How to Leverage Your Website’s Marketing Opportunities

0
1114

Share on LinkedIn

Every small business needs three main things to succeed: a great idea, a passionate entrepreneur and a beautifully designed website. In an increasingly digital world, consumers use the internet for much of their research when selecting a vendor. A site that is easy to find and navigate, with expert design and key features, can make the difference between a click-through and a click-past.

Consumers are ultimately searching for quality work that is readily available and already vetted. While they may start with a simple keyword search, once they visit a site they’re looking for signs of great customer service, excellent results and happy customers. If your site can produce those features, half the battle is won. So, how do you get them to click and then how do you increase your chances of conversion?

1. INVITE CUSTOMERS TO VISIT YOUR SITE

When customers search the web for potential merchants, the query may be as simple as one or two keywords. Rarely do they click onto subsequent search engine result pages (25% of the time, according to HubSpot). If the first page of results seems irrelevant, they’re more likely to revise their search than they are to move on to page two. Your goal is to appear on page one of the search results and look as appealing as possible.

Begin with optimized content: Blogs, biographies, product descriptions and landing pages containing relevant keywords increase the click-through rate and SERP placement. Content optimized for search engine queries should be fresh, interesting and useful. Throwing keywords into places they don’t belong may help improve your site’s location on results pages but it won’t lead to sales.

Make metadata a priority: Title tags and meta descriptions are vital in setting your site apart from others in search engine outcomes. Keywords should be artfully interjected into both pieces of content to increase both SERP placement and CTR. Many people make the mistake of overdoing it with repetitive keywords and unreadable text. Focus on using the right keywords and balancing them with a snappy description that accurately explains your business’s place in the market and what makes it unique.

2. FOLLOW-UP WITH EVERY LEAD

According to Marketing Wizdom’s Robert Clay, 63% of people wait three months before executing on a sale. Communicating consistently, but not obnoxiously, with your web leads greatly increases the likelihood of becoming the chosen purveyor. Forms of follow-up can include individual or mass phone calls and emails. Collecting a preferred phone number and email address from each customer is the ideal way to ensure all communication channels remain open.

Create a follow-up schedule: Society for Marketing Professional Services reports that 43% of salespeople give up after the first contact, and yet 50% of sales require five or more contact attempts to close the deal according to InsideSales.com. A concrete communications plan including automated and manual touch points will keep you on a timetable and ensure opportunities aren’t missed.

Since initial response time is important to new customers, it’s imperative to reach out quickly. Starting with an automated contact is a good way to create the first touch point early on. Consumers appreciate the human element in sales, so adding phone calls into your approach is wise. The exact design of your campaign should be specific to your industry best practices, but a sample schedule might look something like this:

Day one: Automated email
Day two: Phone call with sales assistant
Day four: Phone call with salesperson
Day seven: Email from salesperson
Day eleven: Mass email
Day fifteen: Phone call with salesperson
Day twenty: Mass email
Day thirty: Mass email

Create custom campaigns: Chances are that many of the leads generated through online web interaction will be looking for similar services and would benefit from parallel interactions. As you nurture a lead, you may have the opportunity to learn more about the person or company, giving you data you can act on. Imagine, for example, that during a call the customer explains they’re not ready to make a decision because cost is particularly important to them. Your job is actually easier than before. Since you know that money is a key factor in decision making for this customer, you can move them onto your custom “value” campaign where they will be offered specific information focused on the worth and affordability of your services.

Remain flexible: Customers will often tell you how to sell to them, if you have the patience to listen and learn. Using features in many CRM communications modules, you can track when emails are received and read as well as when links are visited from a mass email. If you were to notice that a customer never answered phone calls, but often clicked on links, you could adjust their marketing track to one with a majority of virtual touch points, rather than calls. Treating a customer as a unique entity with special needs and values offers the chance to connect with them and increases your chances of making a sale.

3. CROSS PROMOTE ON EVERY PLATFORM

Social media is a buzzword in today’s marketing plans, and for good reason. Shoppers interact with brands on social media for the purpose of learning more about their business at a rate of 33% according to studies conducted by Global Web Index. Promoting your products or services on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest will increase brand awareness and may reach a demographic of consumers for whom email and phone interactions simply don’t work. Diversifying and staying nimble in using different platforms allows a broad reach and a robust payoff.

Repeat your messaging: In customer service, it’s well known that the best way to get a message to someone is to blast it everywhere—this applies just as heartily to marketing. When a discount is available don’t just send an email, create a banner ad for your homepage and a pinned tweet on Twitter. Use every platform available to make certain every customer gets the message. Remember that networking events should be part of your marketing plans and when you leave them with a business card, you are really leaving them with an invite to your website.

4. COLLECT DATA, LEARN AND GROW

Simply throwing information on the web and hoping someone takes the bait isn’t enough. Communications professionals know that understanding their customer is the key to success. From customizing email campaigns to tweaking services offered, feedback is integral to the future success of your business. At every touch point, you have the opportunity to ask for feedback.

Find out how they heard about you: Consumers are typically the most enthusiastic in the initial stages of contact. This is an ideal time to ask how they found out about you in the first place. The secret to getting good data from your contact form is to keep the question and answer options simple. When you use dozens of marketing avenues, it’s tempting to list them all, but users may just click on the first answer without bothering to find the right one. If you can generalize your options into groups, you’ll get more accurate, though less specific, answers.

Discover what they do: This question might feel unimportant, but it’s really useful to know which industries are most attracted to your services. It might tell you that your site content is especially appealing to members of that community or perhaps that they simply outsource more in your area. Ultimately, this kind of information can help inform future marketing tactics. It’s an easy question to ask during the icebreaker portion of a phone call without distracting from the sale. As a plus, it gives the customer the impression that you want to get to know them better.

Ask why they unsubscribe: The most valuable piece of information you can gather about individuals who opt to use another vendor is why. What set your competition apart? Where can you do better? The key here is to ask this question in a way that doesn’t make the customer feel uncomfortable. If you’re on the phone and the lead tells you they’re going another way, you might say, “Thanks so much for letting me know. I hope everything goes really well. Do you mind me asking what made the decision for you?” If they’re clicking “unsubscribe” in an email, you might have the online form ask if they’re going with a competitor or simply not buying at this time. There is no better way to improve your business than knowing why customers don’t use it.

CONCLUSION

All the small business and marketing statistics in the world can’t tell you exactly how your site will fare in your market. Aim to understand the resources available and how to use them to your advantage. Your success or failure depends on many factors and you must weigh them each appropriately.

By spending time analyzing your web presence and designing a website that best exalts your business while also optimizing search engine results, you can set yourself up for positive lead flow. Taking the time to nurture those leads through effective communications and remaining flexible will give you the best shot at converting every sale. Finally, getting to know your customer base and adapting your business practices to better serve them is crucial to big achievements down the road.

Shell Harris
Shell Harris is the co-founder of Big Oak Studios, an Richmond-based Internet marketing company. Operating in the digital field since 1997, Mr. Harris has experience with startups and small businesses.

ADD YOUR COMMENT

Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here