How to use data to make better web design and digital marketing decisions

I got a call the other day with the question “How can we improve our website,” and the statement, “We need to do social media.”

Before I jumped in with “Yeah, I can do that and here are my rates,” I wanted to figure out why they needed to change their site, what changes would make the most sense, and why they wanted to do social media.

So, I put on my detective’s hat and started analyzing the data, letting that help answer a lot of questions that might not seem so obvious on first glance. We looked at their sales goals, website traffic, and the ratio of traffic to online sales. Because I let the data tell the story, I was able to recommend specific web design changes that would help them convert more sales and a digital marketing strategy that would drive more traffic to their site.

Here’s a quick play-by-play so you can see how this conversation unfolded.

Before I got on the phone, I did my homework. I took a look at their site and saw that I was a good fit because I’d worked with similar businesses so I could predict what they needed and what their clients needed. I took at a look at their social activity, search engine position, and online reputation. I also figured out what platform they were using so I knew what was possible and what wasn’t.

We talked about their pain points. The fact is, they had always relied on word-of-mouth marketing. But ever since they relocated to a new community, word-of-mouth marketing wasn’t serving them as well so they were relying on their website even more to establish themselves in their new community and fill their sales funnel.

I asked more strategic questions around sales goals. We talked about what their sales goals should be and where they are today. Then I looked at their site to see how their site is aligned with their sales goals. We saw that their primary service was visible on the site. So why weren’t they getting more sales for that service? Digging in further, we looked at website analytics and saw that the most important page on their site wasn’t getting the amount of visitors they would need to meet their sales goal. Ah ha! We identified the first web design problem!

The pain point:
Not enough sales for their primary service offering.

The analysis:
Web traffic to the primary service offering page was way below what it should be in relation to their sales goals.

The solution:

  1. Somehow the service offering teaser on the home page wasn’t compelling the reader to click. Rewrite the copy on the home page so it talks about benefits. Replace the images so they are relevant to the service and benefits so the audience could relate.
  2. Create a compelling call to action (CTA) with a visible button and a reason to click. This is the first point of conversion. Once a visitor clicks, that’s their first “yes”. Depending on the typical conversion cycle, the CTA could be a “learn more” type of button if the sales cycle involves some education. Otherwise, then the CTA button should lead the visitor right into the sales funnel.
  3. Track the website analytics to identify the impact these changes had on user trends. Also, track sales against traffic patterns to figure out the conversion ratio. Make adjustments based on the data.

After the changes to the site are made to help improve on-site conversion, it’s time to start getting more traffic. When they asked, “What else should we do on our site,” I thought it was a good time to circle back to their initial request for social media.

Since I had experience working with businesses in their specific vertical, I could provide a simple and effective formula for their digital marketing strategy. The goals of this strategy are to drive more traffic to their site. But it’s also important to keep their efforts to a minimum so they can focus on running their business while maximizing their impact with a minimal investment.

Here’s the digital marketing strategy:

  1. Add a blog to the site and write at least two blog posts a week on topics that are relevant to their target market. Make sure that the blog posts are keyword optimized so they will benefit from improved SEO, too. I have a free blogging course to help new bloggers get started.
  2. Create an RSS email newsletter. The emails will automatically send out when new blog posts are published, saving time with automation and increasing visibility by proactively reaching out to a group of people who have opted in and look forward to receiving their emails.
  3. Make sure that the blog is set up for social sharing. Start by sharing the blog post to their own social sites to gain more visibility with people who are more likely to receive their news via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Readers can also syndicate to their own social profile, increasing visibility to a whole new community of people who might not have otherwise known to read the blog post.
  4. Watch data trends with website analytics, email newsletter open and click reports, and social likes and shares. This is an indicator to identify how well this strategy is helping drive traffic to the website. Make continuous adjustments based on data trends.

The moral of the story is that making data-driven web design and digital marketing decisions, instead of shooting from the hip and hoping for the best, gives business owners more bang for their buck while saving time and money.

I offer free 30-minute consultations because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to improved traffic and conversions. Every business is unique and their clients are unique.

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