Striving for Continuous Website Marketing Improvement
It’s a mistake to think about your website marketing efforts as set-it-and-forget-it investments.
You're probably thinking, "Well, yeah. That's pretty obvious!"
It’s unlikely that you aren’t aware of the value and importance of a steady stream of fresh content on your website at this point in the maturity of the web as a digital marketing tool. And you’re almost certainly already aware of the necessity to integrate your website into your marketing more broadly, from your email marketing to your social media efforts to your CRM system.
All of which means you have a pretty dynamic website. It doesn’t look the same today as it did six months ago.
But that’s not where your growth-focused thinking should end. If you seek to continually improve your marketing performance, you have to implement incremental changes to your website on a regular basis.
Finding the Right Frequency for Marketing-Focused Website Updates
How frequently you make these changes will depend on your site's traffic volume and the resources you have to identify opportunities for improvement and to make the necessary changes .
Regardless of frequency, the key is to make changes systematically and track performance so you know what's working and what isn't.
The improvements you make should be based on three kinds of data:
- Straightforward analytics metrics
- Feedback from prospects, clients, your sales team, and other client-facing staff
- Your gut
That last one is sure to be either a shock to your system or to make you sigh with relief. Even with data-driven marketing being all the rage — and justifiably so, in most situations — there’s no reason not to lean on your years of experience and what your inner voice is telling you.
For example, a client of ours didn’t have a lot of data to back up the changes she wanted to make to a section of her website that was neither outperforming nor lagging behind other content. She just had a hunch that changes would have an impact on engagement and lead generation.
We helped her update the presentation of this particular content in a way that made it more useful beyond the website, easier to connect to through her email marketing, and far more sharable on social media.
We also worked to update her analytics so that future updates in this areas could be based on metrics, as well any hunches the client had.
What Will Move the Marketing Needle?
Not sure what might move the needle? The best places to start include these:
- Calls to action
- Content gating strategies
- Progressive profiling parameters
- Page layout and design
- Pull quotes
- CTA placement
Changes to any one of these could yield measurable improvements in engagement or conversion rates. And taking small actions on a regular basis are likely lead to more meaningful website marketing improvements than a large investment in a website “refresh” or relaunch every two or three years.
Overall, the key to continuous improvement in your marketing is measurement. Experimentation and adjustment can easily become change for change’s sake, if you’re not measuring impact.
I would also caution against chasing after the latest shiny object. That’s a real danger, if you implement a policy of incremental changes without a long-term plan documented and agreed to by your entire team. Know where you want to go in the long-term and take short-term actions to move you closer to your digital marketing goals.
Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured?
A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms encourage audience engagement through solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either.
His work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components, and he has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events. His writing appears in various online and print publications.
Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")