Currently, there is tremendous chatter about the importance of social media for your business. I’ll bet that if you talk with your colleagues, you will hear the spectrum of experiences.
Online searches can be an incredible source of information and sometimes provide valuable lead generation tools for specific tasks. Other times, it can be a complete waste of time, if it’s not managed properly. This is quite polarizing, which often creates tremendous frustration.
The reality is, for most businesses, social media falls into the last category. Restaurants post food images to tempt new customers. Hotels post images of trophy properties with lavish amenities to seduce potential visitors. Interior Designers post images of perfectly staged projects to show their acumen for design. What is rarely discussed, is the website that visitors click to after they take the bait on social media. To me, this raises the question: What is the role of the website in today’s digital environment?
Most digital marketing services include SEO, social media, pay-per-click, or email marketing, with the intent to drive leads to your website and urge them to complete a form, make a phone call, or make a purchase. This is the end game for digital marketing. Congrats on getting a visitor to click however you should think of your website as the crown jewel, the most important piece of your digital business assets. You invest so much money and countless hours on your campaign to drive leads; you can’t fumble when you get to the goal line. It took too much work!
Your customer is at your door, make sure to clearly state what you offer. Next, clearly communicate how it will benefit them, and lastly provide a justification as to why they should buy from you. If done properly, they will consider your offer and want to further explore your website. Most websites make the mistake shouting out (metaphorically) how much experience they have, how many sales they have and how long they have been in business. At this stage of the conversion cycle, “Nobody Cares!” They are thinking “what’s in it for me” WIIFM. It’s a basic human instinct and we should understand it, respect it, and communicate to their current state. I’ll talks about the additional psychological steps in future blogs.
Long gone are the days when a website was like a digital yellow pages listing (a place to put some information about your business and your contact information). The internet is now so saturated with information that it seems like search engines can barely keep up, especially after the injection of paid placements into your search results.
- Today, there are over 1.5 billion websites on the internet, and according to a recent report, nearly 40% of all traffic comes from bots.
- A recent study shows that bounce rates regularly hover over 50% based upon your industry. This means you get them to your site then they leave before clicking another page.
The reality is that generating quality leads is getting harder and more expensive. At the risk of offending any of our clients, “If you don’t have a reasonable marketing budget, you are just not committed to the long-term success of your business”. If you are fortunate to rank in the top 3 of an organic Google search, you should receive 75.1% of clicks. That’s why it’s critical to have a website that operates like a well-coached team. You need a quality playbook, partners who know how to execute, keep you informed, adjust as needed, and have proven experience.
Make sure your website not only flies on the desktop but ensure you also focus on mobile phones and tablets. Captivate your visitors with some movement, remember WIFFM, make it easy to navigate but easily get back to where they started, keep them engaged, and most important multiple placement call-to-action points like online forms, phone numbers, reservations, etc.
In closing. Please don’t simply hire the local hipster you met at your favorite coffee shop to create your business website. You wouldn’t do that to repair your car, so why would you do that with something so important like your business? Make sure your website partner has extensive experience in creative design, programming expertise, comprehensive SEO, social media marketing, and lead generation because I’m sure your competition already has their digital team.
I welcome your thoughts and feedback.