How can I improve my website performance?
If your website isn’t performing the way you’d like, it can be difficult to know what to do to fix it. Some people claim it’s all about site speed, others focus on web design and development. So where should you start and what exactly should you focus on to see the biggest results?
Buyers have changed. The digital age has created a paradigm shift in the relationship between sales and customers. Before the internet, if a customer wanted to buy a product they needed to request a catalogue, and either pick up the phone or walk into a store and ask their questions to a salesperson. Now, an entire world of answers, reviews, comparisons, and content sits just a few keystrokes away. As a result, 81% of shoppers research their products online before purchasing.
How do you get in front of these customers? You need to appear when they search. And the best way to do this is to have a website that performs well. Notice how we didn't just say 'performs well in search'. That's because a good website ranks well on search engines, converts visitors into leads, and supports the sales team in selling.
The key to a strong website is about more than just one thing, and unfortunately, you can’t improve it with one simple quick fix. However, there are several quick fixes, across three crucial areas you can look at that are guaranteed to help you see improved results. So let's dive in.
Attract more traffic
To get more customers, you first need to attract them, and while this may seem obvious, it's one of the hardest things for a website to achieve. We all want to be the number one result on Google, but only for the right results. Let us share some practical tips for how to grow your website’s reach.
Firstly, you need to improve your organic search ranking. Organic search is when a person discovers your brand through search algorithms and should account for 40-60% of your website traffic because, theoretically, they are your best-fit customers. The key to ranking well in searches is to analyse what your target customers search for when they jump online.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
When a person searches for something in a search engine, the results that come up are determined by a combination of different metrics, including domain authority, relevance, and backlinks.
This is called SEO and you can improve yours by:
- Using commonly used keywords
- Linking to authoritative resources (and being linked to)
- Optimising your meta data
- Using alt tags for all your media
- Regularly updating your content
Search engines, like Google, crawl and index websites to assess their credibility and usefulness, and then rank them on the appropriate results pages (SERPs). The higher your website ranks on those pages, the more likely people are to see it and click through.
There are three stages of online search:
- Question asking
- Option assessing
- Decision making
The first step is when a person has a need or challenge but doesn't have enough information for a decision so they ask a broad-brush question. Think "website design services". This user has a need and is looking at the options available.
The second step stems from gathering enough information to direct their fact-finding down a particular path. They may have assessed that some options suit their needs better so they're doing a more refined search. They might narrow down their searches to "web design agency NZ" or go the other way and search "cheap web design contractor".
Having reached a very narrow field they may have found a few recommended solutions and begin comparing one against another to see the differences. Eg "Vanguard 86 web design costs" and "Efinity web design services".
An inbound marketing strategy, using SEO, attracts and retains customers with content that’s relevant to them. Essentially, inbound marketing content, such as blogs, tutorials, or webinars, will align brands with their ideal customers, and particularly, ‘active buyers’.
Active buyers are in the market looking to solve a problem or meet a need. These people are more open to talking with a salesperson and discussing their options. There is less friction in converting a good active buyer, so sales teams can win more of them.
The idea behind inbound marketing is that your business focuses on creating marketing assets that answer customer questions and guide them towards the best solution for them. This can include explaining when your business is not a good fit, so your sales team don't waste time on bad-fit leads.
This way, instead of wasting time trying to convert passive customers, you can focus on meeting the needs of those who are already looking. This approach is all about attracting and retaining good-fit customers, therefore reducing customer churn.
Convert more visitors to leads
Attracting prospects to your website is one thing, but converting them into potential customers is another entirely. To do this well, your website should be converting 2%+ of site visitors to contacts or sales leads.
If you are unaware of your website's current conversion rate then you should install web analytics software. HubSpot is a good platform for this as it integrates a CRM with your sales pipeline so you can see the full funnel of attracted leads, all the way to closed revenue. Fortunately, there are ways to increase these conversion rates:
Regardless of the industry, customers want to trust a company before buying from it so your website needs to cultivate that. To promote trust in your brand, you could implement the following tips:
- Answer common questions customers have with transparency
- Post content that adds value to the customer, like blogs or tutorials
- Introduce your team with images and bios
- Share case studies and examples of how you've helped similar customers
- Develop buying guides, technical files, and brochures so people can educate themselves about your offering
With these few steps, your website can prove the reliability of your brand and give customers a reason to believe the claims you make. That way, when you do pitch a product or service to them, they’re far more likely to engage with it.
