How to create a successful event website…by those who know!
ASP’s Digital Project supremos Shirley Lloyd and Stew Cunningham have created over 3000 event websites between them. It’s fair to say they know a thing or two about creating excellent event websites.
We asked the pair for their do’s and don’ts and top tips on how to make a website that truly acts as a year-round shop window for your event.
What are the key ingredients that go into making a good website?
Shirley Lloyd (SL): When someone goes on to your website, on average they will make their mind up if they want to stay on your website in 2.6 seconds. Make this time count by having clear navigation and all the information at a glance that potential visitors need to make an informed decision as to whether they want to attend your show.
Stew Cunningham (SC): Your website is a year round shop window for your event so needs fresh and up-to-date content which will keep people coming back for more and help you grow audience loyalty. I would also add making sure your website is accessible to all and is optimised for mobile.
What are your top tips?
SL: When creating content for your website, always have search engine optimisation (SEO) and your show’s keywords at the front of your mind. These keywords will help search engines like Google to rank your website highly which will help potential visitors find out about your show.
SC: Do not over complicate things! Simplicity in most situations is key as confusion leads to people bouncing off your website. Look to write small amounts of engaging copy, not paragraphs of waffle. Have consistent call to action (CTA) usage throughout the site and do some Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) testing as this can play a big part in the success of your website and ultimately your show.
How does CRO work?
SC: CRO is the process of increasing the percentage of conversions from a website. The purpose of conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is to improve the likelihood of visitors taking a desired action on a webpage. It typically involves A/B testing different elements of your website to see what gets the best results.
SL: Call to action buttons - their wording, colour and positioning is great examples of this. One client we are helping with CRO has seen a 25 percent increase in click throughs to their ticketing page. A significant increase.
What do people often not think about?
SL: I think people often overlook SEO. It’s essentially free marketing.
SC: I would add to this not installing Google Analytics to get those all important stats.
What common mistakes do you often see?
SC: Two words; Long pages! Some organisers want to add everything to the page, but I would say when it comes to websites and good UX, less is more.
Finally, have you seen any growing trends?
SL: More event organisers are using chatbox features, which are an easy way for visitors to contact the show team with a more ‘personal’ touch.