Nosferatu was the original vampire. Count Van Count is the most notable in current times.
But don’t let website revamp strategy be low on priorities and suck the life out of your business or count the dollars hemorrhaging through the clicks.
Remember, conversion rate optimization is key to a successful digital marketing strategy.
Have you ever observed someone checking out a website?
Did you watch how they navigated around looking for information?
These customer behaviors give you great information on what is good and not-so-good with your website.
So, when was the last time you looked into redoing your website?
When was the last time you watched someone navigate it? Sounds silly?
Trust me, this can help you with improving user experience.
Recently, I helped launch a webchat platform for a healthcare company site.
The vendor they selected allows anonymous viewing of online customers before engaging in chat.
The health care company is beta testing it on one part of its website that generates customer interaction – registration for classes and events.
Normal interactions with their customers for this service would be a phone call to their call center or online navigation with e-commerce transaction.
So far, as of this blog post, I’ve observed over 50 hours of customer navigation with intermittent engagement.
Website Revamp Process: The Lay of the Land
The events and classes portion of the health care site is not cosmetically the nicest looking, but the information is laid out in a good and visually clean view.
Search capabilities are not optimized for user search patterns.
Some words are complicated to spell, especially in the medical terminology.
And knowing how the back-end is created, the topics and service sourcing is not indicative of the customer requirements.
Things are not completely intuitive on search options, and there are too many ways to search on the page; leaving the user confused.
When looking at your site, look at it from all formats of view – browsers used, devices used, and operating systems.
Interestingly for this health care site, Apple products will allow the customer to create an appointment in their calendar and links when registered.
Windows, Google and Android users, sorry, that is not available.
Another time waster on this health care site is the lack of shopping cart.
Many customers navigate the site looking to register for multiple classes – maternity classes, exercise classes, support groups that people will take more than once.
When customers want to register, they have to register and pay individually for each class.
It’s not bulking it for one transaction.
Why is this a bad thing?
Well, when you want to register for, let’s say 4 classes (average for maternity customers), you have to complete 4 registration forms, 4 captcha’s, input your credit card and billing information 4 times.
On the company side, it means credit card processing fees can be higher.
So here are behaviors I observed:
High idle time
- Customers are not able to get the information quickly or it’s too much to read
- Customer will scroll and scroll and stop engagement
- Search capability improperly labelled (mobile)
- On mobile platform, the first thing you see is the search navigator
- The first line of the open type box search states “Name” not “Search Classes and Events” as it appears on desktop, so customers will input their name on the search
- No matter what people do, it will not generate results unless they clear out the search
- This causes a higher and faster bounce rate because there are no results generated
Volume of classes
- When using generic subject terms, such as women’s health, most of their events are tagged to that search criteria subject
- Offerings are not equal at all locations
- Majority of registrations are for maternity classes, and the options available are not explained elsewhere on the site, or what other classes can be a good option to take (suggested classes – bundle offers)
- Classes that are specifically marketed – lectures with one occurrence at a specific location are easier for customers to find and navigate to due to search parameters that eliminate other options quickly (date, location, exact title match)
Website Revamp Strategy: Recommendations
What is the best way for this company or yours to revamp and modernize a website?
The health care company could improve their website using the following tweaks and suggestions.
Easier navigation based on 2 major personas of customers: Maternity and All Others.
The tweak here is navigating to a clickable box option to start the search, an example below.
Then the following pages would allow navigation in more approachable search levels.
Under the Maternity section, it could distinguish prenatal education, child care and safety, and post-natal support.
Then see the classes under each category, select the class that interested them and then offer options and locations.
All other events/classes can select the part of the body (heart, lung, back, head, eyes, etc.), type in search, or date search function.
Then they can select education or support group. And finally see the available option(s).
Ultimately, multi-selection cart offering on the site could be an awesome addition.
Customers need to be able to add classes to a cart and then review purchases at the end before payment.
How to Implement Changes
Now, in this company’s circumstances, ideas on functionality of the site have been agreed upon and understood as a deficit in its marketing strategy.
But a complete overhaul of their system was not advantageous due the complex integrations on the website.
Over the past year they have developed several upgrades but nothing dramatically improving the customer experience.
Over the next year their website revamp strategy is to get these functions in a way to not jeopardize its extensive website.
Yet, the data they are collecting through the chat interface has demonstrated more in regards to actual user issues versus market trends and best practices through professional published work.
This doesn’t necessarily mean do a trial and error on your website and continually change it.
However, there are two thoughts about this correction.
If you are a startup, a template-based site will keep things clean.
Also, it will be easier to adapt as you grow.
Following current trends and best practices will help make your first moves the best one.
But improvement and cleanliness of your online store must be done on a regular basis.
If you don’t clean your store regularly, you develop cobwebs and dirt and people will turn right around when visiting.
If you are a developed and growing business, an entire overhaul may disrupt service and cause more heartache and dissatisfied customers.
I believe the health care company is doing the right thing and updating the site progressively, but it’s still relatively slow and far behind current technology and e-commerce options.
Luckily, they do have a call center that handles registration; and will field calls and provide a faster, yet informative interaction that leaves customers satisfied and willing to engage again on phone or the Internet.
With any website, it’s not a Ron Popeil catch phrase of “set it and forget it.”
You have to create a schedule to critically review your website and then plan action items based on the findings.
You don’t need to take a vacuum and suck up everything at one-go, but taking a duster and removing the spider webbing and dust can help improve the user experience with each stroke of new code.
The website revamp cost depends on the complexity and level of integration needed, so always plan and budget for continual improvements.
What revamp have you done to improve your customer experience?
What are some websites launched or revamped in 2018 that introduced new elements of design?
Leave your story in the comments section below.