One of the advantages of working for an agency is the number of websites we get to analyze. The majority of clients who signup for digital marketing services will receive an audit. This audit covers site performance, content, user flow, and competitor analysis. With the audit, we’re able to take real business goals to create a marketing plan that will drive growth.
While there are a ton more elements we look at while doing an audit, I wanted to share some of the common mistakes we come across. The goal is to give you insight into a few areas that might be affecting your digital marketing strategy and how to fix them.
Mistake #1: No clear calls-to-action
Many sites seem to have gotten lost in adding content and trying to create the right message, they forgot to create a call to action. A call to action is used to tell the user what to do next. For example, if you had a newsletter signup box you would want a “Sign up Now” call-to-action. If you had a service, you might want a “Book Now” call to action. A call-to-action should be more than “Contact Us” or “Submit” in the case of a button. A call-to-action should be more specific without sounding like a gimmick.
Buttons, links, phone numbers, and forms should all stand out and be interactive. Don’t be fooled, the call-to-action is what starts the user down the conversion funnel and if you aren’t clear about the next steps, you’re likely to see a high bounce rate and low engagement.
Make sure you always have a call to action on the page and make sure at least one call-to-action is above the fold (the fold is the visible area of a webpage on initial page load, before scrolling).
Mistake #2: Missing content for each stage of the customer journey
A website should have several conversion paths for customers who are at different stages in the customer journey. Most customer journies look like this (awareness, consideration, purchase, retention). Building content and calls-to-action that match each stage of the customer journey are crucial for your digital marketing strategy.
During the awareness stage high-level service pages, testimonials, and blog posts can be used to help introduce the customer to your brand. Whatsmore testimonials and resource libraries (a list of downloadable videos, documents, or infographics that require the user exchange their email for access to the content) can create content for users in the consideration stage. Your contact or offer page should be simple and to the point, since this is when you’re customer has entered the purchase stage. Ensure you’re only collecting the information you need and nothing more. Asking for too much information on a form can lead to abandonment.
Finally, make sure you make it easy for current customers to come back for more with links to customer service and exclusive newsletter campaigns.
Mistake #3: Too many pages with similar content
There was a time and day when making a page as short as possible was used to ensure little to no content ended up below the fold. This strategy caused editors to split content into several pages. For example, most websites will include a page with information about the company. This tends to be split up into a few pages like about us, company history, our team, location, etc…
One thing users know how to do is scroll (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Blogs, New Sites – they all primarily scroll). With more traffic coming to mobile, users will appreciate scrolling much more than loading another page.
Creating fewer pages that act more like a pitch deck and include more information can clean up the navigation and hierarchy of a website without sacrificing messaging. This strategy also helps reduce pages with too little content (too little content on a page can have a negative impact on SEO).
Mistake #4: Not blogging seriously
Blogging is a great way to add additional content to a site and has a positive SEO impact. If you’re going to reduce the number of primary pages on a site, the blog is where you can afford to be more detailed and specific about your industry. Blog posts should be targeted toward your long tail keyword list and should have engaging content that primarily answers the question of a potential customer.
It’s important to remember that quality and consistency are more important than quantity. An article per month that is greater than 500 words is much better than sporadic posting. While blog content might take a while to improve your search rankings, it is always the best long-term investment.
Mistake #5: Not utilizing your website
A lot of websites get built and just sit for years without an update. When a potential customer visits your website, they will be looking for signs of life and if you’re not actively publishing new content or updating your messaging you will fail to establish trust.
Having a website that is kept up to date and that is updated based on a sound digital marketing strategy and analytical data will help your business compete for attention, sales, and leads. Your website can be your hardest working salesperson with the right amount of effort.
The best part of doing marketing audits is seeing how similar most businesses are and how each and every one can benefit from straightforward marketing without gimmicks proprietary tools. Everything I’ve shared here is something that can benefit all business owners and will be the foundation for the long-term success of your website.
What mistakes have you uncovered on your website? Leave a comment below.