Website Optimization Playbook Design = Traffic + Leads = Revenue
DESIGN + USABILITY GET FOUND ONLINE CONTENT CONVERSION 1. GET FOUND 3. CONTENT STRATEGY Messaging Blogging Social & Shareable Content Other Forms of Content 4. CONVERSION Calls-to-Action Landing Pages Forms Newsletters Linking Strategy On-Page SEO XML Site Maps 301 Redirects • • • • • • • • 2. DESIGN + USABILITY First Impression Consistency Imagery Navigation Accessibility • • • • • • • • •
Gone are days where all it took was a URL, Flash, and an expensive ad campaign to temporarily boost traffic. The reason for this shift? Changing user behavior. Today’s user consumes information when and how they want, often without the involvement of a sales pitch. They want to be educated – not sold.
New forms of content are a life-saving vitamin in the customer lifecycle. We need to integrate each of theminto the web experiences we create.
FIRST THING’S FIRST… KNOW THE USER
Female, age 65 – post graduate, married w/ 2 grown children Annual HH Income = $125,000 “The internet is a functional tool, I don’t want to express myself online. I like emailing, checking the news, sport & weather but also online shopping. I’m not very interested in running my social life online and I’m worried about privacy and security. I’m older and have been using the internet for a long time.” • • INTERNET USAGE & COMMUNICATION - Over 50% smartphone owners; < 20% tablet - Communication Preferences: Email, website, social media (Facebook) - Purchase Behavior: Travel, flights, computer hardware, software, books EFFECTIVE TACTICS - Email blasts/newsletters/response, Facebook, organic SEO, Pinterest, website features - Most likely to convert: 9:00 to 9:30am
College-educated Female, age 45 - Married with 2 older children, 1 in Household Suburban, Annual HH Income: Over $100k “I use the internet to gain knowledge, information and to educate myself about the world. I’m not a big user of social networks but I do want to hear from like-minded people especially to help me make purchase decisions. I’m very interested in the latest thing.” • • INTERNET USAGE & BEHAVIOR: - Over 50% smartphone owners; < 20% tablet - Communication Preferences: Email, website, social media, SMS/mobile, online communities - Purchase Behavior: Travel, gifts, software, books, telecommunications, banking, insurance EFFECTIVE TACTICS: - Email newsletters/response, SEO/SEM, social media, website features, blogging, web video - Social Tactics: Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, Twitter
PART 1: GET FOUND ONLINE
Social Media - Profile Links / Nav - Bitly links in Posts - Social share meta tags Blog + PR + RSS Feeds Cross-Site Linking on Stjude.org Social Bookmarking - Delicious, StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc. Brightcove + YouTube - Campaign Links in YouTube Channel Navigation - Push campaign promo videos to YouTube - Optimize YouTube for clicks to the site • Tagged bitly links • Call-to-Action overlays and / or annotations Directories - DMOZ - Local - Blogs - Review Sites
• Pick a primary keyword for each page But remember to write for humans first …Search engines second. • Place keyword(s) in headline & sub- heads • Image file names & ALT tags • Header Tags (H1 – H6) • Page URLs • Keyword density of body content
Title Tags - The ONLY remaining meta tag that affects Google rankings - NEVER begin it with the brand name Meta Description - Unique for every single page - While it can’t boost, duplicate meta descriptions can significantly hurt your search ranking Keywords - Improve on-site search rank & SEM - Too many tells Google SPAM
Not the public HTML sitemap used as an index for content, but rather a dynamically built sitemap that updates on a regular basis to include the most current pages of any site as we create them. Typically, this is only available for subdomains (www.product.brandX.com) or campaigns that have a separate URL (www.ProductX.com) • Separates the campaign from holistic site to reduce clutter • Tells search engines to rank campaign over stjude.org for certain keywords • Prioritizes landing pages by user intention - Home Page = title search - FAQs = informational / inquiry search - Register = decision search - Donate = Conversion-style search query
1. Easy way to prevent 404 problems – with Google & the user 2. Tells Google that many different URLs are all one page improves ranking 3. Friendly URLs (e.g., unfunnel.com/joey-is-awesome) also help keyword ranking and the overall user experience with the campaign site
PART 2: DESIGN & USABILITY
Tips for Great Web Design - Proper use of colors: Use the right colors for your audience to draw attention to select elements. Don’t try to make everything jump out – or nothing will stand out. Avoid a chaotic mix of colors and instead pick 2 to 4 colorsfor your web templates. - Animations, gadgets and media:Avoid anything unnecessary. No Flash animations, no animated background and NO background music. - Layout: Create a clear navigation structure and organize page elements in a grid fashion (as opposed to randomly scattered). And don’t be afraid of white space– avoid clutter! Your site represents who we are and what we offer the user. When people see it for the first time, they’re thinking… 1. Is this credible / believable? 2. Is it trustworthy? 3. Is this a REAL business / event / product? 4. 5. Is this company stable? Does this site make me feel welcome? 6. Am I in the right place?
Consistent design elements such as Logo, Navigation, Links & Colors
RELEVANCE Effectiveness increases as connection between image and perceived value becomes clearer. Choose images with direct implication of value. Most important…NO STOCK IMAGES! REALITY The force of an image increases with authenticity. Images bring realism that reduces the “virtual distance” between an offering and the user’s perception of its value. Choose images that help the visitor see and touch the core value. I’m a happy customer! RELATIVE WEIGHT Image effectiveness increases with relative graphical proportion. Used properly, images should draw the natural eye-path of a visitor, bringing more force to the value communicated by the image. Too many visual elements only confuse the visitor.
