Part deux: A tale of two websites.
Or “redesign your website for THEM (not for YOU) and the results will knock your cyber socks off.”
You’ll remember that last time, we told you how TFG (that’s us) decided to redesign our website – and why we decided to do it.
A new day has dawned in Fowlerville…
In the first two months after re-launching our website (with its continual new content), traffic has doubled: from 976 visitors in August to 2,048 in October. We’re now averaging twice as many page views from the previous three months, with a 20% lower bounce rate. (In geek-speak, “bounce rate” means how long it takes folks to leave your website and scurry down another virtual rabbit hole, possibly never to return.)
Not only are we seeing twice as many visitors but they’re hanging around twice as long: from 1.5 minutes to 3+ minutes. Like most stats, you can read a lot into all this (with some stuff read between the lines), but this means either:
1) You guys are actually reading our content, or
2) We’re more effective than Ambien.
Judging by the increase in qualified sales leads generated by our website redesign, it’s definitely option #1.
“So how many leads?” you ask? We gathered MORE QUALIFIED SALES LEADS in 10 short weeks than in the entire last 18 months. COMBINED.
The moral of our tale is…
While the story of TFG’s redesign is definitely inspiring, this is really all about YOU and how to improve YOUR company’s website.
For starters, you should audit your website for:
• Design: I betcha it’s way too cluttered to be effective (make a list of what MUST be there and what really should go).
• Content: Is your stuff as dry as a rice cake? Would you consume it (let alone come back for seconds and thirds)? You need to feed your audience something that’s both tasty and nutritious for their business.
• Target Audience: I betcha you haven’t narrowed like you think you have (if I’m your potential customer, I should know it almost instantly and, if not, I should get that I’m at the wrong club).
• Calls to Action: 10 bucks says it’s not as obvious to your visitors as they’d like it to be. Make it clear what next step they should take (and how to take it).
Are you measuring and tracking your site? Take a good look at your pages. Can you definitively say why your buttons look the way they do? Their colors? Or shapes? If you didn’t test this stuff at the outset, you’re essentially flying blind.
Did you ever test buttons vs. hyperlinks? If your answer is “uh, no” then we need to talk. You’d be amazed how these seemingly insignificant (non) decisions can add up to significantly measurable differences in your site’s overall effectiveness. Remember: Measure + Test + Track. You might want to get a tattoo of that.
Do you have a dead shark on your hands?
To borrow from Woody Allen: “A website, I think, is like a shark. If it’s not constantly moving forward it dies.”
If you’re not continually updating and freshening your site, you might as well pack it in. Do you still have the “Come to our 2009 Open House” message somewhere? Are there references (or links) to employees who no longer work there? Is your last blog post from a year ago? No wonder your site isn’t doing much for your business.