Once people become reasonably successful at search – be it SEO, PPC or both – the next challenge is to maximise conversions – to turn traffic to enquiries or sales. Here’s a couple of things to help – one a ‘quick win’ the other – important but longer term.
Is your site fit for business?
In one of the international web marketing courses I run I quite often show this quote – (attributed to Jacob Nielsen )…
Like it or not people will judge the quality of your products and your company by the quality of your website.
Most people will tend to agree with this nowadays and also accept that their opinion is developed within seconds, almost subconsciously. Even though I know this, I still eliminate, for example, hotels I’m considering staying at based on the imagery I see on the page – making the irrational assumption that good imagery equates with good accommodation. I only get reminded of my mistake when I enter the bedroom.
We then go on to explore delegates’ websites looking at what we can do to improve them – most are not happy with their sites (around 80%) – but have no immediate plans to make any changes.
Yet it’s so easy and inexpensive to give websites a ‘facelift’ – to freshen up the design and make them appear more modern and attractive. Here’s one we recently did, which went from this….
A 3000 page website instantly refreshed (For the cost of a 10 yr old Renault Megane!). Its what we refer to as a ‘reskin’ – essentially keeping everything the same apart from the design and look of the site.
The other big advantage this has is that the SEO is not affected as all the page urls, metadata etc stay the same.
Of course we want more from our sites than just looking good and not leading to instant bounce backs – we want them to actively drive enquiries –so making sure ‘calls to action’ are appropriately positioned is also part of this.
Who is visiting your site? – the case for ‘responsive web design’
If you think about the ‘plant buying demographic’ frequenting the site above then you might be surprised that over 25% of visitors access the site using a mobile device (you can see this through Google Analytics).
You will know from your own experiences that websites are now accessed by many different devices – Ipads, Smartphones, Iphones, laptops, notebooks and of course large screens via desktops – and websites need to be flexible enough to react.
The first approach to this ‘multi-device’ problem was to create different versions – a mobile and a desktop version. This was never really satisfactory; having multiple websites creates SEO issues of course – but also the multitude of different types of device now make this approach outdated. Enter ‘responsive web design’.
What is Responsive Web design?
It’s been around for just over a year now. (we’ve been using it for the past six months). Its not just a technology – although it does utilise the latest CSS options – but a collection of techniques that can be utilised to resize websites in real time based on the device being used to access them.
Here are some shots of a website accessed in different devices…
So the point is make sure your web designer uses this approach when you next redo your site. The example above is taken from a very useful article on ‘responsive web’ you can see if here if you would like more detail…
It’s not difficult to do and it’s becoming an essential point when you enter discussions with your web designers. So, as a starting point have a look at your analytics to see how many access your site through mobile devices.
So a ‘reskin’ may be all you need to improve enquiries, and your brand projection, in the short term. Longer term you’ll need to ensure your site renders well in all devices.