As a marketer, you have various channels that you leverage to promote brand awareness, generate leads, and drive conversions. Each of these channels plays their own unique role in your marketing team’s success, but one is undoubtedly more critical than the rest: your website.
Just think—all of your other marketing efforts (e.g. email, social media ads, PPC) lead back to your website. Yet you might focus much more time and effort optimizing your emails, laser-focusing your social ads, and fine-tuning your PPC, all to forget about the end result. Social media advertising spend has steadily increased at an average of 19% per year since 2017, and 62% of marketers increased their PPC budgets last year. These other marketing channels might drive a ton of engagement, but they’ll fall flat if they lead to a generic, one-size-fits-all website that doesn’t at all resonate with your visitor.
Many websites (maybe even yours?) fall into this trap: giving the same experience to each and every last visitor, not taking into account who they are or which stage of the buying process they’re in. By treating your visitors all the same, they’ll have a poor experience and ultimately won’t find what they need, causing them to leave your site and find what they’re looking for elsewhere. This not only means lower conversion rates on your website but also lower ROI on all of your other marketing channels that are driving traffic to your static website. This is exactly what makes the website the most squandered opportunity in marketing.
So, how can you fix a low-converting website and provide each of your visitors with a dynamic, personalized experience that compels them to stay on-site and convert? In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can strategically approach website optimization in order to create a high-converting website.
A Cyclical Approach to Website Optimization
Website optimization can undoubtedly help you improve the customer experience and drive more conversions. But it’s not exactly a one-and-done, easy fix—you can’t optimize your whole website and meet every visitor’s unique needs with a one-off test. If you really want to create a high-converting website that stays high-converting, you’ll need to approach optimizing your website as a continuous cycle, where each step you take informs the next and the entire process repeats over and over again. So, how do you start this cyclical approach to website optimization? By researching your audience, of course!
Researching Your Audience
As with any of your marketing efforts, how can you successfully drive leads and conversions if you don’t know your customer? Start by looking at your analytics to learn who your customers are, what their common paths to conversion are, and where there are friction points along these paths.
On top of your analytics platform, you can leverage several tools to dive deep into customer behavior and feedback, including:
- Heatmaps: A heatmap is a graphical representation of interactions on your website, showing you which elements of your site visitors are focusing on most (e.g. which buttons or CTAs they’re clicking most frequently).
- Session replay: With session replay tools, you can gain a deeper understanding of a user’s behavior on your site by replaying the exact journey they took, enabling you to hypothesize why they took that specific path and optimize your site accordingly.
- User testing: User testing goes beyond analytics tools and involves real people navigating your website and giving feedback in real time, allowing you to truly see your website through the visitor’s eyes.
- Customer calls: For B2B marketers specifically, listen to recordings of customer calls (using a tool like Gong) held with your account management or customer success teams. These can give you great insight into their needs and pain points, and help you better understand visitors (i.e. prospective customers) in similar industries.
Developing Hypotheses Based on Your Research
Once you understand your audience and their needs, interests, and pain points, you can begin to develop hypotheses based on this research. Hypotheses remove assumptions and biases from your work, allowing you to take a more data-driven approach to website optimization.
For example, you might hypothesize that if you personalize your homepage to welcome back returning visitors and immediately serve them with a relevant call-to-action (CTA) that matches where they’re at in their journey with you, then your conversions will increase by 10%. Whether your results end up confirming or refuting your hypothesis, you can use this data to continue learning about your audience and their evolving needs and interests, and iteratively repeat this cycle by forming more hypotheses to test.
Coming Up with Ideas to Test Based on Your Hypotheses
Now that you’ve developed your hypotheses based on extensive user research, you’re ready to come up with ideas that put said hypotheses to the test. Here are some worthwhile optimization ideas to fuel your brainstorming and help you get started:
- Test your above-the-fold content. When a visitor first lands on your site, they’re looking for something to jump out at them to decide whether or not they’re in the right place and want to continue on. Test and optimize your images, headlines, CTAs, and any other above-the-fold content to see what grabs your visitor’s attention and keeps them browsing your site.
- Optimize your CTAs. Your CTAs should set clear expectations for what will happen when a visitor clicks on them. And, similar to your above-the-fold content, they should jump out at a visitor so they know what the natural next step is in the customer journey. To get your visitor to click on your CTA and set clear expectations for what comes next, optimize the look & feel (e.g. color, size, placement) and the language of your CTA.
- Streamline your forms. Lengthy forms can create a ton of friction for your visitors and cause those who were about to convert to leave your site. Consider different ways to streamline your forms, like lessening the number of form fields or adding clickable options instead of open text fields wherever possible.
- Display social proof. When you display compelling customer testimonials or case studies on your website, you’ll let your website visitors know that your product or service does what it’s supposed to do: drive results! Test where you display social proof on your site (e.g. above-the-fold or below-the-fold) and, for B2B companies specifically, personalize the case studies on your site to match your visitor’s industry or desired outcomes.
- Reassure potential buyers. Adding assurances or guarantees throughout your website helps potential buyers feel safe and secure doing business with you. E-commerce companies might consider guaranteeing delivery by a certain date or adding security badges in the checkout flow to reassure cautious customers that their payment information is protected. For B2B companies, you might add relevant privacy and compliance badges to your site (e.g. an email marketing software company might display GDPR and CCPA compliance badges).
- Maintain continuity from your other marketing campaigns. If a visitor has landed on your website from an ad or email campaign (you can identify this using UTM parameters), make sure your site or landing page is a seamless continuation of that other marketing campaign. You can maintain continuity by using similar imagery, colors, headlines, and CTAs throughout both experiences so your visitor immediately feels they’re at the right place, sees what they expected, and won’t regret clicking on your ad or email.
As you begin coming up with personalization ideas, don’t forget to think of several variations for each idea to test in tandem and learn what resonates most. For more inspiration, check out these 71 experimentation ideas.
Testing Your Ideas and Rapidly Iterating Based on Their Performance
Once you have some of your ideas up and running, you’re on your way to a higher-converting website. Next, you’ll need to review the results from each test and, taking these learnings into account, rapidly iterate on them to continue serving more and more relevant experiences to your website visitors.
Even if a test is exceeding your expectations and is driving great results, you’ll still want to iterate on it to meet your visitors’ evolving wants and needs. Their actions and behaviors change over time, and you need to keep up.
Are there other variations of this campaign you want to test? Are there new segments you want to target? Will this idea work well on another page/at another point in the customer journey? These are just a few examples of the many questions you’ll ask yourself as you continue to refine your strategy, develop new hypotheses, and run more purpose-driven tests so you can generate more conversions, leads, or purchases for your business.
Optimizing Your Website for AI Optimize
The static, one-size-fits-all website is dead. If you’re not optimizing your site for each individual visitor’s unique needs and interests, you’re missing out on valuable conversions, leads, and revenue. So, how can you overcome a low-converting website and deliver truly personalized experiences to your visitors?
With Intellimize, you can optimize your website for AI Optimize. Intellimize replaces low-converting websites with high-converting pages that suit your visitor’s unique needs in that exact moment. After all, people change all the time, and so should your website.
Request your demo today to see how Intellimize can help you capitalize on the most squandered opportunity in marketing and achieve a major uplift in website conversions.