My partners and I have built countless websites for businesses in almost every sector, personal sites, social media sites, interactive gaming sites, and much more. The thing, I personally see all the time, is that people can have a fantastic site! But if they do not know how to best utilize it online the site itself could be greatly suffer from its true potential. Website owners who best utilize their website understand that having a website is only a piece of building a strong online presence. It takes understanding who your target visitors are, how to guide their experience with your site, and how convert them into clients or at least engaged members.
Now, this sounds great… but how do you know how to start any of this in the vast cyberspace our society lives in. Lets start with the basics.
- Who are these ideal visitors?
- How do they utilize the internet?
- Why would they ever use your website?
- When they get to a website, how do they navigate through it?
Many companies we work with have a marketing and advertising department, or at least a sales director who knows the ins and outs of the industry. Do they know these above 4 questions though? If you have a tech savvy team or an experienced Web Admin then they can tell you a lot about what you need to be doing to best acquire these customers and convert them these brand promoters / returning visitors / future clients.
What if you are a small / medium sized business and don’t have the budget or time to do your market research to further better utilize your website and online presence? Well, there are some fundamentals you can easily do to get you on the right track. First, ensure you have Analytics on your website. Start tracking how people found you, how they maneuver around your website, if there seems to be any particular drop off points, and importance for local businesses which city they were looking at your website in.
If you have an E-commerce site then setting up your analytics is crucial for your success. It is beyond knowing the path to conversion and average order value, instead creating multiple custom funnels to give yourself as detailed information about these visitors as possible such a consolidated chart to measure your abandonment rates for every click they have to experience during the whole process. This is all about eliminating uncertainty and reluctance for the visitor while making it as incredibly quick and easy as possible to check out and pay you!
Once you start to really get the grasp of your analytics then you can start using click heat maps, motion heat maps, and recorded mouse movement of your visitors to get a better idea how they are truly interacting with your site. It is crucial to know the overall stats of how people flow across the pages on your site, but to actually see where on a banner they click or which sections caught their eye is the information to start really refining your website into a highly optimized and targeted conversion tool for your business.
Now that you are tracking the basic activity on your site, what now? Well, lets find out why people are coming to your website in the first place. The basic analytics should tell you how they got to you site in the first place: organic search / paid / direct / referral / social. Reviewing over these quickly.
- Organic Search mean people who found you on a search engine such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Being found on these search engines for your ideal term such as “plumbing services Phoenix” is increasingly more difficult without the use of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). On-Page SEO can be learned fairly easily, but can only help to a certain extent. Off-Page SEO is the key to ranking your website to the 1st page and is recommended to be performed by trained professionals.
- Paid traffic is the use of exactly that, paying for traffic to your site through the use of PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising like through options like Google AdWords or facebook ads.
- Direct traffic is when someone types in your website URL into your browser’s address bar, so they already had the intent to go to your site.
- Referral traffic is when someone found your website somewhere online if it is from an industry website, directory, forum, online article, etc.
- Social traffic is from sources such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Reddit, and other social media websites.
Now that you understand different ways they can come to your site, what is the best source for you?
- Direct traffic is preferred, but this means someone already knows your website and so isn’t a customer acquisition option when it comes to online marketing. However, direct traffic can come from print advertising and offline marketing where customers only know your business based on word-of-mouth, flyers, business card, etc.
- Paid traffic can be effective, but expensive quick and more of a short-term goal for customers. It will provide highly qualified leads to your site and if management by a professional can drastically reduce your acquisition cost for each visitor. PPC is valuable when partnered with SEO as it will give your SEO campaign more information regarding market trends.
- Referral traffic may seem like a good route, but typically generates a very poor ROI unless a major publication writes about your business or site. A good route is to find other companies you are affiliated with and see if they are able to place a link on your website as a recommended partner. These will both help increase your referral traffic, but more importantly provide a possibly valuable backlink to your website which will help your Off-page SEO.
- Social traffic is a great source for free to inexpensive exposure. This comes down more to how to find and engage your potential visitors and clients properly. Nobody goes on social media to be sold or hear about your latest specials unless they have already bought into your business. People go on social media more as a break away to relax, so writing and conveying a message to intrigue people to have them “like”, “subscribe”, “pin”, or “follow” your channel. A good rule of thumb is to post interesting content 80% of the time and only talk about your business, services, calls to action to convert about 20% of the time. Some people have a natural knack for it, while others wastes hours upon hours on posts and never generate a sale. The best strategy here is to have Social Marketing Management campaign to properly setup and optimize your channel and be able to reach the right customers, build your following, and convert.
- Organic Traffic is often by far the best source of new traffic for your business. This means your customers found exactly what you did on a search engine like Google and came to your site to learn more and/or buy! This is free traffic coming to your website! The difficult issue with this is how do you get ranked on Google? Search Engines are going to rank your business based on how big of an authority they see your website overall and for that niche along with many other in depth details carried in their ever expanding algorithm. Google continues to constantly change their algorithm making it more difficult for new website or sites without a previous strong credibility and authority in that niche to start ranking. A lot of the older techniques to rank websites no longer work and will honestly hurt your website. — This is why it is recommended to have a trained SEO professional do this for you and build your website’s reputation in Google’s eyes. After consulting with an SEO professional, they will often tell you the standing of your website in comparison to the competition, the proper keywords your customers are searching, and recommendations needed to your website to optimize it properly also known as On-Page SEO. —
Your analytics paired with understanding each traffic source will allow your business to find out where it is best concentrate your effort and marketing dollars to grow your business. No one can deny the influence the internet has on the public’s perception of your business and how it can either help or hurt. It goes far beyond just having a website, but overall every source your customers could find your business from Google, Facebook, Yelp, news articles, or even paid advertisement.
If you have any further questions regarding your web presence and what to increase the amount of customers you receive from your website and online presence then be sure to call our Marketing Department to have a consultant see how we can help your business be the online superstar your customers are looking for!