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How To Let Your Customers Guide Digital Optimization

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The digital marketing field has always been gathering data, not only at the company level but also within the market for comparison purposes. As a result, many businesses can compare their online conversion rate to the market average and to top performers too.

Ultimately, you can find helpful comparisons online based on a variety of factors, from the type of device used, the platform of navigation, or even the location of the user. For example, in 2018, the eCommerce conversion rate in the US was less than UK rates – 2.63% in Q2 2018 vs. 4.31% for the British market – which means that depending on where your customers are based, your rates are likely to vary dramatically.

Consequently, when it comes to digital optimization, the marketing team needs to be careful about the KPIs and references they include in their work.Nevertheless, these market averages are at the core of optimization strategies.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to rely on the figures as a scoring mechanism to evaluate their performance, following simple logic: Anything below market results would need improving, and anything above would need to be maintained.

Unfortunately, although market comparison can be indicative of global trends, they fail to provide a breakdown of the factors that are linked to a successful performance. Was it your SEO strategy? Was it your social media engagement? With no way of pinpointing their digital strength and weakness vs. the market, most companies enroll in a digital optimization strategy across the board. However, they forget one essential element that could tip the balance; they forget to consider customer preferences.

Monitor your brand reputation

One of the most commonly overlooked issue when it comes to optimizing low conversion rates is your brand. For businesses that have built a brand image and profile from scratch, it can be hard to accept that your brand fails to convince buyers. But if you can’t find any obvious area for improvement in SEO, UX or social media presence, you might want to take the time to run an online reputation audit. Using specialist ORM – online reputation management – tools, you can collect valuable data across multiple platforms to gain a detailed overview of the situation.

Indeed, as 86% of users hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative reviews online, you need to check that your brand doesn’t affect your success. Awario is a great solution that tracks mentions across social platforms and the web to measure the sentiment of the market. Reputology is dedicated to local businesses, especially those that have multiple locations, to monitor industry-specific review sites. Ultimately, these tools let you respond to reviews in real-time, which can help to manage your reputation. However, when things get out of hand, you need to consider rebranding to tackle your negative reputation. Rebranding is a difficult exercise that shouldn’t be attempted lightly, but it is often the only way out when your brand isn’t working anymore for you.

Never decide on web layout without a first test

How long have you delayed your web redesign project? In an era when users are digitally savvy and used to navigating sites, failures to give your online presence a fresh look and feel can affect your conversion rate. Would you be convinced to buy anything from an old-fashioned and dusty shop when there are shiny boutiques that take card and Apple Wallet payments in the same street? The same principle applies to your web presence. Your potential customers expect from your website positive and rewarding user experience.

However, before you decide to throw everything away to introduce a brand new design, you might want to run some effective UX experiments first. How would you know what to change if you don’t understand how your customers use your pages? You can gain powerful insight with tools that share the user’s journey on the page, such as the one from the eye tracking company LookTracker, for instance. Additionally, you need to get your design approved by your users before officially transforming the site display.  A/B tests can help you to make the right decisions, assuming you understand how to use web design optimization experiments. To ensure that you’re not taking any chances with A/B testing, you need to be certain that you’re working with a valid hypothesis from the start.

Listen to the analytics data

How do you know if your web optimization strategy is built on a valid hypothesis? Indeed, if you fail to identify the underlying issue, it’s fair to say that your design efforts will be wasted. Thankfully, your visitors are vocal, at least if you understand how to read analytics data for a UX purpose on Google Analytics. Indeed, take the time to familiarize yourself with the Analytics platform. Pageview, which tracks visitor entry and exit pages among other elements, can provide UXers with valuable information regarding the interactions on each page. You can add Javascript code snippets to the pages – using the tag manager – to treat each click on the page separately:

  • ga(‘send’, { ‘hitType’: ‘pageview’, ‘page’: ‘/trending’, ‘title’: ‘Trending items clicked’ });

You can also use the behavior analysis report on Analytics, which takes you to the behavior flow, a visual interpretation of the data. You can see when and where users left the site and identify pages that need improvement.

Ranking #1 for your chosen keywords is pointless

Search Engine Optimization is too often misinterpreted. For newcomers to the market, SEO is about ranking as close as possible to the top for your selected keywords. While there is no denying that websites that appear in top positions in the SERPs are more likely to attract clicks, it’s important to differentiate the keywords you’ve chosen and the ones your customers are likely to use. Ultimately, keywords are designed to identify the search terms users entered in Google – or Bing, or any other search engine – and describe your products and services as carefully as possible.

However, while keywords can be anything from one word to a short sentence, the intention of the user is left to interpretation. Indeed, someone searching for “shoes” may not be interested in the products of a “local bridal shoes maker”, even though the broad keyword match seems to imply relevance. Indeed, the search has evolved, and as a result, people rely on the search engine understanding what they want from the context of past searches. This Latent Semantic Indexing, or LSI, principle encourages search engines to use word association in order to find the appropriate results. You can see it in action by trying out the autocomplete search box function; aka letting Google guide your search. Consequently, working with an LSI graph can help you to understand how truly relevant you are in a broad context.

Have you thought of asking them what they want?

Your customers have an opinion of your business. They can let you know what they want to see more or less of as long as you can get in touch to ask. Ultimately, it’s the easiest way to find out what your customers want. At a business level, you can focus your interests on your products or delivery offerings. However, if you’re going to maximize your digital optimization strategy, you need to run customer experience research and marketing effectiveness reviews. You can gather opinions against an incentive – such a discount offer or a free product. But it’s important to keep your customers in the loop at all times!

What do field experts have to say?

Every business dreams of working with bloggers, as they can bring the field expertise and digital presence that can transform your brand. Pärtnering with an influential blogger is an effective method to gain the attention of a new audience group and encourage potential buyers. Reaching out to bloggers is an art that can be difficult to master. Indeed, bloggers are professionals who are happy to engage with businesses as long as their skills and expertise are taken seriously. But once you’ve established a connection with a partner blogger, you can leverage their knowledge of the industry sector to know more about how your brand is perceived.

Your customers are vocal on social media

You can use social media platforms as part of your ORM strategy. But you can also make a note of recurring points and criticism that your customers make. Indeed, your audience uses Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms to express their opinions, all day and every day. By monitoring posts, you can measure what they think about your brand, products, website, and the overall market. You could find the clues to optimize your online presence!

Have you compared yourself to your competitors?

You can’t grow on the market if you don’t understand what makes your competitors special. For B2C companies, it’s easy to embrace the experience; you can buy directly from your competitors. While B2B businesses can’t struggle to put themselves in the shoes of their customers, B2C business owners can become customers to their competitors. What better way of testing your online theories?

Optimization is the process of improving your digital presence, whether you’re focusing on SEO, UX, brand engagement or trying to tap in all online activities at the same time. But no optimization strategy is successful without customer approval. No optimization strategy can start without putting the customer at the center of your attention.

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