With the end of 2018 fast approaching, it’s time to give your website an objective look and consider what’s working and what isn’t. If you fail to do so, this can result in the continued use of less-than-stellar processes.
Fortunately, by implementing an end-of-year website audit, you can boost performance while also improving search engine rankings.
A website audit is a full analysis of your site, with a focus on the factors that contribute to its functioning and success. These factors can be quite varied, but they typically include:
- How content ranks on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
- Your site’s User Experience (UX)
- The quality of your content
- The success of your lead generation techniques
- The strength of your social media marketing campaigns
While you should aim to improve in these areas year-round, the end of the year is a perfect time to remove less-than-successful processes from your website and consider the trends that will be important to adapt to moving forwards.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are plenty of general maintenance tasks to attend to, such as cleaning up the back end of your site. However, it’s also vital to pay close attention to how your site is functioning as a whole.
Let’s look more closely at the steps you can take to revamp your website and its various processes for the new year.
Reconsider Your Content Strategies
Throughout the course of a year, your audience may have gone through some changes. Reconsidering your content strategies will help you ensure that you’re meeting the needs of your audience, while also improving the quality and relevance of your website’s content and delivery.
Here are just a few questions to ask as you begin the process:
- Is your site’s content built with a defined audience in mind?
- Does each piece of content have a specific purpose (e.g. to make a sale or to inform)?
- Are you using Calls To Action (CTAs) appropriately (such as by keeping them limited in number, and using “urgent” language)?
- Do your landing pages make use of visual content, such as videos and images?
While you may find that some of your content-focused processes are working just fine, you may want to reboot others.
Excellent places to start include:
- Refining your buyer personas. Buyer personas are representations of your ideal customer, and it’s important to update them as time passes. By re-creating buyer personas for the new year, you can make sure you’re targeting the right audience.
- Implement site-wide changes. This includes upgrading your approach to CTAs and similar messages, and adding visual content where appropriate.
Once you’ve implemented these changes across your website, you can also do so on your social media profiles, within your email marketing campaigns, and beyond.
Improve Your Lead Generation Processes
Lead generation involves identifying and bringing potential customers to your website, in order to get them interested in your products or services. It’s crucial that you continue to draw in new leads regularly, which means using the best and most effective techniques you can.
The most common ways to attract leads include distributing content across various mediums, engaging with your audience on social media, and using email marketing campaigns. However, lead generation can involve a wide array of processes, many of which can be managed from your website.
To determine if your site is set up to generate leads effectively, you can ask the following questions:
- Do you understand who your ideal customer is, and what they want/need?
- Are powerful CTAs incorporated throughout your website (within blog posts and landing pages, on the “Contact Us” page, and in the header or footer)?
- Is your brand identity clear, so as to attract the right customers?
- Are you ranking highly on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for your target keywords?
- Are there multiple ways for potential customers to contact you (via live chat, email, and social media)?
To improve your current lead generation processes, there are a number changes you can make. For example, you can:
- Use the latest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. Businesses that use AI see 59% better close rates than their counterparts. As such, it’s important to implement this technology on your own website. A few ways to do so include using AI to improve the customer experience (via chatbots), and focusing on lead segmentation using solutions such as the HubSpot CRM tool.
- Focus on quality over quantity. Qualified leads, such as those who fit your buyer persona, are more likely to make it all the way through the sales funnel to conversion. This is why it’s important to focus on the quality of leads, by segmenting your audience at the very beginning of the funnel.
You may also want to consider automating more of your processes, to free up time for other aspects of running your website. For example, you can automate your email marketing with software like ConvertKit.
Revamp Your Social Media Marketing Campaigns
Social media marketing campaigns are an excellent way to attract leads and engage with current customers. However, social platforms and the way they’re used are in a constant state of change. This means you’ll need to reconsider your current campaigns and revamp them for the newest social media marketing trends, if you want to continue to drive traffic towards your website.
As a way to gauge your current success and identify areas for improvement, you can ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you have specific marketing goals, and are you meeting them?
- Are you using each of your active platforms to the fullest (i.e., posting relevant and timely content, interacting with your audience, etc.)?
- Are there links to social media “Share” buttons in your blog posts and landing pages?
- Do your social accounts rank favorably on SERPs?
- Is your brand strategy consistent across your various target platforms?
- How is your audience engagement on social media?
How you proceed will depend on your answers to those questions. However, two of the most important steps to take are:
- Using social monitoring. Social monitoring is a technique that enables you to track the various mentions of your website across social media platforms, as well as analyze interactions and determine how you compare to your competitors.
- Integrate your social media platforms into your website. To increase visitor interactions and improve your social rankings on search engines, consider adding social media feeds and buttons to your website. You can do so using many tools, such as Juicer and Walls.io.
It’s important that you think of your social media marketing as an extension of your website, and not as an entirely separate venture. This will help you create more effective and well-rounded campaigns.
While a website audit can seem like an overwhelming task, knowing what to look for can help you get the job done in no time. It’s vital to review the most important elements of your website – including its content, lead generation features, and social media integration – so you can prepare for next year’s trends.
Do you have any questions about how to perform an end-of-year digital audit on your own site? Let us know in the comments section below!