This 2015 article shows how I tested and optimized a marketing campaign. The focus of the campaign is a website. However, several general ideas were discussed:
- Google search is not a good resource when you are looking for truly modern and outstanding solutions.
- Feedly is a great resource to find valuable information.
- Human center approach tools like Design Thinking are always useful even if they can just be partially implemented.
I was thrilled. It was the first time I was working through the full cycle of product creation, and it was my own project. It was a mobile application, in fact, it was just an HTML5 website with a complete app feel; scroll and swipe gestures, nice buttons, etc. But it was my crazy project, and it had to have an amazing landing website.
By that time I didn’t know much about landing page creation and google never was helpful when I was looking for truly modern and outstanding solutions. Therefore, as I usually do in these situations, I went to Feedly, and I reviewed my design blog subscription. I was looking for best practices and maybe some examples, but there it was, an almost perfect landing page for my app.
Now I had a website template, following the best practices of the time (responsive, html5). Therefore, It didn’t pass much time until I had a preview version of the page. Another search through my trusted bloggers to find the perfect icons, some photoshop edition for the images, and some extra time redacting the texts following of course the Simon Sinek recommendations.
Test and optimize:
Test the technological factors of a website it is easy if you know the right tools. You can use the google tools to review the basic factors as the speed and follow the suggestions to correct them. Basically, you have to use third-party tools to compress and mix the different files of a website. Similar tools are provided for SEO and other different factors. But that it is just half part of the testing process.
The second factor for testing is people. However, despite that the human center approaches have been heavily integrated into the universities, find people without complacent behaviors with the final product is always tricky. My solution for this, when the final product is not too complex is usually the following:
First I go to a public place, like the nice cafeteria/restaurant at my university. Then I look for someone I know in a group. It is important to bear in mind that you must just have a good relationship with that person, he/she shouldn’t be your friend, and you shouldn’t know any of the other persons in the group. Later I have a small talk with them, and later I ask their help for testing if the situation allows it.
I followed that plan and I got good insides that helped me to correct some text and to make them more easy to understand for people that have problems with technology. Therefore, after some changes, the landing page was finally online.
At this point maybe you were thinking that my story was over. However, test and optimize does not end once you launch the project, so please be patient 🙂
The real world:
I had a lot of hopes on my beloved landing page. Nevertheless, after deploy it I had to face the reality:
After a couple of months, the website was really low in almost every single search result in google. To analyze the problem, I was using google webmaster tools, and the problem was double.
On one side the search results that showed my project on the first page of google were not relevant searches. This was a normal problem and easy to solve. I needed to change the text and internal tags of the website, in order to match them with the desired words that had been searched in google.
The second problem was that even the best results in google did not reach the top of a search result. The reason for this was partly technical. If you want to achieve good positions fast, you have to use the technologies that google considers more relevant. One kind of website that Google considers more relevant are blogs, especially the ones based on WordPress. However, blogs like WordPress are designed to show articles, not a beautiful single website without a menu.
The reader of this glory story could believe that build a new landing page using WordPress would not be a challenge for someone that had just built a mobile app. However, despite appearances, the app-building was a result of the creative use of the technology, not my technological background.
Of course, if you have any experience using WordPress, you would know that you can change the appearance of the blog by using themes. However, by that time I couldn’t find any theme that was close to satisfy my needs.
In addition, and even if it is a terrible thing to do, I was too attached to the previous design. Finally, and maybe more importantly, my brain was telling me to study, and to do not spend more time on a secondary personal project. Therefore, I decided that for the time been, the second problem would not be solved.
Luck and great tools did not leave me with the bitterness for long. Around one week later, Feedly saved me again. It brought me an article on a new WordPress theme that allowed me heavy customization in a graphical way. I can’t emphasize enough how important Feedly was as a research tool in my projects. However, on this occasion, and thanks to this new theme, I was able to quickly build the previous design using WordPress technology.
The solution was not as neat as I wanted, but WordPress is a powerful tool. In the end, it did not only make the website more friendly to the Google algorithms, but it helped me to easily test and amend the first problem too, the keywords for google.
As a result, the website improved a lot in terms of relevance to Google. Still, supervision is needed from time to time through google webmaster tools. However, the optimization is rather simple using Yoast SEO.
I hope that you have found something interesting in the article.