Why your website is not finished yet

This post is from the team at Yieldify. Based in London, New York and Sydney, Yieldify creates smart and simple marketing technology products that deliver great digital experiences, without the heavy lifting.

You probably have a website for your business because – just because. But whether you’re an e-commerce business for whom your website is your lifeblood or you’re a software start-up, your website is your shop window.

To get the best out of it, you have to know that it’s never really ‘finished’; every day, you have the opportunity to learn more about your visitors and adapt to make sure that the experience you provide is getting the best out of them.

We put our heads together and came up with five top tips that any business can implement to successfully optimise their website. Whether you’re a pro marketer, a freelancer or a founder with a million things to do, this advice will help you to successfully optimise your website and achieve your business’ objectives.

Traffic is not the goal

It’s a very easy mistake to make – getting excited by social media, retargeting and display to bring traffic to your site. But if your website experience is less than exciting, that traffic is going to bounce – and if you’ve spent money on the wrong sort of traffic, they’ll leave as quickly as they arrived, too. Focus not just on getting the right visitor, but on delivering the right experience when they land – it’ll mean real metrics like new customer acquisition and conversion rather than ‘clicks’ and ‘shares’ that mean little to the bottom line.

When you optimise, you begin with A/B

Your first step to a website that really works is A/B testing, also known as split testing. It’s a simple way of seeing what works best on your website. Here’s how it works: 

1) Pick a page, any page. You’re going to use this as your control.
2) You then create a new version of that page and change one element (yep, just one) to what you think might improve performance. Maybe it’s an image, or a banner or a heading. This is now your variant.
3) Now let them loose and split your traffic equally between them; this is your test
4) When your test has gathered enough data, you’ll be able to see which one has performed better – if your variant is the winner, this becomes your new control
5) Rinse and repeat

To do this, you’ll need a tool that makes your life easy. Some smart but affordable solutions include Optimizely, KISSmetrics and Unbounce.

Don’t change it all at once

When you’re cooking, you might taste your dish while it’s still on the stove and decide it’s not quite right yet. So first you add a little salt – then you taste it again. Still not it? Add a little lemon juice. Now it’s good. If you added both at the same time, you wouldn’t have been sure what made the difference, and it’s the same with A/B testing. Test only one element at a time so you know what to attribute your changes to.

Get personal

A/B testing is great but it’s only going to give the website that most people like; and we’re all individuals. If you were talking directly to a customer, you’d probably ask them questions, gauge their responses and even read their body language to help them find what they’re looking for. It’s actually not that hard to do this with your website by using conversion optimisation platforms like Yieldify – you can use these to easily target certain visitors and trigger messages based on their behaviour, like serving them a free delivery reminder if they look like they’re about to leave the site. It’s the next level in making your site more like you’re business, and it’s easily done.  

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

No matter how many years’ experience we have in the job, we still learn something every day; and the same is true of your website. Get set up with some A/B testing and conversion optimisation, and set out a list of all the things you think you could test to boost your website’s performance and then start to work through them gradually. Remember that every increase – no matter how small it seems – counts, and you’ll be building towards a website that really delivers for your business.

Yieldify is running a series of Website Optimisation Consultations at Net.Works. For full details and to see what other events and workshops we have coming up visit the Net.Works. blog.

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