Quality Content Conversions

Is Your Website Content Doing Its Job?

Making sure your website content is in order is important not only for SEO purposes but also for helping convert visitors on your website into leads or sales.

In our Ultimate Website Planning Guide chapter on Content is King we talk about the importance of planning and creating quality content.

To help you get your website content in order, we have put together a website content checklist for you to work through.

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New Release: The Complete Guide to Website Planning

Building a website has become an easy thing to do, or so we are led to believe.

In truth, it has, there are tools, content management systems, themes and guides everywhere that allow us to produce websites and content faster and with better quality that ever before.

Not all websites turn out to be the Business Asset they were intended to be, though.

Why is that?

My view has always been that it’s because of a lack of quality planning.

Most people approach their new web project like they do with getting fit.

They head to the gym or out the door for a run to ‘make a start‘.

As long as that’s followed up with sensible planning followed by consistent action, then they have a pretty good chance of achieving their goals.

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Will you lose traffic when Google releases it’s Mobile Friendly Change

Will you lose traffic when Google releases it’s Mobile Friendly Change on April 21?

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The writing has been on the wall for several years now about how Mobile Devices are impacting the way the internet is used and how it is impacting on businesses. Now we are about to see how this impacts the traffic (read: new prospects) we get from Google.

Last month Google gave website owners advance notice of their upcoming algorithm change. On April 21 they will be including “Mobile Friendliness” as a ranking factor.

This effectively means that if your site is not mobile friendly your ranking will be affected by it.

This is significant and follows on from the movement of much site traffic from desktop to mobile devices over the last 3-4 years. Keep in mind this isn’t just about smart phones albeit that they make up a large chunk of the traffic, it also includes Tablets and the hybrids known as Phablets.

What does this mean for you?

If your ranking for mobile devices is affected then yes you will lose important and valuable traffic!

When we look over the traffic data with our clients many of them have well over 30% of their traffic now coming from mobile devices with others now up to and over 50%.

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That means that if you haven’t already taken the necessary steps to fix your site for mobile, you potentially could be closing the door to up to HALF of your potential customers.

This reinforces how serious the impact this could be for site owners.

Note also that shift is only going to continue and the majority of traffic will in the foreseeable future be driven by non Desktop devices.

Numerous well regarded optimisation experts have highlighted the impact this could have and Google’s own Zineb Ait Bahajii was noted by Search Engine Land as stating this change will have far reaching consequences and will be bigger than either the Penguin or Panda algorithm changes.

Why is Mobile so important to Google?

It makes sense. When so many users are searching on mobile devices and want to use mobile devices why should they be pushed to a site that is unusable or difficult to use. The usability and usefulness of a site should and does impact on the way that site is ranked.

Given how big an impact the smart phone has made already it makes sense that search engines want to make sure they are providing relevant and accurate rankings to their users.

Now we are all well warned about when the change is happening the race is on to make sure your site complies and will not be adversely affected.

So what can you do?

Hopefully you already have a responsive design in place for your site and so now it’s about ensuring it performs well rather than actually having to majorly fix your web properties.

There are some easy tests you can run to see what sort of mobile friendly state your site is in.

Google has provided guidance to site owners on how to best improve their sites for this change, and predominantly their recommendation is to use Responsive Design as your main strategy in rebuilding/ reworking your websites. While that isn’t the only method it is their recommended method and we have written previously about that.

They have also been sending out notifications to site owners on issues commonly found on sites, even those using responsive design, as they seek to ensure that the mobile standards adhered to are even higher than they previously requested. They are now directly forcing us as developers and you as site owners to ensure you focus heavily on usability especially across mobile devices.

There are simple tests you can run to check your sites mobile performance:

  1. The Mobile Friendly Test
  2. Google PageSpeed Insights

These will highlight some key issues, and many sites will show some issues on the 2nd test even when they pass the Mobile Friendly Test. Utilising WordPress or Drupal with responsive Themes won’t necessarily make you fully compliant as there are a number of more complex issues that might need addressing depending on how you run your site. If you are using less current or up to date site content management issues / themes you may have more to consider.

Note that the Mobile Friendly Test is just stage 1 of the process. If you fail that, then you have a much more urgent need to address. Get your site responsive and fast! (we can help with that)

If you pass the Mobile Friendly Test then the second test becomes an area that you need to focus on and improve. Especially the Usability areas. These areas are also highlighted in Google Webmaster tools Mobile Friendliness Section.

Run the tests and if what you see worries you let me know so I can discuss your options before the deadline.

 

Related Posts:

 

Website goals should be commercial

Are you making the mistake most people make with their website goals?

If you haven’t seen my recent video about Goal Setting for your website (as part of Writing a Better Website Scope) then you should! This post offers an additional very important thought process to the goal setting, to avoid making the mistake many people make.

