With #BIO2017 coming to a close, I wanted to write a brief post about some things partnering companies could to improve their websites before #BIO2018 in Boston. I had the chance to check out a lot of biotech websites at the conference and noticed a lot of room for improvement.
Some of these are quick wins you can do even before you reach out to the people you met at the event. Others may take a few weeks or months, but can help you have a much better web presence for next year’s event.
Quick Website Wins
1. Check your website for errors and out-of-date information.
A lot of websites I saw had very out-of-date copyright and/or their site owners openly discussed having wrong or out of date information on their website.
2. Implement Hotjar or Fullstory
These are real user monitoring tools that allow you to see how real visitors are interacting with your site. You’ll get a lot of additional insights beyond Google Analytics insights using these tools. Once you see recorded sessions, you’ll have a better idea of what’s working well and what’s not. Let this data drive decisions about updating your site.
3. Add a secure socket layer (SSL) to your site.
SSL certificates are approximately $100 a year and add a layer of protection to your site. Google is increasingly valuing sites with SSL over sites without in its ranking factor and Google Chrome is marking sites that do not have SSL with a red X indicating they are not safe to visit. If you authorize your website host, they should be able to add an SSL certificate to your site.
4. If your site is using WordPress, obfuscate the default login URL.
You can check this by putting “/wp-admin” at the end of your homepage URL path. So for example, if your website was “www.google.com”, try “www.google.com/wp-admin” and see if a page pops up that prompts you to enter your username and password to log in to the back-end of your site. That is bad if it does (security risk) and you should change that URL to something else that is not easily detectable.
To Do Before #BIO2018
1. Make your website mobile friendly.
This almost goes without saying these days as mobile traffic surpasses desktop traffic, but I saw a lot of sites that were not even responsive.
2. Implement your site as a progressive web app (PWA).
If responsive was mobile friendly 1.0, progressive is mobile friendly 2.0. PWAs combine the discoverability of the web with some of the best features and functions of native apps including offline mode, instantaneous performance, and push notifications, creating a user experience that investors, prospective customers, and other stakeholders will love.
3. Consider making landing pages to support your booth/sponsor efforts.
If you are going to do a raffle or some sort of giveaway for people, consider creating a landing page for them to sign up and use a tablet at your booth. This is more efficient than going back and typing in everyone’s information on their business card. It also gives you the opportunity to talk to people more than just dropping a card in a bowl does.
4. Dial in your CRM efforts.
First, make sure you have one for all of the follow-up efforts you do at this event and throughout the year and make sure yours is customized the way that you need it to work in order to support your business development process. Your CRM should allow you to scan the business cards you got at the event using your smartphone so you don’t have to manually enter in too much data.
5. Add video or a biotech animation to your website.
Telling your story through video will help retain your website audience, reduce bounce rate and help you get more visitors to take action on your site.
If you need help or have questions about any of these items, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.