2020 introduced a myriad of challenges to implementing pre-planned digital strategies. Many organizations had to start over and reconfigure their entire approach, as well as rely heavily on their websites as a primary communication tool. When a complete website redesign is not an option, there are small tweaks and improvements that can help you quickly optimize your website’s impact today.
In our recent webinar on “Optimizing Instead of Redesigning Your Website”, we talked through the following six tips you can implement right now to optimize your content and increase engagement with your current website.
1. Personalize your content
Make your outreach personal by creating unique and individual experiences. Start by understanding your audiences and tailoring content and outreach to their needs. You can use website personalization to serve up different types of content based on the visitor behavior and accompanying data. Using analytics data from your website, you can decide which pages people are most interested in or map to SEO keywords to begin prioritizing and optimizing.
Your email communications are another simple way to personalize content. Marketing automation tools, such as Mailchimp, Salesforce/Pardot, and Marketo, can assist in personalizing the content in your emails by using automated sequences based on a contact’s actions.
Getting started with personalization can be broken down into three phases: Crawl, Walk, Run.
- Crawl: Audit, assess, and establish your strategy and segments.
- Walk: Collect data and determine what it is telling you about your audiences.
- Run: Select the best tools for your organization and make iterative refinements.
2. Repurpose & revive
Just because content is old doesn’t mean that it’s irrelevant. You can optimize existing website content by making small tweaks to make it more current or bringing it to the top of the list of content that a user is served. You can reimagine old footage or images by giving them new life on your social media channels. This allows you to strengthen the lifespan of those materials and build efficiencies into your content creation, giving people the signal that you are constantly creating new content.
Conversational interfaces, chatbots, and assistants can help repurpose your existing content by offering shortcuts. Chatbots give your existing audiences new channels to discover your existing services and are also a new way to serve key audiences you’re trying to reach.
You can also layer your existing program and services data to encourage deeper engagement. The first layer should be a small tidbit—a “data snack”—that includes simple insights that can grab someone’s attention. The next layer— a “data story”—elaborates and contextualizes the data snack, and the third layer—a “data explorer”—aims for a deeper engagement by allowing audiences to ask questions about your data.
3. Flip the physical to digital
During our most recent webinar, we took a quick poll to find out which physical service or program was most affected by last year’s move to fully remote work. Half of the respondents indicated that it affected direct in-person services (education, training, etc.), while another 45% indicated that events and convenings were the most affected.
A lot of organizations have had to get creative in how they convene or continue programming in a time when they continue to operate remotely. This has been an opportunity to reimagine in-person events and how you can still be effective with the work your organization does—online. We’ve seen lots of organizations effectively rethink and digitize their physical products, create engaging “exhibits,” and conduct in-person training and programs.
4. Strengthen your brand story
Perhaps now is the time to explore if your current brand still conveys the value of your organization. You might find that there are opportunities to modernize or strengthen your brand identity and how you communicate it across a variety of channels. This won’t necessarily require a full rebrand, but it would definitely include thinking of ways to strengthen your messaging and using your website to tell your brand story.
Start by selecting areas where you can execute impact and story-driven design refreshes that better tell your story. Think about your website experience from top to bottom as a storytelling platform. When reimaging a page, you should begin with a big idea, formulate a connection between the idea and your organization, and then use content from your site to support the big idea and bring your audiences along on your brand journey.
5. Go beyond your site
Though your website is a key part of the strategy, you also need to look beyond your main website for opportunities to improve your entire digital ecosystem. Perhaps your social channels are lacking substance and structure and could use some refreshing or strategy. Video and social assets can extend your reach and share content with new audiences that you may not have had access to otherwise. Conversational marketing interfaces and assistants can also help engage with audiences in new channels that are both on and off your site.
6. Get data & stop guessing
A data-driven approach is an efficient approach. An incremental understanding of the usage of your digital tools can provide valuable insights into how you approach strategy decisions. Align what you’re tracking with what you’re trying to achieve and measure updates with Google Tag Manager by capturing new metadata, events, and actions. Start to implement new segments within your analytics, as pre-created segments allow for more relevant questions on the data. These key questions can be answered with ongoing analysis, high-level dashboards, and routine reports.
Wondering what to do first?
Focusing on where your audiences’ needs, behaviors, and channels are, start thinking about how your website can better reach them and, ultimately, achieve the impact you are hoping to see in the world. With a bit of digital elbow grease, you can optimize your website in no time. If you are looking for help on where to start, get in touch!