5 Things Your Website Needs in 2021
1. Address customers at every stage
The buyer's journey encompasses the steps a person will take from the time they begin experiencing a problem, through researching their options, to the end of their journey when they make a decision to buy a product or service that will provide a solution. While this is a fluid process, we typically break it down into three phases to consider and plan for: awareness, consideration, and decision. (After the decision comes the loyalty phase where you can turn customers into advocates… but that’s for another blog post.)
Typically, someone will interact with up to five pieces of content while they navigate the awareness and consideration stages of their personal buyer's journey. During this time, the visitor is either trying to identify a problem they're experiencing, gathering information to pinpoint a solution, or comparing their options to figure out which is the best fit for them. All of this may occur before the visitor ever reaches out to a member of your team for more information - which means it's vital to create valuable, informative content that's tailored to each segment of your audience, in respect of their position within the buyer's journey.
When auditing your website content, navigation, and calls to action, go through it several times - each time from the perspective of a buyer at a different stage of their journey.
Have you presented your organization’s brand essence and differentiators for someone in the awareness stage?
Have you made it easy for someone in the consideration stage to find answers to their questions and compare you against the competition?
Will someone on the edge of the decision stage be guided through that process smoothly through strong calls to action (CTAs)?
Creating the right type of content that will deliver the appropriate message to prospects and leads at the right time is key to increasing your conversions. Be respectful of your audience's positions within their buyer's journeys and meet them where they're at with the most useful information that's relevant to their challenges, and you'll likely see an increase in lead generation and customer retention.
2. Define a clear conversion path
Just as it's crucial to create content that's meant for visitors in different stages of the buyer's journey, it's equally important to lead those visitors to the next helpful step with a clear conversion path.
A conversion path describes how a user goes from being an anonymous visitor to a new lead or customer for your business. Without a conversion path in place, your website visitors may be unsure where to look in order to find what they need - or they could become frustrated and leave your site because they were unable to find the solution they were looking for.
To combat this and, in turn, provide the best user experience for your audience, you should lead them to the next logical step through engaging CTAs in your content. Doing so can help you create a marketing funnel that naturally leads your audience through their buyer's journey with the help of your content, and it positions your product or service as the best solution to fix their problem.
Ideally, your content should be interlinked with relating topics of various depth to take your visitors from broad or general topics while they are in the awareness stage, to more niche, specific content in the middle of their buyer's journey and eventually leading them to take the desired action, whether that's filling out a lead capture form or signing up for a service.
Use your CTAs effectively to carve out a defined path that users should take to explore your content from beginning to end of their personal journey.
3. Develop an engaging brand story
Aside from providing value for your target audience through your content, you should also aim to attract leads and customers through your company's unique branding. In a highly competitive market, it's more important than ever to find a way to stand out from your competitors. Developing a strong branding strategy can add a personal and recognizable ‘face’ to your business that helps your target audience connect with you more organically.
Here are a few tips to help improve your brand storytelling online:
Audit your website content to ensure it is presented in a clear and consistent voice. Over time, different sections of the site may have been updated by different people - but it should all sound like it’s coming from the same brand voice.
Read your website content out loud to discover the human voice of the brand - and make sure that it reflects who you are as an organization (professional, trustworthy, conversational, helpful). People connect with brands that feel authentic.
Share the story behind how your business came to be and why you choose to do what you do. Today, digital marketers can weave their brand story across multiple distribution channels to attract attention, increase brand awareness and boost your audience's trust for your brand.
Consider creating a dedicated page or section of your website to write your brand story. Another compelling way to do this is by creating a brand story video. Hearing your story being told directly from your CEO or other members of your team can appeal more easily to people's emotions and add a more relatable, human aspect to the face of your business.
4. Track, measure and improve conversion
The main purpose of your business's website is to convert visitors into customers by providing the most valuable experience and offering competitive solutions to resolve the issues your target audience is facing.
Use your analytics platform to track and analyze how your content strategy is performing in terms of your conversion rate. Taking time to consistently review your analytics data - perhaps monthly, quarterly or bi-annually - is an invaluable practice to incorporate into your strategy, as you can keep track of your overall performance and hone in on areas that can be improved.
Pay special attention to the percentage of conversions that are coming from each of your web pages, blog posts, lead generation forms, and product or service sales. Each of these micro and macro conversions is equally important in the overall scope of your strategy for leading web visitors through their buyer's journeys to becoming customers. What can you learn from the pages or pieces of content that are converting at an above average rate? What can you apply to help boost the performance of your lower-performing pieces?
5. Optimize for an excellent mobile experience
In 2021, 54.8% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. With over half of web searches originating from mobile - and potentially more depending on your specific audience's data and statistics - it's more important than ever to account for a seamless user experience for your website on mobile devices.
In addition to your overall SEO strategy, it's absolutely crucial to take time to optimize your website completely for the mobile experience. Mobile optimization includes:
UX design for easier navigation on smaller screens
Testing the usability of all your website features on a mobile device
Optimizing web page titles and meta descriptions to accommodate character limits for mobile SERPs
To care for a successful website in 2021 - one that increases brand awareness, conversions and ROI - it's important to create content tailored to each stage of the buyer's journey, define a clear conversion path for your web visitors, tell a compelling brand story, measure and improve your conversion rate over time, and make sure that your website is well-optimized for mobile users.
Metric works with organizations to help optimize and track data from their websites every day - and we’d love to help you too. To learn more about how to get the most out of your website or digital marketing strategy, contact us.