Taking your website to the next level is never a one-off task. An inbound marketing website which generates higher return on your traffic requires more and more of them to perform the series of actions which you create for them. Getting your website to perform the way that you want it to and keeping it that way is a continual process of review, analysis and optimisation.
With a task that never ends, finding the best place to start is a daunting prospect. This is where a website conversion rate optimisation audit comes in handy. A website audit allows you to identify exactly why your website visitors aren’t converting, and optimising the elements to improve your website’s conversion rate - a key element of growth driven design.
Website optimisation shouldn’t be about directionless stabs in the dark at improvement, but rather driven by calculable metrics and KPIs. Typically, when looking for ways to improve website performance, marketers turn to industry guidelines and best practices. While these are a useful place to start and can be highly insightful, they can also become a hindrance to true optimisation. Each “best practice” should be tested and evaluated in the context of your own specific audience and offerings.
We explore the key steps to conduct a website conversion rate audit:
- Collect data
In order to be able to make firm decisions on how to optimise your site into a true inbound marketing website, you must first ensure that you have the abilities to access current and historical website performance. Most – if not all - website hosting and marketing automation tools will include a tool for website analysis; providing invaluable insights into web traffic behaviour and trends. For supplementary and more detailed insights, these tools and platforms can be integrated with Google Analytics.
The next step is to ensure that each is performing correctly and that enough credible and relevant data is being produced. Before beginning your conversion rate audit, perform checks to make sure that all tools are integrated with your website correctly.
- Define success
By looking at what you require from your website and what you hope to achieve, you will be able to establish clear goals and a direction on where to focus your audit and optimisation efforts. By using the analytical platforms for reference, you should first look to establish clearly defined and measurable goals for your website’s performance. While ultimately this is to generate more customers, it is useful to break this down further by looking at the lead generation process and current performance areas. This could include identifying which marketing channels produce the greatest ROI or reviewing current customer data to understand which is your most successful conversion pathway.
E.g. Which channel brings the most visitors to your website? And which channel has the highest visitor to lead rate? Which content assets bring the most leads through your site? What is the conversion rate on your key site pages?
If you are able to use current data to find your best performing calls-to-action for example, you can use this information to ensure these take centre stage on your homepage and other key pages. Additionally, you can use this data to set realistic goals and benchmarks for increasing your website traffic and conversion rates over time.
- Analyse your buyer personas
Buyer personas lie at the heart of every marketing activity and you can never know too much about them. In order for your website to convert more of your traffic and generate quality leads, you must be able to accurately identify who your customers are, what they want and how they behave. By employing surveys and other qualitative research methods such as user-testing and website heatmaps, you can continue to develop your understanding of your personas and their perceptions of your website. This information will enable you to identify which changes to your website will resonate most with your audience and have the greatest impact on conversion rates - most importantly bringing in the most qualified leads.
- Review the accessibility of your website
The user experience of your website is a key element in how well it performs. It goes beyond how good it looks and more into the ease with which your users can navigate your site. We’ve all experienced a site which took too long to load, looked jumbled or had unclear content which left us without the desire to look any further. The less friction your visitors encounter when attempting to find relevant information and download a key content piece, the better the user experience. Only websites with high quality experiences will be successful in converting traffic in qualified customers.
Evaluate elements of your website in terms of how useful, findable, accessible, valuable and credible it is. As by improving these areas of your website, the better it will perform as an inbound marketing website and platform for lead generation.
- Make tiny tweaks for big changes
After compiling all your data into a comprehensible form, it will become easy to spot patterns and trends. Turning this data into tangible results – which means a higher conversion rate and higher volumes of leads generated – requires analysing this data so as to form a number of hypotheses to test. These hypotheses outline the areas you have identified for optimisation, the method by which you believe they could be improved, and the results you believe will be achieved by the changes made.
Based on these hypotheses, you will be able to devise a number changes that you believe will improve the performance of your website. With the intent of optimising your website, it is never advisable to make dramatic changes all in one go as this hampers your ability to accurately analyse how conversion rates were affected. Tiny tweaks derived from actionable hypotheses, to website copy, page layout, CTA placement and all manner of other elements will go a long way to optimising your website most efficiently for lead generation.
- Test the tweaks
The tweaks you make to your website should not be treated as finite but rather as part of an ongoing testing process. Regardless of how a changed element impacts your website conversion rates, you should always aim to gain some key insights into the basis of your hypothesis which will further strengthen future tests. The more in-depth your processes for testing and hypothesis development, the more likely that you will be able to modify a website element which leads to higher conversion levels.
Unless your website continues to evolve with your business, your site will never reach its full potential as a platform for generating leads; becoming stale and unable to compete with competitors. By performing a website conversion audit, you will be best able to understand how visitors interact with your website, why they don’t engage and how to best optimise your websites conversion rates.
Are you finding it difficult to convert your website traffic?
Use our 10 step checklist to make sure your website includes the basics for website optimisation.