Is Your Website Driving Customers Away?
Your website is the first impression people get of your business, product or service. But how do you ensure that the experience makes a positive impact on your business and credibility? Leveraging just SEO or relying strictly on the site’s design and content alone doesn’t guarantee it. In fact, by understanding the fundamentals of both site design and content and how they interact, you can create a website that leaves a lasting impression on visitors and won’t misuse thousands of marketing dollars a month.
Recently, I had a conversation with a prospective client about how SEO can cost-effectively support their lead-gen activity and drive site traffic. After some discussion about the pages and content on their current site, the client pivoted to talking more about the challenges with their website. The client, who’s in the manufacturing industry, shared that the current website was doing a disservice to their own brand. He further explained that after several follow-up calls with prospects who had visited their site, he discovered that these prospective customers had no idea that the company sold the products they needed or that it could formulate a solution based on their industry.
The website functionality and design was prohibiting prospects from discovering the right products that were relevant to their industry, which was ultimately costing the business an unknown amount of potential customer growth and sales. Another client on the call was quick to acknowledge that even with a solid SEO strategy in place, a poor website user experience would continue to work against the customer experience as well as the client’s business.
So, what’s the real cost of having a poorly designed website?
“Lost visitors are eroding the effectiveness of marketing expenditures by as much as 20% and that companies are squandering thousands of dollars a month.”
This post by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) states that lost visitors are eroding the effectiveness of marketing expenditures by as much as 20% and that companies are squandering thousands of dollars a month. That’s not counting the incalculable value of lost opportunity.
The same article pointed out how many companies not only fail to pay attention to the flaws on their websites, but are actually unaware of their impact—and that’s a problem. Research shows a strong negative correlation between the number of website errors and the number of visits to a site. Dealing with such problems may seem like mundane work, but these issues are what prompt customers to abort a transaction, exit a webpage and even defect to the competition. Furthermore, “almost a quarter of all URLs have at least one website issue—and on average, nearly 40% of these issues are critical in nature.”
“By maintaining an error-free, fully functional site, we found that companies can reap up to a 26% gain in the effectiveness of their marketing spend, with an average of 21%.”
Below, we share several suggestions for removing the website roadblocks that could be impeding your business.
Activating Your Website Data
While enhancing your site structure, page speed, and meta-tags and titles will make it easier for search engine crawlers to index pages on your website, it’s equally if not more important to continuously review your Google Analytics website data to understand where your audience enters your site, page exits and content clicks. As per the story I shared earlier, by reviewing the site analytics, the client and their team would be able to go deeper into the customer’s journey to identify gaps or barriers within certain pages or the site navigation itself. From there, testing can be done to update the page design or possibly the entire site itself. While some companies may see this as a marketing investment that they didn’t budget for, the cost of not doing it can drive down brand value and lose customers forever. As documented in the same BCG study, the financial implications are significant. “By maintaining an error-free, fully functional site, we found that companies can reap up to a 26% gain in the effectiveness of their marketing spend, with an average of 21%.
Integrating SEO with Site UX
Integrating SEO tactics into user experience (UX) design is key to optimizing website performance. By considering both UX and SEO best practices, you can create an effective website that both users and the brand will benefit from. Incorporating SEO into the design of a website can help to improve the visibility of a website in a search engine results page (SERP), as well as integrating a deep linking strategy, improving usability and creating higher conversion rates. By ensuring that your website is optimized for both UX and SEO, you can create an effective marketing foundation to build upon while increasing your website’s visibility and performance, as well as reducing high bounce rates and page exit.
“Your website is the first impression people get of your business, product or service, so it is critical that the messaging, content, structure and design and how it is viewed across all devices is clear, consistent, frictionless and seamless.”
Optimizing Your Website’s Design and Usability
Optimizing your website’s design can be beneficial by ensuring higher SEO performance. Paying attention to the loading speeds, ensuring meta-tags are accurate and embedding keywords will help your website rank higher. In addition, making sure users have an easy-to-navigate experience is essential for keeping them on the page longer and ensuring a positive customer journey.
Maximize the Impact of Your Website
Your website is the first impression people get of your business, product or service, so it is critical that the messaging, content, structure and design and how it is viewed across all devices is clear, consistent, frictionless and seamless. By understanding the fundamental needs of your audiences, how they interact with the site and your own business goals, you can create a website that leaves a lasting impression on visitors and drives more traffic to your site.
If that first impression isn’t a good one, they will move on to another resource or, most likely, a competitor for their information and needs. These are the four main areas to focus on to ensure that your website is performing at a high level:
1) Great content
2) SEO optimization
3) A frictionless user experience
4) A design that uniquely positions your company or brand
If you’d like to learn how your company, product or service can further maximize the impact of your website, email us here.
As always, thank you for reading.
Photo by Vladimir Malyavko on Unsplash