Recently a client asked a really great question that has stuck with me: Why do we have to “tweak” my website once it’s been built and made live? Can’t we just make it “Perfect” the first time around?
In a perfect world, yes, most developers would build it right the first time. Who wouldn’t try to nail that vision perfectly out of the gate?
The issue becomes this – Even though you put extensive planning and thought into the strategy and build of your website, sometimes you just can’t predict how your customers will use it until you put it in front of them. Developers can use best practices in design, SEO and business planning as a guide, but you can never guess with 100% accuracy how your customer will read, digest, navigate and interact with your website.
Enter analytics. Once your website is live, analytics provide data on how customers are using your site, including:
- Keywords they search for to find it
- Which pages they view and stay on the longest
- What areas are frequented the most by all visitors
- What forms they are completing or information they are downloading
- And much more.
Analyzing the data helps you pinpoint areas of your site that need attention based on a visitor’s perspective. You might have a really cool web page (in your mind or your developer’s mind) but if that page isn’t being visited, then you have to take another look and determine the reason.
Why it’s important
Modifying or “tweaking” the page to fit your visitor’s needs helps to improve conversion rates on your site. Conversion is the process of using calls to action (i.e. fill out a form or download information) to transfer a visitor into a tangible lead interested in your product/service. You can’t make improvements unless you start with a baseline (or identify an issue) and then work to make it better.
All successful websites follow this same path and it’s nearly impossible to perfect things the first time around. Take Amazon.com for example. They are continuously making subtle tweaks to improve the usability of their website. Technology changes, user design interface evolves, and visitor’s expectations change. All of this funnels into the need for constant improvements, not because it wasn’t done right in the first place – it’s a natural part of web evolution and keeping up with your visitor’s needs.