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Let Your Website Evolve Into What It Should Be

Let Your Website Evolve Into What It Should Be daily-golden-nugget-1388-91
Every business experiences some type of growing pains; these usually have something to do with lack of time, hiring the right employees, and supply and demand of products, but there's also a website growing pain that's very real.

Eventually you will grow beyond the needs of your current website. The next time you rebuild your website it should take a lot more thought and planning than the previous incarnation of the site. With every incarnation of your site, you have the chance to learn more about your customers and what they expect from your business, and you apply that knowledge to continually improve your website, and even your business.

Evolved Product Photography

I recently found myself deeply browsing an e-commerce site just because the photography was interesting and the headlines were engaging. The photography was engaging and it was a strategy I'd not seen before. They had the same model wearing their products in a casual everyday locations like work and out with friends, but then the same person was modeling their products in front of a white background. They also had close-ups of their items without the model.

When it comes to pictures speaking 1000 words, these sets of photos told a full story of how and when to wear specific items, ways to accessorize with them, and provided enough close up details to help answer potential pre-sales questions.

I used the Internet Archive Wayback Machine website to look back through time at the previous incantations of this particular site. I found that since launching their site 24 months ago, they are already on their 3rd incarnation of their site. Each version was more and more engaging and had better product photography.

It's easy for me to tell you that this approach is a good one to follow, but it's difficult for most business owners to see the value in this approach. It turns out that they were also using those casual everyday model photos throughout their social media posts to create micro-marketing campaigns for each product. They didn't let any photo go to waste.

Tools To Help Make Your Website Better

Understanding how to make your website more engaging, such as how they did with the above product photography, isn't something that you simply dream up over night. Even though that idea sounds great, it might not be appropriate for your business. You have to figure out what will make your website more successful than it is now.

Tools to help you on the road to success include user tracking like CrazyEgg for heatmaps and scrollmaps, and Mouseflow, SessionCam, or HotJar for video tracking. Each of these will help you understand how people use your website, but then you'll need to either use a lot of guesswork or A/B testing to figure out ways to make your site better.

A/B testing might not be available to you if you still have a simple first generation website, but a skillful programmer could set that testing up on WordPress or Shopify. All the other testing methods I mentioned are easy to set up as long as you have direct access to edit the website code or the master template for the site.

It's best to have some goals in mind when you implement any of these tracking methods for the first time. Perhaps you want to know what type of product photos get the most clicks, or what pages on your navigation are clicked most often. You might also need to figure out why people bounce from your home page so quickly, or maybe why several people exit the website from a specific page. Having goals like these will make the tracking tools more valuable than simply trying to randomly analyze the data.

Overcome Barriers and Take Action

Although your website might seem completely functional, there's no way to gauge its performance unless you are measuring results in some way. One of common barriers to website change occurs when the business owner loves the look of their website and does not want to change, despite evidence showing the benefits of change. Please don't fall into that trap.

You should make improvements to your site slowly if you can, or schedule full overhauls of the design and functionality to match your business goals. Complete website overhauls might hurt your business if you don't take steps to prevent it.

The worst action you can take with your website is complete inaction. Your website needs to evolve and grow from one incarnation to the next by learning from your mistakes, from customer actions, and planning to meet long term business goals.

AT: 11/18/2015 12:53:18 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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