In order to gain significant traffic, your site needs to be compatible with multiple browsers and devices. Make sure anyone visiting your website can view it no matter what browser or application they are using.
PART 3: CONTENT STRATEGY
Questions to ask yourself about anyweb experience… 1. Will the user know what the campaign does for them – within seconds? 2. Will they understand what page they're on and what it's about? 3. Will they know what to do next? 4. Why should they sign-up or convert to your offer over any other?
1. Create a few headlines and sub-headline ideas for your most important pages. Use a powerful value proposition and avoid clichés, gratuitous poetry or corp-speak. 2. Include clear call-to-actions and next steps. Include links in your copy, next step links at the end and calls-to-action where appropriate. 3. Test your copy. For the most accurate indicator of winning headlines, use A/B testing to see which variation drives the most conversions.
• In donation-specific content, speak to your audience.Use words like “you,” and “we.” Be transparent. Make yourself sound human. Speak their language. • Write as if you are helping them solve their problems.Avoid “we are the best” or “Brand X was blah blah blah” speak. Instead, use “this is how we help you ______ with _____” • Offer more than just the ask. Provide calendars, eCards, videos, and other value-added content. This nurtures prospects until they’re ready to buy. Plus, they get a story – not a sales pitch.
• Provide unique content. People love it and so do search engines. • Evidence when needed. If using facts, awards, testimonials, etc., back up with sources and give credit when it’s due. • Write for humans, not search engines. People don’t read like robots. • Know your subject well. You probably don’t want a mechanic writing about brain surgery. Accurate equals quality. • Provide value with educational content that helps others. • Keep content fresh.Having news that’s two years old still on your home page probably gives visitors a bad feeling. • Know your audience. Providing content specific to users makes it more relevant for them, and in turn, higher quality.
Avoid “Gobbledygook” Next Generation Flexible Robust Scalable Easy to use Cutting edge Ground breaking Best of breed Mission critical And so on…(I think you’ve had enough) Be Clear, NOT Clever. If awareness is one of your goals, then step 1 is ultimately to be understood. Just be clear with what you want people to do on your site.
Reasons you need a Blog: 1. Creates fresh content and more pages of unique content, which is great for SEO 2. Establishes you as industry thought leader 3. Helps drive more traffic back to your website – and captures more leads than ANY tactic 4. Enables lead capture via “Subscribe” or “Sign Up for Updates” calls-to-action 5. A great way to get inbound links!
• Product Reviews - on content, products, and campaigns. Let donors fundraise for us with insights next to info we provide. • Become a Social Network - Do donors log-in on your site? We have social sign- in for updates, information, or support. Why not offer social features like forums, reviews, etc., using the same tools? • Encourage Commenting - Allow user comments and ideas – give ownership via blogs, forums or a My Starbucks Idea, where feedback drives programs. • Plant social sharing across all core offerings and calls-to-action. • Allow Users To Curate Content – A website full of new content is hard. Give users power to submit content they create or find.
Visual Content Types: 1. Imagery (e.g., Infographics) 4. Online Utility Tools (e.g., Giving Calculator) 2. Video 5. Games 3. Audio 6. You name it!
• Provide authentic customer stories and don’t hide these behind a form! • Place real, short and powerful testimonials on your site. - Consider placing testimonials on certain topics on the pages relevant to them • The more proof you have – the better - Make it part of strategy to collect case studies and testimonials when possible • Leverage other online sites that provide reviews like Yelp or Google
PART 4: CONVERSION
• Make them bigger and bolder than most elements, but don’t overdo it. • Make the CTA look clickable. Use buttons or add a hover effects. • Consider colors of the CTA, whether it is a link, button or image. • Less is more. Keep it simple and clear what is being offered. • Offer CTAs that provide value, like events, reports, rewards, donations, sign-up, etc. • Test when possible. Different colors, effects, shapes, words, and placement. “Contact Us” is the worst form of a CTA
Segment offers by Customer Lifecycle. Place lead gen offers (newsletter sign-up, download) on top-level pages. Next-level CTAs (demo, event register, free trial) as user digs deeper. CTAs both above and below the fold. Above the fold area gets the most views. Be sure to add some at the bottom and within body content as well. Some studies suggest placing CTAs to the right of the page work better…but testing this will ultimately determine what’s best for your website.
Use Thank-You Pages for Additional CTAs. Seen right after someone completes a web form. There’s often plenty of real estate to offer more CTAs. Once a prospect completes a form, don’t stop there. Offer them additional ways to help (demos, trial purchases, social shares, 1x versus Membership, etc.). Test, Test, Test! It’s unclear which version will drive the conversions. Test different placements to know which one works best for your site.
Brief description and bullets to scan. Form directly on page with sub-head re- emphasizing the offer. Content focuses on value. Not too long. • • Main navigation has been removed Logo remains in the top left corner. Clear headline describing the offer. Clear image of the offer. Social share icons (bottom left - not shown) • • • • • • •
Not all CTAs need to be big offers. You should definitely offer a newsletter subscription on your website. Newsletters or mailing lists are the perfect way to collect email addresses so you can nurture leads over time to become customers. Just make sure it’s easy for people to find your subscription form!