Hidden Details Make a Shiny Website Successful
When most of us shop for a house, we are drawn to our potential dream home by the layout and the cosmetics; things like trim, moldings, window styles, kitchen and bathroom finishes. But anyone who has built a house knows that those are the last things to think about.
Builders focus instead on the structure: building a solid foundation, framing and walls, a weatherproof roof, safe and reliable electrical and plumbing. Only then come the tile, lighting, counters, paint, appliances and other WOW features. It makes sense – who wants to spend money on a gorgeous looking house where the lights and water don’t work?
But when marketers build web pages and sites, they tend to focus on the shiny WOW factors that are like the finishing and trim. They’ll get into heated debates about colour palettes, fonts and themes, develop cool graphics, videos and flash animations and come up with a slick, polished-looking website.
Site Intelligence is Just Smart
You may need these bells and whistles to appeal to your target audience, but what happens when you want to track its performance? Or understand how users are interacting with it? You can’t, because they never did the plumbing. It’s like trying to buy or sell a house and not having the market intelligence to know how to price it. How is your sales funnel performing? Ad campaigns? keyword optimization? Without these metrics, you can’t know how to tune your site – or your marketing budget – to optimize performance.
Understand Your Organic Performance
But what does a website’s ‘plumbing’ look like? It’s having the tools in place to understand your search visibility, pay-per-click and other performance characteristics.
By auditing search visibility, you can assess how your site is performing in relation to your competitors, and which keywords you can reasonably expect to fight for and win. You can then tweak your titles, meta tags, copywriting and the links between pages to maximize performance.
Optimize Funnel Conversions
A well-designed sales funnel will entice users to convert to leads, for example by filling out a form. A poorly designed one will lose them almost immediately. So good web plumbing also means auditing your pay-per-click performance to understand if you are using the right ad keywords to reach the right users, if visitors are clicking through to your site and if your landing pages are maintaining their interest when they do.
So, just like a house, the behind the scenes details matter. But unlike a house, adding the plumbing after the fact does not have to be more expensive than starting over from scratch. With the right help auditing your site’s performance, you can make repairs and get your house in order without breaking the bank.