You know that feeling when you put months of work into a fantastic marketing campaign, smoothly bringing consumers into the sales pipeline, only to have them get turned off by unresponsive landing pages and broken links?
I certainly hope you haven't had this experience. To avoid running into similar problems, make WebOps (website operations) an essential element of your marketing plan. A WebOps team prioritizes business results as they build the page, maintain it, monitor performance, and manage security updates or bugs that come along.
Keeping a website fresh, functional, and engaging is time-consuming and expensive. Most marketers cannot keep up with the daily demands and tend to delay substantial changes until circumstances dictate them. And most web teams work off of ill-defined backlogs of large feature requests, unsure of whether or how each feature will actually add business value.
Coordinating WebOps and marketing through iterative web design is imperative if you want your marketing initiatives to succeed.
The Best Return on Investment
As with any other function of your business, web design and operations require a consumer-centric approach. The company site allows a level of experiential control beyond any other channel a marketer can use, making it the ultimate tool for converting a skeptical consumer into a paying customer.
No matter how much time, effort, and money you put into social media, email, TV, or search engine marketing, the end goal is to lead consumers back to your website. That call to action at the end of each ad is driving your audience somewhere, and that final location must reinforce and enhance the messaging that came before it. If that landing page doesn't get the same investment of resources, all the previous marketing spend will have been a waste.
In an ideal environment, marketing and WebOps teams will work collaboratively on the content, management, and data measurement of site performance. The data gleaned from a well-functioning page will provide greater insights than a page with recurring issues and infrequent updates. Many contributors have WebOps expertise to bring to the table, but if marketers guide the content and tracking scripts while developers manage implementation, the end result will benefit from this collaborative spirit.
Connecting the Digital Dots
How can your marketing team build a cohesive marketing campaign that includes WebOps? Here are a few tips to marry these disparate departments to benefit all:
1. Use existing page data to inform your next campaign.
Your WebOps manager can deliver valuable insights around the search terms that drive the most traffic to your page. Use these terms to inspire or narrow your future content toward something that directly appeals to your audience.
Similarly, page data can inform the direction and location of your marketing initiatives. Demographic information on your site visitors can inform personas and audience targeting. Developers can pull referral traffic reports to indicate which channels are providing the most visitors to your page, giving you the perfect road map of where to expand promotions.
2. Leverage agile methodology for easier collaboration.
With the right agile framework, developers, marketers, editors, and designers can come together with a singular goal in mind. In this case, that goal would be optimizing the company's page to win more sales. Building cross-functional teams—or at least having regular in-person conversations between departments—will go a long way toward streamlining the decision-making process.
Tools like Google Analytics, Optimizely and Drupal can help team members test and measure every aspect of your page. Then, with the data gathered, you can iterate those areas that need improving and amplify those showing the most high-quality engagement.
3. Test the user experience to optimize your engagement.
User experience optimization allows you to test out links versus buttons, move images and text around the page, and even compare single-stage forms with multistage forms to see what elicits the most engagement. Combine this testing with your various branding options, and you can see which combinations of color, imagery, and text have the greatest impact on user behavior.
Your WebOps team can run reports to show the customer journey on your site, including what pages are converting at the highest rate to target higher-value landing pages. They can also look at heat-mapping tools like Crazy Egg or Hotjar to surface insights around UX and user behavior. For example, a heat map report might indicate that visitors are dwelling on a particular image or infographic that could be leveraged in a banner ad campaign. Or it might reveal an opportunity to create additional content to dig deeper into that particular subject.
When building a strategic marketing campaign, marketers have specific messaging and consumer touchpoints to keep in mind. Web design can be a powerful tool to achieve this, if you treat it as such. By working together with your WebOps team, you can help both operations have their greatest chance at success.Topics: Agencies, WebOps