Don’t let your website fall behind


Allyson Ward Neal

What kind of experience do visitors have when they access your website? Do they see stale content? Perhaps they have problems even accessing your content because your website isn’t mobile friendly.

Just because social media are currently in the spotlight, doesn’t mean that you should devote less resources to your website. A recent #CommChat discussion, hosted by Allyson Ward Neal, underscored how important it is to evaluate how your customers are arriving to and interacting with your web content. For a complete recap of the discussion, check out IABC’s Storify page.

Below are a few highlights from the Twitter chat.

1. Provide the same experience–regardless of the device or platform

You might have plenty of followers on your social networks, engaging two-way conversations, content that is perfectly targeted and resonates with your audience. But what happens when your audience ventures beyond your social profiles?

Integrating your communication strategy across all channels is essential today. Delivering a consistent brand experience, no matter where (or how) your customers interact with you, is key.

Sylvia Link, ABC, underscored the importance of integration when she shared: “I use websites to find organization’s social media sites as much as the reverse. We need to integrate our [communication] strategy.”

In addition to integrating platforms, your strategy should integrate devices. Rosaline Raj commented that the majority of traffic to her website comes from mobile views: “That means you have to take an integrated approach to marketing and ensure the content is mobile-friendly.”

2. Ignore mobile and pay the consequences

The importance of mobile-friendly websites can’t be emphasized enough. Allyson Ward Neal shared a stat from Nielsen that reports that most website interactions occur from mobile phones. If you haven’t made a mobile a priority, it’s time to.

#CommChat participants shared the reputation side effects of websites that aren’t properly designed for mobile. Said Jason Fararooei: “If I see a site that’s not optimized for mobile, I honestly question the [organization’s] commitment to user/customer service.”

Diane Kennedy agreed: “I also question how viable they are. How behind the market might they be in other aspects?”

The first step, recommended Ward Neal, is to test how your website displays on mobile devices by having users access your website from different types of devices. She even suggested having them send screenshots to you so you understand exactly what they are seeing.

3. Give them a reason to stay on your website

Providing a mobile-friendly website is huge, but quality content will keep your visitors there.

Adding new content on a regular basis will encourage customers to check your website regularly. Shared Allyson Ward Neal: ” I blog often, change up imagery, introduce new books quarterly [and] add activities.”

Pay attention to the content itself to ensure it’s providing users a reason to stay. “Content should be interesting for audience, but not hard sell,” advised Theresa Dreike. “Something softer, informative. Keep them coming back.”

Joseph Donia also emphasized the importance of content accessibility: “Social traffic often has higher bounce rates. Mitigate that by adding other relevant links on landing pages (blog posts etc.)”

4. And understand how to keep them there

In addition to testing how your content displays on various devices, you should also regularly ask users for feedback on your website content.

Said Allyson Ward Neal: “Surveys are awesome tools for this. Use your email list and don’t be afraid to ask.”

In addition to surveys, participants recommended one-on-one feedback, focus groups and A/B testing. They also pointed to Google analytics to help understand where are users are going on your site, what content is popular, etc.

For more tips on creating the best website experience for your audience, attend Allyson Ward Neal’s World Conference session. Register now.