Online Marketing: Seven keys to a better website that sells more
Do you feel your website is selling for you the way it should? Or are you spending all your time filling in the blanks, making apologies to prospective customers, and wondering why you’re doing all the work? Brothers and sisters, you don’t have to live like that. There is a better way.
We’ve built a lot of websites. That experience gives us a bird’s eye view of what works and what doesn’t. Here are six suggestions to make your site more attractive, more alive, and more productive.
1) Infuse it with an abundance of strategic, quality, content that sells
Don’t assume that mentioning what you do on the ‘About Us’ page is ever enough. Your site needs to be packed with information that all points back to what you do, make, or sell and why you’re better than everyone else in your category. And make sure it feeds your keyword strategy to get the best positioning on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the other search engines.
2) Engage the people who will most likely buy your product or service in both graphics and text
Believe it or not, everyone in the world is not dying to buy what you’re offering or selling. So focus your energies on the people who are. Spend time getting to know your existing customers – beyond age, gender, and geography. The more you know about their likes and dislikes, their immediate and long-term goals, the more effective and targeted your content will be. Let them know you know and understand where they’re coming from, what they’re looking for, and what they value.
3) Create a Social Media strategy for two reasons
First, you may never set foot or keystroke in FaceBook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Tumblr but your prospective customers do. Social media is a sophisticated dance that requires persistence more than anything else. Keep engaging them there, not from an aggressively sales oriented position, but from a cooperative relationship building position. Don’t abuse the privilege, either. And second, with Google’s recently released Panda protocol, your content on social media impacts how well your site does in organic search. That may look like a hassle right away, but it’s another opportunity for a touch point with potential customers you otherwise may never reach.
4) Simplify your site
Make your site (please forgive the archaic phrase, but it really applies) ‘user friendly.’ Poor planning and lack of focus will always make a site hard to use. Long before we even start thinking about the graphic design of a website, we spend many hours planning the functionality and the flow. The result is the user will always be able to find what they want when they want it. With all that time and effort invested in planning we get mighty protective of that flow. So we’re reticent to add any tangents, widgets, gadgets, special effects, and other bells and whistles that don’t have a measurable purpose.
5) Inform and entertain your audience without talking up or down to them.
You have a great product and/or great service. Just demonstrate (with words, pictures, or video) how it will improve the life of anyone who becomes a customer. Demonstrate your benefits in emotionally and intellectually stimulating ways. Your goal is to create new business opportunities one relationship at a time. Speaking helpfully and positively about how your product or service is going to benefit them now and in the future lets your prospective customer know you understand them and where they’re coming from.
6) Incentivize with a really good reason to buy
- Coupons – percent off, dollars off
- Loyalty discounts
- Freebies with purchase
- Free shipping – it may be time to analyze your history and your target customer to see how much shipping is really costing you and how it might even be a fantastic closing tool.
7) Let the world know it’s there by marketing it!
I had a friend and long-time client who deftly summed up advertising in the phrase, “If you don’t tell ’em, they won’t know.” At least think of online or offline marketing as a spiff or incentive for the hard sales work your website does. If you’ve done everything else right, it’s working 24/7 showing the same welcoming smile to everybody clicks on a link to it – often 100’s to 1000’s of people per day – and gathering leads, closing sales, or setting appointments. It deserves all the help you can give it. Whether you use pay-per-click, linking, social media, keywords, banners or a combination of those options, effective marketing can turn a lonely hermit of a website into a rock star. We have a service called “DayCare for Websites.” Check it out if you want help with marketing your site.
Like any ad or brochure, your website is there to create a reaction – to stimulate a specific behavior on the part of your new customer. Taking the steps we’ve laid out will help it do that in a measurable way. If you would like to see how Fluid Drive Media can help you pump up, populate, market, fine-tune, or totally rebuild what could be your most effective outside salesperson, give us a call.