65% of people see online search as the most trusted source of information about people and companies. That’s a higher level of trust than any other online or offline source.
30% of consumers won’t consider a business without a website.
46% say a website is the biggest determinant of whether they trust a company.
If you own a business today, your website is your biggest marketing asset. Even if you get most of your customers from other channels like networking or foot traffic, people still look at your website to see if you are legitimate. Make sure you are using your website as a tool to educate, delight and instill trust in your customers.
What is SEO?
An easy way to understand SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is that it is your reputation with search engines like Google. If you have a good reputation, based on the content on your site, the search engine is more likely to list you as a top result when people search for your product.
The best way to improve SEO is to provide a good user experience (UX) for your site visitors. This is done by providing information, products and/or services in an easy to use way. If your site works well for people, the search engines will like it too because search engines like Google are trying to provide good results to their users.
Understand the Customer Journey
The Customer Journey is the path your customers will take to make a purchase with you. The path will depend on what you are offering and who your customers are. Be sure to create personas for your target customers first.
So when people visit your website, what do you want them to do? How do you lead them down that path? How do you ask them to do it?
Here’s a clue, if you don’t have any call to action (CTA) buttons on your site, you’re customers probably don’t know what you want them to do.
Why Start with Your Website?
I’m a marketing professor and have written several marketing books, I love marketing and will talk your ear off about it if you let me. One thing I work with people on is to be strategic. Do some thinking before you spend money. The website is part of your marketing tactics, not really your strategy, so why do I jump ahead to talk about websites with people?
Everyone has a website or needs one
People know what websites are so we can have a conversation
Websites are the way for me to start a conversation with people about their business. From there I can backtrack and make sure their strategy is on target before actually building or updating their current site.
Are You Getting Customers From Your Website?
How many of your customers come from your website? How many people look at your site to see if you are legitimate before they do business with you? If you aren’t sure or you don’t have one, let’s talk.
Do you want an expert to look at your website
and give you recommendations?
1: Find Your Advantage
· What is the unique competitive advantage of your product or service? (The best way to determine this is by performing a SWOT analysis)
· How can you meet the needs of the target audience better than the competition?
· What is the positioning of your product or service?
2: Define Your Purpose
· What is the mission or purpose of your company?
· What goals do you want to accomplish with this particular product or service?
· How do these goals fulfill the mission of your company?
· How will you communicate this to the entire organization to make sure everyone is on the same page?
3: Create an Image
· Based on the competitive advantage, positioning, target audience and mission of the company what image best represents your product or service?
· Do you need professional assistance in creating a logo and marketing communications materials?
· Is the look and feel of your marketing communications materials consistent and congruent?
4: Implement Promotions
· Which of these marketing communications do you plan on utilizing?
o Public Relations/Publicity
o Sales Promotion
o Personal Selling
o Direct Marketing
· What marketing communications can you afford?
· What marketing communications make the most sense for your situation?
· How can you achieve the greatest return on investment with the least amount of wasted exposure?
· Are your marketing communications linked and integrated? How?
· Are your marketing communications consistent and congruent? How?
5: Build Relationships
· How are you building relationships with customers?
· Are you creating positive word of mouth?
· Are you developing advocates for your product?
· Where in the funnel do your promotions hit?
· How do your promotions push people down the funnel?
6: Gain Feedback
· How are you measuring results?
· Have you implemented ways of gaining feedback from customers?
· Have you implemented ways of gaining feedback from employees?
7: Adjust to Changes
· Are you making changes based on the feedback you have gained?
· Has your market or target audience changed?
· Do you need to revise any marketing messages to remain current?
· Are you maintaining up to date and relevant information on the website?
· Do you have an ongoing dialogue with current customers?
Want to learn more? Read the full book by Michael Daehn: The 7 Keys to Marketing Genius.
or get back in line
I've been using the McDonald's App for about a year now. It is pretty slick and gives you some good discounts and acts as a punch card for items like coffee that give you a free drink. I usually open it on my way there to see what deals and coupons they have.
This week I opened it and saw a coupon for $3 off $10. Apparently, that deal was only good if you ordered ahead of time. So when I got to the window the lady said I needed to order ahead of time. I asked if I could order in the app since I was already in line. She said I would need to drive out and get back in line.
Hey, I get it, the idea of this deal is to get people to put in their payment info and use the app. What I recommend to McDonald's, however, is to let people like me who are regular customers and learning the new rules they are imposing to use the discount this time, and advise me to order ahead next time. Giving the cashier the ability to give me the discount would have made her job easier and me happier.
I did drive around again because I am a marketing geek and wanted to see how this whole thing would play out. I also knew I was going to write a blog post when I got home.
Is McDonald's going to read this and change their policy, probably not. I am writing this for you. When putting promotions into action, make sure you allow for some wiggle room and make sure your employees can make good decisions at the moment to help the customer.
The name of the game these days is customer experience, also known as CX. Those businesses that are good at it will have a huge advantage over their competition.
Wow this was too good not to re-post for my readers and posterity.
This is a great idea. If only I had thought of it 3 years ago.
A lot of places will reward you for taking a survey. Allowing customers to give feedback right away provides:
- Greater incentive - Get rewarded right away
- Easier to use - Don't have to login at home
- Better quality results - customers can remember their experience better in 5 minutes than in 5 hours or 5 days
QR Codes are everywhere these days. Some people use them well, like Red Robin. Others are out of their minds - QR Codes on TV Commercials. Good marketers use the right tools, the right way for their product.
- Integrating your social and email programs Day 1 - 11 AM
- Accelerating results with Facebook Pages Day 1 - 4:30 PM
*If you don't win, you can still read the digital versions of my books for free.
Next HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 11 - The Secret to SEO
Next HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 9 - Organize Your Website
Next HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 8 - Browser Based Traffic
Next HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 7 - Mashups, Feeds and Gadgets
Having multiple subsites and microsites that point back to your main site can be good and bad. On the good side, you can customize these sites to target audiences better. You also have inbound links coming from your own sites coming back to your main web address. The bad news is that unless you are careful, it is easy to confuse your customers as to what site they are on.
Often subsites will click through to a main site and people get lost. You also are diluting the power of your main brand and website when you have subsites. It is better to have all of your traffic going to your main domain so it gets credit for being a popular site with search engines.
Sometimes it makes sense to have a landing page for a campaign or promotion. These can be very effective when they have a single purpose and a clear focus. Make sure that you explain what is happening and where people will go when they click if you send them away from the page.
Next HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 4 - Microsites and Subsites