The Digital Employee – AKA Your Website
By Dan Dehner, Chief Interactive Officer at Chemistry Pittsburgh
Every website was at some point born into this world (launched). In most cases, those newly born sites are released on their own into the world to communicate with your end users. Day after day, sometimes year after year, they are left to tell the same stories over and over again. Clients often expect amazing results from these young sites. While that sometimes does happen – we’ve occasionally seen the odd wunderkind site – this is not the norm.
At Chemistry, we treat every website like a person who is employed by a company and needs to be reviewed periodically to help them perform at their best.
Each day that employee is talking with your customers about your brand, your services, and your products, all in an effort to convince them to convert. But, if the conversations aren’t relevant and engaging, your site, just like an employee – is certain to fail. Even worse, there’s no chance for improvement because it hasn’t been taught any differently.
It’s time to change the way you think about your site and start treating it as a human with a personality, a mechanism filled with insightful conversations based on the needs and interests of your end users.
This doesn’t come without some work and ongoing management, but once you get your site to a point where it’s speaking the right language to your audience the benefits are clear: uplifted conversion, better brand knowledge and awareness, better loyalty, and better usability overall.
Website Measurement Strategy
It all starts with making sure you have identified the right KPIs to use when judging the efficacy of your employee site. These KPIs should reflect the business needs your site must perform against. For instance, increasing traffic volume is one KPI, but the better one might be measuring the increase in page views from that traffic, or the increase in overall conversions – whichever metric reflects a positive change in your bottom line.
Next, you have the right tools in place to monitor and review your site-employee as it interacts with your customers. That starts with hybrid analytics, the combination of raw analytic metrics combined with advanced usability testing and tracking.
- Web analytics tracking software is absolutely necessary. Whether you choose Google Analytics, Adobe, or any one of a slew of other tracking options, you MUST, MUST, MUST track user behavior on your site.
- Advanced usability tracking enables you to understand how far a user scrolled, how much content they consumed, interactions that they performed within the page, where they hesitated and, ultimately, where they became a customer or moved on.
- Custom event injections in your tracking software will allow you to generate employee performance reviews and understand its unique ability to perform within your category. It’s the difference of reading an old-school foldout map in comparison to digital directions today. You can see each and every turn that’s been made and how to correct bad turns and create shorter paths to produce higher results, faster, and reduce friction along the way. This should be done quarterly for new sites being born into the world, and for those that are little older and a little wiser, biannually seems to be fitting.
The more your site knows, the better it competes in the real world. Teach it, train it, review it. The result? Each and every walk through the door of your .com will be better than the visit before.
Don’t set it and forget it.