What I discovered when I was discussing that video with many clients and colleagues was how wrong people were setting their goals.

Not only was it wrong but if those goals went through to being implemented (as many rushed to do) the end result was a weak or distracted website focus.

Here’s the big take outs:

  • Don’t use tactics as goals
  • Don’t confuse all your marketing goals with your website goals
  • Stop designing in your scoping process
  • Make your goal a commercial objective

In my goal setting video I talked about setting one primary goal and possibly 2 sub goals. Go watch it if you haven’t already and you can download the linked template.

A primary goal is just that. The primary goal you are setting for your website.

The Example:

Your business sells Shoes. You have physical stores and an online store. Your business goal is to sell more shoes overall with an improved profit margin etc.

You will then outline marketing goals that will help this be achieved as well as operational goals.

In these goals you will set website goals. In doing this you have outlined that you want to increase sales and get better profitability per sale by increasing the repeat sales through the site.

So the Primary goal for the site will be: “Increase sales on the website for shoes by X % to Y Level by Z date”.

Note: No mention of repeat sales.

In our above business goal there was an AND between increased sales and better profitability.

A sub goal could then be: “Increase repeat sales on the site by D %”.

If we make the repeat sales the primary goal then we may not end up with the key primary result which is increasing sales overall.

Why is this important?

The purpose of scoping a website is to invest upfront in planning to get the right result in development.

It will help make decisions not only in the build phase but also afterwards when measuring the results.

If making a sale is the most important part of your site then as you scope it out each and every decision will be based around that.

What do you mean Tactics as goals?

By this I mean don’t put a squeeze box on your home page to get someone to sign up to your newsletter when your primary goal was Sell more shoes.

If your primary goal is entirely get more signups to my newsletter, I still doubt I would have a squeeze box on my home page. That lacks understanding of the process of selling people on value.

If you want to sell more shoes then on your home page your home page goal will be based around that. If you know you need to get people to see the current specials to engage them first, before showing them other offerings this is part 1 of the sales process on this site.

You use tactics to meet a goal, not to be a goal.

The correlation between getting people onto our newsletter and then getting them to buy is a process that you need to craft into your overall site and process, not to make it the primary focus in development.

This isn’t the post to cover that topic in depth.

This post is about focusing back on what your real primary goal is.

Get SO tunnel visioned on what your END is that you narrow it down to the major result you need to get success in your business from this website.

Is it:

  • More sales
  • More leads
  • More signups
  • Faster Customer support
  • ??

Get clear. Really clear. Write it down.

Get REALLY clear on what you are trying to achieve and NOT how you are going to achieve it.

When you are trying to design how things will work before you even have a clear set of goals is when you mess this up. Don’t design anything until you are well into the scoping. Just clearly outline what you need as measurable results!

SO when setting your goals:

  • Set goals that are about your business (not other peoples)
  • Make sure the goal is simple and improves your business
  • ONE primary goal. What is the main purpose of your site in supporting your business?
  • Sub goals are fine, just know the hierarchy of your goals
  • Don’t bother even thinking about how it will look or even exactly how it will function, just state the goals
  • Write then down and stick them on page one of your scope

That’s what Ireckon! What do you reckon.

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See our “Complete Guide to Website Planning“. A Free Online guide to help you set goals and plan your next website

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PS. Of course if you can’t be bothered with all this and want to pay me to come and do all this for you, that’s great. I look forward to your call

Setting Clear and Useful Goals for your Website

This post covers how to go about Setting Goals for your website and more importantly how to make them “clear and useful“!

If you are like most people then you are probably thinking that you have goal setting down and are pretty clear on how to set goals. Well that is probably correct. The issue is are you applying the same principles to your business website scoping / planning process and the ongoing management of your website?

An easy way to answer this is to think about your monthly performance meetings for your site/s.  How many times do you review statistics and information and discuss it based around your goals?

Like many of us you may well probably get caught up in how many leads or sales it generated at a high level but not necessarily did it meet the goals you set.

Some of you might we wondering why goal setting is up front in the process. Well imagine building out an entire website plan or scope and getting it quoted and approved only to realise you had completely missed something business critical. It happens. It is so easy to get caught up in the technology or design discussions that the core of what you are aiming to achieve is overlooked.

Many times people forget to outline the specific goal and generalise what they want.

“We need a more modern look for our company” is a design and feeling based statement but not a goal that means anything tangible to the business.

Imagine coming to me as your Car Broker and asking me to get you a car in the next two weeks for a very important event. You tell me you want it with less than a set number of kms on the clock and it should be red or white. You even suggest you quite like 2 or 3 types of vehicles. I go and rent you a vehicle that matches these specification, that you agree like the look of and have it sitting outside your office for you on the agreed date.

