This post was first published by Abs Gandhi, Senior Account Executive at Spreckley, on Spreckley’s blog.
When I hear people mention they’re looking to launch a new website or relaunching an existing one, I’m always a little sceptical. Design often takes precedence as the key driver in a new website build, rather than the realisation that it serves as an effective online vehicle for your customers to not only gain valuable information, but enable your organisation to steer them down the journey you want to take them down too.
The development of a new website should centre on a customer-focussed experience, instead of the traditional mentality of being organisation-first. With the sheer number of people accessing websites, investing dedicated time into creating a strategy around the customer journey can yield strong business results. Here are a few things you should bear in mind:
A website could be for anyone and everyone perhaps if you’re a massive all-purpose company such as Tesco or John Lewis. But if you have a more niche service or are operating in the B2B technology field for example, then you will quickly realise that your website is better geared towards a specified audience. Are these IT-decision makers, or perhaps the C-suite? All of these individuals will process information differently and ensuring all the information is relevant for them is vital.
For those looking to relaunch a website, take the time to use analytics tools to see which sections of your existing site are most visited and see what’s working. This will also provide insight into what is not being viewed much and suggest areas for improvement. Yet, for those creating a new site using analytics may not hold a bank of rich data. Instead, organisations can reach out directly to existing customers about what they are looking for and the things that matter the most for them. This can help shape the website around getting the most important information early enough in the online journey, so that customers are able to convert to the desired action, quicker.
Call-to-actions serve as a valuable asset in helping convert visitors into potential customers, whether it’s buying, researching or downloading some form of content. But more times than not, websites are littered with CTAs, often a result of poor strategising from companies on identifying exactly what actions they want users to do.
More times than not, websites are signed-off or planned by employees of a company, rather than understanding the consumer process of buying. Taking a third-party mindset (often as the consumer) and separating yourself from the company can act as one method to better realise the necessary actions required for a customer journey, and help redefine what the most important CTAs are for both your organisation and customer.
Your website is built on this. Content will include everything from the ‘About’ page detailing what your company is about, to news releases providing more insight into your company updates. But a website is not simply about an online portal for you to plug each and every piece of content.
Having a ton of content might be considered good for SEO purposes, but only if it’s relevant. Too much content can leave users lost and cause them to exit a site far faster. Strategising the content can enable better support for the body text. For example, adding links to additional content such as blogs, whitepapers and press releases can all streamline the customer journey as users have the ability to be redirected to other relevant sections of a site to provide more detail about what they are reading, increasing the likelihood of conversions.
The combination of these factors should help solidify the online journey you want your user to take. If you have invested time into this, you will see customers naturally warming to the journey that you are creating. Remember, if you’re not able to manufacture a unified journey, the user will be left with an endless stream of possible avenues to go down, and if they’re unable to find what they’ve entered the site for, then they’ll exit far quicker as a result.
While this is far from an exhaustive list of things to look at, it does provide some crucial thinking points. Are your customers engaging with your site in the way in which you envisioned? If not, have a think about how to better streamline your online customer journeys.