Thomas Saraceno, Imarc Director of Experience, and Katie Desmond, Imarc CRO hosted a great discussion at a CMO Roundtable Meeting with MassTLC. We discussed obstacles and pain points within the customer journey, and we shared strategies for designing a high-performing digital ecosystem.
Time for a check-up
Understanding your customer’s journey starts with understanding your website’s health. Google Analytics is a great place to start to find these answers.
What are the most important stats to look at in Google Analytics?
Answer: While everything in Google Analytics can give you a variety of insights, here are the stats you want to focus on:
- Conversion paths: In Google Analytics, you can see the funnel of how users got to specific goal pages.
- Top-performing pages and content: Learn what pages your users find the most useful and what they are actually reading.
- Bounce rate: See what pages users are exiting your site from (and then figure out why).
- Users, sessions, and page views: These stats will give you an idea of how many new users are coming to your page, what pages they are viewing, and how long they stay on each page.
Third-party tools can also be used to analyze your website’s KPIs, become aware of each step in the customer journey, and identify areas that need improvement. Hotjar is another great tool. It uses heatmaps to help you better understand how users are engaging with your site, where they are scrolling to on the pages before they stop, and what parts of the page they are clicking on. You might find that some people click an area that looks like a CTA but is misleading.
Know your audience
Fun fact: Marketing personas make websites 2-5 times more effective and easier to use by targeted users. Keeping your personas updated is key to growing your business and maintaining a strong conversion rate. Adopting an experimental approach to persona development will help you strike a balance between specific and general messaging. You can then leverage your content to unify your brand message and nurture your story over time.
Question: How do I support personas throughout the customer journey?
Answer: It can be a balancing act to ensure that you’re not too rigid with your messaging. There is often overlap between personas, so don’t feel like you have to create completely different content for each audience. Instead, try these tactics:
- Site architecture can play a role in aligning the content to personas. When designing the site, key areas are defined to speak to specific personas.
- Page layout and structure during the wireframing help to break up the page and influence how people engage with the messaging. Define what pages speak to which personas, and include relevant content for those audiences.
- Landing pages are a great way to create personalized messaging for your audiences.
Engage with your audience
Content is the foundation of your website. It’s the reason you made this site; to deliver your content and knowledge to site visitors. Conducting regular content audits can help you identify pieces that users love and also get rid of content that isn’t driving traffic to your website. Ensure your site delivers an exceptional user experience by regularly producing informative content and streamlining key conversion paths.
Question: Users are looking for new ways to consume long-form content. What are some ways you are developing content?
Answer: Creating quality content can be a hurdle. Here are some ways you can create and repurpose content:
- Create a podcast channel and interview subject matter experts (SME) in your field.
- Repurpose User Generated Content (UGC) such as testimonials and reviews.
- Refresh existing content to boost your search rankings.
- Conduct a content audit and expand on content types that perform well.
- Create video content. Work with local videography agencies to create high-quality content that can be used as full-length or mini clips to inform users. For example, take your buyers on a virtual tour of your factory or showroom floor.
- Listen to your sales team! What are the most common questions they get? Develop content that authentically answers the questions.
Show them what you’ve got
Marketers are often challenged with providing a positive user experience while staying on track with conversion goals. Gated versus ungated content can be a gray area. The best thing you can do is test your content to see where users are engaging and make a decision from there. Here’s what we do at Imarc:
Question: How much of our website content should be gated?
Answer: There is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Keeping all content gated will frustrate users. Instead, allow top-of-funnel content to be ungated, and present a follow-up asset that requires their information. This way the user is gaining the knowledge they were searching for, and you have insights on potential customers.
Let’s get started!
Let’s recap: You want users to enjoy your site – so much so that they become a customer! To give them the best possible experience, find out more about your audience through analytics and then create more of what they want! Educating your audience on industry-specific topics will position your organization as a forward-thinking brand and go-to source for innovation.