ad viewability, 70% longer sessions and 35% lower bounce rates.
You may have noticed that websites are getting rid of sidebars and now favor a cleaner design approach. That’s not just an aesthetic choice, it’s also a practical choice. With a cleaner and sleeker design, not only can potential customers see what they want and what they need to do, they have access to a site that will load quickly on mobile.
It is better to have a sleek and elegant website that works well across all platforms than a flashy and impressive website that works only on desktop. With careful planning and coding, you can have an impressive website that also works on mobile, but you have to make sure than it works well for your brand and your customer before.
UX is something that is vitally important, but can often be a secondary consideration. If your website doesn’t offer a good experience for the user, then they won’t complete their task, or come back. Good UX can increase the number of people converting on your website, but bad UX can turn people away. Adobe found that 89% of users switch devices or stop viewing altogether when coming across problems with content.
Mobile comes into this. A website that offers a great UX on desktop doesn’t work on a smaller smartphone screen. You either need to have large icons with large words that will reflow well on a mobile site, or have a separate mobile UX designed for people who are looking at your website on the go. The design language must be similar across different sites, because a large proportion of the people using your website are multi-platform.
You can also test elements of design within your website. Just removing a banner on a page increased SIMCity sales by 43%. Black and Decker changed a call to action button from ‘Shop Now’ to ‘Buy Now’ and saw a 17% increase in sales. Split testing different design decisions can help you to find the best UX, and implement those changes across your whole site.
According to studies: 94% of a user’s first impressions are design related – and they can instantly mistrust or reject a website based on design. 38% of people will stop engaging if they find the content or layout of a website unattractive and it only takes 0.05 seconds for them to form that opinion.
Even if you have a good UX, responsive website, voice search SEO optimisation and a mobile friendly website, it can all be for nothing if the design on your website is bad. That means you need to have attractive logos, fonts and colour palettes – but you also need to have a consistent design language that goes across all of your pages, and across the content you put out to your client base.
Good design is about more than getting customers to convert, it also speaks to the credibility of your company. If your website is badly designed, potential customers will infer that your company is also not cutting edge and badly run. Having clear navigation, a search box and links to other social media isn’t just a design choice, it’s a statement that you are a company who understands and is in touch with its audience.
Including a pixel in your website which allows for re-targeting ads is one of the best ways to convert. This piece of HTML code allows you to re-target people who have already interacted with your website. It’s 10 times more effective than display ads, and 46% of marketing professionals believe it’s the most underused online marketing technology. Those who are re-targeted are 70% more likely to convert on the retailer’s website.
Having good mobile optimisation, UX and content is still key – but by adding retargeting onto a solid and responsive website, you can dramatically increase your rate of conversion. WHat retargeting does is allow you to find people who have fallen out of your sales funnel, and bring them back in.
Retargeting doesn’t just work with display ads. Social media platforms also have their own pixels, and something like Facebook’s audience network allows you to track customers through websites, but also on other social media platforms and even in in-app adverts.
Go to other websites. Look at your immediate competitors. See what works and what doesn’t work. Look at the websites of the top brands in your industry and global leaders outside your industry. Look around the websites on desktop and mobile and see what works well. Then look at your own website with those same eyes. You will see some immediate things you can improve.
Once you have found the most glaring design issues that challenge you – make sure you install a pixel on your landing pages, allowing you to re-target. Beyond that, there may be issues that will take you longer to fix, if they are core problems with your user experience or design. They are problems that are worth fixing, to allow more customers to convert and to improve the credibility of your brand.
If your website works well and looks good on mobile, then it will still look great and be super responsive on desktop.
All the changes that you can make to optimize your website so that the transition of experience and design is seamless across multiple devices will also make that design language more robust on desktop. These changes won’t just help you reach new audiences more effectively – it will also improve the experience for your existing customers.
About the author: Zachary Jarvis
Zachary Jarvis is a Digital Marketer with one thing on his mind: Results.
Uninspired by the never ending talk of ‘vanity metrics’ in the world of digital marketing, Magnate was founded – the ‘Social-First’ marketing agency. On the very rare occasion he isn’t watching Step Brothers in his spare time – you’ll find Zachary in the thick of social platforms, learning what makes us tick.
This is driven by a fascination (perhaps a slight obsession…) with market trends and consumer behaviors