2014 Best Practices on your Website

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Ryan Thompson and Jordan Wollman, the partners of agency Aria, present the best practices to produce results on digital platforms and websites for 2014

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Business

2014 Best Practices on your Website

  1. 1. 2014 Best Practices on the Web A guide to designing websites that generate awareness, raise engagement and boost conversions An Educational Presentation | Ryan Thompson (Founder & CEO) & Jordan Wollman (Partner & CCO)
  2. 2. Ryan Thompson Chief Executive Officer & Founder @ Aria Welcome! Jordan Wollman Chief Creative Officer & Partner @ Aria
  3. 3. We change how people experience destination brands through strategy, branding, marketing and digital experiences

  4. 4. What we’ll cover 1) How to think about your website! 2) Planning & strategy for modern websites! 3) The role and importance of content! 4) Information architecture! 5) Design tips! 6) A wee bit of technical stuff! 7) Thinking like a salesperson! 8) Shareability & social integration! 9) Q&A
  5. 5. 1. Don’t build a “website” You need a digital marketing platform that is your first, most integrated impression to the world
  6. 6. It sure as hell doesn’t belong to I.T. Your website is the center of the hub of your digital ecosystem with many spokes inbound and outbound
  7. 7. Think about where the majority of your marketing and advertising lands people… Source: Heather Timmerman on PreviewNetworks.com
  8. 8. The Leisure Travel Lifecycle
  9. 9. BROADCAST WEBSITE BOOKING ENGINE MOBILE OPTIMIZED
"
 WEBSITE PRINT ONLINE TRAVELAGENTS OWNED MEDIA DIGITAL CONTENT VISITORS GUIDE PR CONTENT PR SOCIAL REVIEW PLATFORMS SOCIAL SHARING
  10. 10. 2. Be strategic Your Digital Marketing Platform must achieve specific goals
  11. 11. Define your objectives We think they should be: 1) Increased awareness! 2) Engagement! 3) Conversion
  12. 12. { Objective:! Awareness ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ Website traffic volume Website traffic referrals Inbound links from third-parties Inbound search volume Email subscriber database growth Social friends, followers, fan volume Social share of voice / Influence Earned media coverage
  13. 13. Objective:! Engagement { ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ Website time on site Website repeat visits Website bounce rate Social friends engagement Social sharing Recommendations Reviews Email opens / clicks
  14. 14. Objective:! Conversion { ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ ‣ Onsite hotel booking Third-party hotel booking Visitor guide download Visitor guide request Website goal conversions Website inquiries Contest entries
  15. 15. Understand your! value proposition Sound like branding? Well, it is.
  16. 16. Understand your value proposition Your digital marketing platform is just another marketing channel to deliver your brand message
  17. 17. S.W.O.T Aria uses S.W.O.T. exercises to define the value proposition
  18. 18. Offset weaknesses with strengths.! " Offset threats with opportunities.
  19. 19. Strengths + Opportunities =! Value Proposition
  20. 20. Identify your audiences With a good S.W.O.T. yielding a clear value proposition: match your audiences to it
  21. 21. The intersection of users with your value proposition informs all decisions
  22. 22. 3. Content is [still] king Without great content, every marketing function, including a website, will fail
  23. 23. Invest in content Content is the smallest budget item but is as important as design and function
  24. 24. SEO is dead! Be a storyteller.! ! Write good, interesting, sharable narratives. It’s what your audience wants, and what Google will give credit for
  25. 25. How to emotionally approach content 1) K.I.S.S.! 2) Chunk the content! (clear headlines and delineation of ideas) 3) Use images & video! 4) Encourage engagement! (through conversation & sharing)
  26. 26. How to practically approach content Every page needs the pyramid
  27. 27. The! content! pyramid AUDIENCE & PRIORITY TITLE INTRODUCTION THE SHORT, SIMPLE, “ABOVE THE FOLD” PROOF CALLS TO ACTION
  28. 28. 4. Architecture The integrity of the structure relies heavily on its architecture
  29. 29. Organic architecture Make decisions early on how you will learn, and implement changes based on user behavior
  30. 30. Heatmap by CrazyEgg Track user behavior! ! Use tools to investigate and understand user behavior
  31. 31. Eye Tracking by Tobii
  32. 32. Horizontal navigation Don’t force visitors down your navigational track: use cross-link architecture. Think Wiki
  33. 33. 5. Bring the sexy! (aka Design) “Simplicity isn't simple.”! — Johnathan Ive ! “But it’s so worth the effort.”! — Jordan Wollman
  34. 34. Is good design subjective?
  35. 35. No.! ! Follow Dieter Rams’ 10 principles of good design
  36. 36. 1. Good design is innovative.
  37. 37. 2. Good design makes a product useful.
  38. 38. 3. Good design is aesthetic.
  39. 39. 4. Good design makes a product understandable.
  40. 40. 5. Good design is unobtrusive.
  41. 41. 6. Good design is honest.
  42. 42. 7. Good design is long-lasting.
  43. 43. 8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail.
  44. 44. 9. Good design is environmentally friendly.
  45. 45. 10. Good design is as little design as possible.
  46. 46. 6. The technical stuff Getting it right the first time means you don’t have to scrap it in 3 years
  47. 47. Evolve… olution Don’t design pages. Think modular — from technology, to design, content and its containers, to features and functionality
  48. 48. Open source! When possible, go open source (non-proprietary) ! If not, it means you’re married: long-terms, hidden maintenance costs, and slow adoption of new technology and industry standards
  49. 49. Open source! Technology libraries like JQuery, SASS, LESS, Foundation, etc., have massive communities of innovative developers contributing hourly ! That’s a lot of power at your fingertips
  50. 50. Think! Mobilewhere the ! First For many, it’s experience all begins
  51. 51. Almost 1 in 4 hotel queries come from a mobile phone Via Google/OTX, The Traveler’s Road to Decision 2011
  52. 52. Mobile these activities is! serving as a hub for all of
  53. 53. Responsive design? Responsive, yes, but mobile-first. Get that part right, the rest is cake.!
  54. 54. 7. Remember the bottom line Think like a sales person…
  55. 55. Call-to-action Every page should answer two questions: ! So what?! Now what?!
  56. 56. Design with purpose Every page needs a litmus test:
 does this serve a specific purpose? Is it necessary? ! If not, scrap it.
  57. 57. Utilize landing pages Landing pages are search magnets, focus on targeted content, and are designed to convert
  58. 58. 8. Sharing & Social People share content that is interesting
  59. 59. Leis ure Fac ebo ok Pin tere st Inst agr am Urb an Spo on Inn Tou ch Jet Set ter Kay ak Trav el + Trip Adv isor Don’t fret: partner with 3rd parties
  60. 60. Share contextually Photos on Pinterest Snippets on Twitter Stories on Facebook Deals on Facebook and Twitter Etc.
  61. 61. One more thing… Launch Day isn’t the end Activate a marketing plan to immediately drive traffic to your new digital marketing hub
  62. 62. Q&A ryan@ ariaagency.com ! @ryanathompson /ryanathompson jordan@ ariaagency.com ! @jordanwollman /jordanwollman
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