Almost every client I’ve spoken to recently has started the conversation along the same lines.
Client: “We want you to do the search engine optimisation first, then we’ll think about the other things you proposed”
Me: “OK, we’ll install the analytics first and see what the search engines are achieving for you now”
And, without fail, the analytics has revealed a raft of more interesting opportunities - holes in the website that prevent visitors from converting into leads or sales.
But clients still want to focus on driving yet more visitors to their site.
I’ve heard this analogy used several times but it’s so true:
“It’s like trying to fix a leaky bucket by adding more water.”
So my first blog article is aimed at anyone thinking about driving more visitors to their site before they’ve tried to make the most of the visitors they’re getting now.
The first thing to do is install (or start using) analytics. Winston Churchill said:
“If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it”
I’ll be writing lots of posts about analytics in the near future. But in the meantime, here are a couple of examples of things to measure to help identify holes in your site:
How many visitors arrive at the page that generates leads or sales for you, but don’t do what you want?
Spend time thinking about what you can do to those pages to encourage them to act.
- Remove distractions - flashing ads and non-essential navigation may be fighting with your desired action
- Shuffle the page around - move the thing you want visitors to do to the top left of the page
- Try increasing the font sizes or changing the colour to stand out more.
- How few fields can you get your form down to?
What are visitors looking for when they arrive?
Look at the terms that search engines are referring visitors to your site for. What would you hope to find if you searched for that?
- Does your content address those visitors’ needs?
- Are there products or services that could use more emphasis?
Is your site attracting visitors for search phrases which are just plain wrong?
I have a client who sells office reception furniture. He was getting thousands of visitors but none were buying. It transpired the visitors were looking for digital radio ‘Reception Area’! We’ve since done some search engine optimisation to replace these visitors with real prospects. And we’ve removed the visitors that are at his site in error from the analytics.
Are visitors having difficulty finding your best content?
What percentage use your internal search?
If you don’t have a search facility on your site, you may want to consider it. What people search for can be very revealing.
What terms are visitors using on your internal search?
Could you improve your navigation?
Are visitors in browsing mode or buying mode?
Depending on the product or service you offer, people often research their purchases much earlier online than they would, say, on the high street. If it appears that you’re attracting a lot of visitors who are at the research stage of the buying cycle, make sure that they don’t forget you once they’ve gone off to look at your competitors.
Get them to:
- opt-in to a regular email
- subscribe to your blog
Both of these options give you the chance to drip feed your sales message to them while they’re shopping around. And chances are your competitor is not doing that so you’re increasing your chances of getting the sale.
If you don’t have the time or resources to produce regular content for email or blog then at the very least :
- offer to email a quote
- or get them to download something that’s heavily branded
Do as much as you can to get visitors to engage with your brand.
And, of course, measure how many visitors who subscribe or request a quote or download consequently become customers.
Analytics will make you sales. Focus on just one or two reports at a time and keep trying to improve how your website did last week or last month.
Have you used analytics to come up with anything interesting? I’d love to hear about it, please add a comment. Or if you’ve any questions about analytics, I’ll do my best to answer them.