There may be times when a client comes to you with their own definite ideas on how things should be done, including the type of website they want. For instance, a client may want you to design their site for mobile, when industry data says the target audience prefers to use a desktop to access the website.
What do you do in these cases? In this article, we’ll take a look at what you can do when there’s a difference of opinion between you and the client when it comes to analytics used to determine the right direction for their website. We’ll show you how to use both the client’s current web analytics combined with industry data for the best outcome.
Understand Where the Client’s Coming From
Many businesses rely on the data gathered by their own website, so their data is coming from an internal source. This internal website data is used to make business decisions based on their audience, location, product choice, and more.
While some companies may also use industry analytics, this information is often not what is used to make business decisions.
Client Data vs Industry Data
What happens if there’s a conflict between the client’s analytics and industry data? Keep in mind that Google has put the emphasis on responsive mobile sites. Remember back in 2015 when Google made the announcement that mobile searches outnumbered desktop searches? From that time to now, Google said websites need to put more emphasis on creating mobile, responsive sites in order to gain traffic and climb the search engine rankings.
What happens if your client wants to you to create a site optimised for desktops, rather than mobile accessibility? Just for some background, your client has come and asked for a redesign of their site. They want to not put too much work into mobile because their own analytics show most traffic comes from desktop users, with only minimal traffic from users on mobile devices. One more note—the designer who worked on the site in the past didn’t do anything with mobile; as a result, the client believes this is a worthless effort.
Now, there may be a couple of reasons their traffic is low for mobile users:
- Their site users are not using mobile devices to access the web
- The website was created to work with desktop devices, so doesn’t rank well for users who use mobile devices.
This is when excellent communication skills are needed, as well as some patience. You’ll want to be diplomatic and also do your homework.
Presenting the Facts
Here are some methods you can use to present your client with the facts, and show them which direction is best for their website. Presenting information in these ways is diplomatic, you’re educating the client about their site and analytics, which can guide them in the right direction.
1). Google as proof: provide the client with the information from Google about the priority of creating mobile-friendly websites, along with Google’s rules on how to gain traffic and rise in the search engines.
You can even show your client proof of this concept by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Use the client’s website URL in the tool and then wait for the results. Be ready to explain the results in a way your client will understand, without jargon.
2). Other analytics from Google: if the client’s website is optimised only for desktop, and not mobile-first, it’s not going to rank well. Though the client’s internal data may show only desktop, it’s a good idea to review the data and even use Google Analytics to analyse the client’s website data. This way, you’ll get more in-depth information on their mobile data.
Have your client sign into their Google Analytics account, and then review the data.
When you review the data, help your client to understand the bounce rate and average time on site. These are data points they may not have considered when choosing to optimise for desktop only. Help them to understand that even if their site’s mobile traffic is lower, they may gain additional traffic by making the site more accessible to mobile users.
You may need to explain why it’s important for site visitor numbers to convert, rather than bouncing away. Remember to use language and terms the client will understand (without talking down to them).
3). Real world proof: remember to use data from other websites to help your client understand the importance of a mobile-friendly site. Have you created case studies you can show them? If not, then consider finding examples from other agencies and designers to help provide the information your client needs. Their decision should be based on the hard facts, not just hearsay.
Be sure to look for examples that use websites similar to your client’s. The site(s) should have a similar audience, goals, and more. This will help your client see the importance of the changes you’re recommending compared to past decisions on the direct of the site.
You can help them see:
- A redesign from desktop to mobile affects conversions
- How moving from a mobile website to a progressive website app is able to improve customer retention (on sites that already perform well)
- How adjusting SEO strategy can help gain more traffic from mobile users, while showing the client that targeting mobile users can improve their overall business.
Summing It Up
The goal is to help your client see that including mobile in the redesign of their site is valuable. They may be concerned that this change could cost more; if they’re on a tight budget, it may be that you’ll need to show them how it’s possible to accomplish the changes in a cost-effective manner.
Another concern the client may have is that the redesign to mobile could cost them current site visitors. In this case, you’ll need to reassure them that their current visitors will still find them, but they’ll gain additional traffic that’s also valuable for their business by optimising their site for mobile users.
This is where excellent communication, patience and diplomacy can go a long way. Your goal is to convince the client these changes are best for them. By showing them all the data and helping them to understand the importance of the analytics, you’ll be able to make your point, and come out with a client ready to adapt their sites to your recommendations.
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent a decade working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.