Much has been written about Evolutionary Site Redesign (ESR) lately. A nice term that basically translate to: “a successful website requires optimization work throughout its lifetime”. Some nice examples of articles in which ESR is described in detail can be found here by Traffic Builders (in Dutch), or this article from WiderFunnel Marketing (in English).
The time that a website only had the function of an online brochure is far behind us. Your website is fully connected with your entire proposition, it must trigger interaction and should constantly meet the changing expectations of your visitors.
But who decides what the expectations of my site visitors are? Guess what, that is being determined before you, and in particular by the big players on the market. They generate the most visitors and they set the standards in terms of customer experience, so also for your visitors. Jacob Nielsen explains it here nicely.
Of course there are other “evolutionary” factors that ensure that websites have to be updated to new standards. For example Google with their “Mobile First indexing“, so don’t you dare to keep a website alive that is not responsive. Or the introduction of GDPR which also has an influence on the customer experience, as the website should be updated to make it legally compliant.
Checking the client experience on the websites of your competitors is a good reference point, but it should not simply be copied as such. Your product or service probably does differ from your major competitor and it makes sense to detect frictions to further optimize your conversion. You can therefore start with heat map analysis and user recordings to observe your visitors end-to-end in their behavior on your website: from the landing page to the check-out and payment. After all: “The proof is in the pudding”.
Nice to know, but is it worth the effort?
There are often high costs involved in researching and analyzing website visitors, let alone in the timely implementation of adjustments by your web developer.
ESR is then only viable for entrepreneurs with large volumes?
The larger the volume, the more economies of scale you can derive from optimizations and the better you van drive cost effectiveness. However, in order to utilize ESR while being a smaller player, you can consider looking for an ESR solution that offers cheaper purchasing and faster implementation: outsourcing.
Earlier in the article we stated that website optimization is an ongoing process. For this reason a managed service model can be your solution. You pay a fixed amount per month, and are therefore not unexpectedly faced with high costs. You get the tests implemented, analyze the results and then quickly implement the winners on your site. Then you monitor performance. You continue to pay close attention to the customer experience of the market leaders, adapt, and test again. By outsourced ESR you can cost effectively continue to prove that the customer experience remains optimal for your visitors, with optimal conversion as a result.