Digital performance: finally take (back) control!
Marine Dutrieux I Digital Performance Consultant, Keyrus Digital
One of the major drivers behind any digital strategy is data. With a methodical approach, centred on data analysis, you can turn your site, and more generally your digital ecosystem, into a machine for achieving your goals in terms of sales, lead generation, notoriety…You do this by identifying and activating those levers that are most effective in generating more qualified traffic, engaging users, and maximizing conversion rates.
An effective digital platform is, first and foremost, one that meets your objectives. Depending on your particular aim – whether it be, for example, to boost online sales, identify prospects, encourage in-store visits, or increase the number of pages viewed so as to enhance the appeal of the site to advertisers – the right levers to choose will not always be the same ones. With any project to devise a campaign, or create or redesign a digital platform, if you are looking to maximize its effectiveness and return on investment, the essential first step is to clarify the objectives behind it.
THINK "PERFORMANCE" RIGHT FROM THE DESIGN STAGE
When redesigning a digital base, it is highly useful to analyze user journeys on the existing set-up, since this allows you to identify everything about it that goes against your intended objective, including, notably, points of disconnect and aspects that do not encourage the engagement with the user that you would expect. The Google Analytics suite provides the tools and data required to conduct this analysis in an objective manner. It enables you to come up with a precise mapping of everything that will then need to be reworked with user experience (UX) experts at a later stage, so as to ensure that the thinking behind the future digital platform is genuinely centred on the user. Moreover, it is important to note that adopting a performance-focused mindset right from the design phase is certainly not incompatible with a Design Thinking-type design method. It can even be highly complementary, as the analytical elements can serve to enrich and objectify the personas/journeys vision that is specific to Design Thinking. Whether the project involves a redesign or a creation from scratch, it is essential to define the SEO strategy from an early stage. This involves the company cross-referencing its offerings with its objectives so as to devise the matrix of keywords on which it needs to position itself in order to acquire qualified traffic from search engines, above all Google1. It is this matrix that is then used by the UX and SEO experts to create a structure that is both user-friendly and robot-friendly. It is essential for there to be proper coordination between UX and SEO, so as to take all technical constraints into account and design a digital platform whose content hierarchy corresponds to searches by internet users, rather than to the company's internal terminology. Once again, it is very important to think in "user-centric" terms!
ACTIVATE THE RIGHT LEVERS TO BOOST PERFORMANCE
If a certain reputation has not already been acquired at brand level, no site will spontaneously generate traffic, and a fortiori qualified traffic. You need to regularly set, and reset, things in motion through acquisition campaigns. The techniques to be mobilized depend on each campaign's context and objectives. Since no one technique is self-sufficient in itself, more or less weight will be given to the various acquisition levers, depending on available resources, budgets, or maybe the digital maturity of the company. However, none of these levers replaces natural referencing. Possessing a well optimized site remains the most reliable way to be well placed in search engine results – hence the importance of the initial work on the SEO strategy.
It is not enough just to attract visitors. You then have to transform that traffic, in other words, lead as many visitors as possible to fulfill your conversion objectives: by placing an order, leaving their contact details, arranging an appointment, or maybe consulting the pages bearing the advertisements of the advertisers. Thus, by regularly and systematically analyzing user journeys, you can permanently optimize the site's ergonomics by creating appealing landing pages for each type of query and introducing features intended to:
• Reassure the internet user – through the presence of customer opinions on the product pages, access to a community of users, the securing of the site…
• Make their searches on the site easier – with auto-fill in the internal search engine, chatbots, FAQs, the displaying of previously viewed products…
• Encourage them to interact with you – by diversifying the contact methods (telephone, contact form, webchat, chatbot, Click to Call, Web Call Back…)
Achieving the right combination of these different means, along with personalizing the site to show the visitor that the company knows and recognizes them, significantly increases the level of engagement and the conversion rate.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE SO AS TO BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN CONVERTING IT
Managing a digital platform with a view to improving its performance means knowing who comes on to it, and who buys what and when, so as to always be more effective in segmenting the audience, targeting campaigns, and increasing the conversion rate. All actions and interactions on a site or application are traceable, and alongside that, Google supplies relevant demographic data (age, sex, centers of interest of internet users...). A tagging plan undertaken using Google Tag Manager enables this (anonymous) information to be fed into Google Analytics so as to establish a detailed typology of the audience. By analyzing the data, you may discover, for example, that the "Kitchen" section of an e-commerce site is much visited by 35-45-year-old men, on a website that originally targeted housewives aged 50 or over. A new business opportunity is then detected.
Thanks to this knowledge of user behaviors and profiles, it is then possible to segment the audience and action the right conversion levers for each segment: a chasing e-mail for visitors who filled their shopping bag but did not finalize the purchase, an invitation to discover a new product for those who have viewed a particular section several times, etc. Visual dashboards built using ad hoc tools make it possible to monitor the performance of each action/campaign, correct those that do not produce the desired results, identify lulls in activity or traffic, and schedule new actions so as to even out activity on the site.
A VIRTUOUS DYNAMIC
Optimal digital performance is therefore achieved by continually analyzing and optimizing the digital ecosystem. The behavior of internet users changes over time, and by managing to call into question that which was true yesterday but is no longer true today, you can propose the most suitable response to users. These optimization actions are based fundamentally on data analysis. It is this iterative approach that allows you, at any given time, to take the right decisions so as to place the site within a virtuous dynamic and achieve ever more ambitious objectives.
By way of an example, analyzing journeys and identifying points of disconnect made it possible to redesign user journeys on the website of the upmarket bathroom design company RICHARDSON, based on a web-to-store rationale, thereby creating a true cross-channel journey. This has generated 400 new point-of-sale contacts per month, on top of the fifty or so appointment bookings each month: a real business accelerator for RICHARDSON. Any company can see its web and mobile performance increase to this degree. On what condition? That it is methodical and relies on the data so as to leave nothing to chance, right from the design phase.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marine Dutrieux - Having been passionate about SEO for more than 5 years now, Marine Dutrieux has specialized in problem issues surrounding Digital Performance. Her interest in search engine algorithms has led her to diversify her activity so as to assist companies in achieving ever higher levels of performance. In this way, she addresses her clients' business issues by deploying digital performance management set-ups as part of a Data Driven Marketing rationale. She joined Keyrus in 2016 to accelerate the development of its Digital Performance offerings.