We finished up last month talking about the fundamentals of what makes a great website and how you can put the “great” into yours. Having a decent website is only half the battle though… you need visitors or, as they’re collectively referred to, “traffic”. I am constantly surprised at how much time, money and effort some companies put into their website to then overlook the importance of getting prospective customers to visit it.
A website is a place you want people to visit, much like a hotel: You can build a little bed and breakfast or you can build a five star palace but if nobody knows where it is, or at least that it exists, then it doesn’t matter how good the place is as you’re going broke in no time! There are two baseline factors that determine a website’s success: Traffic and conversions. The traffic, as we discussed, is all of the visitors to your site and a “conversion” is, generally speaking when a visitor either completes the process of buying something or makes an inquiry and becomes a sales lead. It’s common to describe sales as a “funnel” so think of your website as being just like a plastic funnel. The more water (traffic) you pour into the top, the more conversions (leads or sales) will fall out of the bottom… that’s logical right? Well, not quite, because how much actually comes out of the bottom will vary and will be determined by how good your website is.
A good website will convert more traffic into sales and leads so, once you have plenty of traffic, your main challenge will be to convert more and more of it. The worse your website is for a visitor, the more holes you have in your funnel letting water pour out of the sides so always aim to have a great website from the beginning. Invest at the start or it will cost you a hell of a lot later.
Traffic is all about the here and now; with digital marketing, we are targeting people in real-time. Prospective customers you will want to reach will be either actively looking for what you are selling or are not actively looking but could be interested if you make them aware of what you offer. This is where inbound and outbound marketing comes in: Inbound marketing is for reaching prospects who are looking for what you do with the aim of pulling them in, outbound is about reaching those who are not looking by pushing advertising communications out to them. The best strategy will usually have a mixture of both, so let’s move straight on to the most common methods and look at their pros and cons.
There are countless ways to drive traffic to your website but I’m going to focus on the most common and effective digital (online) methods; the ones we use every day for our clients. All of the examples below are things that you could attempt to do yourself but, if you are spending money, do so with caution. An expert will get results much cheaper than you can!
All of the above methods, bar SEO, can define a specific entry point on your website that the visitor will be taken to on clicking your search result or your ad. Make sure they are taken to a strong “landing page” that connects with what they clicked and that drives them to convert. Otherwise, they will leave your site as fast as they arrived and that will cost you money. A strong campaign and landing pages will pay dividends as they reduce your “bounce rate”, increase your “quality score” and these factors bring down your “Cost Per Click (CPC)”. Remember this: Quality ads that perform well cost less. Why? Because quality benefits everyone’s experience.
To finish up, sometimes you simply have to do things yourself. If you do, then you must take the time to learn as much as possible before spending money. Never rush into a paid ad campaign without sufficient knowledge. The same as you might be able to have a go at fitting a bathroom sink, rather than paying a plumber, you can do all of these things yourself to a novice extent but a little knowledge can be dangerous. You can leak cash fast on expensive clicks and wonder why the phone isn’t ringing… why is nobody converting??? Over the years, I have seen many clients waste a regrettable amount of money trying to create and run campaigns themselves. They get it wrong and simply come to the conclusion “it doesn’t work for my business”. This is a fallacy. These systems look simple on the surface but are very complex underneath. They are great at spending your money and spending it fast, so they are not for the novice.
If you can afford to, always hire digital marketing experts to create strong, quality campaigns that use your marketing budget as effectively as possible. They will deliver more paying customers for less. If you have to do it yourself, don’t spend a penny until you have really done your homework… and then some!
Here, at TFA, we have an expert team that can help you with your marketing needs, get in touch today.
Written for, and featured in Pulse Magazine