Is Your Website a Bookmark or a Bankroller?
“If you build it, they will come.” Many recall this notable quote from the movie, Field of Dreams. While this worked for Ray Kinsella, it doesn’t quite translate into the real world, or the virtual world for that matter. Unfortunately, many business owners employ this mindset while building or redesigning their websites. We refer to this type of web presence as a bookmark. The only time people visit the website is the initial look, if that, which will inevitably lead to a failure to achieve your goals of profit-laden sales.
So what is needed to turn your website from bookmark to bankroller? There are two things that a business needs in order to turn this around.
First, commission a strong internet marketing agency with a proven track record. This is not to be confused with a company offering solely web design. There are many web design companies that strictly design and build websites – no more, no less. These types of firms are the ones creating the bookmarks, so unless you have the know-how to DIY then you’re back to square one. Imagine how large the world wide web is and liken your site being found to that of finding a needle in not one but millions of haystacks. A strong internet marketing company will recommend a detailed plan to bring your customers to you; this is referred to as inbound marketing which has caused a paradigm shift in how traditional marketers approach, well, everything. Hear out their plan, make sure it aligns with your goals, ask about current clients/success stories, and please don’t forget to ask for references!
The second item is the internet marketing plan. So what does an internet marketing plan entail? Depending on your specific goals, your plan might encompass a combination of the following strategies:
• Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
• Social Media Marketing (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, Google +, etc.)
• Email Newsletters
• Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
• Affiliate Marketing Programs
• Online Advertising (Banner Ads, Ad Retargeting, Surveys, etc.)
• Blog Posting
• Article Writing
Online marketing agencies will do research on your specific industry, as well as your target market, to determine what combination will produce the best ROI for your business. At a bare minimum, a business should have an organic search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. This is how you get your storefront (i.e. your website) in front of the people who are actively searching for you! If your budget allows for it, SEO combined with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising allows for your site to show up multiple times on the first page, when implemented carefully and strategically.
This is where your ROI comes in.
Now you have a strategy that is capturing prospective customers who are already searching for your product or service. As a result, nearly every visitor that comes into your website should be a qualified lead for your business. All you need now is to convert that lead into a prospect. How do you do that? That’s where good web design comes in. A well developed website will have specific calls to action that will engage these leads and keep them interested in what you have to offer. This creates a flow that will guide your lead to an online form capturing pertinent contact information, allowing your sales team to follow up with the prospect. Bank roll, boom!
From here, we go into marketing to existing leads which will be a topic of discussion in a later post. Stay tuned!