Using your website data to create an effective digital marketing strategy

Your website is the digital gateway to your business and should be at the center of your digital marketing strategy. To ensure success, your website should not only provide your audience with relevant information regarding your business, products and services but it should also be well connected, properly promoted and active across relevant digital marketing channels.

In order for your website to stand out amongst the crowd and rank well on search engines, you will need to understand how well it’s performing. To do so you will need to make use of your websites data to review your existing efforts and compose an effective strategy.

This article explains a key tactic used when we compose a marketing strategy for our clients: our theory of website user journeys and how they directly impact lead-conversion rates. We explain the benefits of understanding your websites user data in a manageable and measurable way and offer some key tips to improve your conversion rates.

Our digital marketing conversion theory

At Youbiquity, we understand there is a general measurable journey that web-users take before they commit to purchase or decide to use the services of a business that is marketing online. For some people this journey will happen quickly. For others is will be a staggered process that relies on trust-building over time, until eventually making the plunge to buy or enquire about a product or service.

Understanding how your website is performing across each level of this journey is vital to establishing your presence online and converting valuable audience traffic into leads and customers.

We segment a typical user journey into five key stages. At each stage of this user journey, your website needs to perform optimally and have the right content that answers your readers’ questions, builds trust, and delivers what the user is looking for.

Let us start by explaining what the journey refers to.

The five key stages of a website users’ journey:

digital-marketing-strategy

  1. Discovery

The discovery stage refers to the moment a user reaches your website and where they found you. This could be via search engines, through social media, direct traffic or from backlinks (links from other websites), for example.

You need to understand which digital marketing channels are working well for you and driving traffic to your website. If one area is weaker than another then you need to consider why that may be. Is the content you are delivering through those channels resonating with the audience? Is the marketing collateral engaging and enticing to the viewer to find out more?

You can use analytics, link tags and other tracking tools to understand where your traffic is coming from and how you are being discovered. If you find that most of your traffic is coming directly to your website i.e. your users aren’t finding you on any other platforms, such as social media – then you know that is an area you need to focus on.

  1. Learning

The learning stage is the time your viewers spend looking at and reading your website content to understand who you are, what you do and what your products and services are. At this point they may have questions that they need answering before moving forward, or they could be looking for reassurance in your knowledge or the quality of your services.

Put yourself in your audiences’ shoes and think about what questions you might be asking if you were looking to buy your products or services. Then, ensure that your website answers those questions.

This doesn’t always have to be literal Q&A pages (although they can help), instead think about the types of content that will be most engaging to your audience and deliver indirect answers to questions the viewer might have.

  1. Decision

The decision refers to when a user chooses to engage with your company through your website, on any level. This may not only be a direct sale, but it also includes things like requesting more information, asking for directions, emailing you to ask a question, adding their email address to your subscriber list and so on.

Making the decision to engage is a huge step in a website users’ journey, but they will only do so if you are optimising your efforts to be discovered and to provide the user with the right information.

If you are finding that you have high levels of traffic with low levels of leads coming through your website, then you need to reassess your efforts at the discovery and learning stages of this process.

  1. Development

Your user journey doesn’t stop once a user has been converted into a lead, so your digital marketing strategy shouldn’t either. In fact, users that have already engaged with your website on some level are much more likely to re-engage, share and endorse your companies’ products and services (providing their experience was positive). So, it is vital that you nurture your existing users and develop your website to continue to provide them with that they are looking for.

You can achieve this by re-engaging your leads with email marketing, surveys, offers or loyalty schemes, for example. Also, consider things like exclusive content for users that have an account with you – this will encourage re-engagement and build loyalty amongst your existing users.

  1. Renewal

The renew stage refers to the stage of a user’s journey that results in repeated lead conversion from the same user. Often this is considered the most valuable stage in the lead generation journey but also the hardest to reach.

It is important to remember that for each user, this journey may take place quickly or over a long period of time and it may be that some users need more reassurance at one stage than another.

For some, this journey may take place as a linear sequence, but for the majority of users it’s a process that has a variable order with differentiating time spent at each stage being unique for everyone.

Categorising your user journey stages to build a successful marketing strategy

Although the basic concepts of the five user journey stages do not change, each website will have a unique set of measurables to gauge its performance.

You can categorise these stages in your users’ journey and segment your websites data to produce KPI’s (key performance indicators) that let you easily gauge your current performance and highlight areas to improve.

You should carefully consider your own audience to determine your individual KPI’s, but we have included some general insights that will help you to get started:

Typical KPI’s for each user journey stage

Discovery

  • Total number of website visitors
  • Referral channels:
    • Visitors via Google/search engines
    • Visitors via Social media
      • Twitter
      • Facebook
      • LinkedIn
      • YouTube
      • Instagram
    • Visitors via backlinks
  • Total number of pages listing on Google
    • Total number of pages on Google’s first page
  • Google impression vs google clickthrough’s

Learning

  • Product page views
  • Service page views
  • Article/blog page views
  • Downloads
  • Image/Video views

Decision

  • Number of quote requests
  • Number of call-to-action triggers
  • Email/telephone calls via website
  • Number of purchases through the website
  • Social shares
  • Landing page conversions
  • Goal conversions

Development

  • Number of returning visitors
  • Time spent on site
  • Bounce rate
  • Email subscribers
  • Email engagement
  • Number of user accounts
  • Feedback submissions

Renewal

  • Number of referrals
  • Number of returning customers
  • Offers redeemed
  • Case study submissions

All of these KPI’s will help you to build a general score for each area of your user journey and help you to pinpoint the areas that you need to improve on.

Sometimes the data you’re gathering can be complicated and even overwhelming for those without the technical knowledge. However, putting the time and effort into understanding your websites data using analytics will pay off in the long term.

digital-marketing-KPI-dataTypical data captured to build individual KPI’s may seem daunting and overwhelming but with the right knowledge it becomes easy to digest.

Creating a robust, long-term digital strategy

At Youbiquity, we use this system as a core elemtns of a full digital marketing strategy. Clients that have existing websites that they want to get the most out of or are planning to launch a website and want to ensure everything is being done to make it a success benefit most from this process. This is part of a broader spectrum of work that is vital to implementing digital marketing campaigns that work.

We offer free initial consultations to businesses and organisations that are looking to develop a long-term digital marketing strategy that generates more leads through their website. If you would like to discuss your marketing plans further and think you would benefit from additional advice, request a consultation today.