Richard Calkin: First impressions are particularly important which is why the first question your website should answer is: “Am I in the right place?”
OPINION: Why is it that some Kiwi businesses report their website is a great source of leads and new business while others express nothing but frustration and disappointment?
Like anything else it comes down to how well the fundamentals have been adhered to. So what are the key fundamentals of web marketing success?
At Web Genius we use the following formula to express this:
The first factor is “Targeted Traffic”: in other words attracting pre-qualified potential customers to your website.
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For most consumers actively looking for a particular type of business, this starts at Google. That’s why a strong presence in both the paid and unpaid sections of the Google search results is crucial for any business wanting to secure their fair share of this “active searcher” traffic.
The paid section is known as Google Ads and while you can create and run your own campaigns it is often more time and cost-efficient to contract a certified Google Ads partner to manage this for you.
Improving your website’s visibility in the unpaid, or organic, section of the Google search results is the domain of search engine optimisation, or SEO. Fundamentally this involves creating useful, relevant and original content that addresses and solves your customers’ burning questions and problems.
Once you have this content the next step is to optimise how it is presented to Google and also build the number of other websites that link into yours.
These “incoming links” are a crucial part of the Google search algorithm and continually increasing the quality and quantity of incoming links is an important ongoing element of any search engine optimisation campaign.
If most of your potential customers are not actively searching for you, but still have a need for your products and services, then social media advertising may be a better source of targeted traffic for you.
Using platforms like Facebook and Instagram you are able to target consumers by demographics and interests, attracting their attention by highlighting their problem, before proposing your solution.
Once you have a steady flow of targeted traffic, you need to make sure they are presented with the next part of the formula: “Persuasive Content”.
First impressions are particularly important which is why the first question your website should answer is: “Am I in the right place?” In other words you need to make it crystal clear exactly what you do and where you do it.
Once your visitor has had this question answered, her next one will be: “What’s in it for me?” This is where your content seeks to anticipate your visitor’s main questions and information requirements, before providing quick and easy access to all the answers.
This leads to the final element of the formula: “Calls to Action.” The measure of how persuasive and successful your website is ultimately comes down to how many visitors respond to one of your calls to action.
It’s important that your calls to actions are many and varied.
“Many”, because your visitor may be ready to enquire at any point throughout the process of reading your website content and “varied”, because different people prefer to respond in different ways.
Websites which provide easy access to a phone number in the header on every page, as well as an enquiry form that is accessible on every page will generate more leads than one which makes it hard to find the main calls to action.
There is a real art and a science to creating a website that successfully addresses all three elements of the formula.
Make sure that whoever produces yours has a thorough understanding of these basics so you avoid frustration and join the ranks of Kiwi businesses whose web marketing produces a steady flow of new customers.