Thursday, May 16, 2013

Turning Website Visitors into Customers

VISIBILITY FOR VISITORS & CALL TO ACTION FOR CUSTOMERS

What is the purpose of your website?

  1. To increase visibility.
  2. To find new customers.
  3. To give people a snapshot of your business.

But, is your website doing this for you?

To increase visibility, your site must be found – are people finding your website? The best way to be found is to understand how search engines rank websites.

Spiders (robots) crawl the World Wide Web to index all its content in order to better respond to searches. These robots begin at popular websites, scanning the webpages for unique content and cataloging words and phrases of interest. When a robot finds a hyperlink, they follow the link and scan the new webpage for unique content and catalog words and phrases of interest. When a robot finds another link…  get the picture? So to be found, your website must be more and more visible than your competitors.

Imagine that you've started a new business and just launched your first website. There is NOTHING online about you or your business, so you have zero online visibility. The first important step is to ensure your website is built properly and that the content is rich with keywords. Now that the first step is complete, what do you do?

Search Engine Algorithms (rules on how Search Engines rank websites) vary from one search engine to the next. Our website’s level of ranking is all a matter of trust – search engines want to see that you are following the rules of online engagement and that you are a real business that will be around for a long time… Commitment. Time. Honesty. Investment. Consistency. Pursue your online marketing tactics around these values, and your website’s visibility will excel!

One way to help a website gain visibility is through Organic Search Engine Optimization commonly referred to as ‘SEO’. Organic SEO techniques are free online marketing techniques that may at first show slow results, but they last long-term. Think about Organic SEO as spreading your digital footprint. Reliable sources online can be used to mention your business, post quality content, and link back to your website.

Here are a few ideas that will help you succeed:

Search Engine Profiles
Social Media
Press Releases
Directory Submissions
Blogging & Article Submissions
Industry Association Membership Profiles
Video Marketing
And don’t forget all the OFFLINE marketing!

Learning how to use these resources correctly for better rankings in the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages) is key to successful link building. Once you find yourself comfortable online, these efforts truly do not consume much time nor are they difficult. All it takes is a little knowhow which is best gained by research and experience.

Now you’re bringing in website visitors… are you keeping them engaged?

It’s time to learn about your web visitor’s trends. A great asset to your website is Google Analytics – a free online tool to track your website visitors and their actions. Google Analytics will tell you if your visitors stick around. Why invest all this time drawing the audience in if they don’t stay?

The work you pursue to bring an audience to your website must not end once a web surfer lands on your website. You need to think about your customer's thought process, thinking about what they want and how you can hook them and motivate them to take action. Having a website just to have a website is a wasted effort. Your website's purpose is to work for you, whether it is generating phone calls, emails, quote requests, creating revenue, building your email list, or other areas of benefit. To get the calls, emails, and requests, you must consider your “Call to Action” items.

So the first decision you need to make is... What do you want to convince your website visitor to do?

The second decision is... How do you get the web visitor to take the desired action? Can you offer something free? Is there a unique factor to your products or services that others cannot offer? Can you phrase your message in a way that leaves your readers wowed? Graphics are the first attention getter, but then it's your words that will make visitors act. You must be creative with your approach, using education, entertainment, or emotion to grab your audience!

As time passes, it’s important to check Google Analytics again. Analyze whether or not your new approach is resulting in more visitors that stay on your website, look through more pages, or who stay for longer periods of time, and follow through on the action items you presented. And if you are committed to your online marketing efforts, keep an eye on the increase or decrease of visitors per day to see the impact you are making.

The best way to excel at something is to
empower yourself with the knowledge!


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