We often hear, ‘My website isn’t working!’ and understand the frustration behind it. In today’s competitive market, offering a great product and excellent service at a competitive price is no longer sufficient. A poorly designed website can be detrimental to your success.

Today’s successful B2B and B2C websites must:

  • Capture visitors’ attention
  • Showcase the brand and product effectively
  • Lead visitors to take a desired action (subscribe, book a call, make a purchase)
  • Integrate with a broader digital marketing strategy
  • Provide engaging content
  • Align with Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) and core web vitals for top search result rankings

Is your website equipped for these tasks?

RCDM Core Nine Redesign

After designing and developing hundreds of business websites, apps and digital marketing programs over more than two decades, we have identified nine core elements we use to evaluate websites and digital marketing programs, identify problems, find opportunities, and plan the path forward. 

1) User Experience Design
Aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, and accessible across all devices. It also should load fast, include compelling CTAs, and have consistent branding across the site.

The customer journey begins by understanding your ideal customers and then designing a customer journey that makes it easy for visitors to find the information they need. A well-structured menu, a search feature, and a logical page hierarchy all contribute to effective navigation leading visitors to convert.

Clear and compelling CTAs guide users on what to do next—whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or contacting your business to schedule a meeting. These should be intentional, in synch with your sales process, and strategically designed to stand out. To build brand recognition and trust, your website and digital marketing program should reflect your brand’s identity with the consistent use of colors, fonts, and messaging throughout.

2) Engaging Content
High-quality content keeps the reader engaged and is tailored to the target audience to attract visitors, keep them on the site, and encourage them to take action. This includes text, images, videos, and any other media that provides value to the user. A content marketing program, tied in with SEO and PPC, is vital here.

3) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Optimizing your website and pages for search engines is crucial for making your site visible on search engine results pages (SERPs). This includes using relevant keywords, optimizing meta tags (title, description), creating quality backlinks, ensuring fast loading speeds, and producing regularly updated content.

The importance of SEO is illustrated in this chart showing the difference in click-through between the first and subsequent listings in organic search results.

4) Mobile Optimization

With the increasing use of smartphones for internet access, having a mobile-optimized website is essential. This means ensuring the site looks good and functions well regardless of the viewport.

 

5) Technical Optimization
Your website’s technical performance, site structure, page markup, and content structure affect your Google ranking and user perception. To get an overview, run a technical SEO audit on your website using services such as Ahrefs, Moz, Semrush, or PageSpeed Insights. Consider the following:

    • Are your page load times slow?
    • Is your website easily crawlable by Google and Bing?
    • Do you have redirect chains, broken links, or missing meta tags?
    • Is the site secure from bad actors?

If your website performance and user experience are poor, Google won’t rank your site well and your traffic will suffer. Users will also be frustrated and may leave your site after a few seconds.

A fast-loading website improves user experience and affects SEO rankings. Optimizing images, leveraging browser caching, and minimizing the use of heavy scripts can all help here.

Security
Website security issues like code injection, data theft, and DoS attacks are a threat to your business and web visitors. A lack of security features will also affect your SEO.

At a minimum, your site should have an SSL certificate, which enables you to run hypertext transfer protocol security and encrypt data and communication. If your website deals with personally identifiable or sensitive personal information, or if you’re in an industry like healthcare or finance that requires advanced security, adhering to HIPPA or other regulations might be required.

6) Is Your Website Accessible?
Website accessibility, the degree to which your site can be used by everyone, including people with disabilities, is an SEO necessity and legal liability. Equal access ensures that everyone can access and understand your site’s content.

A good technical audit will capture many factors influencing accessibility, but a separate audit may need to be run to check for ADA and WCAG compliance. If you come up short, as many sites do, consider services like Accessibe which use a small bit of code to meet those requirements.

7) Social Proof and Trust Signals
Testimonials, reviews, certifications, and badges can help build trust with your audience. Depending on your market, collecting reviews on Google and other respected services can help. Displaying positive reviews prominently on your site can influence decision-making, and increase conversions.

Besides organic traffic to your site, user time-on-site, and bounce rate, two KPIs you’ll want to keep an eye on is your conversion rate — how many visitors before one accepts your call to action — and your return on ad spend (ROAS) that calculates the cost per conversion or sale. These metrics will indicate whether a site overhaul is needed, and will help gauge the success of your efforts after the work is done.

8) Conversion Rate
Once you define your intention, you can calculate your website conversion rate using tools such as Google Analytics or Google Search Console.

Regularly testing and optimizing elements like CTAs, landing pages, and the checkout process can help increase the conversion rate, turning more visitors into customers or leads.
Conversion rates of less than 5 percent are a clear indicator that your website (or certain pages) needs work.

KPIs and UX can be A/B tested as well, so you can try different calls to action, navigation formats, and more, to find out which improves your conversion rate the most. If you lack the resources to optimize your entire site, just begin with pages specifically intended to convert, such as pay-per-click landing pages, and test those to begin..

9) Return on Ad Spend
If your marketing budget includes paid advertising, like PPC, display ads, or remarketing, you want to maximize your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). Similar to conversion optimization, this means understanding how much it costs to make a sale, and the lifetime value of each sale.

AI Tools Can Help Too

AI-powered tools have become indispensable in optimizing website performance, not just from an SEO perspective, but also in enhancing user experience by enabling ‘live’ interaction with a CSR bot, improving site speed, and overall functionality.

These are just a few of the tools we’ve found that leverage machine learning, data analysis, and automation to provide insights and actions that can significantly improve how a website performs.

  • Intercom
  • Drift
  • Clearscope
  • MarketMuse
  • Surfer SEO
  • Optimizely
  • VWO
  • Adobe Target
  • Dynamic Yield
  • Google Predictive Analytics
  • IBM Watson

In the End, It’s All About Synergy 
A successful website involves a blend of technical, design, content, and marketing elements that work together, with an effect that is more than the sum of the parts.

While no silver bullet will transform a website into a lead and sales-generating monster, by focusing on these critical components, and addressing the issues that are revealed, you can significantly enhance the effectiveness and success of your site. 

We’re Here to Help

Core Nine evaluations are based on the size and complexity of your website and digital marketing program, so the required investment and delivery time vary. Please schedule a free call so we can evaluate your project and provide a quote.

Need help shifting your site into high gear?

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