If I speak about “optimisation” people naturally assume I am talking about the practice of search engine optimisation, or “SEO” as it’s otherwise known. But optimisation should mean a whole lot more than just SEO.
When considering the optimisation of your website you need to consider not only how search engines will see it but also how people will use it. So here is a quick guide to help you optimise for all of your web marketing, not just your search engine results!
Optimise the user experience
All too often I see companies’ spending money on internet advertising and search engine marketing when their websites offer a poor user experience. There is little point in driving traffic to a website if it fails to engage, or even worse, offers a confusing user experience. Generally speaking people prefer simple websites with clear, uncluttered screens and logical site navigation. So the message is “keep it simple”.
Optimise your landing pages
If you are considering running an online advertising campaign then you should review your campaign landing pages. These are the pages people will hit when they click through to your website. The more targeted the landing pages, the better the response rates and the more successful the campaign. So optimise your campaign landing pages and make sure there is a clear “call to action”.
Optimise your logistics
If you are launching a web marketing campaign then you will need to ensure the order fulfilment process is smooth and trouble free. Too many companies launch online marketing campaigns without considering the logistical issues of order fulfilment. Take time to carefully plan your logistics, paying particular attention to ensuring you have sufficient stock and dedicated resources to handle fulfilment, returns and customer services.
Optimise your relationship marketing
It can cost a lot of money to acquire every new customer online. So you need to make sure you put a strategy in place to communicate with your customers on a regular basis, in order to help retain them.
Communication should be personalised wherever possible and based on your users’ specified areas of interest. Implement data capture and personalisation techniques via your website and start to build “relationships” with your customers online. Use email newsletters to keep them informed and questionnaires to capture feedback and new ideas.
Optimise your results
So now you have a great website that’s working well for your business. Don’t forget to use an analytics package to further optimise your campaigns. Analytics isn’t just about how many hits or visits you’re getting. You can use an analytics package to see where visitors are dropping off your website and gain insight into user behaviour. Take the findings and use them to make your website even better!
Optimise for search engines
Of course it goes without saying that you also need to optimise your website for search engines – both for paid and natural search. A good SEO agency can assist in getting you to the top of the search engine results pages and can also advise on set up and management of pay per click campaigns.
I believe it’s important to take a holistic approach to optimisation. This approach will yield significant benefits, which as we’ve seen, involves much more than just optimising for your position in the search engine listings. The best method to ensure overall and powerful optimisation is by working with an agency which can advise on a whole range of online issues, both commercial and technical.