Developing an experience strategy can seem daunting, but if you look at it as a set of coordinated, planned actions/tactics, which will take you along a journey to reach a desired future state over an established period of time, then it seems a bit more manageable. Breaking that down into bite-sized chunks, let’s start with the set of coordinated, planned actions.
Using a scorecard to see how your site(s) are performing is always helpful. There are tons of online scorecard tools. Some specialize in certain aspects like SEO, social, mobile, or usability, but you really need one that does everything. Do some research to find the right tool, or create a custom report that consolidates all of your current tools. Creating a custom report could take quite a bit of time, and depending on your needs, an existing online tool may suffice. Here are a few great options to consider:
Sitebeam is a paid product starting at $60 per month, which comes with nearly 40 tests that you can combine or disable as you wish. There are also five summary scores, which combine results from other tests for an at-a-glance indication of how strong a site is in the following key areas: accessibility, content, marketing, technology, and overall. One of the unique tests is for the cookie law; this isn’t present in the other tools mentioned below. You can also compare and rank your site to competitors. Sharing the full report is as easy as emailing a link.
Nibbler (by Sitebeam)
The free Nibbler test looks at a laundry list of site and blog characteristics—more than 24 high-level items—then generates an overall score (on a scale of 1 to 10) and a list of improvements ordered by priority. This is the Sitebeam “mini-me”.
Marketing Grader (by Hubspot)
Marketing Grader will give you an overall score for your site based on five categories: blogging, social media, SEO, lead generation, and mobile. Each section has a checklist of items as well as grades for individual aspects of the category. For instance, Marketing Grader will check your blog for social share buttons, an email sign up form, and an RSS feed. Then it will grade the most recent five posts according to social shares.
WooRank's free tool tests seven aspects of your site: SEO, mobile, usability, technologies, social, local, and traffic. They’ve got just about everything covered here. The final result is a score on a scale of 1 to 100 and either a report that you can download as a PDF or slides. You can then sign up for $49 a month and create an advanced review to track and optimize your site. This allows you to compare your site to competitors.
The free Quick Sprout tool lets you pull some competitor research while grading your site, social media, and content. When you begin your test, you can add up to three other sites/blogs from your industry. This report will score all four sites (yours, plus three competitors) and rank them from first to last, with a breakdown of traffic score, SEO score, speed score, and social share score.
All of the above tools give you a quick check on the health of your site and provide ideas on how to improve it. Once you choose a tool, run a report on your site to see where you need to focus to get the most benefit from your efforts. Then prioritize the issues highlighted in your scorecard from high, medium, or low impact as well as from very hard, hard, or easy to solve. This will feed into your strategy since you will need to check these ever changing and very organic action items throughout the year.
If you have an internal user experience team, you can use this report to set goals. For example, if you had a low score in the SEO section, set a goal to increase it by 10% by the end of second quarter. For the overall score, set a goal to improve it by 20% by end of year. Then educate your team on how they can achieve these goals.
In addition to your internal user experience team, share the report with anyone who can influence the results (e.g., technology, social, SEO, marketing, etc.). Sharing the report and goals is an important part of a successful strategy. Once you have everyone on board, run the report monthly and send out updates on how they are helping improve the site performance. This can be a good KPI for the teams.
“It’s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.”
— Paul Bryant
Starting off the year with a website scorecard, which feeds into a web strategy that then empowers the team to achieve success and use metrics to communicate that success, is a winning strategy.
Good luck with your preparation on a successful year!
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