How to make your website work harder for you – and your budget – in 2021

December 9, 2020

In a year that has seen an unprecedented surge in online sales – adding an estimated £5 billion to UK e-commerce – having a website that delivers results is more important than ever.

The pandemic has already seen consumers working and shopping from home, adding to the growth of retail sales; with Black Friday and Cyber Monday further boosting online spending.

And despite little cheer for the High Street this festive season, shoppers are making the most of those headline grabbing deals, free delivery, stand out offers while shopping or booking services from the comfort of their own home.

Covid-19 is expected to see one-quarter of the UK’s whole population make a permanent switch to online shopping as a result of the pandemic, with a predicted 17.2 million UK consumers planning to make permanent changes to their shopping habits.*

There has never been a more crucial time, with January sales also just around the corner, to give your website a health check. But how can you make your website work harder for you, without stretching budgets?

Louise Campbell, senior account manager at Peterborough-based Media Matters PR and digital marketing agency, has some advice: “Some simple steps can make a big difference in advancing your website and making it work harder for you – and a little additional cost.

“Your first port of call should be to check your website analytics. Aim to understand how people are using your website by reviewing data in the likes of Google Analytics. Look out for quick win opportunities such as:

  • Is there a page that people spend much longer on than other pages on your website? Or a page that receives a higher than average volume of traffic (excluding your homepage)? This page might hold useful information for your audience or be particularly engaging. Review the page and see if there are any opportunities to include new calls to action to try and encourage conversions.
  • Is there a page that a high proportion of visitors view before converting? This page could be convincing people to convert on your website, so think about how you can drive more people to it.
  • Does a particular page or area of your website experience a high bounce rate? This may indicate that the content or information provided by the page is not what people are expecting to see. Take a look at the page and see if you could add, take away or clarify the content. Watch out though – certain areas of websites, such as blogs, do tend to have a higher than normal bounce rate.

“Next, review the key pages on your website and see what information falls above the fold (‘above the fold’ is the content on your screen before you have to scroll down). Is this information attention-grabbing and useful? Be highly critical of this content as it is crucial in encouraging users to scroll down, engage with your content and potentially convert.

“High quality imagery is vital; it should add to the value of the page, particularly if you are selling a product. Equally, any calls to action you use must be easy to complete and very visible. Consider whether you could use a form or a button in a contrasting colour as your call to action.

“Finally, consider asking a small focus group of individuals, who are not familiar with your brand, to review your website too. After they have looked through the website, ask them to explain what they think it is your business does, what overall impression they had of your company from visiting the website and if there’s any areas of the website that they found difficult to use or confusing. This can be a really insightful exercise, highlighting to you where improvements could be made.”