People start web site redesign for many reasons. Sadly, sometimes it is hard to formulate the right reasons to start a complex project to overhaul your website.
This is why the task is so hard – we know subconsciously that there is something wrong with the site, but have trouble putting it in words. Often website owners say they “do not like the site.” Well, that is a little generic, isn’t it? Then, they come back with, “This green border color is just terrible.” Ok, getting warmer, but not quite hot yet.
Finally, “I just want them to sign up!” A-ha! Now we are talking.
Fundamentally, dissatisfaction with a website stems from the feeling that it is useless for your business. Many website owners feel that they have to have a website because everyone does, but the site does not bring any value. Of course, if you put some thought into creating your website and plan for it to be useful, you will be more satisfied with it because you will be able to see the value.
I already talked about starting a website redesign process. The initial planning and brainstorming is completed. In this post I am going to collaborate a little more on Conversion audit. After all, your website is for your visitors. They are the ones who will be navigating through your website. If they get lost, they will not require search and rescue. They will leave. And that is not what you want. Know your audience, but start with your business goals.
What are your business Goals?
If you have a business, you have business goals. If you have a website, it will definitely help you achieve those goals. I suggest you review those goals regularly and check how your website fits into the revenue-generating process. Some people call it website optimization. I call it common sense.
How do you make money?
No matter if you are a small brick and mortar business or a corporation, you have a way to make revenue. You do not need to be an e-commerce business to make money online. However, you have to be really clear on how your business makes money in real life. Do you sell products or services? What is your sales cycle? What is your unique business proposition? What makes you the preferred choice? What products or services make you most money? How would you like your business to develop?
After thinking through all those points, integrate your website into this. You have been in business for some time now. You know what works in real life. There is no reason it cannot work on your website. You just need to make sure that your website has the same goals as your main business. If you sell products, figure out a way how your website can help you do that. If it is services that you are offering, employ your website’s assistance as well. In other words, your site needs to contribute to the bottom line of the business, it has to be accountable for bringing in revenue.
Who is your audience?
Now that you know what you sell, state who you sell it to. You have to define your audience. You have done your market research, you know who needs your products and who uses your services. Same thing applies to your website. You need to target your audience with your message, with your design, and with your requests. Everything about your website should say, “We know what you are looking for and our stuff is the best for you. See?”
For example, if you are selling educational toys, here is your demographic according to Yahoo Clues:
As you can see, men are not at all interested in educational toys. Moreover, there is not much interest in women either until age 25. Then, it grows rapidly until the age of 44.
May I assume, that women start having children when they are 25. That’s when they start getting interested in educational toys. By the age of 44, the women have done all they could in advancing their babies’ education and entrusted schools and colleges with further development of their offsprings.
Therefore, your primary audience is females 35 to 44, who also look for discovery toys. learning toys and educational games. You can go from there to target your message to women. You know now not to bother with men – they are not going to buy your product. And yes, add some pink to your buttons, will ya?
What do they care about?
Your visitors will only buy from you if you give them a compelling reason. If they care about prices, yours should be the lowest out there. If they care about quality – focus on that. And if status matters to them, your site should scream “exclusive!!” like nobody else. Giving your visitor what they care about is part of knowing your audience. Talk to your sales people, they’ll tell you a couple of secrets about your customers.
In our example above, our audience is women who want to advance their children’s abilities. What does that mean? The kids do not need to solve Goldbach’s conjecture. All they need to do is read, write and count well in addition to some basic logical skills. Well, make those categories easy to find.
What do you want your visitors to do?
This is the most important part of your website – call to action. So, the visitor is on your website, they think you are the guy for the job. Now what? What can they do on your site? If you want them to shop, don’t be bashful about putting shopping links and buttons on your pages. If you want them to subscribe to your newsletter, make sure it is obvious and easy to do so. Make it painfully clear where the visitor is (your company page), what they can do there (subscribe to your newsletter, buy a widget, etc.) and why they should do it (you won consumer choice award for 5 years in a row).
Nobody is going to guess the action you want people to take. You need to tell them! Do not mention just the main action. Come up with things that can help you along the way. Have product updates when you want to keep potential customers engaged. Give them a reason to follow you on Facebook. Ask them to contribute to charity because you are matching the contributions. Whatever it is, figure out smaller ways to engage with your target visitor so they become your customer for life.
Reward your brand ambassadors. They are promoting your products for free. Give them something unexpected, be nice, show appreciation.
Your website is for your visitors
It is not that important that you like your site. What is most important that your visitors do. And they will like your website if they can quickly get what they came for. If you do it right, the main reason people will visit your site is to give you money.