On Saturday October 15, 2016 Annie Wolock presented her approach for creating effective websites at Ann Arbor’s WordCamp. Her 15 minute lightning talk relayed the questions one asks to improve findability (on-page SEO), conversion ratios, and retention rates. This was a 30,000 ft overview of the discovery process for either designing or redesigning a website.

Over the past 20 plus years Annie has refined her discovery phase for creating websites and is now integral to the ongoing continuous improvement cycle for the websites Keystone manages. Discovery for websites is important whether it is for a brand new website, a redesign, or within an on-going web maintenance plan.  At Keystone we ask series of questions leading to improved and effective websites that meet business goals.

Her multi-faceted approach delves into:

  • Online business goals. Documenting your online business goals is critical. Your online goals will constantly evolve as they are met. Goals should be measurable, specific, attainable, specific, and in writing.
  • Persona development. It’s important to understand your customers. We want to know what’s important to them in their own words. We want to know their pain points, as well as what makes them satisfied. Important info includes demographics such as male/female, age, and education. Methods for unearthing this information includes talking to your sales force, customer service, or technical support to find out common questions or themes.
  • Linguistic study. Using the words of your customers gives you credibility as well as better SEO. It’s that simple. Perform your linguistic study!
  • Competitive analysis. Knowing what your online and brick and mortar customers are doing is power. It’s wise to perform a competitive analysis one or two times per year. The real question is, how are you determining who your competitors are?
  • Technical analysis. This is about understanding your page load time and whether your code is properly optimized, as well as other technical facets. There are a number of online resources to help you understand what’s going on with your website. Google analytics is a great resource for determining page speed. If you’re finding your site slow, you can also call your server admin people and find out if there is a server problem or if you might be better off on a different server.
  • Analytics review & tracking. Analytics closes the loop on your continuous website improvement process. We use analytics to set benchmarks on our key performance indicators (KPI) as well as a tool for discovery.

This presentation was a consolidation of her longer seminar/workshop. This overview got right to the point and spoke to the questions you should be asking, the (KPI) you should be tracking, and how to find out the answers.

Please contact Annie Wolock to learn more about effective websites.

Watch the effective websites PPT presentation below.