Solid Digital’s perspective is distinctly different. Far from a “one and done” factory that turns out websites, we view the launch of a new site as a starting point for Digital Growth. From our perspective, as marketing teams mature and evolve, a strategically aligned website can serve as the central hub for marketing, building digital value, gathering intelligence, and growth.
Positioning websites for digital heavy lifting calls for a distinct approach to both web design and digital strategy, and that’s what drives us here at Solid Digital. Our approach involves three essential areas of focus:
- A website’s purpose and intent. Whether your goals were to target a new primary audience or increase conversion rates for contact forms, you’ll need a plan in place to begin to work on marketing campaigns that utilize your website to get you there.
- A marketing team’s goals and habits. Setting up KPIs related to your goals and developing the right habits to positively impact those measurements are a primary driver for growth.
- The vision for continuous Digital Growth. Just as your organization needs to constantly grow and evolve with changing market dynamics, Digital Growth needs to be an ongoing focus, and that calls for distinct marketing initiatives targeted toward both near-term and long-term success.
Key Factors Fueling Web Redesigns
In our experience, a lack of brand alignment is the factor that most frequently sparks a web redesign. Sometimes the brand has taken off in a new direction, and other times, the lack of alignment is the result of an ongoing evolution of the brand identity that the website has not kept up with.
An issue that’s often connected to a lack of brand alignment is an outdated design and user experience. When visitors land on websites that appear dated or do not encourage engagement, the likelihood that they will complete the desired actions or leave with the intended impression is greatly diminished.
Major leaps forward in content editing capabilities are causing more and more site owners to seek greater control over updates to their content and revisions to their pages. Not having to reach out to the IT team or an outside agency means much greater flexibility and a greater ability to keep the site in sync with marketing initiatives.
Setting Goals and Metrics
Website redesigns tend to address any number of issues resulting from an underachieving site that can include low traffic, lack of engagement, or insufficient conversions.
We’ve discovered that taking the time to set measurable goals, break down tasks to achieve them, and put the right habits into place is key to successfully leveraging a newly launched site and tapping the full potential of all the roads that lead to the site (including social media, email campaigns, and organic and paid search).
The steps we use with our clients are part of our process within our Digital Growth program, but no matter what works for your team, the steps are the same: goal setting, measuring, and taking action.
Solid Goals at Work
For our marketing team at Solid Digital, the goal is to be the No. 1 partner to marketing directors. The KPIs we use relative to this goal revolve around content creation and how that helps with website visibility and engagement, such as conversion rates from our target market. Tracking our month-over-month digital value relative to this goal, we track the following four KPIs:
- Number of content items created,
- Number of of organic website visitors,
- Average ranking of top keywords, and
- Number of goal conversions
We report on a monthly cadence, setting out to track and measure goals in terms of a data point representing what we define as digital value, we use a low (often the current number or minimum acceptable) and a target number — goal we are aiming to reach.
Key KPI Considerations
In order to measure your own KPIs, you’ll need to know where the data you’ll be tracking lives and how to access it. There are other decisions as well such as:
- Who is responsible for tracking and reporting?
- How do you want your reporting to look?
- What’s the most useful data for you and your team? And
- Is there useful information you can share with other members in the organization to demonstrate success?
To stay focused and continually work towards achieving the desired outcome, we encourage clients to set up action items.
An example of an action item for one of our clients came from the larger idea of creating and implementing a series of blogs and videos showcasing some of the company’s products. The idea was to drive traffic using keywords around the products and engage visitors through new content, and track what worked. Action items were broken down into components such as first devising a plan including answers to questions such as: How many items would be chosen for the series? How long should the videos and blogs be? Who would do the writing, the video producing, and editing?
Sticking to the Plan
Once the plan is in place, the real work begins: sticking to it. Developing and following a process for setting up KPIs and measuring, tracking, and completing actions that map back to the goals, requires new habits.
Research shows it takes an average of 66 days to develop a new habit. This can apply to setting up and tracking a new Google Ad campaign, as much as it does to adhering to a new exercise regime.
Here are two specific examples that we’ve witnessed recently as a result of marketing teams investing in and adhering to a Digital Growth plan following the launch of a redesigned website.
- A healthcare technology company sharpened their focus on keyword targeting in their content creation strategy. We worked together to research, identify and track top priority keywords to increase traffic from their target audiences. Over the course of almost two years, their traffic nearly doubled, as we gathered data concerning the specific blog posts and content items that yielded the best results.
- A construction equipment manufacturer and supplier needed to drive more traffic to their website in order to generate new business. We used paid search ads, which worked really well for one category of products, but not as well at all for another. Tracking data enabled us to adapt and adjust accordingly. We then added in Google display ads with special offers. The result has been an increase in traffic, along with a steady increase in new customers and sales.
These are two of many examples that demonstrate how the launch of a new website is an inflection point for positive change — not an end in itself. At Solid Digital, we believe that design and development of a new website is a major endeavor that holds huge promise as an organization’s primary marketing tool that can continue to be leveraged for enhanced digital value.
Questions about Digital Growth that’s powered by a well designed website? Let’s talk!