I want to forget about how this applies to websites for the minute and explain my thinking. I was watching the MotoGP at the weekend and the commentators kept talking about the bike set up, tyre choice, dynamics and rider style. Basically, a whole heap of stuff that contributed towards the overall performance or result. This got me thinking, in this environment where the gap between first and second can be 0.01 of a second, you need to focus on the detail. The same applies to anything competitive from cycling to playing chess, if you focus on the detail and get that right it ads ups to something significant, it gives you the advantage you need to win.
Now, if you think about your ‘competition’ on the internet, and how small gains could amount to something that’s gives you the edge. For companies the win is getting enquiries and converting them into sales, but think about all the complex things that need to happen first. Lets look at the search for example, a user opens Google and punches in a search terms which generates billions of results. The first thing is where do you appear? If you’re in the top five then great, you’re in with a chance. Now, which company gets clicked on? Is it your page title that’s appealing because it has the word ‘cheap’, or is it the meta description that appeals because it has a free phone number? Or, is it simply the name of your company that the user finds intriguing. Okay, they’ve decided and clicked on your link, great now what do they do, you’ve got less than a second before they click away, is your message right? Does the page load quick enough? Do they know this site is for them? Success, they like what they see and want to know more but get annoyed because they want to email and not phone, where’s the email address? Too late they’ve gone.
Hopefully, you can see where I’m going with this. In the above scenario the site failed to provide a clear option for people to contact them, a small error but it cost the sale. Exactly the same as a cyclist not taking on board enough water and dehydrating.
The solution is to review, make small changes and appreciate that the detail does matter. Take a look at just a few suggestions below to give you the advantage.
Fine tune your listings
Try searching for your company using the terms you’d expect to be found for – where do you appear? If you’re at the bottom of page one, can you crank up the optimisation of those terms to gain a few positions? You may find a few blog entries are all you need to do this. Also, don’t neglect keywords, if your books show a percentage of your sales come from a particular product or service make sure they rank as high as you can get them. A few positions statistically make a big difference.
Optimise your website
Again, look at your website as a user would, be very critical. This is all about reducing the bounce rate. Here’s a checklist;
Make sure your message is clearly displayed in titles and headings.
Use graphics, images and videos to create impact and ensure your user knows they’ve come to the right place.
Landing pages – get them right. Searches don’t always take you to the home page, if people land on any page of your website does it communicate well.
Create unique, relevant content and check that it answers all your audiences questions, make sure it sells. Hey, no spelling mistakes either!
Provide a clear path for users to follow and make sure there is a call to action! Experiments show even wording and the colour of a button can increase click through rates
Check the following;
Ensure your website is fast loading, users won’t wait, they’re only a click away from a site that does render quickly.
Make sure your website works well on different devices, users will not tolerate sites that are tricky to use on a mobile for example.
Check your links, there is nothing worse than links that don’t work.
I could go on but simply understanding and appreciating the philosophy should set you on the right track. Remember guys, attention to detail wins!