Evaluate these 4 areas to improve your lead generation Anyone in marketing or involved in running a modern business knows that a company’s website is the foundation of its digital marketing strategy. It’s typically the main hub where you direct customer traffic, collect leads, and provide useful information about your company. Many marketing executives are busy with day-to-day projects, working on new features or promotional campaigns or whatever other millions of things there are sitting on their to-do lists. Staying on top of the evolving expectations and updates that are needed to keep your company website performing well can be a daunting task. Some of the elements on your company website that were once effective may just not be converting the way they used to- is your website starting to look outdated, is it out of sync with core web standards? It’s tough to know where to start. In previous posts, we’ve shared web design updates that you should have done in 2020 and what trends are making the biggest waves in website design for 2021 to help you keep up-to-date with the major design updates you should be considering. But now we want to take a step back and help step you through an overview audit of your website effectiveness. To that end, we’ve compiled an executive-level website checklist in 4 key parts to help keep your website catching eyes, converting leads, and meeting targets. Part 1: Setting or Reevaluating Your Digital Marketing Goals Before plunging into analysing the design of your website, we suggest you take a step back and re-evaluate your strategic plan. Start by taking a fresh look at questions like: what should you be measuring, why does your website exist, and how do you know if your website is performing well? Setting good goals and KPIs at the start is the key to gaining and maintaining success with your website The key areas to check off when re-evaluating your digital marketing goals are: ✓ Business Objectives - Identify them upfront and set the broadest parameters for each initiative.✓ Goals - Identify crisp goals for each business objective.✓ KPIs - Pick the key performance indicators that make the most sense for measuring the goals you have set.✓ Targets - Set the parameters for success by identifying optimistic, but reasonable, targets for each KPI.✓ Segments - Identify the groups of people / behavior / outcomes you will analyze on the back end to understand why initiative was a success or not. Part 2: Improving Your Site’s Exposure/Visibility Many a CEO or marketing executive has gotten caught up in the excitement of planning the flashy or aesthetically pleasing design elements on their website. Hence, many businesses make the mistake of launching an attractive website that relies too heavily on its looks. If you want to get the most out of your site, it has to first bring the customers in before they can appreciate its beautiful design. The key areas to improve your site’s visibility on search engines and beyond are: ✓ Content - Provide easily digestible content that tells a compelling story- and make sure it’s on point with the topics and information your target customers are looking for.✓ Keywords - Optimize the keywords and phrases that people are searching for, include long-tail and LSI phrases, and be careful not to cannibalize your keywords by optimizing the same one on more than one page.✓ Sitemap - Create a sitemap and submit to Google to make sure all your webpages are indexed correctly- an easy step that is often overlooked!✓ Metadata - Optimise the metadata of your online text- make sure to always fill in the title name and meta description for your pages- both will appear in your customers’ search results.✓ Structure - Use short, descriptive paragraphs that are introduced with headings and subheadings; avoid a wall of text by inserting white space, bullet points, and graphics; and use a mix of short and long sentences to set an interesting tone for the reader.✓ Links (internal and external) - Find opportunities for both internal and external links to your webpages - inbound external links from other websites to your own bring new users to your site and improve SEO, and internal links from one page to another on your site encourage readers to visit other pages organically. Part 3: Improving Your Conversion Optimization As the digital landscape gets more crowded, the number of competing options for your customers makes conversions seem more elusive. According to Crazy Egg, website conversion rates average around 2 percent. So it’s natural that you may be struggling with how to improve your conversions so you can get more customers with the traffic you already have. The key areas to optimize for converting customers on your site are: ✓ Call-to-Action - Every page should be planned and designed around a specific kind of user intent, so make sure your CTA’s clearly match that objective.✓ Choices - Limit the number of choices you offer in one step/page, even if that means asking the users to make one more click.✓ Purchasing - Make purchasing or filling out registration forms uber-simple - keep forms short, limit the number of fields, and keep wording simple and very clear.✓ Trust - Add in prominent customer testimonials, reviews, and logos on all critical pages as social proof that your visitors are making a good choice.✓ Branding - “Humanize” your brand and connect with your audience by committing to a consistent brand personality using things like humor, storytelling, and videos.✓ Pop Ups or Chat Bot - Add Pop Ups or a Chat Bot on key pages using one of a multitude of plug-ins available - these tools are easy to add on any site and have shown to provide almost immediate boosts to your conversions. Part 4: Redesigning your Website - When a Quick Fix Isn’t Enough If, after reading through the three previous checklists, you’re thinking that your current website needs more than minor updates to keep it competitive and successful, you’re probably considering whether it’s time for a full redesign. Redesigning your website is a big project, but proper planning, research and preparation can help make the experience much less stressful and have better outcomes. A while back, we posted some web design pointers for startups starting their web design journey that really anyone starting this process might also find helpful. The major steps when planning for your company’s website redesign include: ✓ Evaluate your current site to uncover what assets you should keep and what isn’t performing well anymore. You should be looking at everything from your content, to SEO, to page performance, etc.✓ Audit & Update your brand voice guidelines now to decide whether the branding will stay the same. It’s important that your website reflect your brand personality through its colors, fonts, tone and style to help differentiate your website from your competitors’.✓ Define your website project goals and budget (including a target completion date) - after your site audit, you should have a good idea of what areas need improvement and can use that as a basis for creating your goals.✓ Research & Compile competitor sites you like and even non-competitor sites that you’d like to emulate in style or personality.✓ Prepare a comprehensive RFP that gives the critical details from each of the previous steps listed and clearly lists your must-haves and desires for your website redesign project Hungry for More? We know that these checklists really just provide a high-level overview of what is involved in the successful implementation of each major part. But don’t worry! In our following blog posts, we plan to take a deeper dive into each of these 4 topics to help you fully understand the best practices and possible pitfalls of each. Keeping up with the ever-changing customer preferences and technical advancements of the Webosphere takes a lot of work and can be a lot easier with a helping hand. At Glide, our team invests their experience and personal drive in helping our thriving customers find success on their web projects. If you’re up for it, we’re more than happy to discuss potentially working together and building out your next website project. Book A Meeting!