Irrespective of how great your website designer or implementor is, it is impossible to predict all aspects of visitor/customer behavior from the start.
Even after extensive research, analysis, strategy, design, and implementation a new website is only half baked. You need real visitor and customer data to truly understand if your website is meeting it's intended goals. Also, only real (not test) data can uncover critical issues with your conversion funnel, CTAs, or user experience in general.
This is why high performing websites and CTAs (call-to-actions) are always the result of continuous testing and optimization. There are just too many unique variables (from one business to another) to expect a "standard" website solution to be the optimal solution. Instead, a lot of real-life testing and optimization is required.
Website Optimization Will Save You Money
Naturally, the more website leads you to turn into customers, the less you have to spend on outreach (creating awareness and attracting leads).
For example, if your conversion rate is 1%, then we can assume that for every sale, you need 100 website visitors. Therefore, to double our website sales, we can 1) increase our marketing & advertising budget to double the traffic/visitors, or 2) improve our conversion rate from 1% to 2%. Both approaches will produce the same result, but the second option (improving conversion rate) is certainly less expensive.
Website Optimization Starts With An Audit
Technology is changing every day, and your website has to change with it. Running your website through audit tools is one of the quickest ways to identify significant issues.
For example, no matter how great your product page is, you will lose a significant percentage of your visitors if your website takes too long to load. Also, if your website is difficult to view or navigate on a mobile device. Before you get into the weeds, address the most critical issues first!
The good news is, there are many free audit tools you can use to find these critical issues.
Review And Optimize Your Conversion Funnel
After addressing all critical audit issues, the next step is to review your conversion funnel - how you guide your website visitors through Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action.
A simple conversion funnel (example):
- Blog Post (Awareness)
- Product or Service page (Interest)
- Case Study (Desire)
- Contact Form (Action)
Even a simple conversion funnel like this usually has holes - where visitors and prospects are slipping through the cracks. By analyzing your website data (e.g., Google Analytics), you can find these cracks and fix them.
If your website is not bringing your high-quality leads, then you likely have a conversion funnel issue.
Use Visitor Recording Tools
Most businesses use Google Analytics to track website data, but that is the minimum requirement. While Google Analytics is great, it doesn't give you a complete picture of your visitors and how they are interacting with your website.
For example, "Which area of the page are they focusing on?", "Are they having issues navigating from one section to another?", "Are they focusing on your CTAs (call-to-actions)?"
Visitor recording tools can help you answer these questions because they record visitor clicks, page scrolling, mouse movements, and more - this type of data is invaluable in identifying conversion funnel issues.
Use Multivariant (A/B) Testing
After you identify areas of the websites which need improvement, it's time to try different (better) options.
A/B testing is a randomized experiment using two (or more) versions to see which performs better. In the context of a Website, you're often comparing different CTAs, Headlines, Form Fields, etc.
Website elements you can typically A/B test:
- Navigation (e.g., testing different navigation headings: "Learn" vs. "Resources")
- Headlines (short and snappy vs. descriptive)
- Images (e.g., prominent vs. less prominent)
- Paragraph Text (e.g., brief product description vs. long description)
- Testimonials (e.g., using an image vs. plain text)
- Call-to-Action text or buttons (e.g., 20% discount vs. $5 off)
- Forms (e.g., single page vs. multi-page)
- Links (e.g., testing different link descriptions and font styles)
- Social media position and elements (e.g., bottom of the page vs. right rail/column)
By utilizing A/B testing, you are using real data (instead of guessing) to optimize and improve your website. And by continuously experimenting (i.e., using different A/B tests), you will certainly improve your conversion funnel, and more importantly, convert more leads into customers.
Website optimization may sound intimidating, but it is certainly not complicated. It involves analyzing your website, testing different variations, and making incremental (data-driven) improvements.
Most businesses are not willing to take the necessary steps to optimize their website, so continuous website optimization can be your competitive advantage. Not only will it help you convert more leads into customers, but you learn so much more about your customers and how to serve them better.