Why Your Company Website Should Be More Like iTunes

Gone are the days of building a website for a client and then saying ‘OK we’ll see you in a few years when you need a new one.’ More and more, our clients see their first version of a new website as exactly that, the first version of several iterations. Marketing Managers and business owners are starting to see their company websites as organic, evolving digital platforms that are constantly evaluated, modified and added to. In much the same way that software like iTunes is was released as version 1.1 and then rapidly updated and improved upon based on user feedback and behaviour (currently iTunes is on version 12.1).

Although an almost obsessive attention to analytics, traffic levels and conversion rates is the norm when it comes to e-commerce websites, it’s only in recent months that the same desire to iterate and constantly improve is becoming commonplace for regular business websites.

Perhaps the biggest influence driving the trend for constant website improvement is Google. Google makes it clear that their search results favour websites that have high quality content being added regularly. Google’s search algorithms have become so clever, they can tell the difference between low quality content, rammed with keywords just for the sake of SEO and well written content that is genuinely beneficial for web visitors.

Featuring on the first page of Google is not the only reason why marketing people are becoming increasingly obsessed with constant website improvement. Many websites are now seen as the beginning of a digital journey for prospective customers. Potential customers search on Google, find your website and upon arrival are funnelled down particular route which is designed specifically to turn them into prospective customers.

Again, many of these methods are borrowed from the online software industry where it’s common to A/B split test several landing pages against each other, use video content to sum up the offer in under 60 seconds and utilise several non threatening ‘calls to action’ like free trials, downloads and e-books as incentives to get the prospect to add their details immediately.

Once a prospect has added their contact details to the website, it’s becoming much more common for an automated digital marketing process to take over. A series of personalised emails kick in, taking the prospect from being mildly interested to ‘hot lead’ status. Of course, this doesn’t work every time, but by tracking every prospect’s interactions with each email and benchmarking their interest levels, it’s possible to ‘score’ each prospect based upon their behaviour and identify which prospects require phone follow up.

So the question is this, which version of your current website are you on?

If you’re stuck on version 1.1, it’s time to borrow from iTunes and start iterating.