Thinking about a website redesign? Of course you’ll want to make it look good: According to Adobe, nearly 70% of consumers say good design is crucial to a positive online experience. But a site redesign is about much more than looks. Your website needs to be optimized to help you grow your business, such as driving more conversions or swiftly resolving customer issues.
In other words, your website may be pretty — but is it smart?
In a time of financial uncertainty when marketing budgets are often first to face the ax, investing in website optimization might be considered a “nice to have.” But digital has never been more important, and your website is your secret weapon for growing your business and promoting customer loyalty.
Redesign your website to reduce reliance on your call center
A 2012 study from Auburn University found that if consumers don’t find what they’re looking for online, they turn to “traditional” means of communication — namely costly call centers. That’s not surprising, since many people still prefer talking to a human, as outlined by a call tracking and conversational analytics specialist in this Harvard Business Review article.
But humans cost money. In fact, customer-call centers can cost upwards of $5 per call. If your business is large and you field hundreds, maybe thousands of service calls a day, that can add up quickly.
In some cases, you actually want your support team to handle more complex customer issues. But the more you can rely on your website to deliver accurate, timely answers to common customer questions, the better off you’ll be. Not only will you save money, you’ll also save your customers valuable time.
But when your customers can’t navigate your website intuitively, or can’t find the answers they need, they get frustrated. And when they’re frustrated, they’re more likely to leave your site. Research shows that if customers can’t find what they’re looking for in 2–3 attempts, they’ll give up. Once they leave, they’re unlikely to come back. In fact, 68% of people say they would not return to a site that provided a poor search experience. Investing in better on-site search will help you keep your business from falling into that category. For many this feels like a heavy lift, but there are some turnkey ways to enhance your website’s search capabilities to ensure your customers get the answers they need — and so your business won’t spend unnecessarily on support costs.
In fact, people don’t mind a self-service approach to resolving issues. American Express, for example, finds a bias toward digital self-service. Its Global Customer Service Barometer shows that more than 6 out of 10 U.S. consumers report that their go-to channel for simple inquiries is a digital self-serve tool, be it a website, mobile app, voice response system, or online chat. But sometimes it’s just basic search that can provide the most value. A study by Parature reveals that 84% of consumers prefer to use search to solve problems and find answers. And since consumer questions asked in searches convert to page clicks more than twice as often as even two years ago, site search is a critical feature to your website.
But just because you have site search doesn’t mean your customer service problems are solved. The key is understanding customer intent and optimizing your website to understand their questions and deliver the right answer clearly and directly. And when you do, the results are pretty compelling.
Optimize your website for organic search
Your website is the digital “front door” for your business, and the experience your customer has on your domain can determine if they will be a one-time visitor or a brand advocate. But because information about your brand can be found across so many channels — maps, apps, search engines, directories, and AI-power devices — you can’t overlook the importance of optimizing your site for ranking in third-party search.
In fact, recent Yext research related to revenue derived from organic search versus other channels finds that organic search contributes, on average, to a more significant portion of online revenue than other channels: 5x more than email, 23x more than social, and 37x more than display advertising. When you redesign your website, you want to make sure it’s designed to help you win in organic search, which will ultimately reduce your dependency on paid search.
For accurate and consistent answers about your brand to surface in search, your website needs to have targeted content. That means including descriptive keywords in titles, headings, images, and even video. In addition, use a structured data markup, like Schema, to analyze details embedded within the HTML documents on your site and then translate them into terms that search engines can decipher. That will produce rich, relevant results that can help your brand rank for featured snippets. Capturing search intent, and ensuring a keyword match, drives traffic — and ultimately, conversions.
The power of site search + organic search in your redesign
Adapting your website design to deliver reliable self-service support not only improves your bottom line, but it also means you’ll also be able to convert customers faster to grow your business.
By combining the power of an amazing site search experience with the value derived from a website optimized for organic search, you can make your website work harder for you — and deliver a better customer experience at the same time.