I leave the keys at reception for you and feel like i fulfilled my part of this deal. Then you ring me all upset telling me the car is not going to work properly because the reason you needed it was to get 7 people to an event all together.

That Mini I got you doesn’t work for the actual specifics of what you needed it to achieve.

The missing piece – what your actual goal and need for it was.

Take a listen to the video and think about your goals.

Here is the website-goals template.

If you haven’t read Part 1 you can here: You can write a better website scope.

Transcript:

Welcome to part two in the series on How to Write a Better Scope for Your Website or App.

In the previous post we laid the ground work of why the scope is really important, and there is also a video about thinking about how you cost out websites and apps as well. Hopefully you’ve had a look at those.

In this video we’re going to talk specifically about one of the most important parts of the scope, and that’s goals, and why the goals are so very important to getting a great scope.

So you might think you know everything about goals. In other areas of your life and in business you might have great goal setting regimens. We want to touch on these very quickly today, go through them, and give some guidance on why they’re so important and how you include them in your scope.

So why goals? Stephen Covey talked about beginning with the end in mind, and that’s pretty much what we’re talking about here.

The goal for your site is the destination that your scope will be the roadmap for. Without a destination you might as well just get in the car and drive. That probably makes you like 80% or 90% of people rolling out websites. They have loose goals, they just need a website. They need to get something fulfilled and they tick those boxes and move on. We’re not going to be like them.

The goals that we want to set here are going to help us stay really focused on what matters as far as the whole development and build process that will come later. So that’s why I want you to listen and focus on the goal.

There are only a limited number of goals that you can use in reality in the website; there are not 50 different types. So in general terms the types are sales, enquiries or leads, calls as you want to generate clicked calls or phone calls, sign ups or other forms of positive engagement. So that might be a download of an e-book, it might be sign up for a newsletter, a sign up for a product, or a webinar.

There’s a whole raft of positive engagement experiences that could go on on a website that might lead to future conversions, but they can be a significant goal. Traffic – less people are so concerned about generating raw random unqualified traffic these days, but maybe that’s a goal and this isn’t about telling you what your goals should be, it’s about helping identify goals and set them.

There are other types of goals, but these are the primary goals that you’re likely to be thinking about when scoping your website. For the exercise I want you to pick just one primary goal, and this is really, really important. Later on when we have to make some critical decisions in the development and design phases of the site and defining a scope, there can be conflicts, there can be issues that compete. So we need a hierarchy of goals that are most important to our business objectives that we are focusing on.

You can have a couple of other sub-goals, and when we go through the exercise, the template that I’ll give you allows you to do that. Obviously you can write as many as you want, but I really want you to focus on what these are and really nail down that primary goal. If I want to generate more sales then that’s what we want to focus on, and then there might be some other parts of the process that lead to that that we know, and we’ll get to those.

This is a hugely important part of the communication for the team that you are going to be working with. Everyone from copywriters to designers and developers, picking that primary goal and being able to identify it will really improve your processes.

Get specific. All goals are like this.

Not increase sales but a thousand sales of a certain product, or a thousand sales across all our products with an average spend of $150.

I want you to break down your goals into something much more specific like this. Unless there’s a really special need, we don’t want all the focus on a low margin accessory rather than the primary product that we want to sell.

So you really need to think about what goal and what specific goal matters more than others. Use some research if you really have got it. If you really know a lot about previous interactions on your site, what sells better, what you think should sell better, what your competitors are selling, use that knowledge.

Go look at your statistics, but get really realistic about these goals. It’s much easier to go from ten sales to twenty than ten to a hundred. So set something that’s achievable, but also within your goals of your business.

Let’s not get way, way out there unless it’s a two or three-year stretch goal. Make sure that they’re measurable, because that’s how we’re going to validate this whole process, both to your boss or the budgeting process. However we’re going to work on it we need to be able to say, look, we did this, we achieved that. Write them down. There’s a template that I’ve provided that you can use.

You can use your own documents, but if we’re going to be writing a scope, recording the information is really, really critical. So what we want to do is a really simple step, defining this, putting them on paper, but it’s really, really important about what comes next.

So quickly to recap, get really specific about what your new site needs to achieve. What is the goal? Have a primary goal. Use two other secondary goals, maximum. Set very specific measurable targets for them that are both realistic and important and write them down. That’s it.

We’ve covered the goals and that’s all we need to know right now. Download the documents. You can see it below the video in the attached post. Then in the next series we’ll be talking about site architecture and how we draft the blueprints for what the site will turn to. I really appreciate you listening.

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See our “Complete Guide to Website Planning“. A Free Online guide to help you set goals and plan your next website