Optimize Your Website’s Impact

Kurt Voelker

Vice President, Business Strategy and Growth, Forum One

Corey Jones

Creative Director, Forum One

This blog post was written by Hannah Studen, BBA ‘21 William & Mary

2020 has introduced myriad challenges in attempting to implement pre-planned digital strategies. Many organizations have had to start over and rethink their entire approach.  While always a necessary part of any digital strategy, organizations everywhere are relying on their website as a  primary communication tool, which provides an opportunity to explore and strengthen how their digital home helps achieve their organizational goals. A complete website redesign is not always an option, but there are small tweaks and improvements that can help you quickly start to optimize your website’s impact today. In our webinar, we provided six tips you can do now to optimize your content and increase engagement with your current website. 

1. Personalize your content

Make your outreach personal by creating unique and individual experiences.  Start by understanding your audiences and tailoring content and outreach to their needs. You can use website personalization to serve up different content based on the visitor’s behavior and the accompanying data. Using analytics data from your website, you can decide which pages people are most interested in or map to SEO keywords to begin prioritizing and optimizing. 

Your email communications are another simple way to personalize content. Marketing automation tools, such as Mailchimp, Salesforce/Pardot, and Marketo, can assist in personalizing the content in your emails by using automated sequences based on a contact’s actions.  

Getting started with personalization can be broken down into three phases: Crawl, Walk, Run. 

  • Crawl: Audit, assess, and establish your strategy and segments
  • Walk: Collect data and determine what it is telling you about your audiences 
  • Run: Select the best tools for your organization and make iterative refinements

2. Repurpose & Revive 

Just because content is old doesn’t mean that it is necessarily irrelevant! You can optimize existing website content by making small tweaks to make it more current or bringing to the top of the list of content that a user is served . You can reimagine old footage or images by giving them new life on your social media channels. This allows you to strengthen the lifespan of those materials and build efficiencies into your content creation, giving people the illusion that you are constantly creating new content. 

Conversational interfaces, chatbots, and assistants can also help repurpose your existing content by offering shortcuts. Chatbots give your existing audiences new channels to discover your existing services and  are also a new way to serve key audiences you’re trying to reach. 

You can also layer your existing program and services data to encourage deeper engagement. The first layer should be a small tidbit—a “data snack”—that includes simple insights that can grab someone’s attention. The next layer— a “data story”—elaborates and contextualizes the data snack and the third layer—a “data explorer”—aims for deeper engagement by allowing audiences to ask questions about your data.

3. Flip the physical to digital

During our most recent webinar, we took a quick poll to find out which physical service or program has been most affected by moving to  fully remote work. Half of respondents indicated that direct in-person services (education, training, etc.) and  45% indicated that events and convenings are the most affected. 

A lot of organizations are having to be creative about how they convene or continue programming in a time when we are all being asked to stay at home. This is an opportunity to reimagine your in-person events and how can you still be effective with the work your organization does—online. We’ve seen lots of organizations effectively rethink and digitize their physical products, create engaging “exhibits,” and conduct in-person training and programs. 

4. Strengthen your brand story 

Perhaps now is the time to explore if your current brand still conveys the value of your organization. You might find that there are opportunities to modernize or strengthen your brand identity and how you communicate it across a variety of  This won’t necessarily necessitate a full rebrand—though that might be an avenue you explore—but would definitely include thinking about how can strengthen your messaging and how you use your website to tell your brand story and keep your brand promise. 

Start by selecting areas where you can execute impact and story-driven design refreshes that better tell your story. Think about your website experience from top to bottom as a storytelling platform. When reimaging a page begin with a big idea, formulate a connection between the idea and your organization, , and then use content from your site to support the big idea and bring your audiences along on your brand journey.

5. Go beyond your site

Though your website is a key part of the strategy, this may be an opportunity to look beyond your main website for opportunities to improve your entire digital ecosystem. Perhaps your social channels are lacking substance and structure and could use some refreshing or strategy. Video and social assets can extend your reach and share content with new audiences that you may not have had access to otherwise. Conversational interfaces and assistants can also help engage with audiences in new channels that are off your site.

6. Get data & stop guessing

A data-driven approach is an efficient approach. An incremental understanding of your digital tools usage can provide valuable insights about how you approach strategy decisions. Align what you’re tracking with what you’re trying to achieve and measure with Google Tag Manager updates by capturing new metadata, events, and actions. Start to implement new segments within your analytics, as pre-created segments allow for more relevant questions on the data. These key questions can be answered with ongoing analysis, high-level dashboards, and routine reports.

Wondering what to do first?

Now is as good a time as any to start thinking through how your website is helping reach your audiences and ultimately, achieving the impact you are hoping to see in the world. With a bit of digital elbow grease, you can optimize your website’s impact in no time. If you are looking for help on where to start, get in touch!

Written By

Kurt Voelker

Vice President, Business Strategy and Growth, Forum One

Corey Jones

Creative Director, Forum One

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