The end of 2016 sure came fast; almost, too fast! Typically, this is the time we need to have made marketing plans for 2017 to ensure we meet and even surpass our goals for the coming year. One area that must to be part of your Internet marketing plans is your website.
To help prime the creative pump and get you thinking, I am sharing Five Top Website “To-Dos” for 2017.
1. Mobile-First Evaluation - Even though we all recognize that more website visitors are using their smartphones, the vast majority of practice owners still review, assess and make decisions regarding their website design primarily through a desktop view.
Of course it is easier to view design elements and navigate through pages more easily with the larger desktop screen. However, to evaluate the effectiveness of your design, you probably need to start by viewing it on your smartphone first. This also includes evaluating your website’s mobile user activities in Google Analytics. When evaluating through “mobile eyes,” keep in mind that users navigate more with their thumbs and scrolling than they do by clicking on small buttons or links (studies also show desktop users scroll.) Driving visitors to high-priority pages and sections must be incorporated into your mobile design strategy.
2. Hamburger Menu - You may also want to reconsider how you display (or hide) your navigation menu. The three lines icon or “hamburger” menu has become more common (I even occasionally see versions on desktop views). However, many studies indicate they may actually hinder user experience and navigation efficiency. If you choose to use a hamburger menu, make sure you research how you can maximize it, as well as improve your navigation menu’s effectiveness.
3. Custom Photography - Unlike direct response media ads, one of the primary goals for your website is to quickly develop rapport with visitors. Check out the imagery on your website and see if your photos, graphics, and design accomplish that objective. Consumers can immediately distinguish stock photos. Studies also show that visitors engage more with custom photos and ignore stock photos. Websites that utilize creative, well-planned, and candid photos stand out and instantly connect with visitors. Photos and images are your most important design elements and can make, or break, the visual impact of your website design. Remember, your customers ultimately choose you not because you are the best, but because they have developed a level of trust and connection to you and your practice. Custom photography accelerates that process.
4. Custom Video - If you have not invested in custom video or need to update the ones you have, then start planning it now. Even more than custom photography, custom videos help you connect in ways that images and text can never accomplish. And as more website visitors view your content through the smaller screens of a smartphone, video content becomes even more important. Statistics also indicate that videos enhance conversions and other key metrics.
Start by evaluating competitors in the market. Make sure the quality, substance, information and credibility of your custom production meets or exceeds the standards of your market. Even if you already have videos on your website, you may need to update them with higher quality production. Also, avoid creating videos with the goal of “finding a place for them.” Identify key “destination” pages and how you want to leverage video marketing first. Once planned, the substance and messaging of the corresponding video will take shape and work more seamlessly with your website and marketing.
5. Assess and Rewrite Website Content - When was the last time you actually read the content of your website, particularly the most important, high-traffic pages? Well, the time is now. Invest the time to compare the content and elements of your most important pages with those of your biggest competitors and market leaders. In most cases, if you haven’t read your content recently, you will probably quickly realize the need to refresh the content and support elements on key pages.
Some strategies to consider when developing new content for existing pages include adding more substantive, detailed and accurate information. Since visitors do scroll down pages (see above) and consume longer pages, consider investing in long-form content.
Updated content in today’s websites also needs to be interactive. To support longer-form pages, start developing different types of visual content to include on these target “destination” pages. Visual, interactive content can include infographics, videos, slide share decks, quizzes, explainer animations, and more. Be creative and develop elements that your visitors will find useful and engaging.
Take the first step today to boost your results for tomorrow - Call us at 800-916-3886 for consulting help. Let us provide insights to grow your online business in 2017!
P.S. - 5 Bonus Website Tips
1. About Us – Your About pages have become one of your most important pages. Focus on developing credibility (reviews), rapport (videos) and information that builds their confidence and trust.
2. Refresh Calls-to-Action – When was the last time you re-evaluated and developed new calls-to-action? Do research (competitors, market leaders) and address your audiences’ needs and desires. Be creative.
3. Boost Site Speed – Make sure your website (both mobile and desktop) are loading quickly for visitors and search engines.
4. Incorporate Remarketing – Marketing to people who have already been exposed to your practice and website is key to online marketing and branding. Add remarketing pixels to your website and use display advertising to stay top-of-mind.
5. Contact Us – Update the Contact Us page to enhance conversions for both your desktop and mobile visitors. Keep in mind, the primary focus is on converting visitors into telephone calls!