Great website! Now that it has launched, what are you doing to maintain and enhance it?
Thanks, and we’re thrilled to have our site live. It’s a much better representation of who we are as an agency but, as we tell our clients, websites are never truly finished. There are many reasons why you should always be thinking about evolving your website. And ours is no exception.
Creating a content calendar
Echo.co is a business-to-business (B2B) site, and it’s true that B2B marketing is content marketing. Thought leadership pieces and social media posts are two key methods we use to share our perspective on the issues of the day and how our unique approach helps our clients.
For example, we talk about Drupal 8 here and 2017 trends here. But we had to pause this kind of content work right before our site launch. Now that the site is live, we are ready to start posting new content again.
A content calendar is the first important step in managing your content, and critical to ensuring that your site evolves with your organization.The content calendar will help us plan for exactly what new content is needed for the site, who is responsible for writing the content, and how content will support audience and business goals. Content calendars come in many formats, from a simple spreadsheet with topics and dates to something more elaborate that discusses timing, audience, and desired responses. We’ll also make sure that our content calendar includes all of our channels and platforms (i.e., social, email, and web).
Content is not just important to B2B sites like ours. We believe that content is what makes our clients’ sites valuable for their audiences. Audiences visit a site for content, and content provides the anchor around which all other interactions and conversions revolve.
Setting Up Google Analytics
If content is critical, knowing who is consuming what content and when, and in what order, is equally critical. Is some of your content being consumed all the time? Some of the time? Not at all? Does content consumption lead to a higher probability of a desired conversion? Analytics can help answer these questions, and help you determine if your redesign has been a success.
B2B sites like ours typically see heavier traffic to our case studies, team bios, and jobs pages (careers pages are surprisingly a strong traffic driver for professional services organizations). Nonprofit sites often see traffic focus on campaign landing pages and donation interactions. Analytics can confirm these trends, and give you the nuance you need to shape your experience to the benefit of the user and the organization.
That’s why, during the redesign process, it is important to implement Google Analytics or, if already in place, confirm that analytics is properly configured. This can include updating filters to weed out traffic that might be attributed to spam or internal views, configuring analytics to capture onsite searches, and making sure that your analytics tracking code has been properly applied (or remains intact).
Also, if you haven’t created goals for your website, a redesign is a great time to start. It's important to define your business objectives for the website first, then create goals that support these objectives. For example, if you're looking for your website to capture a large percentage of your annual donations, a conversion goal will help you see how effective your site currently is in doing that.
For more information on how to setup your goals, you can visit Google's easy to understand setup guide.
Performing Usability Testing
Since we like to practice what we preach, we’re in the midst of performing usability testing on our site right now. If reviewing your Google Analytics will tell you what your users are doing on your website, then usability testing will tell you why your users do what they do. If you combine these two tasks, the insights you learn are invaluable.
Even for a digital practice like ours, a website redesign is a significant cost investment, and we’ll want to get the most out of it for as long as possible. A site that evolves based on changing business and audience requirements is more likely to repay our investment. That’s why we’re investing in a disciplined content creation process, in using analytics to guide changes, and investing in usability testing. And so should you.