Communicate your value proposition
For your prospect to be interested in your product or service, you need to communicate how it will benefit them. This is called a value proposition and should give the prospect a clear reason to choose you.
To effectively communicate your value proposition, you need to know:
- Who your target audience is and what they value.
- What you are offering them, in context to their situation.
- Why this product, service, or interaction is uniquely valuable to them.
Remember, to be effective, your value proposition must be compelling and concise, as well as differentiate your brand from competitors.
It helps to convey your value proposition from the customer's perspective. It's all too tempting to talk about yourself, why you're great and why a customer should be honoured to work with you. But remember, the customer has come to your website with a need or problem, so why not focus on explaining how you understand and can solve it?
By doing so you show that you understand their needs almost as well as they do and immediately gain their trust as a valued advisor.
Eliminate unnecessary distractions
For your website to perform effectively, you need to get rid of anything on it that is interrupting the flow of your customer’s experience or blocking their path to answers.
Depending on the state of your website, this may entail minor changes or an entire redesign project. If you do opt for a full overhaul, it’s worth employing a website agency with an experienced designer and skilled developer to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Improving your website design could include:
- Reducing clutter on each page so that it’s easy to scan
- Clearly highlighting next steps and additional content
- Simplifying navigation and page hierarchy
- Optimising the website for mobile users
- Use fonts, colours, and sizing that is easy to read
When it comes to your website it can be tempting to put as many options and as much information out there as possible. However, a phenomenon called 'overchoice' can actually paralyse web visitors if they're presented with too many options. So keep the options few and easily identified to keep web visitors moving towards the 'contact us' button.
Write strong Calls-To-Action (CTAs)
While it’s never a good idea to come off as pushy, you still need to provide a call to action on each page of your website. If a person visits your website and interacts with your content, they could be a good fit customer. However, if there are no nudges or suggestions for the next step they should take, they’re likely to give up and go elsewhere.
A strong call to action will consist of a commanding verb and will be directly relevant to the other content on the page. This way, it is clear what the customer should do and how the action will relate to what they’ve just engaged with.
Common examples of a call to action include:
- Download our catalogue
- Get a quote
- Talk to our team
- Read more
- Book a chat
These should align with the stage of the research journey the visitor is on. For example, if a visitor is reading a blog on the different types of marketing agencies, they're likely to be in the early stages of educating themselves about their options. While it's tempting to hit them with a 'book a sales chat' CTA, the reality is that they're just not there yet.
So try pointing them to a similar resource that will help them to learn more. This could be an article on knowing when you're ready for a marketing agency, or a case study of what success looks like when working with a marketing agency. Keep it relevant and ensure it adds value.
Close more leads with valuable insights
Once a website visitor has followed your call to action, it’s time to convert them into a lead and turn them into a buyer. To do this, you need to use customer insights so that you know what customers want and how to best meet their expectations.
By tapping into this information, your team can identify the most promising sales leads and spend more time converting best-fit buyers. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to improve your website and customer experience more effectively with practical, proactive steps.
Possible actions could include:
- Using lead scoring to identify good-fit leads according to your sales process
- Using video in your initial outreach to build rapport and seem more personable
- Equipping salespeople with more accurate information about customers and value-add content
- Turning customer feedback into social proof that attracts more buyers, such as testimonials or online reviews
Assess your website’s performance
Once you know what your customers expect from you, you can ensure your website is delivering the best results. To know what needs to be corrected, you can use our free website grader to assess your website. It covers design, build, speed, SEO, and overall performance. With the results, you can start making improvements right away.
Use our free, online website grader
Discover where your website excels, and where it could be improved, by using our free website grader. Get actionable tips on where to focus your efforts for the best results.Test your website now