Is Your Site Ready for Primetime?
When a marketing campaign underperforms, the knee jerk reaction from many advertisers is to blame the traffic. Now, obviously not all traffic is created equal, but there are many reasons for the success or failure of a campaign, and the traffic quality is just one component. To help advertisers increase post-click conversions and ROI, I’ve developed a basic checklist of things to consider before you start driving traffic.
[ ] Core Value – Is it clear to everyone who visits your site what core need your business addresses? Is your product positioning in line with the important factors in the audience’s consideration set, and does your website speak to this clearly and concisely?
[ ] Marketing Mix – Are all the aspects of your marketing mix competitive and in line with consumer expectation?
[ ] Acquisition Calculation and KPIs – Have you penciled out your acquisition plan and set benchmarks for performance? Are these goals realistic and attainable in a dynamic and competitive media environment?
[ ] Data and Measurement – Is your analytics program comprehensive enough to track and optimize site performance against your KPIs? Are you measuring and analyzing the data frequently enough to adapt? Are you tracking performance source by source alongside customer LTV?
[ ] Sales Funnel – Is your site set up to move people down a monetization path? Are you appealing to both object-orientated ‘search types’ as well as shoppers that like to ‘discover’ and browse? Is your sales funnel robust enough to qualify a visitor without including extraneous steps that stall conversions?
[ ] Partial Conversions – Is there a mechanism to capture email address or partial conversions and remarket to the user after the visit session is complete? Is this automated and conversion focused?
[ ] Architecture and Performance – Is your site structured, coded, and optimized for user experience, load time, and search engines?
[ ] Compatibility – Have you thoroughly tested your site on all browsers and major device types?
[ ] Focus Groups – Have you conducted live tests with focus groups where you ask users from different cross sections of your target audience to perform certain functions or tasks expected of a future customer?
[ ] Testing – Do you have a process in place to test, optimize, and retest specific aspects of your site? Do you experiment regularly with elements such as headlines, CTA buttons, and images?
[ ] Five Second Rule – Is it clear within five seconds of hitting your landing page what you are offering and what the user needs to do next?
[ ] FAB – Are the Features, Advantages, and Benefits of your offer and service true differentiators, and are they in line with your core value proposition, positioning, and marketing mix?
[ ] Credibility – Are you leveraging testimonials, success stories, social endorsements, and reviews to demonstrate your credibility?
[ ] Congruence – Is there a flow and continuity between advertisements and the landing page experience?
[ ] Personalization – Are there opportunities to personalize the experience using first-party cookie data or parameters passed by your traffic driving partners?
[ ] Social Value – Are you properly utilizing the latest and most relevant social media platforms, ranging from Facebook to Instagram to Etsy?
Your should always consider your website a work in progress, not a finished product. Each element of the checklist represents a foundational element of your site that should be continuously optimized based on new data and competitive insights. This isn’t confined to just your own site; evaluate other sites in your industry to understand how you compare and where you’re behind.
The performance world is one where the winners take the spoils and the best traffic sources gravitate towards the top performing offers. Continuously evolving your website to improve the user experience, drive conversions, and capture more meaningful analytics provides a significant competitive advantage. How definitive that advantage is depends on how easily and how quickly your work can be replicated, meaning, as with most things, the more time and effort you invest, the greater the reward.
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